Many households have to deal with a hard water supply, especially if your water source is a well. Excessive levels of water hardness can lead to plumbing system issues and damage to its components. Just like city water, different well water sources have different iron content. Some might be higher than others.
However, investing in a water softener can help you avoid these problems, while also letting you enjoy softer skin and hair, fluffier laundry, and fewer stains/spots on your glassware. A well water softener can help you improve the taste of your water, save money, and increase the lifespan of your plumbing and appliances.
If you do have a well on your property, iron will almost certainly be present in the water. To help you out, we have researched and tested numerous water softeners for well water to shortlist the best water softener for well water.
Hopefully, our article today can provide you as much information as you need to make the best decision for your home, especially when dealing with high levels of iron.
Is It Important to Have a Water Softener Salt for Well Water?
It is recommended for homeowners with a water supply of over 7 grains per gallon (GPM) of hardness to consider investing in a water softener. At such high hardness levels, the taste and smell of drinking water will change, making them less desirable. On top of that, high calcium and magnesium levels can prevent your home appliances like dishwashers and washing machines from running efficiently.
Those who rely on city water can request a water quality report from their local authority. However, you should take note that the water quality test is conducted at their site and does not include contaminants or heavy metals that entered your water supply on their way to your home.
Those who collect water from a private well will need to test the water quality yourself with a hard water testing kit. These kits are really simple to use and you only need to collect a sample of water from your faucet and dip a test strip inside. The test strip will then change colors based on the level of hardness your water is. If your test kit shows high levels of water hardness, then it is obviously time to consider getting the best water softener for well water.
How to Choose the Best Water Softener System for Well Water?
There are plenty of water softeners for well water out on the market and it can get confusing for most. But you need to remember that it is best not to jump into purchasing the best water softener for well water until you’ve considered what you really need. Here are a few pointers that you can keep in mind while shopping for water softeners:
System Size (Capacity)
To determine the well water softener size you need for your home, you can multiply the number of gallons you use per day by the number of occupants in your home. As a rule of thumb, you can approximate the number of water usage per day with an average figure of about 80 gallons per person.
Next is to multiply this number by your water’s hardness level in grains per gallon. The grains per gallon tell you how many grains of water hardness you need to remove per day. Once you’ve calculated the grains per gallon of water hardness, you can begin searching for a softening solution that can handle this load.
Water Flow Rate
Not only is the effectiveness in removing hard water an important factor, but you also need to check out what’s the water flow rate the water softener can deliver. Your home’s water flow rate will determine how quickly water supply flows through your pipes and out of your faucets. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
It is important that your choice of water softener model is not undersized in terms of flow rate. If the rated flow rate is too small to keep up with the number of appliances you use simultaneously, you will experience a dramatic drop in water pressure. There’s simply no point in getting a water softener that will end up giving you only trickles of water when more than one person showers at the same time.
Other than water hardness minerals, there’s also a good chance that your well water has other harmful contaminants that you want to get rid of. Other common water contaminants include heavy metals, nitrates, fluorides, and organic chemicals.
The well water may also contain harmful pathogens like bacteria. If these are a concern for your water supply, then you might want to consider investing in a whole house filter that includes a water softening device.
System Control & Features
Water Softeners come with a control panel also known as a digital metered control head that lets you check the status of the whole house water softening system and also the ability to adjust the settings. Most water softeners are capable of automatic regeneration but you can also choose to override the system by selecting a specific time and day you want the system to regenerate.
Some advanced water softener models can even be connected to a mobile app for better convenience in terms of checking or updating the settings while you’re away.
A water softener is usually a relatively big appliance that will need some physical space for installation. This is why it is important for you to note down the dimensions of your preferred water softener prior to purchasing to determine if your house has space for it. Generally, water softeners with bigger capacity will require bigger tanks and hence more space.
Be sure to measure your available space and compare the dimensions of the softening system you’re interested in. Do also remember to leave enough room for installation, maintenance, and cleaning. This will prevent you from making the wrong purchase that isn’t able to fit into the space you have.
A water softener is by no means a cheap purchase. Some water softeners can command prices of several thousands of dollars and most homeowners want to feel confident with their purchase before forking out such large sums of money.
This is where certifications can play an important role in the water softener model of your choice. When a water softener product has been certified, it means that a third-party organization has tested the product and deemed it effective in doing its intended job.
The most popular certifying third-party organization for water treatment systems is NSF International. You’ll also notice that the best water softener systems come with NSF/ANSI 44 Standard that establishes the minimum requirements for certification of residential water softeners using a cation exchange resin that is regenerated with sodium.
An NSF 44 certification simply means that the water softener system meets the minimum requirements set out by NSF themselves for water softeners. However, there are no certifications currently for iron filter or iron removal, so you can only trust a manufacturer’s word on this one.
As mentioned earlier, a water softener is a big investment that could potentially set you back thousands of dollars. Not only is the initial cost something to worry about, but you should also factor in the cost of salt, which is cheaper but is also a more consistent long-term purchase.
Some water softeners are also more expensive than others. A salt-based water softener can sit around 1,000 dollars, but there are also other cheaper systems that deliver great performance. Water conditioners and salt-free water softener models will typically cost more. And if you’re considering a whole home water filter and water softener system, you can be prepared to pay around $2,000 or more.
Best Water Softener Salt for Well Water in 2022
1. Springwell Well Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener
Searching for a well water softener to tackle high iron levels as well as to filter out common contaminants? Then look no further than the Springwell Well Water Filter and Salt Based Softener as this might just be the whole-house solution you need. The two-in-one water softening system features a 32,000 – 8,000 grain water softener to offer the highest level of water treatment that you can enjoy at your home. It even comes at a very competitive price and has an unlimited-year warranty for extra peace of mind.
Some features that the system has includes:
Filtration Tank – Having its own filtration tank is one of the biggest benefits of buying this Springwell system. With just one single tank fitted with filtration media, you get to enjoy clean, filtered, and softened water.
Salt-based Water Softeners – The Springwell’s softener adopts a traditional salt-based model that consists of two tanks: a brine tank and a resin tank. The brine tank is where the salt is stored whereas the resin tank is where the ion exchange softening process takes place.
Installation Kit – An installation kit complete with both the softener and filter comes together with the Springwell whole house system. While it is advertised as being easy to install, the installation process is slightly more complex than a simple well water softener on its own. So those who are concerned or lack the necessary DIY skills might want to consider paying a plumber to carry out the job for you.
Digital Control Heads – Both the softener and filter system come with a digital metered control head where you can access all the necessary information you need to know about the water such as water use, filter changes, salt top-ups, etc.
1 Million-Gallon Capacity – The Springwell is designed with 1 million-gallon capacity for minimal maintenance and cleaning. It even has a reminder to let you know when it’s time to change the softener salt and filters.
The Springwell System is a two-in-one filter and softener that features four separate filtration stages: a pre-filter stage, a Kinetic Degradation Fluxation (KDF) media that acts as an iron filter, a coconut shell carbon filter, and a final filter that keeps the water in contact with the media for a longer period.
This filtration system is able to effectively remove common water contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, herbicides, sediment, VOCs, and more.
As for its salt-based softening system, it uses a common and effective ion exchange process to soften the water by replacing water hardness ions with sodium ions. This method will completely remove the hardness and iron issues from your water. The hard water and iron ions are flushed away when the system regenerates and the salt is replenished in the resin bed.
The Springwell smart softening system helps you save more money as it uses less salt per regeneration. The softener’s electronic metered valve measures the mineral capacity of the resin bed and will kickstart the regenerating process when it finds that the resin bed can no longer hold any more minerals.
The Springwell comes in either a 32,000-grain capacity or an 80,000-grain capacity to fit different household water usage needs.
- A selection of 32,000 or 80,000-grain capacity.
- Includes a softener, iron filter, and more to soften and filter water.
- Unlimited year warranty.
- Need to replace softener salt.
- Might be expensive for some.
2. SoftPro Elite
This is a salt-based softener that comes with a host of features to easily make this the best water softener for well water with high levels of iron. The system comes with different capacities with sizes up to the 80,000-grain capacity to meet high water usage demands. The system is also highly efficient by using minimal salt and water to reduce iron up to 3 PPM.
Some features that the system has includes:
Backlit Digital Control Head – Having a digital control head means simple control operation. It comes with touchpad controls for you to adjust and activate your preferred settings easily. It also features automatic backwashes to minimize contact with the control head except for when you just want to have a check on the systems’ status.
Wide Mouth Brine Tanks – The SoftPro Elite brine tanks are wide-mouthed and high-capacity to reduce the time needed to fill them up while also making the job a whole lot easier. The tanks also have grid lining to prevent the formation of salt clumps within them.
Safety Float – A safety float is an essential component included with the SoftPro system to prevent the tank from overflowing when there’s a malfunction. The tanks are also insulated by neoprene jackets to prevent both condensation and freezing to keep the tank safe and in good condition.
Pre-loaded Resin – The mesh resin for the water softener is pre-loaded to make the installation process a little bit easier for owners.
The SoftPro Elite works just like a typical salt-based softener that features a brine tank and resin tank. The system uses an ion exchange process to soften the water by swapping calcium and magnesium ions for sodium. Despite the simplistic functionality, this SoftPro Elite water softener packs a host of features that make it smarter, more efficient, and more useful than other water softeners out there.
For instance, the system will automatically undergo a 15-minute recharge to add additional capacity when it detects the tank’s total capacity has fallen below 3%. This will ensure that the water system can continue to soften water until it’s set to regenerate.
It also has a Precision brining feature that helps reduce consumption of salt by making only 70% of brine. The system can calculate exactly how much brine is needed to regenerate the resin before system regeneration to save you money on water and salt waste. In addition to that, the system will even perform an automatic refresh if it hasn’t been used for seven days to prevent bacteria growth.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Up to 80,000-grain capacity to accommodate high water usage demand.
- Suitable for use with well water with iron.
- Bulky construction might take up a lot of space.
- Complicated installation process and may require a plumber for it.
3. AquaOx WS
This is another great water softener that can help you solve issues related to water systems, skin, and hair caused by water hardness minerals. The AquaOX model features an automatic regeneration process with a touchscreen control valve for users to set their preferred softening cycle.
Some features that the system has includes:
Brine and Resin Tanks – The AquaOX takes the traditional route that has been proven effective in softening your water supply for decades. The water softener comes with two tanks: a brine tank for the sale and a resin tank for the softening process.
Control Valve with Touch-Screen Display – the AquaOX makes it super easy for users to navigate through the settings with a control valve and touch-screen function. It lets you check the status of the system, perform diagnosis, find out more information about the regeneration process, and adjust settings. The display even lets you process a manual regeneration or set up an automatic regeneration cycle.
Built-In Regeneration Sensor – The AquaOX comes with a built-in sensor that will start the automatic regeneration process once the resin tank is at maximum water hardness mineral capacity.
The AquaOX is one of the most popular salt-based water softeners on the market thanks to its high efficiency and high flow rate. The system uses ion exchange to remove water hardness minerals and iron completely to stop them from causing scale issues in your home and appliances.
The AquaOX uses the latest technology and a high-quality resin resin for the softening process. It has an upflow design to do a more thorough job in the softening process while reducing the water and salt needed for the job. This means that this water softener model gives you more value for money in the long run.
Like all water softeners, the AquaOX needs to be installed at your home’s main water supply line to deliver soft water benefits to your entire home, including home appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, showers, and the plumbing.
If you’re still concerned about investing in this water softener, you can rest assured that this model comes with a 10-year warranty and a 1-year money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with its performance. In the unlikely event where the system you received is faulty or if it arrives with a broken part, the manufacturer gives you a full refund or a free replacement part.
- Easy installation process.
- Touch screen control.
- 12-month money-back guarantee and a 10-year warranty.
- Requires power source.
- High initial cost.
- Need to top up the salt periodically.
- Does not effectively remove water odor.
4. Pelican Advantage Series
If all you need is a water softener to reduce water hardness level without all the other bells and whistles, then you might just want to give the Pelican Advantage Series a closer look as it might be the ideal digital water softener solution for you.
It features a traditional salt-based softening system and comes with a lifetime-year warranty for better peace of mind. Additionally, it comes in two different sizes (48,000 grains or 64,000 grains capacity) depending on the number of bathrooms your home has and features a high-capacity resin tank to effectively remove iron.
Some features that the system has includes:
Large Tank Size – The Pelican water softener comes equipped with larger tanks to store a higher capacity of salt and resin for a longer life. This also means you don’t have to refill the salt tank as often as you’d have to do with other water softeners.
Easy-to-Program Electronic Control Head – The system has a metered head that’s easy to program with your preferred features, including setting a specific time for regeneration.
High Flow Rate – The water softener comes in two sizes for you to pick the best one depending on the number of bathrooms in your house. This means that the model will not have an impact on your water flow.
Standard Bypass Valve – The Pelican water softener model’s installation kit comes included with a standard bypass valve that can divert water away from the system during maintenance or the regeneration process.
Chrome Tank Jacket – The system has a chrome tank jacket that prevents the tanks from freezing or forming condensation that could result in mold or bacteria buildup.
Control Valve – The control valve featured on this water softener is able to handle regeneration for you. It will automatically regenerate once every 7 days.
The Pelican water softener adopts the ion exchange process that will first pass the water through the mineral (or resin) tank, where positively charged calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to and stick to the negatively charged resin. The brine tank then flushes the resin tank with a salt solution to replace the hard water ions with sodium ions, resulting in soft water.
Just like most water softeners in the market, the Pelican functions in three phases. The first phase is the backwashing phase that will flush out any dirt or iron in the mineral tank, followed by the regeneration phase that recharges the resin tank with sodium from the brine tank while washing away calcium and magnesium.
The last phase is the rinse phase where the system will rinse the mineral tank and brine tank with clean water in preparation for the next softening cycle. This Pelican water softener also comes with a limited lifetime year warranty to act as a great vote of confidence for anyone who’s new to the water softening industry.
- High-capacity tank to reduce the frequency of replenishing.
- Electronic metered head for easy programming.
- Available in two sizes: 48,000-grain capacity or 64,000-grain capacity.
- Might be expensive for just a water softener.
- Not suitable for those who are on a low-sodium diet.
- Complicated installation that isn’t very user-friendly.
5. SpringWell Futuresoft
The Springwell Futuresoft Water Softener is a high-tech water softening system that delivers 99.5% of scale prevention without using salt. Aside from being low-sodium diet-friendly, this model is able to deliver gallons of softened water without causing a drop in water pressure.
It also doesn’t produce any wastewater, making it one of the most environmentally friendly water softeners available on the market.
Some features that the system has includes:
Installation Parts – The Springwell water softener comes included with everything you will need for its installation. This saves you a trip to the local DIY store and money on getting a mounting bracket, bypass valve, fittings, and spanner wrench.
Filter Housing – The pre-sediment filter that comes with this model helps you effectively remove large particles like dirt or dust that have the potential to clog up your softening system and reduce its lifespan.
Stainless steel Softening Tank – The stainless steel durable softening tank is available in three different sizes depending on the number of bathrooms in your home and water usage demand.
Unlike the other water softeners, this Springwell salt-free water softener doesn’t use salt by adopting a new technology that removes the minerals themselves to prevent water hardness-causing minerals that form scales.
The technology used here is Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) process that crystallizes hard water minerals to prevent them from sticking to any surfaces. Through this, the Springwell water softener can ensure that your appliances are clean and scale-free while you and your family can enjoy soft water without removing the healthy minerals in them.
You should also know that this system doesn’t actually cause a noticeable difference in the feel of your water as you would experience with a salt-based water softener. Salt-based water softeners often result in water that has a slippery softened feel.
This means that this system makes it slightly more difficult to tell if your water is softened at all but you will be able to see the long-term result when you don’t have to deal with scale build-up in your home anymore.
- Do not use salt in the water softening system.
- Virtually maintenance and cleaning-free. You only need to replace 1 filter per year.
- Lifetime warranty and 6-months money-back guarantee.
- More expensive than other water softeners for well water.
- Not easy to identify if the salt-free water softener for well water has worked.
6. Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino w/ Salt-free Water Conditioner
Aquasana is a popular water softener for a well water brand that delivers durable, high-performing whole-house water filters and salt-free water softener systems for your entire home. The system has been specially designed to help users treat contaminated well water by removing everything including bacteria and viruses to pesticides and herbicides found in well water sources.
The Aquasana model features a carbon media upgrade, 20-inch pre-filter, sub-micron post-filter, and optional ultraviolet filter for the cleanest and purest water supply.
Some features that the system has includes:
Salt-free Conditioner – The salt-free water softening system helps users eliminate hard water problems without removing the benefits of having calcium and magnesium minerals in the water.
Filtration Tanks – the all-in-one model consists of multiple filtration tanks, each designed to remove specific contaminants effectively.
UV Light Filter – One advantage of the Aquasana water softener for a well water system is that it comes with an option to include a UV light filter. The UV light is great at killing harmful pathogens commonly found in well water.
Install Kit Base – The Aquasana water conditioner comes with an installation kit that includes plastic fittings, pre-filter, post-filter, and UV filter. However, it does not come with brass fittings, a shut-off valve for the bypass loop, or bend supports. You can still choose to pay extra for the upgraded kit if you want.
The Aquasana Rhino water softener boasts an upflow-dual tank construction that ensures the longest water contact time with the filtration media. It is also engineered to prevent blockages, clogging, and media channeling that results in water bypassing the media without being filtered.
The Aquasana salt-free water conditioning technology is designed to help homeowners reduce the buildup of scale without removing healthy calcium and magnesium minerals.
The system uses scale control media (SCM) to naturally alter the makeup of the hard minerals, crystallizing them and preventing them from being able to stick to surfaces. This technology has been proven to reduce the scale in water supply without the need for salt.
There are a number of filtration stages adopted in this water softener for well water with iron alongside the salt-free conditioner to clean and soften the water supply. The first filter is the sediment trap that will remove large particles such as rust and silt.
Next is the salt-free conditioner to soften water without removing calcium and magnesium ions, and then a copper-zinc and mineral stone media to act as an iron filter as well as to remove heavy metals, bacteria, and algae growth.
After that, the water is sent through an activated carbon filter that will reduce chemicals like pesticides and herbicides, finishing with a post filter to eliminate any lingering sediment. The last and final stage is the UV filtration that’s been proven to effectively kill up to 99.9% of harmful pathogens such as bacteria and viruses for a completely safe water to drink and enjoy.
- Easy to install.
- Includes copper-zinc iron filter.
- Does not require drainage or backflushing to continue working effectively.
- Bulky construction and will take up a lot of space.
Types of Water Softener Systems for Hard Well Water
There are different types of water softeners on the market today featuring different technologies. Below we go into detail about the different types of water softeners and their own set of pros and cons.
A salt-based water softener is the original, and also the most common, water softening unit. The system works based on a process called ion exchange where the water softener system will swap iron, magnesium, and calcium ions for sodium ions to produce soft water.
The softening process is incredibly effective and has been a popular solution for many years. However, this softener method does add a small amount of salt to your drinking water and may not be suitable for those on low-sodium diets.
- More efficient at removing high iron and manganese levels.
- Can be NSF certified.
- High-quality softening to completely remove hard water minerals.
- Affordable model.
- Introduces salt to your soft water.
- Not as efficient per gallon of water as it generates wastewater during regeneration.
Salt-free softeners are a newer form of water softener solution that has become rather popular in recent years. As the name suggests, a salt-free softener does not use salt to create soft water. Instead, they crystallize hard water ions or add a coating to their exteriors to prevent the magnesium and calcium ions from sticking to the surfaces and causing rust or scale.
- Prevent scale buildup in pipes and plumbing systems.
- User-friendly installation.
- Good warranty.
- Produces soft water with no salt usage.
- Does not affect water quality.
- Not suitable for water iron removal.
- Higher in price.
Electronic descalers are new and emerging water softening solutions that also do not use salt to make soft water. The salt-free softener features coils of wires placed around a section of your home’s water line to send out magnetic waves into the water supply. The magnetic waves change the behavior of hard water ions without altering their composition.
- Simplest to install with no major plumbing required.
- Does not require a regeneration cycle.
- Effectively prevents limescale buildup.
- Not NSF certified.
- Difficult to prove that the water softening unit works.
Water Filter & Softener Combo Systems
A water treatment system with both a water filter and softener is a great option if you need something to help you tackle hard water issues and remove common contaminants in well water. Combining the best water softener and a whole home water filter will give you the best results for your home and health.
While this thorough filtration system can be a little more expensive, you’ll find that the benefits of the water filter & softener combo systems offer are well worth the investment.
- Softens and filters well water for clean, pure soft water.
- Removes ferrous and ferric iron more effectively.
- Procure the best quality water.
- Requires plumbing knowledge for water filter and softener installation.
- One of the most expensive types of water systems.
Common Mineral Contaminants in Well Water Supply
Well water sources in the US are often contaminated with minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. But many do not understand how each of these minerals contributes to water hardness. To help you understand more about what causes hard water, here is the breakdown of how the minerals have an impact on your well water.
Calcium Carbonate – Calcium carbonate is found in many foods. As we all know, calcium is a very important mineral for a number of health purposes. However, high quantities of calcium in water can become a nuisance and it is one of the two dissolved minerals that result in hard water.
Magnesium – This is the second hard water mineral that you will need to pay attention to. Just like calcium, there are many foods that contain magnesium but this chemical is not very good when found in drinking water. Magnesium can leave scale deposits on plumbing and pipes as well as anything that the water runs in. This will result in reduced efficiency and shortened lifespan.
Iron – Well water with iron may not be classed as hard water but it often comes hand-in-hand with calcium and magnesium in hard water. Dissolved iron and oxygen will react with water to form rust. This will then lead to brown stains on everything from your sinks and bathtubs to your clothes.
Effect of Hard Water & Why You Should Get A Water Softener System
Hard water can lead to all kinds of effects on our appliances and even our health.
Well water with iron, calcium, and magnesium can lead to the following health issues:
Poor Hair Quality – Showering in water with high mineral deposits can result in less pliable hair that’s harder to style. Calcium has been known to change the color of hair dye while a high mineral content can cause the hair dye to fade faster. Water with high dissolved ferric and ferrous iron levels can even cause your hair to take on a metallic odor or dark discoloration.
Poor Skin Health – Another effect of showering with hard water is that hard water prevents soap from lathering properly, meaning you will need to use even more soap. Not only that, but this can also cause layers of soap scum to deposit on your skin, which can clog pores, resulting in acne, and aggravate certain skin conditions like eczema.
Hard water will also strip moisture from your skin and cause skin dryness, especially for people with sensitive skin.
Aside from health effects, well water with iron, calcium, and magnesium can also have noticeable effects on your water-based appliances.
Visible Scale Deposits – Hard water can result in scales caused by calcium and magnesium that are deposited in basins and tubs. This will ruin the aesthetics and give an impression of uncleanliness. These deposits can also be seen on dishes, glassware, and pots when washed with hard water.
Brown, Orange, and Red Stains – High levels of iron in your water will result in rust-line stain deposits on surfaces like bathtubs and sinks when the ferrous iron oxidizes to form ferric iron. Like hard water scales, iron rust stains are difficult to get rid of and can even appear on laundry and cooking equipment.
Reduced Water Flow – Limescale buildup inside your plumbing and pipes over time can lead to water pressure issues. Water flowing through the pipes gets dragged back by the scale and can affect the speed of water flow in your showers and faucets.
Decreased Appliance Efficiency – Another major hard water problem is decreased efficiency in your water-based appliances. Since the soap won’t lather well with your water, you’ll need to use more soap in your dishwashers and washing machines. The hard water scales can also wear down the components within the household items, thereby reducing their lifespan.
Water Heater Problems – The hard water deposits on the surface of gas water heaters will negatively impact the heater’s performance. The layer of limescale acts as insulation and prevents the water from heating up properly. This means that your water heater will need to do more work to achieve the same results.
Does A Well Water Softener Work?
As discussed before, a well softener is expensive and you’re going to want to know if the product is really going to work before spending so much money on it. And the answer is yes! Water softening systems are worth the purchase provided you keep up with system maintenance and cleaning.
Most water softening systems are designed to eliminate hard water ions completely via ion exchange or altering their composition altogether. Provided you’ve got the right settings based on the number of people at home and the water hardness, you should be able to enjoy a good performance from any water softener proposed in our guide today.
However, you do need to remember that a whole house water softener system requires some care too. So, if you notice that your water softener is operating fine but is not producing soft water, then you might be dealing with a maintenance issue.
Your water softener system settings might not be suited for your water softening needs or you might have a salt bridge in your brine tank or maybe too much water in the brine tank. Regardless, it is recommended for you to check your system’s user manual to ensure you’re doing everything properly when using a water softener.
How to Install and Maintain a Water Softener System?
Maintaining and installing a water softening system yourself is doable if you have basic DIY skills and plumbing knowledge. Depending on the system you’ve purchased, the manufacturer will most likely lay out the specific instructions you need to follow to install the water softening unit.
However, below is a general process of installing a salt-based water softener (and some salt-free softener systems) for your well:
Decide on the location you plan to install the water softening unit. Typically, this will be as close to the water’s point of entry into your home as possible.
- Ensure that the water line has a PSI rating of between 40 and 70.
- Switch off the main water supply and open a bypass valve at the lowest point in your home to drain away from the water in the pipes.
- Switch off the heaters at the wall.
- Cut into the section of your waterline where you plan to install your whole home water softener with a pipe cutter and use a bucket to catch any leaks.
- Install a fitting to send water into your filter and install a bypass valve before this fitting.
- Attach the hose to this fitting and clamp it in place.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and attach the overflow tube to the brine tank.
- Switch your bypass valve to the b:ypass position to flush the system with water. This will help remove any sediment present inside.
- Slowly switch the valve back to the backwash position and switch on the system by closely opening the valve. This will let a small amount of water pass through and release air slowly.
If you decided to purchase a magnetic water conditioner instead, the installation steps would be slightly different. The general process is as follows:
- Decide where you want to install your water softener. Make sure it is as close to your water’s POE as possible.
- Undo the nuts from the backs of the magnets and split them up. Separate them and keep them a good distance apart.
- Place the magnet halves over each side of the pipe and bring them slowly towards the pipe until they’re touching the surface.
- Screw the wing nuts back in place with your fingers.
- Since it is salt-free, there are not many ways for you to test whether the softener is working. One of the methods you can use to test is the hard water soap test. Add soap and water to a clear container and shake vigorously. Soft water should have a layer of bubbles on the surface and clear water underneath.
If you’re still not confident in installing your whole home water softener, it is recommended for you to outsource it to a licensed plumber.
Conclusion: Do It For Your Whole House!
Choosing the best water softener, especially when you have well water with high iron levels, can be a daunting task. We hope our guide today, at the very minimum, gives you a great place to start your search, and hopefully, you will find the right water softener for your home from our list.
Technology is constantly evolving and it can be difficult to identify the newest and ‘best’ water softening units available on the market. If you’re still undecided on which is the best water softener for your well water, then we suggest you pick one from our list above and you can rest assured knowing you have a quality water system that can be relied on for years.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a softener capacity?
A softener’s capacity is a measure of how much soft water the unit can produce in between regeneration cycles. The duration before a unit needs to be regenerated will depend on how much resin the softener can hold and the hardness level of your water.
If you have a big family or a family of 4 with many water-based appliances, it would make sense for you to go with a softener with a bigger capacity to ensure a sufficient amount of soft water is produced before it needs to regenerate.
Why do I need to install a water softener in a specific location?
It is recommended for you to install a water softener as close as possible to the place where your water line enters your home.
This is so that your whole home can enjoy the benefits from soft water, including your water heater, washing machine, etc. if you only install a water softener underneath your kitchen sink, then only your kitchen sink will have soft water and not any other faucets or appliances in your home.
Do water softeners tend to use a lot of electricity?
Generally, water softeners do not use a lot of electricity. In fact, high capacity softeners use about as much electricity as an electric alarm and won’t contribute to your electricity bills like how a TV or computer would.
Is it dangerous to drink sodium-softened water?
No, it is not dangerous to drink sodium-softened water as the sodium content in softened water is very low in comparison with random foods and beverages. It won’t contribute massively to your daily sodium intake.
Do I need a separate iron filter to remove iron and manganese?
No, many softening systems don’t require an iron filter since they are able to remove the iron themselves through the softening process. You can also assume that both iron & manganese removal are included in water softening devices designed for wells. However, if your well water has high levels of iron & manganese, we recommend you look into getting a separate iron filter.
Can You Mix Different Types of Salt in The Water Softener?
Yes, but it is not advisable to do so. Salt based water softener requires salt to function but adding a mixture of various salt into the salt tank may affect the performance and efficiency of the water softeners. However, the water softeners will not spoil but the long run effects may be adverse. As such, each water salt based water softener utilize a particular type of salt as per instructions of the maintenance requirements given by the manufactures.