The Best Water Softener 2021
Choosing a water softener can be a hard choice - especially when you're looking at old and dated reviews online. Nowadays, most water softeners are sold through what's called an exclusive dealership. That means that select companies in the UK are given the latest models to distribute at a fixed price.
What Are The Different Water Softener Brands & Models?
There are a several different brands that are well know in the UK including Harvey & Kinetico. But not all models that you find online are the latest models - and older models are ... well... outdated and unreliable.
Beware of Old Models & Systems Sold Online
If you look online you'll find a lot of cheap water softeners that are electric and some single tank. With these products, the chances are you're being ripped off and not getting the best value for money. Today, the newer water softener models are non-electric and fully automated.
When purchasing an electric water softener you should always consider the efficiency and overall running costs of the machine. This includes the amount of electricity, water and salt the system uses.
For example, Kinetico & Harvey are two of the best brands and years ago they were the first to release non- electric systems. Their models have automated smart systems. This means the softener measures your initial soft water usage and then automatically regenerate at the best time.
Electric water softeners, already use more energy just to operate, and they also need to be programmed. Despite making them less reliable, this also also makes them way less efficient. For example, they will always regenerate at a certain time - regardless of whether they actually need to! Not only that, but they also have a much lower capacity and operational pressure - which isn't great if you have more than 1 person using the water in your home at the same time.
What Should You Be Looking For?
When choosing the best water softener you should be looking for:
- A Good Brand: You should invest in a trustworthy and well reviewed brand. There are several - Kinetico or Harvey being the best.
- Non-Electric Vs Electric: You should be looking for a non-electric system. These systems costs less to run, are easier to use and install and they don't required servicing every 2 years.
- The Model: Look for a model made in the last 5 years - older models like the Crown don't have the same efficiency and technology. You should also look for a twin tank system if you have 2 or more bathrooms.
- Flow Rate & Capacity: The flow rate determines how much soft water can be delivered at once. If you live in a home with more than 2 bathrooms and 2 people, you should look for a flow rate over 50L/min.
- Efficiency: Its all good and well purchasing a older water softener for a cheap price ... But if it is less efficient you'll pay more over time for the up keep. It is important to look at how much salt and water the softeners use per regeneration.
- Warranty: Look out for a good warranty. Warranty can often be an indicator on how long the system will last and its quality.
- Size: Make sure you have enough room! Dated and electric softeners are often big and bulky in size.
The Best Water Softener 2021
The Harvey TwinTec Series 4 and the Kinetico Premier Compact are two of the best models you can buy. The S4 has an unrivalled efficiency and flow rate and has a extremely competitive price. For just £200 more than the Crown you'll get a much high flow rate, a high quality resin that lasts longer and the most efficient water softener money can buy. It also comes with a 10 year warranty Vs 5 years. The Kinetico Premier Compact has a similar specification to the Twintec S4 ... however, the quality of Kinetico products is known around the world to be the best. These systems really last the long run and at £1295, you'll be getting a softener that can last 20-30 years.
The S4 is the newest model from Harvey that is highly exclusive to their dealership. That means you can only get it online from limited sources and directly from suppliers.
The price is highly competitive at just £1100 this week only for Black Friday.
Cons: May not be suitable for large families of 6+ people and homes.
This S4 is the smallest water softener made - so great for small spaces. Due to the high flow rate of 56L and pressure of up to 8 bar, this model is great for properties with 3 bathrooms and families of 6-8 people. It's twin tank design allows for a 24/7 supply of soft water and has one of the most efficient regenerations at 11 minutes using 300g of block salt. You'll also find the latest resin technology that is patented and allows for the best ion exchange rate. Meaning you'll have one of the most efficient models on the market.
When it comes to reliability - Kinetico is by far the best brand to by. Their systems really are some of the most tested and robust models that have very few issues and last a long time!
Cons: May not be suitable for large families of 6+ people and homes. Price is higher than other models at £1595 but with the code FRIDAY you can get the system for just £1295 for Black Friday week only.
Kinetico can almost be considered a top designer when it comes to softener brands and you get what you pay for, which in this case - is the best. Although higher in price - it is most certainly worth it when investing in a water softener.
The premier compact is a similar design to the S4, being a twin tank block salt fed system. This product however, can come in two models HE and HF. HF is suited for normal and high pressure systems and HE for specific low pressure systems. It also has a soft water rinse and actually cleans itself with soft water to prolong its life.
If you have a home with more than 4 bathrooms and under 6 bathrooms the best softener for you is the Kinetico Premier Plus!
Cons: Price is higher than other models at £1645.
The Premier Plus is the new and updated version of the Premier Maxi. It is considered a semi commercial and is suitable for a families of 4+ and larger water usages.
If you have a large family and large home the best softener for you is the Premier Maxi!
Cons: No longer made and has been replaced with the Premier Plus.
The maxi is a semi commercial system designed to support large water usage and higher pressures. Like the compact, when it comes to reliability - Kinetico is the top brand to buy from. In fact they have even supplied to Buckingham Palace, Savoy Hotel, NHS Hospitals and Thames Water.
If you're buying a water softener from Kinetico - the chances are it will be a reliable system.
Cons: Small flow rates so only unsuitable for small homes. Could be more efficient. Only comes with a 12 month warranty.
The essentials 8 is a good starter system for small homes or flats. It is a single tank, non electric system that uses tablet salt. The system has a small flow rate of 36L so is made for smaller homes with 1-2 people max. It is however geared for very hard water. It works of tablet salt which is less efficient than the latest block salt models. It takes a longer time to regenerate and also uses more water than most modern systems at 25 litres of water per regeneration.
The Sumo 1 is single tank water softener designed for 1- 2 bathroom small homes or flats.
Cons: Only comes with a 24 month warranty. A single tank means you will loose your soft water supply during regeneration.
This softener is a good reliable model from Kinetico that trumps the Essentials 8. Despite having a similar price this model can support a slightly higher flow rate of 40L. This model is small in size and a single tank non-electric system that uses block salt vs tablet. This means it is more efficient and uses around 100g less salt per regeneration, with a quicker regeneration time. It also has a slightly higher operational pressure, meaning it can support homes that have varied pressure systems.
Installing a Water Softener
If you purchase an installation kit with a water softener, this should give you or a plumber everything you need to carry out the installation. If you aren't familiar with plumbing systems then all you'll need is 1-2 hours of a plumbers time.
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