You don’t have to be an expert to know that not all water is alike. It looks, tastes, and smells different depending on the minerals and contaminants it picks up on its journey. Hard water contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium. These minerals make water harsh— on your skin and your home.
Without the use of a water softening system, calcium and magnesium minerals perform numerous nasty tricks. Hard water will ruin plumbing, leave scale on appliances, and cause dishware to develop more spots than a Dalmatian. The best water softeners remove these hard minerals that stick to surfaces and destroy water heaters. Softened water helps appliances do their job more efficiently, lowering your energy costs, while giving you long-lasting appliances and soft skin to boot.
Softening systems let homeowners take water matters into their own hands. Buying a large home appliance for such an important job can be daunting. Luckily, we've done the research to help you find the best water softeners of 2019. Here are some of this year’s top picks for whole home water softening systems.
Best Overall System: Genesis 2 Upflow Premier Water Softener
If you’re looking for a top-quality, efficient water solution, this system is a champ. Don’t let its simple design fool you—the Genesis 2 Premier uses advanced technology and upflow brining to use precisely the amount of salt and water necessary for regeneration. It uses as much as 75% less salt and as much as 64% less water versus traditional downflow systems. This will save you loads on salt and utility costs.
The enhanced high flow valve head design is a proven winner for precision and reliability. The resin used is 10% crosslink for the highest durability and capacity you’ll find in today’s market. 10% crosslinked resin offers up to 50% longer life and 10% additional capacity than 8% crosslinked resin. The Premier features a no touch, set and forget system, easy installation and maintenance, and an industry leading lifetime warranty (yes, we said lifetime) on the control valve system along with a lifetime warranty on the resin tank and the brine tank. The Premier also features the largest system internals on the market for high efficiency upflow systems. The Genesis 2 system is the only 1 ¼” internal high flow rate system available today.
This gem comes standard with a smart tank tux neoprene jacket to minimize sweating of the tank. It can simply be unzipped like a jacket and thrown into the wash. Put it back on and your tank keeps looking spiffy and ready for action. Even better, the Genesis Premier is assembled in the good ole U.S. of A. Basically, this water softener comes packed with everything you need for the duration. Hard water be gone!
Crowd Pleaser: Genesis Duo Water Softener and Whole House Chlorine Filtration
Hard water problem? Chlorine problem? Two big, bad birds, one stone. The Genesis Duo is up to the challenge. This high efficiency system offers the works when it comes to hard water and chlorine/chloramine filtration. It will change your hard water into a 0 grains per gallon on the hardness scale with ease, saves you up to 75% on salt usage and 64% on water over most systems, and just like the Premier, it features a “no touch” display with key information at a glance.
With the Genesis Duo system you’ll know that all the water in your home is not only soft but also free of harmful chlorine or chloramines. Get soft, safe water in your whole home today . This system is easy to install, easy to program, and will filter out chlorine as well as hardness minerals. The resin and filtration tank both offer a lifetime warranty. When your home has multiple contaminants to contend with, the Genesis Revolution is a clear winner.
Best economy water softener with comprehensive warranty: Genesis EconoSoft
The Genesis EconoSoft is a digital metered softener, tough to beat when it comes to reliability and long-lasting performance of an economy water softening system. This set and forget system uses a Fleck 5600 style internal piston, seal and spacer design covered by a full comprehensive 7-year warranty, including wearable parts.
The EconoSoft is tested and certified by IAPMO. It’s effective, low-maintenance, and well designed. For a slightly smaller household of four or fewer, this compact system is our go-to for superior water for a great price. It uses less water and less energy so you’ll see a marked difference on your utility bills. For those who are limited on space and budget-conscious, the EconoSoft skimps on cost but never on performance.
Good value for the money: Fleck 5600 SXT On Demand Water Softener
This on demand softening system presents a simple mechanical design with many of the features of the Genesis brand. It will saves you up to 40% on salt usage over standard timered systems. The Fleck 5600 uses an internal piston, seal and spacer design covered by a 5-year manufacturers defect warranty. (Does not include wearable parts.)
It uses 8% crosslink resin, meaning there are more bonds that hold the resin together than lesser degree resin, and it won’t break down and turn to a mushy-paste as quickly. Unlike timer-based systems, the meter-demand system regenerates only when necessary. With fully-programmable regenerations, the 5600SXT can achieve even greater performance. The Fleck 5600SXT is a solid product and the manufacturer provides a wide array of choices when it comes to capacity.
Best dual tank upflow system: Genesis Dual Tank Upflow Twin Alternating Water Softener System
What does a dual tank system have to offer? Continuous softened water 24/7, that’s what! Single tank softeners have one resin and one brine tank. To avoid running out of softened water, a system must be sized correctly. Still, during regeneration, usually set to begin in the middle of the night, a water softener goes into bypass mode and no soft water is available during this time. With single tank units, if you hit your limit of soft water during the day, that’s it, no more soft water until the system can catch up. Or you have to have a built in “Reserve” to get you to the middle of the night regeneration.
Dual tanks have the advantage of having a reserve capacity. When you run out of water in one tank, it switches over to the next. There’s no delay in regeneration. Soft water, all the time. If you have a large family and you all enjoy those long, hot showers, a dual tank is the way to go. For continuous production of softened water, the Genesis 2 Duo is reliable, worry-free, and it will last for decades to come. Oh, and did we mention the Genesis dual tank is a high efficiency upflow system. Yep, that’s right. Enjoy using up to 75% less salt and up to 64% less water on every regeneration.
When you’re shopping for water softening systems, there’s a lot to consider. Quality, warranty, and price are equally important in making your decision. For friendly, water treatment know-how, call the experts at Discount Water Softeners and they’ll get you on the right track.