What are Resins for Water Softeners?
Water softening is a process in which hardness ions, such as calcium and magnesium, are exchanged for sodium ions when the water passes over a bed of resin. The water softener starts a regeneration cycle when the resin has reached its capacity for storing hardness ions.
A sodium chloride brine solution runs through the resin during this cycle, essentially reversing the process by swapping sodium ions for hardness ions, then flushing the hardness ions down the drain.
If you have hard water, the best option is to use a water softener to turn it to soft water. It removes limescale buildup as well as plumbing stains. The solution also aids in the lathering of soap and the quality of bathing water. You may also avoid dry skin and itchy hair and scalp by using a water softener. As a result, individuals should get the best water softener resin to ensure that their system functions effectively.
Water softeners are in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The polymers that conduct the water softening functions eventually wear out. They will no longer be able to properly remove the hard minerals if this occurs.
A decent water softener may last up to 20 years with adequate care and attention, but only if it is properly maintained. While some water softener resins can survive the whole life of the water softener, others, depending on the quality, will need to be replaced after around 10 years.
Furthermore, the usage of resin may obstruct water flow, resulting in reduced water pressure and poor water quality. Fortunately, this does not indicate your water softener is broken; it only means you need to replace the resin within. Your water softener will work like new again once you’ve done this. In this article, we will be introducing you the best water softener resins that fit your needs, and information on the how’s and why’s regarding the best water softener resin.
Why Do We Need Water Softener Resins?
Almost everyone, particularly homeowners, has dealt with hard water issues. Simply defined, hard water is water that contains an excessive amount of “hard minerals.” Manganese, copper, zinc, iron, aluminium, calcium, magnesium, and a variety of other ions are commonly found in hard rocks.
While hard water wouldn’t impose danger to your general health, it may have devastating consequences in your house if you’re not careful. Hard water may harm your home’s plumbing systems and pipes as a result of its contents, resulting in blockage and, in certain cases, continuous repairs.
Specific equipment, such as kettles, can be harmed by hard water. The lifespan of these devices is significantly decreased as a result of the chemicals found in hard water.
Furthermore, hard water has an impact on the effectiveness of cleaning chemicals and solutions. As a result, you may find it difficult to remove the white, filmy residue it leaves behind.
Hard water can irritate the skin especially in individuals with sensitive skin. Since using hard water, many people have developed skin issues and allergies. Aside from that, harsh water has a tendency to dull hair’s look.
Types of Resins for Water Softeners
In general, you’ll want to seek an ion exchange water softener resin with a large capacity and a strong acid cation.
For household water softeners, this is standard. Other kinds, such as mixed blend resins that include both cations and anions, are utilised in more professional settings, such as vehicle washes, when a flawless finish is essential.
Even if you have a decent water softener ion exchange resin in your home system, you might still get some water spots, but the resin will be sodium-based rather than magnesium-based, making them simpler to wash away.
Standard Ion-Exchange resin
Most salt-based water softeners have this problem. The finest resin is available in two sizes: 8% crosslinked and 10% crosslinked. Between 3 and 5 PPM, they may efficiently remove hard minerals. They either employ sodium or chlorine to recuperate throughout the regeneration phase.
The standard ion-exchange resin is negatively charged during the ion exchange process, and it holds onto the positively charged calcium and magnesium water hardness minerals while releasing sodium ions into the water to replace them.
These hard water minerals, along with some iron and manganese, are flushed away down the drain as the system regenerates, keeping them from flowing back into the water and producing scale concerns in your house.
Standard ion exchange resin softens water while also assisting in the purification process by eliminating organic pollutants such as copper, lead, and other metals.
Fine Mesh resin
Well water softeners are more likely to use fine mesh resin. As fine mesh is more successful at eliminating iron, it is the best water softener resin for treating well water. If your house has an iron problem, you’ll probably need to add an iron filter to your softening system if you’re using a regular resin. This isn’t essential with fine mesh resin because of how it works.
The fine mesh variant consists of tiny resin beads that may remove up to 10 PPM of hard minerals. It is usually mixed with activated carbon to improve the fragrance, taste, and feel of water.Excellent mesh resin medium has issues with resin migration because of its tiny size. As a result, a gravel resin bed or a single riser screen may be appropriate.
The reason a fine mesh resin is better at eliminating iron is that the fine mesh variant is much more densely packed together. Each individual resin bead is also smaller, resulting in a considerably bigger surface area for the resin, which makes the fine mesh type aids in capturing the greatest iron content when water runs through the system. Fine mesh resin filters about 5 ppm of iron in most cases, and in other cases, up to 10 ppm when the circumstances are appropriate.
Size Types for Resins
Resin media range in size as well, as seen in the crosslink. A crosslink is a connection between the resin beads’ core and the cross-linked Divinylbenzene that tightens it (DVB). Currently, there are two available.
The 8% crosslinked resin variant is the most popular on the market, and it is supposed to hold more water since the resin beads are bigger. They’re perfect for usage in well water or water that’s mild to harsh.
These kinds of resin beads have a 3 to 5 PPM effectivity. They’re fairly long-lasting, lasting up to 10 to 15 years depending on the quality of the water.
It is, nevertheless, necessary to examine and monitor its status on a regular basis. Various causes, like abrasion, oxidation, and so on, can quickly harm it.
The 10% crosslink resin is often found in high-end salt-based water softeners and appear to last longer than their 8% equivalents. As a result, they perform admirably in municipal settings. However, because of their size and temperament, they tend to generate larger pressures.
Advantages of Using Great Water Softener Resins
Unlike the rest of the water softening system, the resin component is inexpensive. It won’t cost you as much, regardless of the type you buy or the quantity of resin you need.
Because the market for water softener resins is so competitive, these manufacturers are able to offer such low prices. Furthermore, there are many sorts and models to pick from.
Just keep in mind that the variances in each kind and model of resin media might have a significant impact on the overall quality of your water. It is advisable to learn more about the product, read reviews, and inspect the resin medium for yourself.
In terms of packing and storage, water resin media are also advantageous. These resin media are generally purchased in bulk, which means they are offered in large quantities. As a result, you may find them in quantities of at least 2 kg. As a result, they are relatively inexpensive.
Resin media are also available in resealable packs, which make it easy to keep once you’re finished. You won’t have to worry about spills or possible contamination with this.
Comes in variety
Resin replacement media for water softeners are available in a variety of forms, sizes, and materials. Resin mediums may often improve the flavour, texture, and fragrance of water. Other media have their own special features. You will undoubtedly locate a product that meets your requirements using this method.
Disadvantages of Using Water Softener Resins
Too much sodium
For the ion exchange process, salt-based water softeners inject sodium ions into the water. It has an impact on the flavour of the water. This might be a concern for those who need to reduce and control their salt consumption.
Unsuitable for irrigation as irrigation cannot be done with softened water that lacks calcium and magnesium but includes sodium. It’s because it causes alkali soils to form, which have a weak structure and can’t sustain irrigation.
How To Choose a Top Rated Water Resin?
Before you invest in resin, it is wise to always first think about a few things that will impact your specific demands.
Water softener resins are an important component of a water softener since they help with the ion exchange process. This is due to the resin beads in this medium, which attract the hard minerals in the water. In exchange, they soften the water by injecting sodium or potassium ions.
Since a result, investing in a high-quality resin medium is critical, as it might affect the unit’s overall performance and water quality.
Water softener resins are available in a variety of sorts, models, and forms on the market. As a result, it may be difficult to decide which type of resin to purchase, which can be confusing and stressful at times.
Fine mesh resin and conventional ion exchange resin are the two types of resin media available on the market. The latter type also comes in two sizes: an 8% crosslink and a 10% crosslink. Choosing what to get depends on the hard water level.
The optimum resin type for your water is determined first and foremost by the source of your water. You may be dealing with a high iron level if your home’s water originates from a private well, or even if you use municipal water in some areas. A fine mesh resin might be a wiser investment in this situation. In any event, your decision will be based on your own tastes, since you may prefer a faster ion exchange resin even if your water contains a lot of iron.
Some may ask, how long does the resin last? Some varieties of top quality resin can endure up to 20 years under ideal conditions. However, in most situations, the resin in the majority of water softeners will decay at a faster pace in your softener ion exchange resin due to the presence of chlorine or iron in your water.
If your water contains up to 1.0 ppm of chlorine, your softener system will soften water at a high grade for around 10 years. Your resin’s lifespan is also influenced by your water hardness, which is why it’s difficult for even manufacturers to specify a certain number of years for which a system is meant to endure.
Quantity of resin
Depending on the size of your resin tank, you’ll need different amounts of resin. These tanks usually come with a sizing label that shows the circumference and height of the tank. The sticker has four numerals, the first two of which refer to the tank’s circumference and the other two to its height.
You’ll also have to measure the tank’s height and diameter if it doesn’t have a sticker.
It’s crucial to understand this since you shouldn’t overfill the tank. If not, it may obstruct water flow since certain resins require a lot of room to grow.
Installation and maintenance
After you’ve purchased your softening ion exchange resin, you may begin the installation process.
To begin, turn the bypass valve to remove water from the system while replacing the resin. You might switch off your water supply entirely if you don’t need water while working on the system.
Set the ion exchange water softener’s control head to execute a manual regeneration, which will lower the water pressure within your pipes. The system should then be disconnected from your plumbing and electricity supplies.
Remove the valve head from the resin tank’s top. This will allow you to enter the tank via the top aperture. The contents of the tank may then be emptied into a garbage can. Depending on the size and weight of your tank, this operation may take two persons.
Replace the rinse tube by cutting it to size and inserting it into the tank. Fill the tank with the new resin, then reinstall the control valve on top of the tank. The tank may then be reconnected to your plumbing and power, and the bypass valve rotated to send water back into the system (or switch your water supply back on). The system should soften water instantly once the resin is replaced.
Best Water Softener Resin Reviews With Great Prices in 2021
1. Purolite C-100E Cationic
The 1 cu ft Purolite C100E resin is a strong acid cation softener resin that may reduce salt usage by up to 50% while also reducing wastewater output by up to 50%. It can also help to lower iron levels in the water as well as organic fouling. Depending on your water source, this high-quality resin for water softeners has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.
The Purolite C100E resin is one of the finest water softener resin, as it saves you money on salt. This is because this water softening ion exchange resin contributes to more efficient system operation by extending the duration between automated regenerations. As a result, you will be able to save water by requiring fewer regenerations on a weekly basis.
The “shallow shell” technique is used in this high-efficiency strong acid cation softener resin. This implies that the diffusion route is shorter, allowing for a quicker ion exchange process in water softening. It also decreases the amount of penetration required to wash the water softener resin during regeneration, allowing for a more thorough regeneration and, as a result, more effective salt use.
When compared to other water softening ion exchange resin, the Purolite SST-60 delivers a salt reduction of up to 2.4 pounds per cubic feet of resin each regeneration. All of this is achievable without jeopardising the system’s capacity or raising the risk of leakage within the system. Overall, this may save you between 700 and 1,400 pounds of salt per cubic feet each year, depending on how much water you use.
This water softening ion exchange resin by Purolite is made to last a long time, provide more lather, and prolong the life of your equipment. For use in the treatment of foods for human consumption, the resin fulfils and exceeds EEC standards and performs under the US Food and Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations section 21, paragraph 173.25. Nothing beats knowing that the resin you’re working with is both physically and chemically stable.
After testing this product out, it is confirmed that there’s no need to be concerned about mineral stains any more. This high-quality resin softens water, which may be used to wash clothing, cook food, and clean dishes. This resin replacement also provides you with high-quality cooking and drinking water. In fact, eliminating the aftertaste may be the resin’s major selling feature. Therefore, this is definitely one of the best water softener resins available in the market right now.
2. Aquatrol Water Softener Resin
The Aquatrol Water Softening Resin media is a high-quality polystyrene and DVB beaded resin with an 8 percent crosslink grade that form fine mesh resin. However, it appears that there is some misunderstanding over whether this resin is 8% or 10% crosslinked.
It actually comes in a bag with a 1 cubic foot or 50 pound capacity, which is roughly 32,000 grains, however some reviews indicate it’s more like 0.88 cubic feet or 25 L.
Besides, this water softening resin is FDA-approved for treating water for safe human consumption, which means that none of the components used in its construction will interfere with your system’s capacity to soften magnesium and calcium in hard water.
It is wiser for consumers to consult the user manual to ensure that the Aquatrol fine mesh resin is suitable for treating magnesium and calcium hard minerals with any home water softening application, although it is actually touted as such. Its hydraulic properties ensure that your water softener, including backwash flow rates, will operate at maximum capacity.
This softener resin has a 95 percent minimum whole bead count and helps to maintain thermal, physical, and chemical stability, which means it won’t change in makeup when exposed to high alkalinity or warmer or cooler temperatures to some extent.
Aquatrol’s primary function is to convert hard water into soft water, but it may also be utilised in the pharmaceutical sector. Therefore, this is definitely one of the best water softener resin available in the market, and is in the top five positions right now.
The bag’s easy-pour spout makes it simple to add Aquatrol to your softener, and it prevents you from unintentionally adding too much. The most common product size is a 1 cubic feet bag, which is perfect for water softener mineral tanks that are 9 x 48 sized.
There’s no information on how long this softening media will last, but with an 8 percent crosslink rating, it’ll probably last between 10 and 15 years. However, it is important to note that this resin might not be suitable for commercial systems, and it may also not be suitable for high iron levels, and only suits 8% crosslink.
3. LiquaGen Ion Exchange Resin
The 1 cu ft LiquaGen Ion Exchange Softening Resin is one of the most durable and long-lasting ion exchange resin on the market today. It contains a 10% crosslink and is food-grade, indicating that the chemicals in this product are safe to use in water treatment. Because these beads are more tightly bonded together, they should survive for longer periods of time, minimising the need for resin replacements.
If your water supply contains significant levels of chlorine or iron, as well as hard minerals, a 10% crosslink water softener resin, such as the LiquaGen, is recommended. This is especially useful for well water, which is generally rich in iron and would quickly wear out 8 percent crosslink beads.
A complimentary funnel is included with either 1/2 or 2 cubic feet of resin, which is useful for more precisely pouring the beads into your softener. When softening hard water, the LiquaGen possesses thermotolerant properties as well as good physical and chemical stability, and may be utilised in both residential and commercial applications.
Because the LiquaGen resin beads are porous, they may spread out across a greater surface area during the ion exchange process, helping to capture the maximum level of calcium, magnesium, and iron. This is where the 10% crosslinked design comes in handy.
After testing these LiquaGen resin beads out, it is certified with 10% crosslinked design, which is equivalent to higher durability. It is also available up to a 2 cubic feet quantity with good chemical and physical stability.
However, some consumers may be puzzled since the funnel did not come in the same packaging as the new resin. Despite that, this is still one of the best water softener resin in the marketplace.
4. AFWFilters SOFRES1
The AFWFilters SOFRES1 water resin bag replacement softener in 1 cu ft is now very popular. In black, it’s a typical ion exchange resin or cation type. It is a perennial favourite since it is both safe for home usage and efficient over time.
AFWFilters also provides a traditional gel polystyrene sulfonate cation exchange resin in bead form, which is suited for both residential and industrial applications. In a normal ion exchange process, this resin’s principal function is to remove hard water ions and replace them with sodium ions.
You can order the AFWFilters resin in a variety of sizes depending on the size of your tank, and you’ll be pleased to know that order sizes are clearly laid out on the AFWFilters website: for a 9 x 48 sized tank, you’ll need the – 1 cubic foot bag – 32,000-grain; for a 10 x 54 sized tank, you’ll need half a size up from the 1 cubic foot– 1.5 cubic feet.
It is capable of dissolving suspended objects and eliminating excess minerals found in water such as iron and manganese, however it is not suitable for industrial use. Other water pollutants such as dirt, rust, and sediment may also be filtered, guaranteeing that your water is not only softer but also cleaner. You may be confident that the water you use for cooking and drinking is safe for your family.
While this water softener resin isn’t particularly unique, it will get the job done and is reasonably priced. It should last between 10 and 15 years, depending on your water supply, with an 8 percent crosslinking rating. It’s NSF and FDA certified, which is a huge plus since it means you can use it in your water softener without fear of it causing more harm than good.
All in all, the AFWFilters water resin comes with an affordable price and good chemical and physical stability. However, it does not suit water with high levels of iron or chlorine, but only 8% crosslink.
5. Tier1 IER-100 Ion Exchange
The 1 cu ft Tier 1 IER-100 ion exchange water softener resin contains a 10 percent crosslink and is appropriate for both home and commercial applications. It works with virtually all water softener systems, so you won’t have to make any adjustments to get it to function. It almost works like the Kinetico water softener resin.
This water softener resin is simple to instal and will immediately begin treating your home’s water system, substantially decreasing scale accumulation and soap scum while also increasing the life of your equipment.
This softener resin may permeate your hard water, softening it and making it safe to drink. As a consequence, you’ll have water to drink and cook with. Because there would be less mineral accumulation and stains, your water fixtures and appliances would benefit as well, resulting in a longer lifespan for your water system.
The Tier1 IER 100 resin for water softeners is acceptable for most systems (see the manufacturer if you’re unsure) and may be utilised in both residential and commercial water softener applications. It’s offered at a reasonable price, and it’s guaranteed by the Tier 1 no-risk guarantee, which covers your purchase if you’re unhappy with it.
The makers don’t provide much information about what makes this specific water softener resin unique, but because Tier1 is one of the most well-known and reputable water softener manufacturers, you can be confident that you’re getting a genuine, high-quality resin.
It lasts for ten years, which is about normal for any strong acid cation product. While this isn’t a huge amount, it’s a reasonable estimate that should be quite accurate regardless of your water quality.
6. Oceanic Water Systems
In the resin business, oceanic water systems are relatively new. So far, they’ve gotten off to a great start, with customers gushing about how quickly and successfully their solutions tackle hard water problems.
The Oceanic water softening resin in 1 cu ft is a long-lasting product that may be used for many years. All common water softeners are compatible with it. It performs admirably, and you may continue to use your soft water for cooking, bathing, and washing. It’s even safe to use in the dishwasher.
As the beads are extremely porous, you can be sure that this will cover a vast surface area. You may do the entire replacement process yourself to get the resin in place. It’s easy enough, and with the help of internet videos, you’ll be able to do it in no time. It may be a difficult but enjoyable and useful pastime, with the added benefit of saving money by not employing a professional.
With the assurance that these resin beads are both NSE and FDA certified, restoring your water softener with this resin may also offer you that confidence and peace of mind. You certainly don’t want to jeopardise your and your family’s health. And there would be no need for additional debates with this resin because it is completely safe.
Overall, the oceanic water softening resin has a 100% ion exchange rate, as it is also equipped with high capacity and good selectivity. Apart from that, it is also fairly easy to be replaced, steps are simple yet it is still difficult if you were to replace it alone. Therefore, it is still best to have helpers to aid in the replacement procedure. Furthermore, this water softener resin also has impressive thermo-tolerant characteristics.
7. Cation-50-Box HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin
This high-capacity resin from Amanzi is a standard mesh cation exchange resin that comes in tiny amounts of about 0.5 cubic feet instead of the standard 1 cu ft, and is suitable for both residential and commercial water softening systems.
This may be enough to replace the resin in a portable unit, but it will not suffice for a whole-house system. Because of the tiny quantity, it is less costly than the other resins we examined. This product would be significantly more expensive than its rivals if you bought enough to replace the resin in a standard-sized softener.
When it comes to water softening resin, the majority of the options are cation. Fine mesh is the other option. As the name implies, this resin is cation, which means it has a typical crosslink of 8%, making it comparable to most other resin.
The 50 box, on the other hand, is certainly something you’ve thought about. That number corresponds to the resin’s actual size. The mesh number is used to measure most conventional cation resin, and the average mesh number is 50.
When you go down to the fine mesh, you will see numbers like 100 and above. Cation resin beads are generally suitable for residential use and perform well with any water softening system. Overall, Amanzi’s resin is of a very typical quality. You receive the same amount of product as you would with any other resin and the same level of performance as the other resin on this list.
8. Nelsen Cation Resin
The 1 cu ft Nelsen Mesh Cation water softener resin is one of the best water softener resins to choose for better iron filtering and a more lasting system. This high-capacity strong acid cation exchange resin uses standard gel polystyrene and may be used in both industrial and home water softeners.
To get the maximum capacity of roughly 33,000 grains per cubic feet with the Nelsen, it’s advisable to utilise 15 pounds of resin per cubic feett.
This standard mesh resin provides a cost-effective softening option, and it comes with a WQA Gold Seal certification for NSF/ANSI Standard 61, ensuring that municipal water systems “meet regulatory standards in North America.” That’s all the proof you need that it’s one of the highest-quality resins available.
Because it is an 8% crosslink resin, which makes it a fine mesh resin, the Nelsen is relatively inexpensive, and it is most commonly available in 50-pound bags. While it won’t last as long as some resins on the market, it’s still set to last up to 10 years before it needs replacing.
Nelsen’s website is lacking information on what makes this particular water softener fine mesh resin special, but if you have specific concerns before making a purchase, it’s extremely easy to get in touch with the company by contacting online support or giving them a call.
Frequently Asked Questions on Buying Resins for Water Softeners
When should I replace my water softener resin?
Because it’s not always clear when your water softener resin needs to be replaced, it’s best you stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If your resin bed is supposed to last ten years, you should replace it after that time. The majority have a 10-year lifetime, with some lasting considerably longer.
A hard water test is the most ideal way to determine how long you’ve been using your original water softener resin bed. If you have a salt-based water softener, your water should be soft as it comes out of your taps, regardless of whether it utilises a conventional ion exchange resin or a fine mesh resin.
How much does it cost to replace water softener resin?
The resin is an important component of a water softening system that does not need to be replaced frequently. However, keep in mind that your unit’s regeneration cycle may have an impact on its lifespan. After at least ten years, it may need to be replaced. If you feed it with well water containing manganese, iron, and other pollutants, however, it can be shortened by five to 10 years.
Conclusion: Get Your Resin Now!
As we near the end of this post, we hope that the information we’ve provided will assist you in locating the best water softener resin. It is important to do further appropriate research especially when there are several sorts of best water softener resins to select from.
You may also go over our water softener resin reviews again for better clarity on which is the best water softener resin, and which is the one you really need.
Whatever resin you pick will come into touch with all of your family’s drinking water. Obviously, this is a big choice, and we tried to make it as simple as possible for you by compiling this water softener resin reviews. Before you make a final purchase, we’ll go through our recommendations once more to make sure they’re fresh in your memory.
Overall, we believed the Purolite C100E resin in 1 cu ft is the best water softener resin. It’s reasonably priced, and it meets or surpasses EEC and FDA standards. Even better, in our tests, the resin has the ability to eliminate 17 grains from the water, and our hard water spots vanished.