How to Get Rid of Your Water Softener’s Stinking Smell

Water Softener
How to Get Rid of Your Water Softener’s Stinking Smell
3.5 (70%) 8 vote[s]

Throughout the years, we’ve been seeing several manufacturing companies design water softeners along with water conditioners. Usage of a water softener has almost become a mandatory these days due to the existing conditions and problems of water hardness. Each of the manufacturing company is having over a ten thousand customers who love their products and have adequate knowledge about water softeners and their role in water health system.  However if you observe the customer feedback of such companies, despite all the compliments and water softener reviews they receive, there are also certain complaints that are to be noticed. Amusingly, 90% of these complaints are about the softened water having a fishy smell about it.

Based on them, we have tried to know the root source for this kind of claims which are responsible for the foul smell. We have experimented this by softening the water with a water conditioner which is embedded with more than the conventional water treatment. The result of this softening process is water with lower chlorine and sodium levels. However, an unusual thing is noticed that, during the process of softening, there are several steps which might be responsible for the fishy smell of the water that has been produced. Irrespective of the reason, the first thing that is recommended in case you’re noticing a smell is a replacement of the existing water conditioner. In case, if you’re using a branded softening system like Fleck with a warranty, approach the local dealer to get you a replacement or, at least, replacement of the specific parts.

Getting Rid of the Stinking Smell of Your Water Softener

Water Softener

Thinking about the reason behind the cause of the smell, the primary thing that came up to my brain is the sulfur bacteria. Irrespective of the brand, or the softening procedure, if a water softener is infested with the bacteria, there is a high possibility that the water produced will have a really bad smell about it. When the bacterium attacks the sodium of the softener tanks, they react to form Hydrogen Sulfide gas as an output. This gas usually possesses a rotten egg kind of smell and, therefore, increases with increase in an amount of the bacteria. The immediate thing you can do to get rid of the smell is to perform a comprehensive-standard-optimized washing of the softener tank. By washing the tank more than once in a year, your softening system will remain fresh and stagnant resisting the attack of bacterial. If the smell is relatively high, approach a professional who can get rid of the gas using specific methods.

Also Read this Article: How to Install a Water Softener


Water Softener Smell

What if it’s the water that is smelling?

Even after addressing the issue with the softener, is your water still smelling bad? This is not because of the softener tank. This might be because of the ingredients that are already contained in the water. In many areas, we often found water containing large quantities of hydrogen sulfide or other sulfur deposits. To avoid this, you can install a pre-filter that helps you eliminate all the sulfur deposits before the softening process.

Also Read: Water Softener Prices / Costs

Water Hardness Scale Chart – What Size of Water Softener Do You Need?

Water Hardness Scale
Water Hardness Scale Chart – What Size of Water Softener Do You Need?
3.4 (68%) 5 vote[s]

The whole way across the web one can find websites and reviews that help people to pick the best water softener. Tragically by far most of these apparatuses neglect to join water softener effectiveness into the figuring.  The outcome is frequently a decision of softener that appears to be appropriately estimated yet brings about huge salt utilization (regularly more than 2000 pounds for every year) rather than an effectively measured, proficient model that uses 300 pounds over that year. Why does this happen? It is basically that numerous merchants – both online and in-store – don’t comprehend the idea of softener salt proficiency and don’t join it into their measuring model.

Water Hardness


Why Should I Care About Efficiency?

The productivity of your water softener directs the amount of salt you need to purchase, the amount of salt you need to drag, and the amount of salt gets released to nature. Measuring a softener and considering its salt effectiveness will guarantee you buy a softener that never comes up short on delicate water additionally utilizes a minimal measure of salt as could reasonably be expected. Over the life range of the water softener, this means huge cost reserve funds and simplicity of proprietorship.

Also Read: Water Softener Prices – An Overview


Water Hardness Scale Chart

This is the measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium dissolved in your water. Contingent upon where a water test is performed this data will be accounted for in mg/L (milligrams per Liter) or GPG (grains per gallon). Grains per gallon is the business standard approach for talking about water hardness. Jumping mg/L by 17.1 will change it to GPG. A “grain” of water hardness is comparable to 1/7000th of a pound.

Water Hardness Scale

Formula to measure no of grains to be removed:

If hardness is in MG/L or PPM , convert it into GPG by dividing it with 17.1.

No of Persons * 75 Gallons * ( No of GPG + mg/lit Iron) = Total grains to be removed per day.

Note: If you’re living in a city, enter the mg/lit Iron as ‘0’.


What Size of Water Softener Do You Need?

Fleck 5600SXT Review

For private,non-commercial and residential drinking water application we ordinarily prescribe that a water softener is recovered about once every week. Amid recoveries, high groupings of sodium chloride sterilize and clean the sap bed. On the off chance that you have iron in the water, a gum cleaner added to the sodium chloride will help in diminishing fouling and will help the gum last any longer.  With most water softeners you will have a decision of salt settings. We, as a rule, prescribe that private softeners be recovered at a 8 lb. per ft3 low salt setting. The accompanying data depends on these parameters. In the event that we take the Daily Softening Requirement of 3000 grains for each day and various this by 7 days, we require a softener that can diminish 21,000 grains of aggregate hardness to recover once every week.

For small and medium households with up to 6 family members and 2-3 bathrooms, Fleck 5600SXT is the best system.

For large households and offices, we recommend the Fleck 7000SXT model which has a capacity of 64,000 grains.

A snappy look of online and in numerous stores will uncover a plenitude of 24,000/32,000/48,000/and 64,000-grain limit water softeners. At first, look no doubt the 24,000-grain framework would be perfect utilizing our illustration above, where we’re searching for 21,000 grains of aggregate softening limit. Tragically the affiliates of the 24,000-grain framework neglect to uncover that it takes 27 pounds of salt to completely recover this framework to the 24,000-grain level. A more precise portrayal of the “24,000” framework is “0.75 cubic feet”. So, be careful before choosing the right size. It is not as simple as it looks.

Water Softener Prices – How Much Does a Water Softener Cost?

Water Softener Prices
Water Softener Prices – How Much Does a Water Softener Cost?
4.3 (85%) 8 vote[s]

Hard water is a common issue in several households all across the world. As such, it has become essential to install a water softener. The price of the various basic home water softeners available today ranges from $200 to upto $1000. Given the wide range of prices, you must be careful when selecting one. A low price would seem to be attractive, but it comes with its own set of problems. The low price might not include the installation, and could also have lower quality components, limited warranty, higher costs for maintenance, or even a shorter life span. By trying to save money this way, you may actually end up paying more. The maintenance and replacement costs might be higher in the long run. Our number one recommendation when it comes to Water Softeners, is the Fleck 5600SXT model with a grain capacity of 48,000, which is very much suitable for regular home uses.

As for the higher priced models, some are too expensive. Such products demand higher costs as they may include franchise fees, or the systems might be too fancy with unnecessary additions, or maybe even because they are inappropriately priced. So, keep in mind that high costs do not necessarily mean high quality and efficiency.

Fleck 5600SXT Review


Factors Affecting Water Softener Prices

You need a water softener that offers you good value in the long run, is manufactured by a well established company, has a third party certification, uses good quality components, comes with a warranty, and is energy efficient. As far as a water softener is concerned, here are 5 factors that affect its price in the market:

  1. Size of the System

The size of a system is based on three major factors

  • How much water you need to soften?
  • The hardness level of the water
  • The size of your home, or the total number of water fixtures you have in your home in order to maintain the perfect water pressure
  1. Quality of the Components Used

There is a wide range in the quality of the various components used in manufacturing a water softening system. You have both high quality ones and low quality ones. As such, you can expect the higher quality ones to be more expensive.

  1. Type of Valve

The valve is the most important part of the water softening system. You need a good quality valve to make sure you have a continuous supply of soft water whenever needed. The valve is like the brains of the system. A basic form of a valve is one that operates on a timer. This is generally inefficient and causes wastage of water. You have programmable metered valves that are much more efficient, environment friendly, and also offer benefits for servicing.

  1. Condition of your Water

In order to understand what product you need for your hard water, a water specialist will conduct a water test or analysis. To treat you water well, you may need a pre and/or post filtration or treatment. Generally, installing a water softener includes a pre filter to make sure the effects of chlorine or chloramines are addressed. Then, a reverse osmosis under the kitchen sink provides soft water that could be used for cooking and drinking.

  1. Costs for Installation

Some manufacturers or water treatment specialists include the installation charges along with the price of the water softener. In case your house is pre-plumbed for using a softener or is older, then it will take more time and money to complete the installation.

Water Softener Prices


Typical Water Softener Costs

Typically, the costs of water softeners depend on their type. Here are a few numbers:

  • Ion exchange water softeners – they start at around $300 to $600 for a basic unit. You need to put in $100 to $200 for installation, depending on the ease of access, type of equipment, and if you need piping and drain system. So, totally it could cost you around $400 to $800.
  • For larger homes, the units start from $800 to $1500. When installation charges are also added, the costs could become just around $1000. However, this depends on the options you choose. You will need to periodically recharge your ion exchange water softeners with fresh brine. The less expensive ones might require manual recharge, or may recharge based on a clock timer. Mid range ones have a water flow meter that automatically recharges after a set amount of water is sued. The costlier ones detect when the recharge is needed and automatically recharge it.


Additional Costs

Other than the basic purchase and installation cost, you may even have to incur some additional costs:

  • You need to periodically recharge salt based units. It may cost around $2 to $15 a month depending on how much the salt costs and how much your system uses up. Because of this, many people do not like to go for Salt based systems. In that case, you can opt for alternatives to salt based softeners, such as the Eddy Electric Water Descaler.
  • Before you buy a water softener, you need to understand the amount of hardness there’s in your water. You could easily get this done by diagnosing your water. If you are getting water from a community supply, you could ask the local water agency for the copy of the latest test results. In case you have a well or private supply, you will need to shell out around $25 to $100 for the tests.


Before you buy a water softener, keep in mind that price is not everything. Understand the whole water softening process before going ahead and purchasing one, so that you could make the best decision. Educate yourself about the causes of  hard water, its signs and symptoms, and how harmful it could be. You can check out our Best Water Softener Reviews to know everything about Water Softeners and decide which system is best for your household. This can avoid a lot of wastage, and helps you get a unit that is sized and priced correctly for all your requirements.

Make sure to buy a high quality water softening system with an outstanding warranty. Understand the trends in the market and make the best choice. You might want to check out our homepage reviewing the best water softening systems available in the market at the preset. We keep our site updated with the latest systems and reviews, so visit our homepage to select the right water softener for your home.

Best Water Softener of the Year (Based on Thousands of Customer Reviews and Tests): Fleck 5600SXT 48k System

Hard Water, the Problems and Water Softeners – Facts and Information

Hard Water Problems
Hard Water, the Problems and Water Softeners – Facts and Information
4.3 (86.67%) 3 vote[s]

We have all experienced the annoying consequences of hard water affecting us individually and also affecting our household: White-emblazoned taps spotted cups, boring and dull hair. Let us take a peek in the superior, the negative and the hideous side of the hard water and find the way to manage with it.

In accordance with a US geological survey, hard water is found in over 85% of the nation. With these kinds of numbers, we can’t completely escape from it and get to deal at another or one time with it. What exactly makes it “hard?” Is it bad to us or to our properties? So what can we do about this?


What is Hard Water?

When water falls as water from the sky, it’s “soft ” and free of vitamins. It collects nutrients and minerals as it goes through stone, sand and earth. Hard water is full of nutrient salts, particularly magnesium and calcium ones. Water hardness is usually measured as grains per gallon, with an amount of hardness on the scale of 1-10. If you actually observe, hard water is not dangerous to health.

What is the problem?

Although other minerals are also present in hard water, the ones that create most of the problems are calcium and magnesium. When hot, the calcium and magnesium salts evaporate and encrust as mineral deposits or scales affecting the household appliances’ performance. These deposits are undesirable in kitchens and bathrooms and often tend to be eyesores giving an unpleasant view. As liquids and soaps lather improperly in hard water, therefore, when trying to remove, we often employ more, causing a soapy film or scum deposit.


Hard Water Problems


Hard Water Disadvantages and Problems Caused by Hard Water

  1. Hard water nutrients may block pipes and lower water stream.
  2. Scale and deposits may accumulate in a tub and other hardwood furniture.
  3. A soapy film that is merely visible on the skin may abandon it feeling dry.
  4. The unwanted film leaves a wash residue on hair may abandon it wanting boring and lifeless.
  5. Remains of scale reduce water heaters’ life.
  6. Utility bills may hike on account of accumulated scale inside the water heater.
  7. Dishes and glasses remain white and spotted after cleaning
  8. Lowered using activity can leave garments, grey and dull.
  9. Unpleasant minerals in hard water damage clothes.
  10. The flavor of caffeine and tea gets ruined when mixed with hard water.


Is adding a water softener, the answer?

Yes, a water softener usually takes care of the hard water problem. So, if you want to quickly get rid of hard water at your home or office, buying a water softener is the answer to all the problems caused by hard water. So if you are looking for a definite solution to all your hard water problems, you should go ahead and check out our Water softener reviews. However, you also need to consider the following hard water and water softener facts:

  1. The unit’s original expense.
  2. A water softener increases your water usage.
  3. According to Customer Reports, for every 1000 gallons of water that are being softened; 15-120 gallons of water is wasted.
  4. As a result of operating the unit, the electricity bill will be huge.
  5. The salt degree of the water increases slightly, which can be a health hazard.


Myth-Bursting Water Softener Facts

Fleck 5600SXT Review

  • Myth 1: You can soften the water without salt.

Fact: These items don’t provide the same conditioning capability you anticipate from a traditional water softener with the sodium content. While it’s correct that some water-treatment softeners do not need salt. It is feasible to filter water without sodium, however, you will not have the signature softness in the water as people claim.

  • Myth 2: Melted water leaches essential vitamins from your own body or prevents the use of important vitamins while your body needs.

Fact: Tough nutrients are removed by water softeners. Softened water doesn’t modify the way our body systems absorb these vitamins. In general, these are also minerals that almost all humans have plenty of intake through foods we eat, which is why you have nothing to be worried about.

  • Myth 3: Softened water leaves the film that is invisible on skin.

Fact: Most of us experience scaly and dried skin after showering with hard water- appreciate dissolved minerals for this. Hard water leaves an insoluble residue on the skin leaving it dried or chapped, and hair volume being weighed down and worn out. Because many of us are so used to the, using soft water sometimes create unexpected outcomes. It’s also typical for individuals never to notice any distinction in any respect determined by levels of mixed minerals present prior to the transition, and if there is any, it’s the skin and hair feeling softer.

  • Myth 4: Salt Based Softeners add an excessive amount of salt to the water together.

Fact:  The very best softeners use sodium as the chemical way to remove vitamins that are difficult and insoluble. They also soften the water by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. This technique leaves behind trace amounts of sodium as well as in various types like sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate.


If you are tired of the stains and other problems being produced by hard water, then we highly recommend you to get a Water softening system. A water softener comes in different types, sizes and with various other options. You can visit our homepage to learn more about the best water softeners for your home or office space. Here are some other resources that you might find informative:

Water Softener vs. Water Filter

Salt vs. Salt Free Water Softeners

Fleck Water Softeners (Top Water Softener Brand)

Our #1 Recommendation for the Best Water Softener: Fleck 5600SXT

Salt Based vs. Salt Free Water Softeners

Salt Based vs. Salt Free Water Softeners
5 (100%) 6 vote[s]

Water softeners come in different types and sizes, and when you go shop looking for one, you might get confused between the different types of softeners, brands and models they have. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – check out our Water Softener Reviews for more detailed information. Also, there is a common debate as to which one you should use – Salt based water softeners or salt free water softeners. Generally, people believe both of them to be the same, but there are quite many differences between them. Without going in to the technical differences, here are a few basic differences you must understand about the two systems as a consumer. This will definitely help you make a more informed and better solution for your family.


Salt Based Water Softeners

Fleck 5600SXT Review

The basic idea between water softeners is to remove the minerals in water that cause hardness, mainly calcium and magnesium ions. This is done through a process called ion exchange, and it uses a polymer resin bed that gives off sodium particles to exchange the hardness ions.

Salt based systems generally use a metered valve. This is mounted on top of a fiber glass resin tank. It meters water by gallons and cleans up the system when the ion resin bed has reached a certain saturation point. A series of back flushes are cycled during the cleaning cycle. This is done to purge the hardness particles and flush them out of the system. The cycle also takes care of replenishing sodium in the resin bed. Once the cycle completes, the system can be used again.

Salt based water softeners generally need such “recharge” systems. Salt pellets and a defined regeneration period are necessary. The taste of the water after softening is not that great. It may even be a problem if you are watching your sodium levels due to any health issues. But, you can use a bypass valve to bypass this situation. By turning off a knob, the system is disarmed. Another option is to install the filter on a certain tap to filter your drinking water. You may also want to bypass the system to a single supply point in your house.



  • Salt based water softening systems ensure that all calcium and magnesium ions are completely removed from the water before you use it.
  • The water based appliances in your home will have a longer life as it is no longer used with hard water. Even your plumbing will thank you for this.
  • You will no longer have to deal with lime scale build ups that stick to everything that uses water.
  • The water gets a more “slick” feel, and it will feel soft and smooth when you use.



  • A salt based water softener is generally more expensive.
  • It needs more maintenance, regular refilling of salt pellets, and frequent regeneration.
  • Since you will need to buy salt, there will be added expenses even after installation.


Our Recommendation for the Best Salt Based Water Softener: FLECK 5600SXT Salt Based Water Softening System


Salt Free Water Softeners

In the salt free water softeners, the hardness minerals are not removed from the water. They are retained in water, but the form is changed so that they do not stick to the surfaces and cause lime scale build up.

A catalytic media is used to process the water using a physical process. This is known as Template Assisted Crystallisation (TAC). The hardness minerals are converted to a sort of hardness crystal which is no longer able to bind to surfaces. In short, water is actually conditioned in the process.

Since the whole system works as a conditioner and does not purge any hardness minerals, you do not need an electrical valve for this system.

The salt free method is not as effective as the salt based method. Moreover, it will not work well if the hardness level of water is too high. Some of these systems come with an internal filter that filters the hard water minerals after the conditioning is done.

Since the salt free system does not reduce the hardness at all, most people do not even consider it to be a water softening system.



  • They are less expensive than the salt based water softeners.
  • Calcium and magnesium ions are not removed from the water. They are only changed to be unable to stick to the surfaces. This is a pro because both these minerals have their health benefits. As such, the nutrients in water are retained by the salt free water softeners.
  • The salt free water softening method is free of chemicals of any type. So, it is safer.
  • Installation is very easy. You just need to get wrap the wires around your pipes and plug it in.
  • There are almost no maintenance costs attached to such types of water softeners that use magnets or electricity to soften the water. You do not need to refill salt pellets or replace cartridges.



  • The salt free systems are not as effective as the salt based water softening systems. This is because the elements causing the lime scale build up are still present in water and not removed. Your body still gets exposed to them. Moreover, the water may not remain in the state for long. After some time, the hardness minerals may get back to normal and start causing the hardness issues again.
  • Salt free systems are slower than salt based systems with respect to the time taken to show results. This is because filtration for the salt based systems starts at the source as soon as you start using the water. Since electricity is used in salt free systems. It takes longer.


WaterSoftenerGuide’s Recommendation for the Best Salt Free Water SoftenerThe Eddy Electric Water Descaler and The Nuvo H2O Manor


Choosing the best water softening system depends on you. No one can tell you which one is good and which one is not. You see that both salt based water softeners and salt free water softeners have their own pros and cons. Before you buy one, you need to understand what your requirements are. Based on that, you have to select which one to install so that you get soft water for all your purposes.

Also check out: Salt Free Water Softeners

Water Softener Installation Guide and Cost

Water Softener Installation
Water Softener Installation Guide and Cost
4 (80%) 6 vote[s]

Hard water is a major trouble in almost all households. It could make it difficult for you, and may also cost you a lot. As such, you need to set up a water softening system in your house. A whole house water softening system is the best idea as it supplies softened water to all parts of the house. You get several types of water softeners in the market. You need to go through them and select the one apt for your requirements. The Fleck 5600SXT water softener is the most popular salt based whole house water softener that is perfect for a medium household. Water softeners come with an installation guide that helps you through the process of installation. This could help you install the system yourself without the help of any plumber or any other expert. Check out our exclusive Water Softener Installation Guide.

Water Softener Installation Diagram

Where to Install your Water Softener?

If you are installing a whole house water softener, it needs to be placed as close as possible to the place where the water enters your home. You will require the softening system to feed water to your hot water heater, or else hard water may corrode your heater.

One thing you must keep in mind is that you should not install the water softener downstream from your water heater. This is because the high temperature could possibly cause damages to your softening system.


Installing your Water Softening System

Installing a whole house water softener system like Fleck requires some confirmation. You need to make sure that you are conforming to the building rules. Some rules specify that you need a bypass or shut off valve. Here are the tools that you will require:

  • Pipe cutters
  • Tee valves
  • Tape measure
  • Gate valves
  • Pipe wrench
  • 2 compression fittings
  • Flexible tubing
  • Tubing or copper pipe
  • 2 union fittings
  • Teflon tape
  • PVC solvent or flux
  • Torch and solder


Water Softener Installation – DIY Step-by-Step Instructions

Water Softener Installation

  • First of all, make sure to shut off the water supply to your house at the main line. Open up the lowest valve in the house and let all the water run out. With this, you are able to drain your pipes.
  • Turn off your hot water heater. Also, turn off the power to supply to it.
  • Now, you need to locate the area along the main line where you intend to install your water softener. One thing you need to keep in mind is that this needs to be before the area where the line feeds water in to the hot water heater.
  • Use the pipe cutter to cut the pipe. Tighten the cutter on to the pipe, and keep rotating it around until the pipe gets cut through. Use a bucket below to catch any water that comes out of the pipe.
  • Install an elbow fitting. When you install this in the line, it lets you feed the filter and also have a bypass valve that lets you control the system. You could also feed water around the filter with this, is required.
  • Take measurements to measure the pipes that will lead to the bypass valve. Cut the pipes to be of perfect fit, solder on any nipples to it, and then connect the pipe to the bypass valve.
  • Use the compression fittings to attach the pipes to the unit. This is generally supplied with the unit.
  • Clamp the hose to the unit. Once that is done, feed it to the place where it will drain. This could be anything like a utility sink, a floor drain, or a sump pump. Make sure the end of the hose is kept at least two inches above the drain hole. This will prevent the water from back siphoning. The hose should be kept securely clamped.
  • After this, the overflow tub needs to be connected to the brine tank. You will get the height and placement for this from the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Now, turn the valve to the bypass position. If any sediment or debris are present, flush water through it to make it clean.
  • Once you complete the installation, set the valve to the backwash position after plugging in your unit. Open up the valve and let water get in. this should be done very slowly to release any air in the pipes.
  • With this, your installation is complete. Read the instruction manual to set up your schedule for flushing the system and adding salt to the tanks.

Installing a water softener is not a problem unless there are issues with the supply or pressure. If there is any such problem, you will need to consult your problem to resolve this issue before installing the unit.

Water Softener Installation Cost

So, now you see how easy it is to install your own water softener yourself. You do not call any plumber or expert to do the job for you. This could save you a lot of money. There are no additional costs in installing a water softener unless the system stops working, and needs any repair or additional maintenance.


Also Read: Water Softener Reviews (Reviewed and Compared by the Experts at WaterSoftenerGuide)

Alternatively, if you don’t want to install it yourself and want a professional to do it for you, it will usually cost you from around $100 to even upto $500 in some states. However, the cost may also depend on the type of system you have, for example – metered systems usually cost more for installation that the traditional ones. There are many procedures involved in the installation like mounting the system, connecting the water supply line, connecting power and source etc. So it will usually take from around 2.5 hours to upto 4 hours in finishing the whole installation procedure. If you are not willing to bear this additional expense, you can always do it yourself by following the step by step instructions we have outlined above. However, let me tell you this: it’s not an easy process and if you are a beginner, we recommend getting it done by a professional. We’ve personally used the following service for some of our clients and we can say that it’s nothing but a top notch service.


The Ultimate Fleck 5600SXT Review 2019 – Is it the Best Water Softener System?

My Ultimate Fleck 5600SXT Review – Updated on August 21st, 2019: Water is one of the most important things you need for ultimate health and cleanliness. With that being said, you would want to make sure that what you are using is quality water deemed safe and great for cleaning! Hard water is a common issue across the states nowadays. You’ll know if you have hard water when it’s difficult to make suds when washing, or your clothes and dishes soon start to have odd stains and spots! Since you are already on this page, I assume you are already having hard water issues in your home and looking for a solution to get rid of it. That is why it should be in your best interest to invest in a good water softening system, such as the Fleck 5600SXT.

My Home vs. Hard Water

I know how troublesome it can be when you have hard water with high scales in your household! When I moved to Texas last year, I was surprised with how hard the water was! It really sucked, having to endure dishwashing with the soap not being soapy enough to clean my plates, as well as those darn spots that stained my clothes and utensils. My drains were clogged because of the quality of the water, and I suffered from so much more problems just because of the water alone! Having hard water is definitely something you wouldn't want to endure unless you're up for working extra hard just to make suds and wash.

Introducing the Fleck 5600SXT

Fleck 5600SXT Review

Best Water Softener of the Year

Fortunately, technology gave us water softeners! I purchased water softener systems from different brands, but because of how hard my water was, none of them worked as effectively as promised or expected. It was the worst! Sure, it helped a bit, but I still found myself back to the same situation. Until I found out about the Fleck 5600SXT. It took away all my problems on hard water! This is a product I would definitely recommend to anyone facing hard water issues of high and moderate level or scale, especially in regions like Texas, Kansas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Alaska, and Tennessee. In this article, I'll give you my personal and true review on the Fleck 5600SXT!

Click here for more Water Softener Reviews

Before I Give My Take on the Fleck 5600SXT...

But before going through my own review, let me be honest. Before purchasing the Fleck 5600SXT water softening system, I spent a LOT of time reading various reviews on it! I researched for the specs and features, as well as what to expect from the system. I've searched for loads of customer reviews online, even asking salespeople and other professionals about the brand! This is what encouraged me to purchase the system. Now that I have bought it and found out about its many great uses, I decided to create my own review as well to help YOU out!

About the Manufacturer

Fleck is manufactured by Pentair Ltd. It's a multibillion dollar company that is from Worsley, Greater Manchester UK. It is known as one of the most popular companies in the water softener business. It's also got other brands other than water softeners, making them successful with other appliances and devices related in the water field! WIth growing business comes the same quality and advancing technology, making Pentair's products top-of-the-line and worth every penny clients pay for. They use the most advanced of information and technology to create their products, and the Fleck 5600SXT is no exception! They have a lot of satisfied customers (I included), and they are known for their great customer service and quality products with the best-known warranties.

You might also like: Water Softener vs. Water Filter

Shipping and Package

I ordered the system online, and am happy to report that the seller shipped the unit immediately. It took just a matter of days! The brine tank was well packaged and safely secured in the box, as well as the control unit, which was placed inside the brine tank. I checked the Fleck control head, which was made with quality and in metal parts, which is way better as compared to the other water softening systems I had made out of plastic. I also love the fact that it comes with tons of different colors to fit the motif and design of your home. As for me, I chose the color black to make it blend with my home's colors and to have it look less noticeable. It comes in a variety of colors to choose from, including yellow!

The package came with an instruction set, which was very helpful. It's a detailed step-by-step guide that will definitely help you get the system up and running in no time. The manual was very easy to understand, with me only going over it a few times before I got it. You don't even need a plumber or have any skills whatsoever, just the ability to follow the steps. This saves you a ton of money and work. What's great is that if you don't get the instructions, you won't need to cry out in despair. Simply contact or call them for immediate help.


Installation may take about two hours, depending on how skilled you are. As for me, I was working alone and am not very knowledgeable with plumbing and whatnot. With that being said, it may take less time if you have a background in plumbing, and if you had an extra pair of hands as well. You will need to install the house filter and softener, which was fairly easy. I could say that pouring the resin beads into the tank would be the toughest part of the job, which needs the extra pair of hands. Take note that the beads are heavy, which is why you'll need help unless you are strong enough or would like to make a mess, spilling all the beads to the floor! It's best to have someone hold the funnel. If not, you can use duct tape to help you out.

Also, take note that you should switch off your water supply before installing the water softening system. I forgot to do so, and I ended up with hard water for a few days until that supply ran out and the soft water began pouring in. Also, its size will take on small to medium households. If you have a bigger household, then it's best to get a bigger capacity of the unit to ensure the water supply to flow continuously, or depending on how much water your whole household uses.

Also Read: Best Portable Water Softeners​


Another perk when purchasing the Fleck 5600SXT water softening system was that it had a 10-year warranty for the tank and a 5-year warranty on the control head, making it a great deal. You'll be able to easily contact their customer support for help if ever something goes wrong, and they will repair or replace the unit, depending on the conditions applied.


Once the system is now secure and successfully installed, then you will now have to carefully follow the instructions on programming it to soften your water supply. No worries, though, as programming the controller is very easy. All you need to do is to know the water hardness, system capacity, and the water usage. In time, you'll be surprised with the power of the Fleck 5600SXT water softening system and the filter that comes with the unit! But don't be surprised with the amount of rust you'll see, as it is made of metal and it will meet with water. But the filter is made out of quality materials, helping filter out the dirt and rust from the softened water. It has a great layer of protection, so you'll be confident that the water you are consuming and using is quality and safe to use.

Performance and Durability

As for the performance, I can say that everything works perfectly and as expected. I actually feel like it did better than what I wanted! Now, I don't need to worry about hard water anymore. It makes it much easier to create suds when washing dishes or bathing, and all my clothes and dishes look better as well. My drains aren't clogged, my shower tiles aren't stained, and I definitely love the many benefits I got with the soft water I needed. Plus, I can say that consuming water is now safer and tastes better.

I've been using this for over a few months now, and it's more durable than any other water softening system I've ever had. It's easy to clean and maintain and is best for those with medium households like mine (depending on the water use or consumption). No matter how long we've been using it, it still does the job as if we just installed it. Many other users have raved about how it is able to still do the job efficiently for years.


As time passes by, some water softeners have issues with the resin and brine tank. But with the Fleck 5600SXT, that's not the case! I have used it for a few months now, and I have experienced no problem with it. It does a great job with the default settings as suggested in the instruction manual in order to keep your water soft. So long as you follow that and maintain it the right way, then you won't have any problem and only notice the superb quality of soft water you get, way different from the hard water I used to suffer from before water softening systems.

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, don't expect the system to clean the iron out immediately. It's playing its part as expected and will require time. With that being said, I recommend that you check it out for daily cleaning and maintenance, maybe around once a week or before replacing the resin seeds.

In a Nutshell

All in all, I love the unit and how it does the job with efficiency. Their customer service is great, the package complete with perks, and the overall performance is amazing. I don't have to worry about hard water anymore! I'm actually purchasing another Fleck 5600SXT unit as a present for my daughter's wedding anniversary because of how great it is!

Fleck 5600SXT Review and Features

Here are the features to expect upon getting the Fleck 5600SXT:

  • It weighs 94 pounds
  • Its product dimensions are 10 x 0.1 x 54 inches
  • Size or capacity is 48,000 grains
  • Its voltage is 24 volts
  • It has a flow rate of 12 GPM and a water consumption of 2.7 GPM.

Here are the following advantages and awesome specs you can expect from the Fleck 5600SXT:

  • Great LCD display with 48 hours of interior power backup capacitor
  • An interesting feature is that the LCD display alternates between time of day
  • Downflow or up flow regeneration cycles
  • You can choose from 4 modes of operation: delayed meter regeneration, immediate meter regeneration, day of week regeneration or delayed time clock regeneration
  • Continuous flow rate
  • Solid turbine meter is a definitive plus!
  • Backwash ability handles tanks up to 12″ diameter for softener applications
  • Double backwash capability
  • Meter or day initiated regeneration
  • Softener or filter control valves
  • Bypass valve
  • Auxiliary switches
  • Very easy and quick to install - No need to have extensive DIY skills or knowledge in plumbing!
  • You can start using it immediately after installation and programming
  • Comes in a complete package, including a good warranty and instruction manual.
  • Great customer support that will help you from ordering down to actually using the unit
  • Made out of quality material (100% polyglass tank made from the USA!) that is strong and durable. It's meant to last for years without fail!

And these are just some of the pros you can take advantage of! All of these are very advantageous when wanting to soften even the hardest water in your household. Not only that, but they'll get you the quality and safe water you need for consuming and cleaning. It's definitely a great deal! Though it may need a bit of cleaning and maintenance and it will accumulate rust, I can confidently say that it does the best job as compared to any other water softening systems I've used. And believe me when I say I have used a lot! It's got no cons I can complain about, because after all, there is no such thing as the perfect water softening system. I can live with these small cons, as they don't hinder the performance of the Fleck 5600SXT, which is still the best!

Conclusion - Is Fleck 5600SXT the Best Water Softener?
Fleck 5600SXT Review

Best Water Softener of 2016

Hard water is something no one wants to have in their household. It's an unfortunate thing to go through, especially when you're in an area with the hardest of water! Luckily, there are hundreds of water softening system units you can use. But with the many brands and models, which one is the best? With the Fleck 5600SXT, you can now cut your search short and be able to own the best water softening system that can soften even the hardest of waters in your household. This is compared to the many water softening systems I have tried. It does the job efficiently and comes in a complete package with great customer support. And at a price of less than $600, it's one of the best deals out there! There are other more expensive water softening system units out there that can actually be compared to the Fleck 5600SXT, but why overspend when you can get a great deal here? It's definitely worth the price, and a simple efficient unit that does the job right.

This is definitely the unit for you if you want to soften your water with efficiency and if you are on a budget. It's affordable, has the performance you expect from an effective water softening system, and a complete package with features you'll be able to take advantage of. What more can you ask for? So long as you install it correctly and keep and renew the service agreement, then you'll be fine and definitely reap the benefits this water softening system has. With great specs and features at a decent price, I can confidently say it was worth every penny I paid for. So what are you waiting for? If you're having hard water problems and looking for an efficient solution, Fleck 5600SXT is the one you should buy. You can purchase it at the best price using the button provided below.  However if your hardness level is considerably low, I recommend getting a salt free water softening system because it's usually cheap and requires very less maintenance. That's it for today, I'll see you in my next review! 🙂

NOTE: If you do not feel comfortable about having to install the Water softener in your home yourself, we recommend this great service from Amazon that will help you in turning off your water and drainage lines and install your Water softening system with all the required programming, setup and startup.

Check out other Water Softener Systems

The Ultimate Fleck 5600SXT Review 2019 – Is it the Best Water Softener System?
4.1 (81.44%) 111 vote[s]

Best Portable Water Softener Reviews

Best Portable Water Softener Reviews
4.1 (82.22%) 9 vote[s]

Water is an important part of human existence. It is an inevitable part of life. Pure water is required for human beings to drink and stay healthy. This water needs to be pure, clean, and safe to use. Water is a Universal solvent. As such, it tends to dissolve almost everything that comes in its way. This makes the water you get to be rich in impurities and salts.

Hard water is a common issue faced all over the world. It affects your health adversely. It also affects the other uses of water like cleaning. It prevents lather and creates a lot of scum with your detergent. As such, it is necessary to soften the water that you get naturally.

Water softeners are a must for every household. They help you by softening the water and rendering it pure and harmless for your various requirements. The problem here is to find the best water softener for your requirements.

Hard water is a common issue faced all over the world. It affects your health adversely. It also affects the other uses of water like cleaning. It prevents lather and creates a lot of scum with your detergent. As such, it is necessary to soften the water that you get naturally.

Water softeners are a must for every household. They help you by softening the water and rendering it pure and harmless for your various requirements. The problem here is to find the best water softener for your requirements.

A portable water softener is the most commonly used one these days. It offers all the major benefits that a water softener could offer you. Along with that, a very important advantage is that it is portable, and you can take it along with you anywhere you go. Wherever you go, you could use the advantage of your very own water softener.

Best Portable Water Softener Reviews

Portable water softeners are actually manufactured keeping in mind a few categories of people:

  • Vacationers
  • Recreational Vehicles, or RV, full timers
  • Apartment Renters
  • Car connoisseurs
  • Boat Owners

Boat owners and RV owners generally prefer to use portable water softeners as it helps them protect the plumbing in their own vehicles. It keeps them safe and helps them last longer. Lime scale build up, rust and such stains on different parts of the vehicle like showers, tubs, sinks, and toilets, and even metal staining on the clothes are the different disadvantages of using hard water.

Using a portable water softener can help prevent the problems by:

  • Maintaining the boat or RV’s appearance and resale value
  • Making the soaps and other cleaning aids more efficient
  • Preventing costly repairs and maintenance charges
  • Lessening the requirement for using lotions and other skin creams
  • Ensuring that the clothes do not get stained after a wash
  • Leaves your skin soft and smooth after a bath, unlike the roughness of hard water 

Apartment residents could benefit a lot by using water softeners. Soft water should not be a luxury that could be afforded by home owners alone. The basic advantage of using a portable water softener in this case is that you could carry your water softener with you. So, no matter if you change your apartment, you could always use your portable water softener wherever you go. Carry them along with you while shifting, and shifting should never be a problem again.

Hard water leaves stains on your car after you give it a good wash once in a while. No one would ever want to have such ugly marks and scars on their valued possession. As such, you should shift to soft water. Using softened water eliminates the occurrence of hard water residue. As such, it also helps you by reducing the time spent in wiping your car after the wash and getting the perfect shine that you aim for. People living in a hard water area must make it a point to install a water softener and use softened water for all their purposes.

Things to Consider

Before installing a water softener, there are a few points you must consider and be prepared to deal with:

  • It causes leaching of metals from waterlines. This has adverse effects on the environment and could be dangerous.
  • The use of water will be increases considerably. This will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
  • The taste of water will seem to be quite different. Moreover, the content of sodium could also be slightly increased.

The Best Portable Water Softeners

So, once you have decided to get a water softener, a portable one, you need to check out the different options in front of you and decide the best one. You are required to do quite a bit of homework in this case. Since there are numerous choices available in the market, you would find it really difficult to select a single one from them. Well, not any more. Here are 5 of the most common and popular portable water softeners available in the market these days:

  • The Watts RV Pro Portable Water Softener
  • 10000 grains
  • 21 x 9.5 x 9
  • Users rating: 4.9 of 5 stars

  • On The Go OTG4 8000 Grain Softener
  • 8000 grains
  • 22 x 6.75
  • Users rating: 4.7 of 5 stars

  • On The Go OTG4 16000 Grain Softener
  • 16000 grains
  • 22 x 9.50
  • Users rating: 4.7 of 5 stars

  • SoftSpot Nomad Portable RV Water Softener & Spot Reducer
  • 1200 grains
  • 7 x 7 x 22
  • Users rating: 4.6 of 5 stars

  • SoftSpot 4000 Blue Water Softener & Spot Reducer
  • 2400 grains
  • 9 x 9 x 22
  • Users rating: 4.7 of 5 stars



The Watts RV PRO 10000 Or M7002 10000 Grains Portable Water Softener

Capacity: 10000 Gallons

Dimensions:  21 x 9.5 x 9 inches

Regeneration Salt: Table Salt and/or Softener Salt

The Watts RV PRO – 10000 is also known as the M7002. It is the most popular and highest rated product in the section of portable water softeners. It is quite cheap and can be used even with table salt. It does not require any special water softener salt, even though it can be used with one. As such, you will not have to carry heavy bags along with your portable water softener. Moreover, table salt is more easily available than any specialised salt.

This product is light and small. This makes it easy for you to carry it around with you wherever you go. With around 2 pounds of salt, you can easily regenerate the system in about 20 minutes.


  • Works with regular table salt – no specialised salt is required
  • Can regenerate without connecting/disconnecting
  • Setting up process is easy
  • Comes along with test strips


  • Salt fill is small
  • The connection fittings are quite inflexible

 Check Price on Amazon

The On The Go OTG4 8000 Grain Softener

41kwgMnHx4LCapacity: 8000 Grains

Dimensions:  22 x 6.5 inches

Regeneration Salt: Table Salt and/or Softener Salt

This is the smaller of the two On the Go softeners available in the market. It is the 8000 grain model, a super slim softener which weighs just around 18 pounds. Made with boat owners in mind, this water softening system reduces rust super effectively. The carry handle is really easy to handle, and it regenerates in less than 15 minutes. As such, it is one of the fastest portable water softeners available.

This product has a warranty of 5 years, and the head comes with a warranty of 1 year.


  • The carry handle is easy to carry
  • The salt fill is large
  • It has a 360 degree swivel which connects the inlet hose very easily


  • It needs to be regenerated every 20 days for continuous uses.

Check Price on Amazon

The On The Go OTG4 16000 Grain Softener

51XkCTQywBL._SX355_Capacity: 16000 Grains

Dimensions: 22 x 9.50

Regeneration Salt: Table Sale and/or Softener Salt

This one is the bigger of the 2 On the Go softeners, and the largest portable softener that is available in the market today. The features are much similar to the previous one, except that that capacity is twice that of the 8000 grain model original version.

The unique size of this water softener can help you deliver around 40 per cent more softened water than any other portable water softener you could find. You could regenerate the system in less than 30 minutes, which is quite fast. It requires just 2 standard size boxes of common salt for this purpose.

During each cycle, the system delivers up to 1600 gallons of water. This would make it last around 40 days, which is quite a long duration. In short, this is a powerhouse portable water softener for your requirements.


  • It has a much larger capacity, and can handle larger applications
  • The salt fill is large
  • It has a very convenient carrying handle
  • It has a 360 degree swivel to easily connect the inlet hose


  • If space and limits and considerations, then the size and weight of the system could be a hindrance
  • Most customers have reported a leakage issue at the fittings. This is something that can be overcome if you use Teflon plumbers tape.

Check Price on Amazon

The SoftSpot Nomad Portable RV Water Softener & Spot Reducer

SoftSpot-Nomad-Portable-RV-Water-Softener-156x300Capacity: 1200 gallons

Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 22 inches

Regeneration Salt: Water Softener Salt only

The SoftSpot Nomad has a maximum dimension of 7 x 22 inches and a weight of 22 pounds only. This makes the product the most portable water softener that is available in the market. The compact and slim size is an advantage to those carrying it along.

A basic advantage is that the product takes less than 10 minutes for regeneration. As such, you get softer water much faster as compared to other water softeners.

Survivalists and travellers find the industrial grade, swivel connections and the military grade nylon handle to be highly convenient and useful.


  • Does not need electricity
  • It is compact in size and weight


  • It is a small system. At times it may seem too small depending on your requirements.
  • It requires special water softeners which usually come in large bags that are difficult to carry and use.

Check Price on Amazon

The SoftSpot 4000 Blue Water Softener & Spot Reducer

31kseA1FZ4L._SY355_Capacity: 2400 Gallons

Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 22

Regeneration Salt: Water Softener Salt Only

This is the larger SoftSpot softener which has a dimension of 9 x 22 inches and a weight of around 30 pounds. The large size offers you a larger capacity of 2400 grains as compared to 1200 grains for the previous one.

This product has got all the benefits of the standard soft spot nomad like the military style nylon carry handle, the commercial grade recharging kit, and the super heavy duty swivel connections. It requires a time duration of about 15 minutes only to regenerate. This produces 2400 gallons of softened water. The only problem is that you need to use the standard water softener salt pellets only while using this system.


  • It has a compact size and weight
  • No electricity is needed for its working and regeneration
  • It has a much larger capacity than most models of water softening systems


  • It has a large size and weight
  • You could only use specialised water softening salts in this system

Check Price on Amazon

So, here you have all the top and popular portable water softening systems available in the market today. Choose the one best suited to your requirements and make the most out of it. Remember, pure and soft water is required for good health. Moreover, softened water is a must for you to carry out your daily tasks much easily. Using softened water keeps you healthy, your appliances safe, and your clothes clean.

Also read about: Fleck Water Softener Systems

What is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?

What is Reverse Osmosis and How Does It Work?
5 (99.24%) 158 vote[s]

Reverse Osmosis, popularly known as RO, is nothing but a technology that is employed in the case of water to get rid of a large number of contaminants from it. This is done by pushing the water under pressure through a membrane that is semi-permeable. In the process of reverse osmosis, water is demineralised or deionised by pushing it through a semi-permeable Reverse Osmosis Membrane.


Osmosis is a process that naturally occurs, in which a weaker saline solution migrates to a stronger saline solution. This is one of the most important processes occurring in nature. It is through this process that the plant roots absorb water from the soil, and the kidneys absorb water from the blood.

It is a general tendency of a lower concentrated solution to migrate to a solution with a higher concentration. For example, if you take a container full of water with a low amount of salt, and another with a higher concentration of salt, and separate them by a semi-permeable membrane, then the water with the lower salt concentration will start to migrate towards the other.

A semi-permeable membrane is a membrane that selectively allows atoms and molecules to pass through it. It only allows some of them to pass. You can take a screen door as an example. It allows only air molecules to pass through it and not pests or dust particles that are larger than the size of the holes in the door.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis can be called as osmosis in reverse. Osmosis is a natural process and does not require any external pressure to occur. But, in the case of reverse osmosis, more pressure needs to be applied to the saline solution with a higher salt concentration. The membrane used in the process of reverse osmosis is a semi-permeable membrane that allows only water molecules to pass through it and not most of the dissolved organics, salts, bacteria, and pyrogens. A high pressure needs to be applied to push the water through this reverse osmosis membrane. This needs to be greater than the naturally occurring osmotic pressure. This desalinates, demineralises, or deionises the water to allow pure water to come out. A majority of the contaminants are held back.

How does Reverse Osmosis Work?

In the process of reverse osmosis, a high pressure pump is used to increase the pressure on the saltier side of the RO and force the water to move across the semi-permeable RO membrane. Around 95% to 99% of the dissolved salts are left behind in the reject stream in this process. The salt concentration of the feed water decides the amount of pressure required for the process. The more the amount of salt in the water is, the more will be the pressure required to be able to overcome the osmotic pressure. ro-diagram

The demineralised or deionised, desalinated water that comes out is known as the permeate, or product water. The water stream that is left behind and carries the concentrated contaminants that were unable to pass through the RO membrane is known as the reject, or concentrate stream.

Once the feed water enters the RO membrane under the pressure applied, the water molecules are able to pass through the semi-permeable membrane. The salts and the other contaminants are not allowed to pass, and they are discharged through the reject stream. This is also known as the concentrate or brine stream. It goes in to the drain or can even be fed back in to the feed water supply to be recycled through the RO stream in order to save water. Permeate, or product water, is the water that comes out of the RO stream. It usually has around 95% to 99% of the dissolved removed from it.

RO system employs the process of cross filtration other than the standard filtration. In standard filtration, the contaminants are collected within the filter media. In cross filtration, the solution passes through or crosses the filter with two different outlets. The filtered one goes via one outlet, and the contaminated one goes through the other outlet. Cross flow filtration allows the water to sweep away the contaminant build up. This avoids contaminant build-up in the filter. It also allows enough turbulence so that the membrane surface is kept clean.

You might also be interested in reading about: Fleck Water Softener – Reviews and Comparisons of Different Models

Contaminants removed by Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis has the capability to remove almost 99% of the dissolved salts or ions, colloids, particles, organics, bacteria, and pyrogens in water. But, it should not be relied upon to remove 100% of the viruses and bacteria. The RO membrane rejects the contaminants on the basis of their size and charge. If a contaminant has a molecular weight greater than 200, it is more likely to get rejected by the RO filter. In the same way, the greater the charge of the contaminant, the more likely it is to be unable to pass through the membrane. For example, sodium ion has a single charge, which means it is monovalent, and it is not rejected by the membrane. Same is the case of calcium. 

You could use the process of Reverse Osmosis to treat brackish, surface, and ground water for all your applications, be it large or small flows. Boiler feed water, metal finishing, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and semiconductor industries are some of the common industries that use the process of RO for filtering water.

Reverse Osmosis is known to be a very effective and proven technology for filtering water. The salt produced is suitable for most of the industrial applications that require de-ionised or de-mineralised water. The correct system design, maintenance program, and service support can help your RO system provide many years of efficient supply of high purity water.

Also Read: Best Water Softener Reviews and Comparisons

Water Softener vs Water Filter – Exploring the Differences

Water Softener vs Water Filter – Exploring the Differences
5 (100%) 3 vote[s]

Water softeners and water filters are both very common names. You must be wondering what makes them different. It is fairly easy to understand the difference once you understand the difference between “Hard Water” and “Contaminated Water”.

Hard Water

Hard water is one of the most common issues faced in every household. The water that is usually called “Hard” contains a large percentage of dissolved minerals, especially magnesium and calcium.

Water dissolves small amounts of minerals as it moves through soil and rock. It holds them in solution. Magnesium and calcium are the two common minerals that make water hard. As the content of these two minerals increases, the degree of hardness of water also increases. hardwater001

Hard water does not pose any risks to your health. Actually, it can be said to be good for your body as it is rich in minerals. High amounts of metals ions of magnesium and calcium are contained in hard water in the form of carbonates. It may also include other metals and sulphates and carbonates as well. If water is not treated properly, it becomes hard on your skin, making it dry from the magnesium and calcium sticking on to your skin.

Hard water generally causes 2 main problems:

  1. The dissolved calcium and magnesium ions precipitate out of the hard water. This is known as “scale”, and it builds up on the insides of water heaters, pipes, coffee makers, and industrial appliances and machines. Scale obstructs the flow of water through the pipes, and also is a poor conductor of heat. It eventually clogs the pipes completely.
  2. Soaps have the capacity to lather when used. Hard water reduces this ability, no matter if you use it in your shower, dishwasher, sink, washing machine, or industries. The water forms a sticky scum by reacting with water and sticks on to your skin.

Contaminated Water

Water that contains a large amount of chemicals in it is termed as contaminated water. The calcium and magnesium are still contained in it, but it picks up other things from the environment as well and is influenced by them. frack-21

City water is highly contaminated by chemicals like chlorines and chloramines. This factor has got both pros and cons. Chemicals kill bacteria, which makes this chemically rich water to be good for you. If they are not added to the water, diseases and sicknesses would be prevalent all across. But, on the other hand, since chemicals are designed to kill living organisms, it is harmful for humans as well. City water is rich in chlorines and chloramines, and you must always treat them before using. If you are using well water, you need not worry about this.

There are also a large number of other chemicals that go in to water. Pesticides, paint thinners, and gasoline additives are just a few of them that go in to ground water and contaminate it. Contaminated water is unsafe to drink or have a bath in.

So, now you understand the difference between hard water and contaminated water. The next question is whether you need a water softener or a water filter. This depends on where you get your water from.

Water Softener

The main purpose of using water softeners is to make “hard water” soft. Inner city areas and places with hot weather, lesser rainfall, and a soil highly rich in minerals usually contain hard water. SRHF_DWZ

It is easy to find out if your water is hard or soft. Horrid white deposits inside your utensils and appliances that use the tap water are an indication of hard water. Just take your kettle and have a look at it. If you find an element that looks like dirty wet chalk covering it, then you may be having hard water.

The two main elements in hard water are calcium and magnesium. They cause the “lime scale” to build up on all the surfaces and even inside your pipes. These are the two elements that are treated using water softeners.

Water softeners can be said to work in two ways:

  • They completely remove calcium and magnesium from water before the water runs through the system. These are usually the salt based water softeners.
  • Electromagnetic waves are used to neutralize the two elements before the water comes out of your faucet. They do not get rid of the hardness completely from the water. As such, they are usually known as water conditioners. They do work well for most of the common applications.

A water softener usually has a resin tank that contains a huge number of tiny resin beads that have electrically charged ions. The beads are full of sodium ions from the water softener salt when they are freshly generated. The resin beads attract the magnesium and calcium ions when hard water passes through the softener system. The sodium ions here replace the hard water ions in the water. This exchange of sodium for the hardening ions makes your water soft. As such, the water that comes out is now soft and ready for use.

The water softener must be checked once every month for best performance. Moreover, the salt level must be kept at least at half the maximum level at all times.

Also Read: Best Water Softener Reviews

Types of Water Softeners

  1. Salt Based Ion Exchange Softener

This type of water softener cycles the household water through two different types of tanks. The first one is filled with special resin beads, and the second on is usually filled with a salt water solution. The principal of Ion exchange is applied by the salt based softener. It uses salt to substitute the harder minerals like magnesium and calcium. The salt is exchanged for the minerals, making the water free from calcium and magnesium ions. Salt-Based-Water-Softeners-VS-Salt-Free-Water-Softeners-2

This is known to be the best and most effective method for water softening. Water spotting and scaling are eliminated, and your clothes become softer. A setback is that the water from this softener cannot be used for drinking or watering plants as it is rich in sodium ions. People with sodium restricted diets must not have this water. Moreover, the machinery requires a constant supply of salt.

  1. Salt Free Softener

This type of softener usually regenerates using a potassium salt instead of a salt based solution. Such softeners mainly work as a descaler. It does not remove the minerals contained in the hard water. Instead, it prevents them from depositing themselves in the water. The softener transforms the minerals to prevent them from attaching to the water. best-salt-free-water-softeners

Such softeners are perfect for people who are concerned about their intake of sodium. It is also environment friendly and yields drinkable water. These softeners are not as effective as the salt based softeners, and the quality of water is also not very high.

Related Article: Salt Based vs. Salt Free Water Softeners

  1. Dual Tank Softener

Such softeners are perfect for large families. When the softener is in the regenerating or recharging process, it cannot be used for softening. As such, regeneration is normally done at night. But, in larger families, this may not be possible. Dual tank softeners contain two tanks for this purpose. While one is regenerating, the other one can be used for softening.

The main advantage of such softeners is that one gets a constant supply of softened water at all times without any break in the service. As for the cons, it requires a large amount of space. Moreover, it also requires a drain for backwashing.

  1. Electromagnetic and Magnetic water Softeners

This one is a salt free option. This type of softeners are usually plugged in and clipped on to the pipe. A magnetic field is set up which changes the electromagnetic properties of the minerals that are present in the water. As such, calcium disperses in to small particles that prevent it from scaling.

Such softeners work well for preventing the scum from soap and water marks. They are easy to install, require a low amount of maintenance, and are relatively inexpensive as compared to the other systems. A problem is that the water coming out of this softener remains soft only for a maximum period of 48 hours. After 48 hours, the water hardens again. The reduction in the hardness is not very significant either.

Choose your Water Softener

The grain capacity is an important factor that needs to be considered when getting a water softener. The higher the grain capacity, the larger amount of water the softener will be able to process before regeneration. If you have a large home, you will need a softener with a higher grain capacity. The size of the home, the household, and the amount of water that will be required to be processed in a day are the main factors to consider when you are looking out for your perfect water softener.

Comparing and contrasting the features of water softeners is very important, the requirement varies for different purposes. As such, you need to take your time before investing in a water softener for your requirements.

Select the Right Salt

Salt-Based-Water-Softeners-VS-Salt-Free-Water-Softeners-4Salt based water softeners are the most commonly used ones. Easy to install and use, they nearly meet all the requirements of water softening. Selecting the right salt is the secret of having a water softener that works perfectly and is also easier to handle and maintain. Here are 3 factors one needs to consider to select the salt to be used:

  1. Form

Usually pellets are recommended for use in water softeners. The salt is also available in block and crystal form, and you can use them as per availability and convenience. The owner’s manual will guide you as to what is recommended for your product.

  1. Purity

If the salt is higher in purity, they leave lesser storage tank residue. This makes them easy maintainable. Bridging is a situation where the salts stick together to themselves and create a bridge. This bridge prevents the salt from coming in contact with the water, making the softening system less effective. Using salts of high quality helps prevent this condition.

  1. Specialty Salts

The water sources and mineral content vary for the different geographical areas. As such, they may have different specific problems like rust stains, concentration, and sodium content. Speciality salts are available to address these specific issues.

Filtering hard water by distillation or reverse osmosis improves the taste of the water. But, they are usually quite expensive. Descaling is another option that is used as an alternative to water softening. Water softeners remove the problem, which is the mineral content in the water. On the other hand, a descaler only addresses the damage that the problem causes, which is the scale build-up. They do not change the chemical composition of the water, and must never be mistake for water softeners.

Water Filters

Water filtration systems are totally different from water softeners. A large number of technologies are available in the market today to address the issue of water contamination. Contaminated water is found everywhere. There are a whole lot of them in just a simple glass of water you take. water-filter-2

The type of contaminant you find in water depends on the place you live in. If your water is taken from a well, you may need an even more robust filter than people using the city water. A large number of components seep in to the water in the ground every day. Pesticides from the farm and your garden are also commonly found in the well water. Gasoline additives, paint thinners, and a large number of other common chemicals seep in through the soil to contaminate the underground water. If untreated, they make way in to your system and cause health hazards.

Water filters work by eliminating the impurities in the water through a chemical process, biological process, or a physical barrier. Different purposes like drinking, irrigation, aquariums, ponds, and swimming pools use this cleansed water.


Filtration uses a large number of processes. Some of the common ones are:

  • Adsorption
  • Sieving
  • Ion exchanges
  • Biological metabolite transfer

Types of Filters

Water filters commonly come in the following types:

  • Activated Carbon Filters

They are generally called “carbon filters” or “pre-filters”. The larger particles like silt and sediments are eliminated from the water via this process. These particles are attracted and absorbed by the system. As such, the water coming out from the filter is made free from these contaminants.

Activated carbon filters also ensure that the water coming out has lesser odour and tastes much better. The amount of chlorine and other contaminants that make water smelly and unpleasant for drinking purposes are also reduced.

  • Reverse Osmosis

Best-Reverse-Osmosis-SystemThis is a very common process used. Reverse osmosis has the capability to get rid of all kinds of contaminants in water that are dangerous for your health. The end result is also made clear and free of odour.

  • Alkaline/Water Ionisers

A process known as electrolysis is used by this type of filters. It contains plates that are electrically charged. The water is passed through this water, and is separated in to two different streams. One of these streams is acidic, and the other is alkaline. The water becomes softer, is low in acidity, and is better for you skin.

  • UV Filters

This one is the latest technology in the market. Ultraviolet radiation is used to treat the water. It destroys all the bacteria that are hazardous to health. Moreover, since it does not use any chemicals or additional heat, it is a more environment friendly way of purifying water.

  • Infrared Filters

This technology also helps soften your water using alkaline filters. Heat and light are used to negatively charge the water and make it feel softer.

How do Water Filters Work

Water filtration follow two main processes:

  1. Mechanical Filtration

Figure-3This process removes the physical barriers. Water contains a large number of particles of various shapes and sizes. They are found in different forms like rust, sediment, asbestos fibres, and cysts. These particles are first trapped by creating a barrier. Different materials are used for this purpose. The size of the particles they trap and stop from coming out of the filter system is the base used to rate these barriers.

The “micron” rating is used to commonly differentiate a single particle. The lower the micron size, the smaller will be the size of the particle, and the better will be the filtration.

  1. Chemical Filtration

treatment2Chemicals like chlorine are used in the municipal water supplies as disinfectant agents. The water may even smell weird due to huge lengths of ageing underground pipes they come through. The quality of the water is also determined by the level of the dams. The higher the dam, the higher will be the water quality. Carbon is introduced in order to remove such issues.

Food grade carbon is usually made in the form of:

  • Coconut, Hard words, and Coal
  • Carbon Mesh Size – Granular, Powdered
  • Fired and Steam Cleaned

Carbon can be used in powdered, granular, or block form. Nasty tastes and odours are absorbed by the pores in carbon, and they also remove the chlorine from the water.

Water Softener vs. Water Filter

Water softeners and filters are different in their own ways. Here are the basic differences:

  • The way they treat water are different

Water softeners remove the hardness from the water and water filters remove the contaminants from the water. Water softeners can also be called as a specific case of water filters as it filters the water from hardness. Water filters cover a wider range.

  • Different technologies are used

Filters use different technologies to control contamination. Advanced media beds are used to remove pollutants. The water coming out from filters are generally safe for drinking purposes. Micro-filtration, catalytic conversion, oxidation, ion exchange, adsorption, and other processes are used.

Water softeners use salt and ion-exchange resins to make the water soft by removing calcium and magnesium ions. The sodium solution coated on the resins forces the magnesium and calcium to come out of the water and replace them with sodium ions on the active sites on the resin.

  • Both have separate maintenance needs

Water softeners need regular and effective maintenance. Restocking the salt is one of the most important things here, and it is consumable. Non-salt systems need lesser maintenance, but they usually get damaged by the light amounts of oil. Magnetic systems require the least amount of maintenance. They can even be installed for cheap. The problem is that they are not very effective against metallic dissolved materials.

Water filtration systems do not require too much of maintenance. But, they are quite expensive to install and use. Using water softeners is more effective if all you need is to soften water. If you have other concerns like contaminated water, waterborne pathogens, iron staining, bad taste, bacterial contamination, and chlorination, then softening systems will not be enough. You will have to use filters in such cases.



Whether you use water softeners or water filters for treating water depends on the type of contaminates you have in your water. It may be suspended particles or dissolved minerals. The water used in homes usually contains a combination of both. Understanding the underlying cause is the basic requirement to decide the treatment process. Once you understand this, you could choose the best way to treat the water.

Water softeners are usually excellent purification systems. They protect you from hard water and the build-up of scale. But, if you have problems like water chlorination, iron staining, or bacterial contamination, you will need to go for a combination of both, water softener and water filter.

So, the basic idea lies in your requirements. One can never say water softeners are better or filters are better. It depends on what your issue is and how you need it to be solved. It is all a matter of purpose. Both the systems serve their own purposes well enough. To have the best of both worlds, you could use a combination of both. As such, you are safe from hard water and contaminated water at the same time.

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