APEC Water FUTURA-10 Water Conditioner Reviews

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.

Softening Capability

The FUTURA 10 employs a salt-free water softening approach using advanced ceramic media that provides an all-natural solution to scale prevention and reduction.

When water from the main supply line comes into contact with the surface of the media, the minerals that cause hardness, calcium (CaCO3) and magnesium, get attracted and attached to the ceramic granules where they become converted into a crystalline form.

In this crystal stage, the minerals are harmless, neutral and completely stable hence are unable to attach to any surfaces such as pipes. When the crystals become too big in the range of nanometers, they detach from the granules and then get carried away as the water flows through the system.

This advanced ceramic media can remove water hardness by as much as 25 GPG and it will also effectively reduce the existing scale already in your plumbing system and fixtures like water heaters and showerheads.

It will neutralize the hard water properties without removing the minerals which is another benefit if you prefer taking water that contains natural essential minerals like magnesium and calcium. Another advantage is that the catalytic ceramic granules are not consumed during the conversion process, so it can last for a very long period.

There are no additional filtration stages in this FUTURA-10 model but as I mentioned earlier APEC Water Systems has two other options under this category that come with extra filters.

The APEC WH-SOLUTION-MAX10 is one of them and it’s a two-stage whole house water system featuring a catalytic granular activated carbon filtration system in the 1st stage for removing chlorine and other chemical contaminants, and the Futura salt-free water conditioner in the second stage.

The APEC WH-SOLUTION-10 is the other option and the most comprehensive of the three models. It’s a three-stage system featuring a whole house sediment pre-filter in the 1st stage that clears out particles and sediments in the water.

The 2nd stage consists of a catalytic carbon filter that removes common chemical contaminants like chorine while the third and final stage is the Futura salt-free water conditioner.

Therefore, depending on your particular needs and condition of your water, you have the option to choose a water conditioner with filters or without filters.

Capacity

The Futura 10 is perfect for the average family home. It can soften up to 10 gallons of water per minute which is an impressive flow rate, sufficient enough to provide adequate water to an entire home without a drop in pressure.

You can take a shower while running the dishwasher and doing laundry at the same time, yet you won’t experience any drop in pressure. It’s designed to work with up to 3 bathrooms simultaneously.

Installation and Maintenance

Like the AO Smith Water Descaler above, the FUTURA-10 is a single tank system that’s easy to install and would fit anywhere with ease. You just need to connect it to your house’s main water supply line and you are good to go.

The system has no backwash function nor does it require electricity and drainage for wastewater. It’s a maintenance-free unit that you install and let it run. The media will, however, require replacement once every 3 to 5 years.

Overall, the Futura-10 is a robust system and an effective solution for families looking to solely combat limescale in their water. It’s a premium product that’s worth checking out if you are after great quality and performance plus it comes with a long 10 –year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Advanced ceramic media removes hardness of up to 25 GPG
  • Retains the hardness minerals in the water
  • Faster water flow at 10 GPM
  • Robust and very durable construction
  • Installation is a breeze and requires minimum maintenance
  • Comes with a 10-year limited warranty and life-time support

Cons

  • Not ideal for use with well water

Read moreAPEC Water FUTURA-10 Water Conditioner Reviews

AO Smith Salt-Free Water Conditioner Descaler Reviews

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.

Softening Capability

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.

System Capacity

The capacity of this AO Smith water conditioner is as well commendable. The media it uses can reduce scale buildup for up to 600, 000 gallons before requiring replacement.

That’s a pretty high capacity that should guarantee you around 6 years of service depending on the level of hardness of the water coming in your house. If you are a household of 3 to 5 people, this would be a suitable option as you won’t have to worry about changing it out for a long time.

Regarding the water flow rate, the AO Smith descaler is designed to treat a maximum of 7 gallons of water per minute.

For small to medium homes, this rate will do fine as it’s sufficient to run a whole household, but for larger homes with high regular consumption, you may find it a little slow.

Installation and Maintenance

You will break no sweat setting up this unit. It’s a single tank with only two connection points for the inlet pipe and output pipe. Therefore, if you have done some DIY home projects or installed a water filtration system, then you can set this one up without any difficulties.

It’s designed to be installed where your main water supply enters the house to deliver descaled water to all subsequent outlets plus it’s a completely sealed, self-contained unit.

It requires no electricity or draining, hence you can even install it outdoors provided it’s a place that will keep it away from the elements.  

Maintaining this unit is something that won’t give you any headaches too. It’s quite maintenance-free because you just install it and leave it to work. No monitoring required and after the 6 years are up, you replace the entire unit with a new one.

To conclude, this AO Smith Water descaler system is an ideal option for anyone who is primarily looking for a quality and durable salt-free water conditioner without the extra filters. It’s built for nothing else but preventing scale buildup which it does well. If you are on a budget or don’t need an additional filter system, this would be a good investment.

Pros

  • Can handle water hardness levels of up to 25 GPG
  • Beneficial minerals remain in the water
  • Relatively high capacity of up to 600,000 gallons
  • Suitable for households of 3 to 5 people or more
  • A decent water flow rate of up to 7 GPM
  • Simple design for quick and easy DIY installation
  • Requires no maintenance once installed
  • Backed by a limited 6-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with any extra filter media

Read moreAO Smith Salt-Free Water Conditioner Descaler Reviews

Watts Premier OneFlow Water Conditioner Reviews

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.

Softening Capability

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.

Capacity

It is powerful enough to supply up to 4 people households with better water. The conditioner system can process up to 250,000 gallons of water which is approximately 3 years of service for a whole-house unit.

When installed in the right place, the One Flow system has a maximum flow rate of 10 GPM. This rate is enough for a small to medium-sized family, above all, it maintains this flow rate with no slow down rate on the shower and faucet.

Installation and Maintenance

In terms of installation, its compact design and the standard 1-inch NPT inlet/outlet adapters offer quick and simple installation since it does not require access to the electrical outlet or drain. Using a mounting bracket, you can either mount it on the wall or the floor.

However, if you are unsure about installing your OutFlow water conditioner system, it is advised to seek professional plumber. A professional plumber is equipped with the necessary knowledge to install the system correctly to protect the given warranty.

The system is designed for indoor installation, although you can still install it outside with a protective cover.

Once installed and running, the system is virtually maintenance-free. With no salt to monitor or chemicals to replenish, there is no water wastage. Having zero wastewater to drain, it’s a very environment-friendly unit.

The OneFlow high capacity media cartridge requires constant maintenance. It should be replaced after every 3 years of continuous use depending on the number of gallons processed.

On the other hand, carbon filters should be renewed annually. To make the changes simple and quick, the unit features a water pressure relief valve and malfunction tool.

Despite having topmost rated filtration technology, the OutFlow water conditioner system is not ideal for water with high levels of contaminants including iron and hydrogen sulfide.

All in all, OutFlow salt-free scale prevention and water filtration system not only provides a healthy, great-tasting and smelling water but also protects your home appliances. For its efficiency and price, this entire system is hard to beat.

Pros

  • Prevents limescale development and retains beneficial minerals.
  • Reduce chlorine levels for healthy, great-tasting water
  • Sufficient capacity of about 250,000 gallons
  • Little maintenance with easy filter changes
  • Eliminates water spots on cars, shower doors, and dishes
  • Can handle water hardness of up to 75 grains per gallon
  • Eco-friendly with no water wastage

Cons

  • Require skilled professional during installation to engage warranty
  • Not suitable for larger family
  • Not ideal to remove iron and other contaminants

Read moreWatts Premier OneFlow Water Conditioner Reviews

Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Water Conditioner Reviews

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.

Softening Capability

The Aquasana EQ-1000-AST offers an entirely salt-free water treatment process using its Simply Soft descaling system.

Simply Soft descaling system is an innovative and proven SCM (Scale Control Media) softening technology that naturally conditions water without using added sodium.

First, the water from your main supply line goes through a pre-filter that clears out sediments, silt, sand, and rust.

Once filtered, it’s sent through the Aquasana salt-free water conditioner tank where the SCM technology modifies the structure of the minerals that cause water hardness (calcium and magnesium) by transforming them into a crystal structure which inhibits the minerals from bonding and creating scale build-up.

It’s an all-natural and chemical-free approach to preventing scale from forming and at the same time, it also protects your plumping and pipes from corrosion in the long run.

The descaler will also not demineralize your water. The beneficial calcium and magnesium minerals will not be removed, but you will still get the benefits similar to soft water.

In terms of water harness level, this Aquasana descaler can handle water hardness levels of up to 25 GPG. However, it works well at 15 GPG or below. If your water hardness level is above 15GPG, then it may not be that effective.

Filter System Performance

When it comes to the filtration system, the EQ-1000-AST uses a four-stage filtration process that efficiently removes a wide range of common contaminants found in water.

The 1st stage consists of a sediment filter that strips out dust, dirt, rust, silt and any other particle or sediment larger than 5 microns to protect the media in the later filtration stages. From there, the water is sent through the water conditioner tank for descaling.

After the softening process, the now descaled water enters the 2nd stage of the filtration process which takes place in the top tank right after the descaler.

Inside this tank is a combination of a copper-zinc oxidation media (KDF-55 medium) and crushed mineral media which effectively draw out 97% of chlorine in the water, and also reduce scale along with some water-soluble heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

Both media are bacteriostatic too meaning they will prevent bacteria and algae growth within the system. Moreover, they can equally enhance the pH of the water like an alkaline filter in an RO system making it slightly alkaline which is commendable as alkaline water is an antioxidant and considered better for our bodies.

The 3rd stage is an activated carbon filter that sits in the bottom tank below the 2nd stage. The activated carbon media is sourced from coconut shell and it helps in further removal of chlorine alongside other harmful chemical contaminants like VOCs, herbicides, pesticides and industrial solvents.

The 4th and final stage is made up of a 0.35-micron post-filter which is an important if not necessary addition in the system. It’s the finest filter you will find in any conventional whole house water system and ensures no sediment, organic particle or microscopic cysts remains in your water.

With this really impressive filtration process coupled with a reliable descaling technology, the EQ-1000-AST is not only capable of stopping limescale buildup within your plumbing system, but will also give you a cleaner, great-tasting drinking water.

The only thing missing is the UV sterilization filter which is an optional upgrade you can get if your water has high bacterial or microorganism contamination.

However, it’s included in the EQ-1000-AST-UV model and it’s the only feature that differentiates it from this EQ-1000-AST model. It does drive up the price a little bit, but it will destroy up to 99.99% of all microorganisms in your water supply.

System Capacity

Besides the highly-effective water treatment system, the Aquasana EQ-1000-AST offers one of the largest filtration capacity out there for a whole-house unit.

Its descaler system can process up to 1,000,000 gallons of water which translates to about 10 years of service for small to medium-sized families with average water consumption.

What’s more, the multiple stages of the unit don’t have a significant effect on the water flow. The system maintains a maximum flow rate of 7 GPM which is sufficient for small to large homes.

Installation and Maintenance

Installing the EQ-1000-AST is relatively easy, but it will need a bit of plumbing knowledge because it may require doing some little changes on the piping for most houses.

You can do it yourself although it’s not advisable because according to Aquasana, the installation must be done by professional plumper in order to engage the warranty.

Once installed, maintaining this system is pretty simple. There is no backflushing or draining needed. The only maintenance needed is replacing the filters.

The pre-filter, KDF-55 and carbon filter require changing every 3 to 6 months depending on your water quality. The post-filter should last about 12 months while the water conditioner tank will last for 10 years.

In addition, the unit comes with brass fittings and shut-off valves to enable more straightforward and mess-free filter changes. Its unique up-flow dual-tank design also does well to prevent any chances of clogging.

Final Thought

There are no serious drawbacks to worry about with this Aquasana system. You should, however, bear in mind that it will require professional installation so as to engage the maximum 10-years warranty which is the longest we’ve encountered in our reviews.

The other thing is that this system is not ideal for well water treatment due to high levels of iron and other contaminants that require specialized filters like an iron filtration tank and UV sterilization filter.

To sum it all, from our thorough assessment, the Aquasana EQ-1000-AST indeed has all it takes to stand out as the best whole house water conditioner in a crowded market. Its price may fall on the high end, but what you get is one of the most effective and long-lasting units that’s worth every penny.

Pros

  • Stops limescale buildup without removing beneficial minerals
  • It can handle water hardness levels of up to 25 GPG
  • Remarkably effective at reducing chlorine levels
  • Removes a wide range of other common contaminants in water
  • Capable of descaling and filtering water in an entire house
  • Larger capacity of up to 1,000,000 gallons
  • Little maintenance required and easy filter changes
  • Impressive 10-year warranty plus a 3-month money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Requires professional installation to engage warranty
  • Not ideal for use with well water

Read moreAquasana EQ-1000-AST Water Conditioner Reviews