Archive for the ‘Types of Water Softener’ Category

Magnetic Water Softener


If you live in an area where your water is hard and is not treated before entering your house, you may want to consider one of the many available magnetic water softener or other types of systems. Drinking hard water is not harmful however using it for washing clothing, dishes, bathing in etc. can be frustrating. It inhibits lathering of soap and leaves a dirty looking soap scum behind which is difficult to remove. It also causes scaly build up of calcium and lime deposits over time, clogging pipes, decreasing flow of water and leaving tough scales on kettles, and coffee and tea pots.

Conventional water softener systems adds salt to your water, and if you are softening at point of entry into your house and you are going to be drinking it, this may be an option you wish to avoid because you don’t want to be drinking too much salt.

An alternate choice you may wish to consider is a magnetic water softener which can also be called an electronic water softener. There is no concrete evidence on how effective these water softeners are for domestic use, however, they have proven to be very effective in commercial application. Ceramic magnets are used to surround your water pipes to create a magnetic field which stirs up the electrons in the water. With this action, calcium crystals precipitate out at low density preventing the lime build up from occurring.

How a magnetic water softener looksMost home magnetic water softeners use 2 magnets creating about ½ inch of contact time. Contact time is the amount of time that the water is subjected to the magnets through the flow. More contact time creates more effective conditioning of the water and so some magnetic water softeners increase the number of magnets making the contact time longer.

Using magnetic water softeners is a more environmentally safer method of conditioning your water as they are chemical free. It is also relatively maintenance free and uses no electricity. Most of these ceramic magnets last for more than the life time of a person, and so chances of ever having to replace the magnets is next to none and there are no moving parts to replace. Cost wise it may save you in the long run with no parts replacement, no maintenance, no electricity, no chemicals to buy etc. If your goal is to use a salt less water softener or salt free water softener than this is a great solution.


Using a magnetic water softener is an alternative to conventional sodium based ones, but do your research as not all information is positive and there are some requirements which your home will need to meet to make it effective. Also, magnetic water softeners only work with “not too hard” water. They do not really do a good job once you are above a certain ppm density of hard metals which depends on which model you buy. Usually water softener systems that use salt can reach higher levels of hard water without any problems.

Home Water Softeners

 

Water with a high content of calcium and magnesium is called hard water. There are other minerals present as well, but these are the main ones of higher concentration which create the problems.

There is no harm in drinking hard water, but it can wreak havoc on appliances like hot water heaters, dishwashers, and on water pipes and shower heads. Over time, hard water scale builds up on the insides of these appliances and pipes reducing their effectiveness and water flow, clogging pipes and eventually causing damage. This scale is also not a good conductor of heat. Another disadvantage to hard water is how soap reacts in it. Soap does not lather well in hard water and leaves a white grayish sticky scum behind. Most people relate soaps ability to clean by the amount of lather it produces and so bathing, washing clothes or dishes, and general cleaning becomes less productive in hard water. If your only problem with hard water relates to washing dishes or clothes than you might be interested in a calgon water softener since it’s very inexpensive and will save you the cost of buying one of the many water softening systems options which usually will cost you ~$1000.

home water softeners designHome water softeners are a less costly solution than filtration systems and so are a more likely solution for most people. They are generally installed where the water supply enters the home, but those who do not wish to soften drinking and cooking water or water designated for garden use will require a separate cold water line be installed. An alternative solution if you feel like you have no choice but to drink the softened water and your diet does not allow a high amount of salt is you might want to try a salt free water softener. Water softeners range in types and cost according to their sophistication level. The automatic ones cost more money but are the easiest to maintain in the long run.

Water softeners work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. The sodium does not create scale build up and does not inhibit soaps ability to lather. The water runs through a bed of small plastic beads or zeolite covered in sodium or potassium ions which exchange places with the magnesium and calcium ions. When the beads become saturated with calcium and magnesium ions and sodium ions are depleted, an automatic system will detect this and regenerate itself. To be regenerated, the beads are flooded in a salty brine solution. When this is complete, the magnesium, calcium, dirt and any sediment are flushed from the beads into the drainage system then the mineral tank is rinsed with clean water and loads the brine tank. The cycle is complete.

The automatic water softeners can be programmed to recycle when the homeowner wishes, however having it regenerate only when it is necessary saves on water use.

 

Most water softeners need very little maintenance on a regular basis however a little due diligence paid to its upkeep is wise to keep it running at its optimum efficiency level. Watch for salt build up in the brine tank and clean if necessary. If your water contains iron, use an iron removing product to clean it. Keep the resin tank injector clean. All these will ensure your home water softener will last for many years. You might want to consider reading more about water softener reviews before committing to a purchase.

Water Softener Comparison


When looking for the best water softener for your household you need to consider a few different things. First off, how hard is your water? A popular complaint about an electronic water softener (reverse osmosis) is that they do not work so well with especially hard water. While you should ask you local dealer directly if you are still considering one of these because as a no salt water softener option this might be something that will eliminate some possible options for you.

Another important consideration when doing a water softener comparison is if your iron level is high. Water softener systems that uses salt can usually deal with a lot concentration of iron without a problem but if it’s quite high such as 5 p.p.m. than you might need an iron filter to make sure the water softener can do its job properly and stay clean while doing so. If you haven’t tested your water yet to see the concentration of different minerals in your hard water a good sign if you have iron is if you see some staining. This test is far from perfect though because a very low level of iron, even under 1 p.p.m., will probably cause staining. So ideally when deciding on the best water softener is to definitely check the concentration of hard metals which will affect your choices and your water softener system dealer will probably be able to give you recommendations if you can at least share with him some information on your hard water.

water softener comparison, should you use salt or potassium chloride?Another factor when doing a water softener comparison is: do you want a salt free water softener or a salt using water softening system? Here is a quick review of some of the features and cons of both types that might influence your choice.

- Does not add salt to your drinking water. If your softener is connected to your drinking water line many people say it’s bad for your health in the long term to have such high sodium intake. This is especially true the harder your hard water is. Here is a direct quote from apswater.com that might help you evaluate depending on how hard your water is. Each grain of hardness in your water will end out equaling  17.1 milligrams per liter of Sodium or Potassium depending on what you are regenerating the water softener with. With a low sodium diet of 3000 milligrams, average water would contain 170 milligrams per liter or water. Under this scenario you would have to drink 17 liters of water or 4.6 gallons or water per day to hit the limit.”

- A common way to resolve any possible health issues you could have is to use a potassium chloride water softener. Many softeners that are meant to use salt can instead us potassium which is harmless for your health. In fact, some say this is actually beneficial because the typical north American diet can be low in potassium at times (while too high in salt).

- This brings up to one of the biggest cons about using a no salt water softener system, the price. While the initial price for the softener system (Probably $1000 for a decent system including installation cost) can be pretty similar potassium pellets are definitely more expansive than using salt. Your salt for water softener cost can go from $4 to $10 per month depending on what quality of salt you have to buy (once again mostly dependant on how hard your water is). You might want to compare prices to see if the upkeep is something you are comfortable paying.

A few other things that are important when you compare water softener brands is do you want a dual tank resin or not? Kinetico water softeners have a few advantages over their competition. First off they have a dual tank which means the system will always be on 24 hours a day. Most water softeners shut down for a while usually in the middle of the night in order to let the water softener resin regenerate itself for the next day. Kinetico water softeners also do not use electricity, they power itself with the water flowing inside so while they are much more expensive than other models ( sometimes double the price and usually at least $1,000 for the most basic model) you might make back some of this price difference over time.


If you are only looking to solve your hard water problem to wash dishes or clothing you might want to try some inexpensive calgon water softener which is mixed with detergents/soaps when you do these tasks. Of course your plumbing will not be safe but this might be a good solution for you if you do not feel it’s worth buying a $500+ water softener system.

Here are a few other water softener brands you might want to look into that we discuss on this website, and briefly on our water softener review page, more to come over time.

Fleck water softener

Morton water softener

Kenmore water softener

Culligan water softener reviews

Finally, to do an appropriate water softener comparison it’s important to know what capacity in terms of water output your water softener should use here’s a great calculator to do so.

Electronic Water Softener


Conventional water softeners add salt to the water in a process of ion exchange as a hard water solution. This process changes the minerals in the water which affects the way the soaps we use interact with the water in the cleaning process. Soft water is easier on our skin, but harsh on plants because of the salt. People who have water softeners in their house often install a cold water bypass to supply untreated water for other purposes not requiring softened water such as outdoor use, cooking, drinking etc. Others only soften the water destined for the hot water heater. Of course, their are some salt free water softener options which usually consists of adding potassium chloride instead of salt.

The technology of electronic water softeners has been proven to be effective in very large industrial sized systems which have actually been shown to clean off residual calcium accumulation already present in existing systems. The water is exposed to very large magnetic fields by running it through special magnets. It doesn’t change the chemical makeup of the water, but acts by stimulating the molecules in turn suspending them for about 72 hours. In suspension, these minerals such as calcium, won’t stick to each other or anything else. In 72 hours in most households any water submitted to these magnets has already gone through the system and used so there is a continual flow of  electronically softened water available.

Electronic water softeners are gradually becoming available in the residential market with some credible products.

One such product is the “Clear Wave” made by Field Controls Inc. This product originated in Great Britain where hard water scale build up is a nationwide problem. It appeared on the market in North America in the early 90’s. According the manufacturer, Field Controls, it is as easy as 1-2-3 to install, can be installed in less than 15 minutes and no tools are required. They provide everything in their package along with an instructional DVD.

electronic water softener

Great reviews on this $150 electronic water softener on amazon and is very low cost. It claims to also run for under $5 of electricity per year

Another product is called “ScaleBlaster” from ClearWater Enviro. It is installed in the incoming water supply line coming into the house. According to the company which manufactures this product, there is no extra plumbing installation, is easy to install, and requires no maintenance as in changing filters or bags of salt. This company produces both residential and commercial sized electronic water softeners and according to their website “are a leading “Going Green” manufacturer of environmentally friendly products”.

 

One downside to an electronic water softener is its inability to function properly on water with high iron content, so testing your water before you decide is a definite consideration.

Jon Eakes, a do-it-yourself and home information guru on TV, states on his website that he used the Clear Water on his own system and although there was no additional build up of calcium in a 2 year time period, it did not clean up the initial accumulation present when installed.


So the overall conclusion is that electronic water softeners can work if the system used is appropriate to the mineral composition of your water and your water flow. However there is no conclusive or comprehensive study done to show which ones are more effective than others.

Water Softeners How They Work


Water softening is the act of reducing the level of magnesium and calcium ion concentration from hard water. Although the World Health Organization has found no evidence of hard water being harmful to humans, many people may still find it undesirable, mainly because soaps and detergents don’t lather well with hard water making it difficult for cleaning purposes. The best and the most used method of reducing hardness from water is to use a ion-exchange resin device, more commonly known as a water softener.

Water softener systems work by replacing the magnesium and calcium ions causing the hardness with sodium ions. The way it works is that the water passes through a negativity charges bed of resins containing sodium ions, though it can also use potassium or hydrogen ions. As the negativity charged particles absorbs and binds the magnesium and calcium ions it releases the sodium ions, thus replacing the hardness minerals with sodium. How much sodium is required for this process depends on the amount of hardness minerals in the water, the harder the water the more sodium ions is released in to the water to reduce the hardness. Such resins are also available to reduce the levels of carbonate, bi-carbonate and sulfate ions from the water, but they release hydroxyl ions in the water instead.

water softener how they workAs these resins become filled with undesired ions from the water they slowly lose their effectiveness and needs to be recharged. This is usually done by passing a highly concentrated brain of usually sodium chloride (salt for water softener), or potassium chloride, or hydrochloric acid solution through them. This process replaces the hardness minerals from the resins with sodium or potassium.



It should be noted that too much sodium in the body can potentially cause side effects, so if you have hard water problems, it would be wise to have two taps in the house, with only one of them running through the water softener that you can use for cleaning purpose, while the other one with hard water that you can use for drinking, since the hard water has not be proven to have any adverse effect on the body for drinking. It’s once again mainly a problem for plumbing and house cleaning/washing. Other solutions include using a saltless water softener which can either use a completely different water softening system that does not include salt or it might simply be something like a kinetico water softener that instead of using salt you use potassium chloride to recharge the water softener resin.

Morton Water Softeners


A water softener is a mechanical device used to convert hard water (water having mineral impurities like calcium and magnesium) into soft water. Even though the consumption of hard water is considered safe, the high proportion of mineral impurities present in the hard water react with pipes, water-heaters and cooking appliances; clogging them and damaging them over a period of time. Hard water also reacts with the chemicals present in soap and washing powder, making it hard to actually clean dishes. Resultantly hard water makes daily human activities like bathing and washing clothes, more tedious and time consuming.

Most modern water softeners soften water by replacing the mineral impurities present in the hard water with softener salt, potassium or even hydrogen; using the concept of “Ion Exchange”. Most of these share common nearly identical water softener parts comprising mainly of a resin bed, a brine tank and a central processing unit.

The American water softener market is crowded with a large number of manufacturers offering various water softener solutions suited to both residential and industrial use.

The Morton Salt Company is a recent entrant to the crowded water softener market. The company was established in 1889 by Joy Morton and was largely involved in the production of common salt. In 1951, the company expanded into the water-softening market by introducing a line of water softener salts called “Morton Salt Pellets”. The product often also called water softener pellets, was meant to replenish the softening salts in a water softener, proved to be very popular. In 2002, the company directly entered the water-softener segment by introducing its own line of softeners aptly called Morton “System Saver”.

Since their recent debut in the American market, Morton water softeners have gained immense popularity. This is mainly due to Morton’s patented “Look Ahead” technology which has revolutionized residential water softening.

The above mentioned technology works by acting as a behavior prediction system; it basically collects and analyzes data on water usage in the household where the system is employed. It then uses this information to determine the approximate amount of softened water and the time at which it is required on a daily basis. This leads to less use of softening salts and electricity, thereby making Morton water softening systems significantly cheaper than the competition.

Morton water softeners are designed to fulfill the needs of an entire household; the process of regeneration (replenishing diminished softening salts) is also carried out very efficiently, as the amount of salt used is strictly based on daily consumption of soft water. Though the whole process is automated, a manual override function is present in every model.

The Morton water softener line consists of four different models, designed to satisfy the complete spectrum of water softening needs. They are detailed below.

Morton Water Softener models

1.  MSD30D: It is ideal for large households as it is designed to soften a large quantity of very hard water. It has a capacity to remove 30000 grains of mineral impurities per gallon of water.

2. MSD34C: It has the largest grain removal capacity (34000 grains per gallon of water) among all models of Morton water softeners. It manages to efficiently soften a large quantity of hard water in spite of having a sleek light design. It is recommended for large houses and small manufacturing units.

3. MSD27B: It is a medium capacity water softener with a softening capacity of 27000 grains per gallon of water. It is ideal for detached houses and large condos.

4. MSS20B: It is a low capacity water softener with average softening capacity (22000 grains per gallon), it is also among the cheapest and most efficient water softeners ideally meant for apartments and smaller homes.

Each of the above Morton water softener models come in a very sleek and attractive design and take up very little space. They are available across America and Canada and are considered value for money.


Water Softener Potassium : Salt alternative


Recently, there are two types of water softeners available in the market- sodium chloride water softeners (water softener systems that use salt) and potassium chloride water softener (which are often called water softener potassium). They differ both in economical and health aspects. For the people who are more apprehensive of their health, water softener potassium systems are known to be a healthier choice in terms of healthier drinking water.

Nowadays, lots of people are getting a bit anxious about the usage of salt for softening water. The reason behind this is that many reports revealed the excess of sodium in the diet of American people and excessive sodium can be dangerous for health. If you have problems with excessive sodium, potassium water softeners are the perfect solution and one of the best no salt water softener solution.

water softener potassium

Potassium a salt alternative that you can easily find online at stores such as amazon

Potassium- a beneficial element

A big advantage of using potassium chloride water softeners is that potassium is regarded as a very advantageous constituent to the body and people often need this mineral. What’s more, if you are taking low-sodium diet, then using these softeners is the best alternative.

Good for environment

Further, when we think about the environment, the water generated by these softeners is known to be more environmentally friendly. For nourishing your plants, always use water softened with potassium chloride water softeners. That’s because plants require a lot of potassium in contrast to the damage sodium causes to your plants and land. In fact, for this reason water softener systems that use salt have been banned in some states or at least frowned upon.
Absorption in water

When we talk about performance, a potassium chloride water softener work similar to sodium chloride softeners. The process of ion exchange is also very similar in both softeners. The main difference between them is that unlike with salt, potassium is easily immersed in water.


Potassium chloride softeners are highly recommended by experts and can easily be found online at amazon
. However, despite all of these benefits, it should be noted that potassium water softeners are more expensive than if you use a salt based system. However, with the several advantages that you will get from potassium water softeners, you might find them work the extra expense. In the end, by using them you will not just protect your health but also help protect the environment as well.

Fleck Water Softeners


Generally, hard water contains strenuous deposits of magnesium and calcium and there are many troubles linked with hard water. It obstructs pipes and it becomes very difficult to soften soap in hard water. Therefore the hard water is needs to be converted into soft water. There are lots of water softeners available in the market and it is based upon the requirements of the user to decide what sort of water softener would be appropriate for his needs.

If you are thinking of buying a water softener, it is important that you choose it keeping your requirements and budget in mind. Fleck water softeners have modernized the techniques of water softening. The variety of models provides any home landlord the benefits of properly handled water systems. Fleck has “environmentally friendly” models of many of the following brands and they say you can expect up to a 50% reduction in salt usage over other water softener salt models. Of course this comes at a higher price, often $100-200 over the normal price tag but you will probably make up for this over time. Most of the following price tags for these models were taken from http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com which is an online retailer that sells pre made water softeners and ships them to you using UPS. Once you receive it you only need to charge up the resin beads by following the instructions.

Fleck water softeners possess a wide range of characteristics. Each water softener in their collection focuses on one essential feature of water softening and they come in a big range of sizes. They also offer many interesting add-ons such as a media guard KDF 55 and 85 that you can attach to your water softener so it can filter water and remove chlorine, heavy metals and prevent bacteria growth.

Fleck 2510 water softener series assert an on-demand position. Water softeners in this series are generally residential softeners and help in regulating the quantity of water utilized at home. They feature ‘on-demand’ meter so that if you don’t need the machine to work at full output you can minimize salt and water waste. It is priced starting at around $500 for the 24k grain capacity models all the way to $1200 or so for the 110k model. With these softeners, the user can preserve water as well as limit the quantity of water wasted. However, they are regulated by simplified electronic components. The size of the tanks determines the prices of these softeners.

example of fleck water softeners on quality water treatmentFleck 5600 Ecominder is a series of environmentally friendly softeners and are promoted as being able to still count your water usage even in the event of a power failure! You can find these models starting at around $450 for the 24k grain model all the way to $800 for 96k grains. Most of the other models also have “Ecominder” and “SXT” models. You can find the main differences between the “Ecominder” and “SXT” models here.

Fleck 7000 is a series of water softeners that are made for commercial use. They possess all the characteristics of all other series except that they have a supplementary capability of running 35 gallons per minute.

Fleck 9000 Series: It is a dual tank, high capacity water softener. It is designed to work even when regeneration is being carried out. Its two tanks allow the control valve to switch the water supply to the second tank when the first tank is being backwashed. It can soften up to 21 gallons of water every minute and has a variable grain capacity from 24000 grains to 110000 grains depending on which model is chosen. It is an extremely efficient and economical option for large residences and small manufacturing establishments.


Purchasing a water softener will surely help with hard water problems. However keep in mind that water softener systems using salt can be banned in many states and countries because they have a bad impact on the environment. That’s why some people try to go for a saltless water softener or other water filtration from other companies such as kinetico water softeners that mainly use the “kinetic” energy of water to filter it (no electricity) and you can choose non salt using water softener models.

Calgon Water Softener


We know that hard water occurs when water mixes with certain minerals that can make the water become destructive to your home. Hard water can make fabrics dull and brittle and can make home appliances easy to break. The advantage of the calgon water softener unlike other water softener systems is that you can usually buy it in a bottle at a low cost around ~$10 at Amazon
or your local Wal-Mart. Its goal is to help your detergent clean your laundry by limiting the effects of hard water while washing and rising your clothes.

Calgon water softener was launched in 1956. Back then, its original aim was to soften water. It is very successful in its craft and most of the people do prefer Calgon to other water softeners that are available in the market. There are other companies that rivaled Calgon in beauty products and others but most people still choose Calgon over the other products being sold in supermarkets due to their years of expertise and low cost.

The active ingredient in Calgon water softener is the polycarboxylates which prevents the minerals that are mixed in the water to penetrate the washing machine or the fabrics being washed. This ingredient also prevents the formation of lime scale. Calgon water softener softens hard water which helps your detergents job while washing and rising clothes. You simply add it to the dispensing compartment of your washing machine. It is important to know that Calgon does not use phosphates to make sure that no harm will befall your appliances and clothing.

There are three kinds of water softeners that are available now. These are: Calgon powder water softener, calgon water softener tablets and calgon liquid gel softener.

The Calgon powder water softener is fairly easy to use. It was actually one of the first water softeners that first time users use to clean their washing machines and bathtubs.

The Calgon water softener tablet is the preferred water softener of people on the go because you just have to put it in the washing machine and you are good to go.

The Calgon Liquid gel softener is the choice now of many consumers because even though it might seem messy, the softener can protect the washing machine from build ups of suds and other stuff that can hurt the appliance. It can also make the fabric of the clothes become whiter or brighter.


Though, take note that there are recommended dosages of water softener that should be used for washing clothes or just cleaning the machine. It is important that the proper dosages are used to make sure that the product will work well without any harmful effects.

Water Softener Parts: The Key Components


Water softeners help reduce calcium and magnesium levels in hard water by using softener salt which ends up softening the water. A water softener is comprised of several parts, the most important being the central processing unit, the mineral tank which contains the very important resin filter, and the brine tank.

The central processing unit acts as the brain of any water softener. The CUP is comprised of three main parts: a timer, a water meter, and a valve assembly. Each of its individual segments must work together to soften water effectively. The timer controls when the water softener activates and begins work. This can either be set to a strict schedule or done on notice. The meter evaluates the ion level in the softener’s resin filter and will automatically start a brine wash when levels are low. The valve assembly is in charge of adjusting and regulating water flow to the other water softener parts.

The mineral tank is the home of the water softener resin filter. As the filter draws the minerals out of the water, it becomes permeated with mineral ions. These mineral ions, calcium and magnesium, are displaced and then swapped with sodium ion. After this process the water that passes through is “soft water” which has all the hard metals taken out in exchange for a higher density of sodium.

The brine tank is very important in order to cleanse the resin filter of the accumulated hard water minerals after a while. This is important for the water softener to self-maintain itself by cleaning the resin beads of all the hard water minerals who get pushed from the mineral tank to the brine tank. Also, the brine tank will effectively recharge the resin beads with more sodium ions as it pulls the hard metals from the mineral tank. The mineral ions segregated by the filter stick to the sodium ions in the brine, and the water is rinsed out of the softener.

Water softener parts require regular maintenance, as preservation of the water softener’s inner workings will result in prolonged use gleaned from it. Keeping tabs on the levels inside the brine tank and making sure it’s filled frequently is a must. The resin filter won’t usually provide problems, and stays in working order for the duration of the water softener’s life. The resin filter may only need to be changed in cases of forgetfulness or negligence. However you do have to “recharge/regenerate it” every so often using salt of course, but the actual resin should last a long time. If water was left sitting for an extended period of time, bacterial buildup can occur, and if the mineral tank is exposed to sunlight, algae growth may crop up, which can cause damage to the water softener. You should regularly check, maintain and replace any water softener parts that require support.


Your best bet if you’re trying to find how to replace a part of your system is to contact the manufacturer. You don’t want to order a part not made for your model that breaks everything else after a short period of use right? There’s also the advantage that the manufacturer will probably give you a warranty as long as everything you’re using is provided by them.