Here you will find our list of the Best water conditioners [salt-free water softener] that we picked for the US & CA markets in 2020.
10 Best Water Conditioners
#1 – APEC Water FUTURA-10 Water Conditioner
APEC Water Systems enjoys a high reputation in the industry for making water systems that are specially tailored for performance, durability, and reliability. These include the whole house salt-free water softeners and the FUTURA-10 water conditioner system is one of them.
It’s amongst the most robust salt-free water softeners on the market with an excellent softening capability. The unit comes as a water conditioning system only, but APEC offers two other similar models in the same category that are equipped with extra filters.
There’s the APEC WH-SOLUTION-MAX10 which is at two-stage whole house water system and the APEC WH-SOLUTION-10 which is a three-stage system.
With that in mind, we will analyze the key features of this APEC FUTURA-10 model and also highlight the complementary filters that the two other options come with to give you a better comparison of the three models.
#2 – AO Smith Salt-Free Water Conditioner
The AO Smith Water water conditioner system is a unit specially designed for those who want an affordable yet functional and long-lasting salt-free water softener. It’s a simple system that does what’s it’s expected of it without a lot of issues.
The AO Smith water conditioner system uses salt-free technology that’s highly capable of treating water hardness in an entire house.
The tank is filled with a dependable scale control media which naturally and safely inhibits calcium and magnesium hardness minerals from binding and forming limescale.
The media makes the hardness minerals really ineffective such that they lose their adhesive ability hence preventing scale buildup in pipes and plumbing. It can efficiently tackle water hardness levels of up to 25 GPG.
On top of that, the descaling media of this unit does not completely remove the hardness minerals from the water like the salt-based systems. It retains the calcium and magnesium ions, so aside from stopping them from forming limescale, you will still have these healthy minerals in your water.
#3 – Watts Premier OneFlow Water Conditioner
Coming in third on our list is the OneFlow soft-free scale prevention and water filtration system. It is specifically designed to reduce typical water hardness problems in the plumbing system and appliances, plus the reduction of chlorine and larger sediments.
This unit uses the top-rated most effective hard scale prevention technology known as Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC).
The TAC system is an innovative and established technology that naturally softens water without the use of salt or any other chemicals. This technology is proven to be the best by the WaterReuse Research Foundation.
The TAC technology attracts and modifies the structure of hard minerals into harmless soft inactive crystals molecules. These molecules stay suspended in water and flow freely throughout the system without bonding.
This process reduces scale formation in water heating devices, fixtures, and pipes, thereby improving plumbing system efficiency and performance. It also helps extend the lifespan of appliances.
The OneFlow conditioner is so effective such that it does not add or remove anything from water, instead, the process retains healthy minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
Moreover, this system is capable of handling water hardness levels of up to 75 grains per gallon daily. However, this is based on a 4-person household, hence it may not be effective for a larger family house.
When it comes to the filtration system, the OneFlow conditioner features a media cartridge. This media cartridge is used in combination with the activated carbon block filters made from coconut shells to filter out already descaled water.
The carbon filter has a 20-micron rating, which helps to filter both dirt, sediment, chlorine taste, and odors. Plus, it is capable of holding dirt of up to 2.2 lbs. for a maximum of 50,000 gallons of use.
This unit not only inhibits limescale buildup on the surface of the plumbing system but also filters your water to give you more healthy and clean water for drinking, laundry, and bathing.
#4 – Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Water Conditioner
Aquasana is a brand that’s very famous for its durable, complex systems that can be customized to address various water treatment needs. The EQ-1000-AST model stands out as one of the best water treatment systems from the company as well as on the market.
It’s an innovative whole-house unit that combines an effective water conditioner with an advanced water filter system to provide a comprehensive solution to a broad range of water quality issues.
This system is part of Aquasana’s EQ-1000 series which consists of two other models, the EQ-1000 and EQ-1000-AST-UV. In this review, we look at the EQ-1000-AST model which is our top pick on this list and you are going to see why we consider it as the best whole house water conditioner.
System Design and Performance
The Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000-AST is a water conditioner and a filter system in one unit. It features 4-stages of water treatment which include, a sediment pre-filter, salt-free water conditioner, activated carbon filter, and a post filter.
The EQ-1000 which is the base model of the Aquasana EQ-1000 series is only a filter system without the salt-free water softener. The EQ-1000-AST-UV, on the other hand, is the more advanced model of the series equipped with the water conditioner and filter system plus an extra UV sterilization filter.
#5 – Triple Action PSC1 Water Conditioner
Simplicity is what defines best this Triple Action salt-free water conditioner. However, while it may have a pretty simple design, this unit comes packed with some amazing and unique features that set it apart from the rest. It performs three separate functions within one compact system.
As its name suggests, the Triple Action PSC1 salt-free water softener is a 3-in-1 water treatment system that includes a combination of scale control, water filtration, and iron/bacteria filtration.
The incoming water first goes through the scale control core (Hard Water Bullet) which breaks down calcium carbonate and other hard minerals in the water into aragonite crystals.
These aragonite crystals are a much smaller, softer and harmless form of calcium that can’t build-up limescale like the normal calcium in the water. This unique softening process is the main difference between the Triple Action PSC1 and the other standard salt-free water conditioners on this list. There are no grains involved here.
From the scale control core, the water passes through a polyphosphate capsule that contains about 6 oz of food-grade polyphosphate crystals.
The phosphate dissolves slowly into the water as it passes through the crystals coating the aragonite and hard water minerals and making it impossible for them to precipitate out of water and form limescale build-up. It ties them up and keeps them in suspension.
The conditioned water then goes through the stainless steel 25-micron screen filter and finally through the 2-micron bacteria/iron outer filter which clears out iron as well as intestinal parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia.
With these four stages of water treatment, this unit will be able to give you clean water that’s naturally conditioned plus the treated calcium is not removed in the process.
It’s kept in suspension by the polyphosphate crystals, thereby you get the additional health benefits of having the essential minerals retained in the water. The system can remove water hardness of up to 25 GPG and it can work with either city or private well water.
#6 – Hardness NG Lotus Water Conditioner
The Hardness NG Lotus system closes our top 8 whole house water conditioners list. Featuring an almost similar design and water conditioning process to that of the Triple Action PSC1 model above, this is another unit that guarantees you remarkable results when it comes to preventing scale buildup in water and plumbing systems.
Like the Triple Action PSC1, this system features a 3-stage whole house water treatment concept that ensures clean, safe and healthy water in every outlet of your house.
First, the incoming water goes through the water conditioning cartridge which contains crystals that alter the structure of the hard minerals so that they are unable to create limescale buildup inside the pipes and fixtures.
The conditioner also helps eliminate existing scale deposits in your water plumbing system and there’s no reduction in the essential minerals, it only changes their structure. This unit will basically handle both well and municipal water because it’s designed to withstand extreme water hardness.
The already conditioned water then flows through a stainless-steel mesh filter that captures dust, sediments and other impurities larger than 25 microns.
From there, it goes through the final filtration process which is an extra post filter that further removes any remaining sediment or particle that’s larger than 2-microns.
#7 – LiquaGen Salt-Free Water Conditioner
The LiquaGen salt-free water conditioner is another large capacity system on our list that presents high efficiency as well as great results with regards to descaling and filtering water at home. It’s a combination of a water conditioner with a filtration system which makes it a good choice for those who want a unit that can address more than just water hardness.
Softening and Filtration Capability
This LiquaGen unit comes as a two-stage system consisting of a sediment pre-filter tank and the LiquaGen water conditioner tank.
When installed, the water first goes through the 1st stage tank which features a polypropylene sediment pre-filter that removes dust, rust, silt and other particles present in the water down to 5-microns. This filter is 100% melt-blown polypropylene filtration media which is amongst the best in the market and provides exceptional dirt-holding capacity.
From the sediment pre-filter, the water enters the LiquaGen water conditioner tank which contains a salt-free scale removal media that neutralizes the hardness minerals calcium and magnesium.
Once neutralized, the media further transforms the hardness minerals into a crystallized form hence preventing them from sticking to internal pipes and plumbing as scale deposits. This media is so effective that it can prevent limescale build-up up to 99.6%.
Besides that, the scale deposits already inside your pipes and fixtures will dissolve and detach from the pipes over time thereby enhancing the flow and efficiency of your plumbing system. The conditioner also retains the minerals, so you get healthy water for drinking and other applications.
One of the major impacts of limescale build-up is the reduction of the efficiency of your plumbing system and water heating appliances. By installing a quality and reliable water softening system, you can eliminate and help prevent these problems.
Salt-free water softeners, both water descalers, and water conditioners provide a great alternative option to traditional salt-based systems. They are effective, relatively affordable and reduce the need for expensive salts as well as frequent monitoring and brine washing.
If you have read our reviews above and compared the different options we’ve listed, then we believe you will have little difficulty evaluating and choosing the best salt-free water softener that will meet your needs.
One thing you want to makes sure though is that you take into consideration the water condition in your home before settling on a particular model.