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What To Look For When Buying A Water Softener

If your house has more limescale than you can shake a rubber glove at, there’s something in the water – literally. The minerals that make water hard can wreak havoc in your home, causing everything from pesky tidemarks on bathroom fittings to damage to your central heating system.

Not only are appliances and fixtures harmed, but so are people. Hard water can cause dull hair, stiff, itchy clothes, and smeared crockery, cutlery, and glassware. Worse, it can aggravate and even cause skin conditions like eczema.

What is the solution? They say that prevention is better than cure, and the solution is to improve your water quality with a water softener.

We’re not talking about small rectangular tablets in a blue box. We’re talking about a water softener and filtration system that will eliminate the negative and often unsightly effects of hard water. It’s not cheap, but the money you’ll save in the long run will more than make up for it.

A water softener extends the life of washing machines, dishwashers, and kettles by preventing scale build-up that corrodes them internally.

It can also reduce your energy bills by preventing hard-water blockages in pipework and boilers, which cause them to operate inefficiently – according to water softener manufacturer Calmag, just one-eighth of an inch of limescale reduces heating efficiency by a quarter.

Not only that, but because soft water produces more lather, you’ll use less soap, shampoo, washing powder, and cleaning products – and a descaler will be obsolete.

A water softener will quickly pay for itself with annual savings of hundreds of pounds. Many users believe it is well worth the money and that they have a shinier home as a result of having one installed. But it’s not just spondulicks and sparkles. The savings in scrubbing alone, in our opinion, is reason enough to splash out.

The Best Water Softeners To Buy In 2022

Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener By BWT

Sale
BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 10 Litre
  • Family sized water softener
  • Fits in a kitchen cupboard
  • Low voltage transformer can simply be plugged into a close by electrical socket
  • Easy to install, Includes installation kit
  • Easy to set up and use

The Fountain Water Softener is a high-quality, non-electric, twin-tank water softener. It is only available in white, and its compact size makes it ideal for storage and maintenance. It works well in any office, home, or apartment. This device operates solely on water pressure. When compared to other types of water softeners on the market, it guarantees an amazing long-lasting service at an affordable price.

All of the main inner parts can be easily moved to accommodate your house’s pipeline and water system or whichever location you choose for installation. It is appropriate for either a larger group of people or a single person. Its twin tank allows it to regenerate at any time of day or night while using 50% less water.

This item was a big hit with our reviewer (as demonstrated by the top spot in our list). It does its job perfectly and efficiently, with minimal installation difficulty. In terms of table/block salt, there are several variations to choose from, and it is relatively inexpensive to operate. This is a slightly smaller model than our #3 product from the same manufacturer, but the difference is negligible. Overall, it’s a fantastic water softener.

Home Filtration & Limescale Removal System By Water2Buy

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
  • The W2B800 provides complete limescale-free water for a family of 1 - 10 and can generate approximately 3680 litres of filtered soft water every day. It is engineered for both city and well water. This softener is equipped with an efficient digital meter control so it consumes less salt and water.
  • The size is 225 X 500 X 1100 mm and is suitable for installation in a garage or basement. It connects to your mains water supply and softens water in the entire home. Do allow space for hoses when planning your install. A power source is required, however only a tiny amount of power is consumed annually (Approx 20 euro/pounds).
  • Built to last, high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass, polyethylene tank, adjustable water hardness, and prefilled premium-grade ionX resin. The pre-fitted bypass valve will maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home. Use the free Water2Buy easyConnect app for easy setup.
  • Automatic self cleaning: The water softener quietly takes care of itself performing a regeneration cycle automatically when needed. This Meter Softener measures your water usage and only regenerates when necessary, making it more efficient. It regenerates at 3am when the water supply is not in use, so there is no impact on normal water usage. Approximately 90 litres of water is used during a regeneration.
  • What’s in the box: Water softener, Manual, UK power supply, EU power supply, 1inch (28mm) High FLOW connection fittings, bypass valve (pre fitted), bypass lever, silicone

This is sure to please because it is efficient, simple to use, and well-made.

The Home Limescale Removal System by Water2Buy is our runner-up. It received a 5/5 rating from us.

The Water2Buy W2B800, manufactured by one of the best water softener manufacturers in the UK, is an efficient unit designed to provide limescale-free drinking water to homes with up to ten people. With a weight of 25 kilogrammes, this water softener model has a slim tall design that will fit easily into your garage or basement. It has a maximum capacity of 3680 litres, or approximately 970 gallons of water per day.

The W2B800, like other Water2Buy salt water softening systems, operates quietly, making these units ideal for home use. To save on softener salt, the Water2Buy W2B800 will only use salt during regeneration, which takes about 30 minutes.

The built-in mixer valve allows you to adjust the hardness of the water. Water2buy provides a 7-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure that you are completely satisfied with your purchase.

Our reviewer thought this was an excellent water softener. It’s extremely quiet, has a high capacity, and regenerates extremely quickly. The slim design makes it simple to install, and the money-back guarantee gives you some peace of mind when purchasing this bad boy. The fact that it lacks a few key components is what kept it from the top spot, which is a real shame.

WS555 Tablet Water Softener By BWT

BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre
  • Compact design: fits in a kitchen cupboard
  • Easy to install
  • Includes installation kit
  • 5 years parts & 2 years labour at home warranty
  • WRAS approved product

If you want a luxury system that won’t break the bank, the BWT WS555 Water Softener is the way to go. This high electric demand water softener is specifically designed to work efficiently. It includes a number of useful features, such as a smart water monitoring system, and its effectiveness is undeniable.

This water softening system is inexpensive to operate because it uses little water and salt to achieve the best results. This is a dependable device that users can rely on because it uses trusted technology developed for the UK plumbing system.

This water softener model is simple to install and works with the majority of kitchen cabinets; it can even be installed next to your boiler. It has been approved by the WRAS, so your peace of mind is guaranteed at all times. It gently dissolves existing chalky build-up, reviving your pipework system after it has been removed. The softened water protects and extends the life of your appliances, saving you a lot of money that would have been spent on maintenance.

With one exception, our reviewer found this to be an equally excellent water softener to #1 and #2. It’s a little loud – not unbearably so, but enough to be annoying if you have sensitive hearing. Otherwise, it performs the same functions as #1, albeit on a larger scale.

Water Softener for 1-4 People By Water2Buy

Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener up to 6 People | 100% Limescale Removed
  • The W2B200 provides complete limescale-free water for a family of 1 - 4 and can generate approximately 1,250 litres of filtered soft water every day. It is engineered for both city and well water. This softener is equipped with an efficient digital meter control so it consumes less salt and water.
  • The size is 220 X 525 X 650 mm and is suitable for installation in a garage, basement or kitchen cupboard. It connects to your mains water supply and softens water in the entire home. Do allow space for hoses when planning your install. A power source is required, however only a tiny amount of power is consumed annually (Approx 20 euro/pounds).
  • Built to last, high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass, polyethylene tank, adjustable water hardness, and prefilled premium-grade ionX resin. The pre-fitted bypass valve will maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home. Use the free Water2Buy easyConnect app for easy setup.
  • Automatic self cleaning: The water softener quietly takes care of itself performing a regeneration cycle automatically when needed. This Meter Softener measures your water usage and only regenerates when necessary, making it more efficient. It regenerates at 3am when the water supply is not in use, so there is no impact on normal water usage. Approximately 37 litres of water is used during a regeneration.
  • What’s in the box: Water softener, Manual, UK power supply, EU power supply, 3/4inch (22mm) HIGH FLOW connection fittings, bypass valve (pre fitted), bypass lever, silicone

The Water2Buy’s versatility and efficiency are what distinguish it as one of the best home water softener systems. It’s well-designed to effectively remove limescale from water. The Water2Buy w2b200 salt water softener is a small 18kg unit that fits under your kitchen sink. Among other advantages, it can store up to 1250 litres of water per day, which is enough for a family of four. The design also includes a pre-installed bypass valve, 34 fittings, and a power supply. Its ultra-quiet operation ensures that it makes as little noise as possible wherever it is installed.

The wb200 salt water softener system is designed to work with any type of salt, including block and tablet salt. To ensure the necessary efficiency, it only uses salt when regenerating, which can take up to 30 minutes. It’s also designed to start regeneration automatically after a certain amount of water has been softened. This feature is programmable, so you can have it regenerate at any time of day or night. Water2buy provides a 7-year warranty on the wb200 as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied with your purchase.

This water softener was praised by our reviewer because it is small, efficient, and versatile in its applications. Its main disadvantage (as with #2) is that it comes with a few missing parts. This is, once again, a huge disappointment. It’s a little louder than the first two and a little less efficient, earning it the fourth spot on our list.

Electronic Water Conditioner and Scale Inhibitor By Scalewatcher

ScaleWatcher 2 Star. Electronic Water Conditioner and Scale Inhibitor which removes Hard Scale and Prevents Further Build up.
  • Money back guarantee and 10 year warranty
  • Prevents limescale build up and removes existing scale
  • Low running cost - no more than £5 per year
  • Saves energy and saves you money on heating bills
  • UK made

The Scalewatcher Limescale Control 2 Star is a water softener that does not remove the dissolved minerals that make water hard. It is an alternative to salt-based water softener units. Instead, it employs patented audio frequency signals to change the shape of limescale crystals, preventing them from adhering to your home’s pipework.

The compact size and ease of installation of the Scalewatcher Limescale Control 2 Star softener make it one of the best hard water treatment systems. It also only weighs 499 grammes. Installing the unit entails positioning it near a power outlet and up to a metre or more away from the pipe, wrapping and securing the coil around it, connecting the signal cable to the unit, and turning it on.

It uses only 3.85 watts of energy, so you won’t have to worry about high energy bills. The Scalewatcher Limescale Control 2 Star is built to last for up to 20 years. It includes a 6-month money-back guarantee as well as a 10-year warranty. All of these features combine to make these water softeners extremely popular on the market.

This is a novel and intriguing idea, but it suffers from a few limitations that keep it from reaching the top half of our list. It must be wired into a home’s power system and must be no more than 3 metres from an outlet, making it somewhat difficult to install. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic system.

Efficient Meter Water Softener By Water2Buy

Sale
Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-7 People | 100% Limescale Removed
  • The W2B500 provides complete limescale-free water for a family of 1 - 7 and can generate approximately 1417 litres of filtered soft water every day. It is engineered for both city and well water. This softener is equipped with an efficient digital meter control so it consumes less salt and water.
  • The size is 303 X 570 X 700 mm and is suitable for installation in a garage or basement. It connects to your mains water supply and softens water in the entire home. Do allow space for hoses when planning your install. A power source is required, however only a tiny amount of power is consumed annually (Approx 20 euro/pounds).
  • Built to last, high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass, polyethylene tank, adjustable water hardness, and prefilled premium-grade ionX resin. The pre-fitted bypass valve will maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home. Use the free Water2Buy easyConnect app for easy setup.
  • Automatic self cleaning: The water softener quietly takes care of itself performing a regeneration cycle automatically when needed. This Meter Softener measures your water usage and only regenerates when necessary, making it more efficient. It regenerates at 3am when the water supply is not in use, so there is no impact on normal water usage. Approximately 70-80 litres of water is used during a regeneration.
  • What’s in the box: Water softener, Manual, UK power supply, EU power supply, 3/4inch (22mm) HIGH FLOW connection fittings, bypass valve (pre fitted), bypass lever, silicone

This limescale-focused softener is ideal for areas with extremely hard water.

The W2B500 guarantees complete limescale removal from your domestic water. The W2B500 is designed for hard water area households and integrates seamlessly into your existing system. The device can handle water with a hardness of up to 500 PPM. Flow rates of 1250 litres per day are promised, which equates to 118 litres per minute at 2.45 bar inlet pressure.

The capacity makes it ideal for and necessary for a mid-sized family. In terms of water filtration, the water softener allows for the use of block, crystal, or tablet salts. However, for maximum efficiency, it is recommended that salt be used only during the regeneration process.

The regeneration cycle cleans the patented IonXTM resin, allowing for more efficient operation. However, before purchasing, keep in mind that the device can only operate in the pressure range of 1.03 to 6.89 bar and at temperatures ranging from 0 to 40°C.

Our reviewer was split on where to place this water softener on our list. On the one hand, it performs admirably and includes a number of high-quality components. The value for how much it costs compared to its performance is also excellent – but it’s not all good. It is a bit noisy and also requires additional (not included) parts in the purchase to function properly – not the best situation, but it is fantastic at what it does.

Electronic Water Descaler By Eddy

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative UK/EU Version
  • Reduce limescale in the home and business
  • Easy customer installation - Metal or Plastic pipes - Comes with cables for pipes up to 28mm diameter
  • No salt alternative to a water softener MADE IN BRITAIN
  • Emulates softened water without altering water hardness (keeps healthy minerals)
  • 12 month Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty

This descaling softener is very effective and simple to install.

If you want to effectively remove the chalky buildup on your taps, sinks, and showers in your home, you should use the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler. It is a 5-watt unit that generates intricate electromagnetic waves around the water pipe. This wave is applied with the help of two coils, ensuring complete water purification.

Furthermore, its setup is as simple as ABC, and you don’t need to add salt to it. In fact, the cost is less than that of typical salt-based systems, and it will undoubtedly provide the most satisfactory results over time.

It is also both environmentally friendly and cost effective, making it an ideal product for almost any home.

It can be connected to both plastic and metal pipes to achieve the best flow rate possible. You’ll love its accompanying cables, which can work with pipes up to 28 millimetres in diameter. Above all, it is simple and inexpensive to maintain, providing you with a long-term advantage.

This is a product that is performs admirably and is both efficient and environmentally friendly. Its one-of-a-kind process works well, but there are a couple of significant drawbacks. It is not waterproof and cannot be installed outside. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic product.

Ultra Quiet Home Water Filtration System By Water2Buy

Water2Buy W2B110 Water Softener | Timer Water Softener for 1-4 People | 100% Limescale Removed
  • The W2B110 provides complete limescale free water for a family of 1 - 4 and can generate approximately 1,250 litres of filtered soft water every day. It is engineered for both city and well water. This is a well equipped timer control unit which is an excellent budget softener for you to enjoy soft water.
  • The size is mm 220 X 425 X 650 mm and is suitable for installation in a garage, basement or kitchen cupboard. It connects to your mains water supply and softens water in the entire home. Do allow space for hoses when planning your install. A power source is required, however only a tiny amount of power is consumed annually (Approx £/€20)
  • Built to last, high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass, polyethylene tank, adjustable water hardness, and prefilled premium-grade ionX resin. Use the free Water2Buy easyConnect smart app for easy setup. This unit also comes with a 7-year manufacturer warranty.
  • This Timer softener regenerates every few days regardless of water usage.Hence, a timer will always regenerate and use salt even if it's capable of producing more soft water. It regenerates at 3am when the water supply is not in use, so there is no impact on normal water usage. Approximately 150 litres of water is used during a regeneration.
  • What’s in the box: Water softener, Manual, UK power supply, EU power supply, 3/4inch (22mm) HIGH FLOW connection fittings, installation guide.

This softener is ideal for UK hot water systems and will keep all water in your home softened.

If you want to have soft water at all times, the Water2Buy W2B110 Water Softener is unquestionably your best bet. This softener is designed to work with the majority of UK heating systems, but it should be installed on a cold water supply. Simple installation kit with no technical jargon manuals; simply follow the diagram and you’re ready to go.

This machine has an effect on your water pressure because the usual pressure for washing dishes, bathing, and showering is maintained. All of these cleaning tasks will be completed with clean, softer water this time. You will also appreciate its quiet operation, which makes it very comfortable to use; thus, we highly recommend it.

It is also compactly designed, making it easy to install in your kitchen. This device is ideal for small to medium-sized families, with a daily soft water flow rate of 1,250 litres. It comes with a one-metre-long hose to ensure that you get the best results possible.

With one exception, our reviewer thought this product was excellent. While it performs admirably, its main disadvantage is its limited capacity. It’s not really designed for more than four people – and even that’s pushing it. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic product that works extremely well.

Water Softener FAQS

What exactly is a water softener?

Water softeners are devices designed to address the problem of hard water, which is water with a high mineral content (usually calcium and magnesium). Hard water can be a problem in the home because minerals in the water can form scale and deposits that clog your pipes.To address the issue, a water softener will use ion exchange to replace those minerals with softer alternatives (sodium and potassium).
Any positively charged ions, such as iron, will also be attracted and retained by the machine.

Problems brought on by hard water

If you have hard water in your home, you may notice that your water has an unusual taste or smell. Iron stains can accumulate in your toilet, and minerals in the water can make it difficult to lather in the shower or bath. Softer water reduces the risk of limescale buildup and extends the life of hot-water-using appliances such as showers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Furthermore, you will not have to spend as much money on cleaning products to remove limescale and remove stains.

How does a water softener work?

A water softener consists of a mineral tank and a brine tank. They connect to your mains water supply, allowing water to be softened before it reaches the tap. Install a water softener in a convenient location – under the kitchen sink is ideal. The ion exchange takes place in the mineral tank, which contains resin beads. When the system requires regeneration, a heavy brine solution is drawn from the brine tank and passed through the resin in the mineral tank. The brine tank must be manually replenished with salt.

Water softeners can be either timed or metered. Timed models are more basic and, in general, less expensive. They operate on a timer based on the hardness and capacity of the water supply, as well as the number of people living in the property. However, timed models can be more expensive to run in the long run. If the amount of water used is less than the calculated amount, the softened water capacity may be wasted. If water usage exceeds the calculated amount, the water may not be softened sufficiently. Metered water softeners will regenerate when a predetermined volume of water has been used up, resulting in less waste.

Where is the best place to install a water softener?

The best place to install a water softener is as close to the mains water line as possible. Water softeners are frequently installed in kitchen cabinets because that is where the mains water enters the home. An expert advisor, on the other hand, can recommend the best location for the water softener, whether it’s in the kitchen, utility room, basement, garage, or even outside!

Is it OK to use water while softener is recharging?

Is it safe to use water while the softener is being recharged?
No, using water during water softener regeneration is not advised. During the regeneration process, water can be used, but the water drawn from the tank will be hard. Waiting for it to complete the process is the best option. The regeneration process can take anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.

How can you tell if your water softener is clogged?

If the softness of your water changes significantly, this is a sign that your water softener is clogged. If you notice chalky deposits on your dishware and fixtures that you did not previously have, it could be a sign that your water softener is clogged.

How do I know when to add salt to my water softener?

If the salt appears to be dry and the tank is less than half full, refill until it is slightly more than half full. Also, if the salt appears wet or the water level is higher than the salt, it’s time to fill the tank halfway. The age of your water softener has a significant impact on salt consumption.

How long does it take for a water softener to work?

Regeneration takes about two hours to complete. The frequency with which the water softener will recharge is determined by factors such as water hardness and household water usage.

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