Consumer reports on water softeners, your guide when buying

A water softener is one of the important equipment/appliance that you will buy for your kitchen and other needs. This equipment is essential if you happen to live in an area that has very hard water drawn from a well or a lake or for that matter any source. Water softeners soften the water by eliminating the calcium and magnesium ions present in the water. They also to a certain extent get rid of dissolved iron from the water so that the water is softened and you spend less on detergents, maintenance of equipments like water boilers and other household appliances. However, when buying one you are faced with innumerable advertisements that profess all the features and qualities that you are looking for. To rid you of this nightmarish situation we have gone through a number of reports on water softeners and come to the following conclusions that will prove to be a guide when you decide to buy one for yourself.

As you are aware that there are different types of water softeners based on the technology they use. Let’s look at them and then decide which technology is best for you.

Salt free water softeners – these types of water softeners use catalyst and work on nano technology. This is a salt free operation and is very effective. All types of scaling especially the lime scale is removed from pipes and fixtures with this type of water softener. This is the most preferred type of water softener as it does not use either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. From the health perspective this is the best. However, when the hardness exceeds 25 grains per gallon this type of water softener is found wanting.

Ion exchange based water softener – this is the conventional type of water softener. It uses the principle of ion exchange to substitute calcium and magnesium ions with potassium or sodium ions. The best part of this type is that they work for years on end and are very easy to maintain. Clothes washed in water softened with this type of water softener looks brighter and whiter. The only disadvantage is that the water from this softener is unfit for human consumption as it has excess salts.

Magnetic water softener – this is a new technology in the market and the jury is still out on its efficacy as an appliance. In this type of water softener magnets (very powerful) are placed in the water pipes or outside which alter the molecular structure of the water thus making it soft. The advantage that this type of softener has over others is that it does not use any chemicals and therefore is good for the health. However, the water looses its character and reverts back to being hard if kept for more than 48 hours.

Reverse osmosis water softeners – this type of water softeners are expensive and remove the dissolved impurities by passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane. It is very effective and almost 98% of all impurities are removed. However, they also remove the essential minerals from the water and this is a big disadvantage with this type of water softeners. This water softener also generates a lot of waste and is thus not cost efficient.

These are some of the type of water softeners that are presently being sold under various brand names. However, based on your requirements, look for a manufacturer that installs the water softener without charging anything and offers a big warranty. Do not go in for features that are not going to be of any use to you and your family.