Water contains a lot of minerals which makes it hard. Magnesium and calcium are common minerals. When dissolved in water, it increases the degree of hardness. This leads to the failure of soap to dissolve in it. The process of removing such minerals or their ions in water is called water softening. Therefore, a water softener is a system filtration that gets rid of these ions in hard water, making it soft using ion exchange. The market is full of different brands of water softeners. What do you need to know when buying a water softener? Well, various factors are to be considered when purchasing a brand new softener system.

This article guides you and lists five essential things to consider when purchasing a water softener.

How does Water Softener Works?

The operation of a water softener will depend on the type of softener. Each type works in its unique ways. The most common type of water softener is the ion exchange water softener. The type of water softener system operates through ion exchange that gets rid of ions of calcium and magnesium from water. The hard water passes through a bed of beads made of resin when it enters the mineral tank. The beads are made plastic in nature and are manufactured from polystyrene, and are charged with sodium ions (Na+). Since the beads are negatively charged (anions), magnesium and calcium are attracted to them. Mineral ions get hold when water passes through the resin because unlike charges attract. This leaves soft water free from ions flowing out. Before purchasing a proper water softener, the following must be considered:

Test Your Water Before Buying a Water Softener

There should be the right water treatment to avoid adverse health effects. It is usually advisable that a filtration for water is incorporated in the softener system. When you buy such a system, it mostly saves and reduces the cost. The other thing you need to know about your water is the degree of hardness in it and what level of softness you will need. You must get enough information concerning your home water. It can be determined through a test kit, or you go to the laboratory. There are other indicators that you may observe that can give you an idea about the nature of water, whether it is soft or hard. These indicators may involve:

  • Noticing scale buildup on your appliances,
  • Observing the clothes turning gray,
  • Observing that your skin or even hair is dry after taking a shower,
  • You may observe stains on sinks and bathtubs and lastly,
  • When you regularly repair your equipment

Check What Size of Water Softener You Need to Buy

Water softener systems come in different sizes. The size requirement is based on the rate of flow of the water and hardness degree. You need the right size since a minimal system decreases the duration of the components. Such systems have high long term costs of maintenance and replacement of parts. A too oversize system will lead to wastage of salts as well as water for backwash. The right size system for your needs will operate smoothly, effectively, and efficiently avoiding water wastage or even salts. If you choose the wrong size, you can be sure that you will need to do a water softener repair more often.

Learn What Type of Water Softener You Need

There are generally four types of water softeners that include: Ion exchange softener, Salt-free softener, Reverse osmosis softener, and Magnetic water softener. The ions softener usually operates by exchanging cations and anions in water. Salt-free softeners are preferred more by people. They do not use chemicals or salts. Magnetic softeners make use of magnets whereby magnetic fields change water hardness. Reverse osmosis softeners make use of pressure to get rid of unwanted salts of calcium and magnesium through a semipermeable membrane. This reverse osmosis water softener does not entirely remove hardness in water. The hardness still comes back after 48 hours. Ion softeners are considered the best. They give out the feeling of “slick.” When showering, you may discover that your soap is giving out more bubbles than average. This implication shows that each type of water softener has its limitations as well as strengths. You need to seek more information on all four types of softeners so that you can determine the best one for your household.

Quality and Price of the System

When purchasing any item as a consumer, you need to be in equilibrium. Being in balance implies that the price you pay for the commodity you are buying must be equivalent to the utility you will get from the same product. It would be best to determine the equilibrium between what you are to spend on the softener and the duration or lifespan you want it to last. Some of the systems may be relatively cheap, but in terms of durability, they are deficient. They can make you incur more extra costs of maintenance and buying of spare parts.

On the contrary, some systems may seem very expensive. Such systems will cost less. Get the best quality system and besides that, purchase one with a better warranty. It will aid you in case of breakdown within the warranty period.

Consider the Right Installer

When installing the water softener system, you need to choose the right and best installer with excellent installation knowledge. He should be well versatile with the best piping materials. The wrong choice of these materials will make the whole system fail. Steel is the best in terms of susceptibility to the buildup of minerals. Plastic and even copper are usually less susceptible when it comes to the buildup of minerals. Mineral buildup in pipes decreases the diameter of these pipes hence minimizing and restricting the flow of water. This results in pipes walls becoming thin, and leakage becomes an issue. Therefore, poor installation will harm a portion of the pipes or even the entire pipe system. The person doing the installation should do it according to the standard requirements of the water softener installation. This will result in the best operation and outputs, including services of the system. Water softening is considered a very useful feature especially if you live in the area with hard water. It will help you preserve your pipes and appliances as well as improve the quality of your water, hence your health.


This article serves as your “What to know when buying a water softener?” guide. Whenever you need to purchase the best water softener, you have to do it with great keenness to come up with the right choice. Acquire a system that will operate smoothly with more than 98% efficiency as well as high durability. Put the highlighted factors into consideration, and you will never regret it in the future.