Depending on where you live, water softeners can be a great blessing. But not everyone has the space for yet another big appliance in their home. So, if you don’t really have a choice, here is a list of five best small water softeners.
Ready? Let’s get started…
- Best Small Water Softeners: Short Summary
- Best Small Water Softeners Reviewed
- Best Small Water Softeners Buyer’s Guide
- What to Consider When Buying a Water Softener
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion & Summary
Best Small Water Softeners: Short Summary
- The very first recommendation which is the WHES30E from Whirlpool is our most recommended water softener because it has a considerable amount of grain capacity apart from Aquasure on this list. But that one is the best choice for well water.
Best Small Water Softeners Reviewed
Here are our top 5 choices for the best small water softener that can solve all your hard water problems.
This water softener from Whirlpool is considered to be one of the smartest options for home solutions. And that it is a compact item is just one of the reasons why.
It’s a great solution if you want to use tap water for your appliances without the risk of developing limescale on their surface. This means you don’t have to be concerned about rusty pipes at least because of hard water.
This nifty little appliance was created to be used in homes and apartments which means it is for people who have no technical background. Setting up the regeneration cycle, one of the critical functions of a water softener is very easy. You don’t have to do any complicated programming.
It can also regenerate whenever the need arises which saves water and salt for you. That means it will detect low levels of salt in its system and recharge the resin on its own. This is a huge asset for people who lead busy lives and cannot keep up with a fixed schedule.
And if you’ve been out on a vacation, you don’t have to worry about setting time aside to get it back on track because it will stay have stayed on track while you were away. This water softener has a lot of smart features that take care of maintenance too intuitively, not just the operation. And installing it is just as easy.
Now to the brass tacks. The softener removes calcium and magnesium along with iron molecules to about 8 parts per million. That’s one of the best in the compact water softener range. And it works quite efficiently for a house of four people.
And finally, it is NSF certified which means you can rest assured that quality control has been taken care of.
- Item Size: 19 x 18 x 43.5 inches
- Water Capacity: 320 gallons of water per day
- Grain Capacity: 30,000
- Flow Rate: 7.6 GPM
- Hardness Removal: 95 grains/gallon
- Water Pressure: 125 psi
- Tested to remove 8 ppm of iron
- NSF Certified
- Facilitates automatic regeneration
On The Go is not an unknown brand in the water softener market. It comes with a lot more benefits apart from softening water, which is the first of its benefits. You can take it around but it performs just like some of the bigger water softeners. So, you can expect it to meet your needs at home and take advantage of how portable it is especially if you live off the grid.
In fact, this little appliance is so portable that you can take it along with you on a camper or an RV too. Just find a small spot for it near a faucet and it will take care of the rest. If you are keeping it at home, you can place it in a cabinet or under the sink.
The design is both simple and effective. You don’t have to worry about the kind of salts your need to use to get the regeneration process going. Just regular table salt will do the trick.
The manufacturer claims that this one is about 40 percent more efficient than the competition. You will need to check its regeneration needs once every 40 days which really is quite generous a schedule. And you’ll get a bang for your buck too. And it has an efficiency rating that also makes sure that your savings plan is not betrayed.
That means it needs to be regenerated less frequently and it also needs less salt. Both of which tell you what a steal this product is.
There’s also a back flush adapter which makes sure that the main water supply line is easily connected to the softener. And it also makes sure that the system is backwashed efficiently when it is preparing for the regeneration process.
- Item Size: 7 x 19.5 x 7.3 inches
- Item Weight: 18 pounds
- Flow Rate: 4 GPM
- Grain Capacity: 8,000 grain
- Generation Time: 20-30 minutes
- Comes with a 360-degree swivel
- Prevents the build-up of scale and stains from rust
- In the Box: Softener system, bypass valve, installation kit, instruction manual, hardness testing strip and a back flush adapter
Our third choice is from Watts Water Technologies and it makes it to the top five recommended water softeners for good reason. Not only is it extremely portable but it is also equipped with a combination water system that both softens water and also filters it.
It has a OneFlow Plus technology which turns the magnesium and calcium in the hard water into small crystals. This makes sure that there is no limescale build-up. It saves all the appliances like dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines and more that come into contact with water. And it is also an asset overall because it doesn’t cause any damage to water pipes.
And then there is the matter of the carbon block filter which makes sure that the quality of water is enhanced along with the hard water being removed.
The other advantage is that the resin cartridge in this softener that facilitates ion exchange is known for its durability. As a result, it can handle up to about 250,000 gallons without needing a cartridge replacement for the first three years.
Then there is the issue of its remarkable footprint. This one is pretty much a miniature softener that takes up only about 9×9 inches. You can mount it on a wall or keep it on the floor. Those who have a vertical setup would like to try the former.
In the box, you will get all the materials you need to finish the installation process easily. One of those items will be the instruction manual which will tell you exactly how to proceed in a step-by-step fashion.
- Item Size: 22 x 10 x 10 inches
- Item Weight: 9 pounds
- Flow Rate: up to 4 GPM
- Grain Capacity: 10,000
Water softeners usually come with a filter for iron particles. This one by Aquasure also has a filter that reduces rust stains that might cause significant damage to toilets, tubs and sinks. This is probably why this water softener is highly recommended for homes that have a well water supply.
It has a mesh resin that stops mineral build-up like iron, magnesium and calcium. If you get a softener with a capacity of 48,000 grains per gallon (which is what is recommended) you will have the option of waiting a while before it is time to start the regeneration process.
This process lasts just a couple of minutes less than 100 minutes and uses 40 gallons of water. There is a digital control console that takes care of the amount of water consumed and the regeneration cycle’s frequency.
The entire softener is built with polyethylene which is lined with fiberglass. This keeps it resistant to corrosion. The bypass valve is durable and the resin is premium grade. And the cherry on top of the sundae that is this water softener is that the manufacturer offers a five-year warranty.
- Item Size: 10 x 10 x 60 inches
- Item Weight: 120 pounds
- Flow Rate: 12 GPM
- Grain Capacity: 48,000 GPG
- Voltage Consumption: 120 volts
- Fitted with a Digital Metered Control Head
- Has a one-inch NPT male adapter
- Enabled with a manual double backwash
- Pre-filled resin is of premium quality
This is yet another portable water softener that delivers without getting in the way, quite literally. Most of the time, it is used on boats and recreational vehicles but it can also be quite the value addition to smaller houses.
The general consensus about this water softener is that it outperforms the competition which makes products of the same size. The manufacturer claims that this particular model softens water about 40 percent more than the others of its kind in the market.
It can deal with water from the city’s plant, the municipality or a well in the backyard which works very well, especially for those who live off the grid.
If you are smart about usage, you can prolong the need for regeneration by up to 40 days. That makes it an economical purchase too. And you can use regular table salt for the brine tank and you’ll have soft water in just about five minutes.
The grain rating, if you are wondering, for this softener’s resin is 16,000. This softener also has an impressive flow rate of five gallons per minute which makes it a great choice for automobiles. And that much is enough whether you want to wash your car or a small garage.
And best of all, it reduces the amount of calcium, iron, magnesium, radium, lead and a few more heavy metals.
- Item Size: 10 x 10 x 20 inches
- Item Weight: 34.3 pounds
- Grain Capacity: 16,000
- Water Capacity: 2,000 gallons for 40 days
- Generation Time: 30 minutes
- NSF Certified
Quick Small Water Softeners Buyer’s Guide
More than 4/5th of houses in the US have problems because of hard water coming from their tap. It causes limescale build-up in the short run and rust in the long run. This leads to water pipes and faucets getting clogged. Hard water is also the reason you don’t get lather, which means you will end up using more water, soap and detergent.
Now, tap water isn’t very pure and has plenty of heavy metals, chemicals and different types of contaminants depending on where you live. There are also dissolved minerals like magnesium carbonate and calcium which while deposited naturally are ultimately the reason why water is considered hard.
You can check the level of hardness in the water in your home using strips that can be bought separately. If the test result says that the water is between 3.7 and 7 grains per gallon or GPG, it is said to be moderately hard water. And if it is more than 7 GPG, it is most definitely hard water.
What to Consider When Buying a Water Softener
Like every other product on the market, you need to be able to read and understand the specifications of a water softener before you decide whether or not the one in front of you is actually the one for you.
Hardness Level and Grain Capacity
The first thing this appliance is supposed to do is remove the dissolved minerals in the water and add required chemicals from its system to it. These dissolved minerals are called grains and hard water typically contains magnesium and calcium.
Obviously, the more grains there are in the system, the harder the water is. You need to check the hardness levels of the water in your home before you look at the specifications of a water softener. Then you have something to check the grain capacity value against.
Grain capacity tells you how well your appliance can soften water till the time it needs regeneration. Most decent softeners for homes have a capacity of 16,000 grains per gallon. That means they can deal with 16,000 grains before the softener needs to go through the regeneration process.
So, essentially, the harder the water the sooner the softener will need regeneration.
The next thing to consider is how much water can flow through the ion exchange resin. You should look for a water softener that can give you at least as much flow as the flow of the water supply line.
So, if the flow rate of water in your house is five gallons per minute (GPM) then the softener that suits you best will have at least the same amount of flow rate. If you get a softener that has only say 3 GPM, then you won’t get enough water from the faucets or whatever fixtures it is connected to.
This also means you should take into account the number of people who are expected to use different water lines but at the same point. Water softeners with 3 GPM are good enough for houses with 2-3 people.
Some of the best water softeners in the market use salt. Some of them need specialized salts and the others work on just table salt. Appliances that don’t use salt are usually water conditioners and don’t get rid of the minerals which result in water being hardened.
Softeners, on the other hand, need salt for the regeneration process. That’s why you are told to check salt levels before starting the process.
You need to figure out where you are going to place the water softener before you start looking at models. That way you know what your precise definition of compact is.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Size Water Softener Do I Need?
A: You need to count the number of people who will be using the water softener at any given point in time and multiply that number by the gallons of water used by each person every day.
Then take that result and multiply it with the amount of hardness in the water. You will know that by determining the grains.
Q: Which Is Better Water Softener or Water Conditioner?
A: For the most part, a water softener is the one you need if you are trying to remove minerals in the water that harden it. Softeners remove other heavy metals in the water too and make it good for consumption. Plus, it will protect your appliances too.
Q: How Long Do Water Softeners Last?
A: A good one can be expected to last about two to 10 years. But this depends on the brand, quality and so on. If you do a good job with operation and maintenance, they can even last 20 years.
Conclusion & Summary
There are plenty of compact water softeners that will remove minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron. They will turn the water soft and you can use lesser amount of detergent and soap. And if you don’t have as much hard water, you don’t have to regenerate the system as much which means the softener will last longer.