Water Softener Ratings
What factors affect water softener ratings?
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Before choosing your softening system you will want to do your homework and compare the various products on the market. All the major water softener manufacturers have websites promoting their softeners, and consumer sites carry reviews. But ultimately you need to make up your own mind. Here are the key factors to weigh up.
The price of a water softener varies depending on the amount of water you want it to treat and the ease of operation you require. The average cost of a system, including installation, is between $1,000 and $1,600. Whether you buy the cheapest single-tank system or a more complex twin-tank system, how highly it rates is only dependent on whether it's cost-effective. Finding those lower priced systems may be an initial plus, but if it costs you more in water bills, wasting salt and degenerating quickly, the system will not rate highly.
How a water softener rates will be determined by the cost of the system compared with the amount of water it is capable of softening. With the average person using 75 gallons of water per day, and with roughly 10 grains of minerals per gallon needing to be removed, ensuring your water softener is efficient is of top priority. Water softener ratings are affected by how frequently it needs to be regenerated (usually at least once a fortnight, depending on the hardness of your water supply), so check this figure and check also that the system can cope with times when you might have more people using the water on your property.
As well as the water softener installation, some manufacturers offer a regeneration service, where they change the depleted beads for new ones. This may make these systems rate more highly in areas where sodium is considered a pollutant and banned from water. Similarly, those on a low-sodium diet would prefer a system that offers the possibility of using potassium chloride instead of the usual sodium chloride. Some systems are available that are a complete alternative to traditional systems and require no salt at all and instead use distillation, deionization and reverse osmosis to soften the water.