Best Water Softeners for Well Water 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Choosing a high-quality water softener for well water can be a challenging task because not many people need to know that much about them, but if you have a well filled with hard water, you know how important it is to find one. These devices are relatively expensive and will require installation, so it makes sense to learn a little about them before you buy anything.

We’re in the habit of reviewing things, and we have chosen five different brands of water softeners for well water to review for you so you can see what you like about each one. We have also included a short buyers guide where we talk about the crucial aspects of the water softener, like how to pick what size you need.

Please keep reading for our detailed reviews of each brand of water softeners for well water, where we discuss digital readouts, regeneration cycles, GPG (grains per gallon), and durability to help you make an educated purchase.

Our Favorite Choices in 2020:

ModelPriceGrain CapacityEditor Rating
AFWFilters Fleck IRON Pro
AFWFilters Fleck IRON Pro(Best Overall)

Check Price
48,000 4.85/5
ABCwaters 48k-56sxt-10SS
ABCwaters 48k-56sxt(Premium Choice)

Check Price
48,000 4.65/5
Aquasure Harmony Series
Aquasure Harmony Series

Check Price
32,000
48,000
64,000
4.60/5
Tier1 Essential Series
Tier1 Essential Series

Check Price
48,000 4.35/5
Whirlpool WHES30E
Whirlpool WHES30E

Check Price
30,0004.30/5

The 5 Best Water Softeners for Well Water:

1. AFWFILTERS Iron Pro 2 Water Softener Iron Filter – Best Overall

AFWFilters Fleck IRON Pro

The AFWFILTERS Iron Pro 2 Water Softener Iron Filter is our choice for best overall. This brand combines water softening with an iron filter to help improve your water quality even more. The fine mesh resin removes the iron and rust and has a long life expectancy. It includes a brine tank and a bypass valve. It can effectively remove up to 85gpg of hardness and the digital readout is easy to read and understand.

Once installed, this unit worked perfectly and the only complaints we have are regarding some of the hard-to-follow instructions during installation.

Pros
  • Softener and iron filter
  • Includes tank and bypass valve
  • Removes hardness up to 85gpg
  • Digital readout
Cons
  • Can be challenging to install

2. ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER – Premium Choice

ABCwaters 48k-56sxt

The ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER is our premium choice water softener for well water and it is a high-end softener with a high capacity flow rate. Designed to handle 12 gallons per minute this system can manage a large household or apartment building. The 48,000-grain softening system is perfect for most situations and it features a digital valve. The large brine tank holds plenty of recharging solution and the mineral tank is 12-inches around. This brand also comes with tech support.

The main downside to this system is its high cost. It also doesn’t remove rust like our top choice.

Pros
  • 12 gallons per minute
  • 48,000-grain softening system
  • Large brine tank
  • Tech support
  • Digital valve
Cons
  • Doesn’t remove rust

3. Aquasure Harmony Whole House Water Softener (32,000 Grains)

Aquasure Harmony Series

The Aquasure Harmony Whole House Water Softener is rated to remove up to 32,000 grains of hardness per day. It uses a unique Aquatrol Advanced Digital On-Demand Meter Control Head to keep everything working smoothly and also keep you updated on the status of the mineral and brine tanks. You can even schedule regenerations for the best time of day or let the unit operate in hands-free mode.

The biggest problem with this unit is with the hoses and connections. These parts did not fit well and caused our unit to leak continuously.

Pros
  • Rated for 32,000 grains
  • Aquatrol Advanced Digital On-Demand Meter Control Head
  • Schedule regeneration cycles
Cons
  • Leaks

4. Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener

Tier1 Essential Series

The Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener is a budget water softener that has an easy-to-read display and is rated to remove up to 48,000 grains of hardness per day.

We found that this model used more salt than the other brands on this list, and you don’t get a low salt indicator to let you know when you are out. We also found many of the instructions difficult to understand concerning the installation as well as general use.

Pros
  • Rated for 48,000 grains
Cons
  • No low salt indication
  • Hard to understand instructions
  • Uses a lot of salt

5. Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener

Whirlpool WHES30E

The Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener is rated to remove up to 30,000 grains of hardness per day and it also removes iron from the water. This unit automatically calculates how much salt you need and only uses that amount.

We found the instructions nearly impossible to follow and were pretty much on our own for installation and learning how to operate the unit. Bad instructions could have bee the cause for our leaky tanks but this unit also had the least effect on our water of all the brands we reviewed. This machine also broke down after a short time and wasn’t durable at all.

Pros
  • Removes iron
  • Automatically calculates salt requirements
  • Rated to remove 30,000 grains per day
Cons
  • Hard to follow instructions
  • Not durable
  • Leaks
  • Doesn’t soften water much

Buyer’s Guide

Let’s take a closer look at water softeners and how they work.

How Water Softeners Work

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium and replace them with salt by using ion exchange. Resins trap water hardness in the mineral chamber. When the mineral chamber is full, a regeneration cycle uses salt and water in the brine bucket to clean the resin so it can continue being useful.

Water Hardness

Water hardness is the amount of calcium and magnesium in your water. You can purchase a test kit to check your water hardness.

  • 0-60mg/liter = soft
  • 61-120mg/liter = moderately hard
  • 121-180mg/liter = hard
  • 181+mg/liter = very hard

Grains Per Gallon

Sometimes water hardness is measured in grains per gallon or gpg.

  • 1gpg = 17.1mg

Electronic Meter

Most water softeners have an electronic meter to let you know when you are reaching grain capacity so you can keep your water soft without interruption. These meters require very little electricity and often use a replaceable battery, but they can also be hard-wired into your home on some models.

Tier1 Essential Series 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
Image credit: Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener, Amazon

Grain Capacity

Grain capacity refers to the amount of hardness a softener can remove before it needs to regenerate.

Regeneration

Once the resin bed becomes saturated, the regeneration cycle mixes salt with water in the brine tank to rinse away the contaminants. Once rinsed clean, we can reuse the resin. Regeneration uses about as much water as a washing machine, and it will not harm a septic system when it drains.

Salt

Use large pellet salt or nugget salt in your water softener.

Safety

If you have a medical condition that has you on a low sodium diet, you will need to check with your physician before installing a water softener because the softener may add salt to your tap water.

Sizing

Here is the way you can determine the size of the water softener that you need.

ABCwaters 48k-56sxt-10SS 10% Resin water softener
Image credit: ABCwaters water softener, Amazon

Determine water use

To find out what size water softener you need, you will need to determine how much water you use each day. One way to do this is to look at your monthly water bill. You can then divide the total by the number of days in the month to get the average water use per day.

The downside to this method is that many people only put the water softener on the hot water line. If this is the case for you, then the water bill method will be quite off. Your hot water use might only be 25-50%  of that total.

Multiple Water Use by Hardness

Once you know how much water you use, you can multiply it by the hardness of your water to see what size water softener that you need.

Example

For example, if you use 50 gallons of water per day, and the water has a hardness of 100.

  • First, convert the gallons to liters. 50 gallons = 189.3 liters.
  • Next, multiply liters times hardness. 189.3 X 100 = 18,930

You need a 20,000-grain water softener.

Hot or Hot and Cold

As we have mentioned earlier, many people choose to connect their water softener to only hot water. Some items in the home, mainly the toilet and your tap water, may not need to be softened. In the case of tap water, it can lead to a salty taste. Unless you wash a lot of clothes in cold water, connecting the softener to only the hot water is something to consider.

Conclusion:

We hope that these reviews and this buyer’s guide have helped you get closer to deciding which water softener for well water is best for your home. Our choice for the best overall is our recommendation. The AFWFILTERS Iron Pro 2 Water Softener Iron Filter removes 85gpg as well as iron and rust, and it worked better than the rest in our home. The ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER is our premium choice water softener for well water, and this unit can soften a lot of water extremely quickly. Consider this if you have a large household.

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Featured image credit: Efraimstochter, Pixabay