Water Softener Reviews
Water is one of the most ubiquitous chemical compounds found in the environment and we as humans depend on it for survival as well as for performing common activities associated with daily living. While most of us probably do not spend that much time thinking about how important water can be to our everyday lives, we are quick to appreciate the availability of a clean and fresh water source when it becomes scarce or otherwise impure.
One of the most common problems with water that people face in the United States is known as ‘hard water’ and it results from the high concentration of minerals that are carried in the water. Although hard water generally poses no threat to human health, it can cause problems that are frustrating for homeowners and potentially costly. Those who have discovered hard water in their home may want to consider reading through our water softener reviews before making a decision on how to remedy the problem.
What Causes Hard Water?
Water is a universal solvent because it has the ability to dissolve many different types of substances. The vast majority of the water that is supplied to homes in the US is collected from the environment as it falls from the sky or travels along underground springs and rivers. Because water is such a good solvent, it collects and dissolves minerals along its path. Calcium and magnesium are the two most common minerals that cause water to become hard and their effect is largely dependent on their ground concentration in different geographic regions. The hardest waters found in the US are located in the Midwestern states including Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and Southern California. Water tends to become progressively softer as one moves from the Midwest to the Coastal States. As you can see, our water softener reviews will be more helpful for individuals living in the Midwest because they are in areas that contain high soil concentrations of calcium and magnesium.
What are the Negative Effects of Hard Water?
Although the general consensus among many industry experts is that hard water poses little if any physical health risk to human beings, there are many problems in the home that can result from hard water. Some common signs of hardness include things like reduced lathering of soaps and detergents, the presence of soap scum and rings on bathtubs and sinks, spots or films on dishes after they have been washed, clogged water pipes, and damage to clothing.
While rare, some people have skin reactions that result from the buildup of soap scum on the skin that allows bacteria to proliferate. Fortunately, our water softener reviews will allow you to identify ways in which you can remove the calcium and magnesium from the water so that they do not cause damage.
How to Determine If You Have Hard Water?
Most municipal water supply companies in the United States can tell you if your water is hard. Local testing labs and health departments are also usually able to analyze your water if you bring them a small sample. If you are noticing any of the problems mentioned above and you live in a region that has high mineral concentrations then it is usually safe to assume that you have hard water without going to the trouble of having it tested. Our water softener reviews will help you understand the water treatment options that are available so that you can make an informed decision on how to alleviate the effects of hard water in your home.
The Top 5 Water Softener Reviews
1) The Fleck 5600SXT 16,000 – 64,000 – Uses an integral microprocessor based control. The programmable control utilizes high efficiency regeneration to minimize salt consumption. The beige colored resin tank is poly lined and fiberglass reinforced. The standard softener is a “two tank” configuration with a separate poly brine tank in almond. Includes a turbulator type distributor at no extra charge! A system by-pass valve is included.
2) The WS5M with Fleck 7000 control – Uses a high flow – low pressure drop 1.25″ valve, the softener can handle up to 35 GPM. The programmable control utilizes high efficiency regeneration to minimize salt consumption. The beige colored resin tank is poly lined and fiberglass reinforced. The standard softener is a “two tank” configuration with a separate poly brine tank in almond. A system by-pass valve is included along with the purchase of any unit.
3) The Aquasana EQ-SS20 Simply Soft – Uses innovative technology to naturally condition your water and to protect your pipes from corrosion without the use of added sodium. It works by altering the ionic charge of the hard mineral crystals to reduce their attraction to each other. By altering their ionic charge, hard minerals will no longer clump together to create scale (CA and Mg buildup). It also acts as a barrier in the plumbing to prevent corrosion.
4) The nuvoH2O Manor Complete – Enjoy healthy, salt-free soft water that not only prevents, but also removes hard-water buildup that clogs and corrodes your water heater and other home plumbing fixtures and appliances. This compact system lowers the PH of water based on the scientific process of chelation in which the metal ions causing hard water, mainly calcium and magnesium, are bound to the chelating agent.
5) The WS1SM-48K Autotrol 255/460i control – 48,000 grain capacity microprocessor based metered water softener. It uses a standard flow valve with a microprocessor based 460i control. The programmable microprocessor control makes use of high efficiency regeneration and effectively minimizes the consumption of salt. This softener also comes with a turbulator type distributor and comes with an 18″ diameter by 33″ brine tank with grid and float assembly.
Alternatives to Ion Exchange Systems
An ion exchange water softening system is one that uses salt to replace the calcium and magnesium ions present in hard water. The problem with these types of systems is that the water develops a high salt concentration that is then discharged into waste water which eventually finds its way into environmental water supplies such as underground springs and rivers. The elevated salt concentration that these systems create in the environment can have a damaging effect on crops and natural wildlife habitats. For this reason, many people have been working to develop safe and effective alternatives to the traditional ion exchange water softener systems. The four most common alternatives being tested today include capacitive deionization, electrically induced precipitation, electromagnetic treatment, and template assisted crystallization.
1) The Capacitive Deionization Process – Also known as electrochemical demineralization, it uses electrodes to absorb ions from the water. Two phases occur during the deionization of water. First, a potential difference is produced between two electrodes so that the ions can be transported through pores in the electrodes. Then the ions are released from the electrodes so that they can be forced out of the system in a high salt concentration. This is used for the desalination of sea water mixed with fresh.
2) Electrically Induced Precipitation Process – An electrical current is applied to cause ions to accumulate in the form of “soft” scale on an electrode.
3) Electromagnetic Treatment Process – Uses a wire wrapped around a pipe to create a magnetic field through which the water passes. The process is believed to change the ions in such a way as to create a “soft” precipitate that keeps the scale forming crystals from depositing in pipes and appliances. This system has benefited from some documentation showing its efficacy and has become one of the most popular alternatives to salt-based systems.
4) Template Assisted Crystallization Process – Uses a catalytic reaction to form crystals that do not cause scale. This process is relatively new and holds some promise as an efficient and environmentally friendly was of reducing the scale formation that occurs in hard water.
The Top 3 Alternative Water Softener Reviews
1) The Trillium Worldwide TWI-5001 Mineral Magnet – Uses a powerful magnetic field to modify the polarization of mineral salts and reduce calcium deposits and build-up in fresh water pipes. Through the use of powerful magnetic fields mineral salts in water will continue to flow rather than settle and harden on water pipes. This means scale build-ups will be reduced which can lead to tastier tap water, healthier skin and cleaner dishes.
2) The Eddy Electronic Descaler – Produces a complex electromagnetic wave which is then applied through two coils placed around your incoming water supply pipe. In this way your water is subjected to an alternating magnetic field as it passes through the two coils. This alters the adhesion properties of the limescale so that it no longer deposits itself on your clean surfaces, inside pipework and appliances.
3) The Clearwave CW-125 – Conditions hard water without the expense and hassle of salt, chemicals, or traditional hard water systems. It attacks hard water particles that create scale buildup with electromagnetic waves helping to prevent and reduce the hard water problem. Following treatment, calcium and magnesium particles remain in suspension, flowing freely through the system and down the drain.