Do you have hard water but are having a tough time deciding how to fix it? It wasn’t too long ago that the only way to get trustworthy advice involved going down to the local hardware store and talking to one of the employees for their first-hand experience. These days that entire paradigm has been flipped on its head with nearly everyone spouting out opinions on topics you didn’t even know existed! The following is a short guide on what to consider when purchasing a filtration unit and conducting research using water softener reviews.
Decide What You Want
In terms of home improvements for hard water, it basically comes down to two options: conditioning or softening.
Conditioning involves removing the dissolved minerals in the water by filtration using substrates, or other porous membranes. These methods are more mechanical in nature and contrast with water softeners which use salt to replace calcium carbonate (limescale) with sodium ions. Softeners add a negligible amount of salt to the water to make it less harsh and chemically purify while conditioners physically catch the hard water’s dissolved solids.
Types of Softeners
Most water softeners are controlled by an internal meter and filter the home’s entire water suply. Full-house softening is great because it preserves the pipes in the entire structure by preventing minerals from ever getting into the pipes. They do tend to cost more but are very convenient and very seldom require maintenance. Individual sink and shower head softeners are very easy to install, even for people who lack construction experience, but are very limited in what they can remove from the water.
Which Brand To Use?
If you’ve already looked around for some units, you many have noticed the wide discrepancy in prices. In general, lower quality systems will be cheaper to start out with, but may cost more in the long run due to unavoidable filter changes or lack of efficiency. If you’re buying online, the price of the unit could be wildly different than advertised on another site.
Using review websites are great place to begin for comparisons. It’s useful to check multiple sites until you’ve seen a general trend or consensus. Remember that water quality can be very different depending on the area the reviewer is writing from. Keep in mind that there are many competitively priced water softener units out there as well.
The Short Of It All
When doing research it’s important to keep an open mind and understand that your own needs will differ from those of the reviewers. Research into the water quality of your town, and having a budget will be your best bet in determining a solution. The benefits of water softening run the gamut from saving appliances from expensive repairs, to just feeling clean when getting out of the shower. Keep an open mind and pay attention to detail. There isn’t any one best brand; there are many affordable and effective filtration solutions out there. Happy hunting!
Jessica Stephens is a writer from Minnesota with experience in DIY construction projects and septic systems. Many water softener reviews have passed over her eyes conducting research for clients. A contractor by trade, in her free time she loves hunting and competitive poker.