The Best Water Softener - Water Softener Reviews

When it comes to purchasing the best water softener, the different types available can make for an overwhelming decision. It's important to buy accredited water softener brands to ensure you have a tried and tested product. To help you make the best decision we've reviewed 4 of the best softeners on the market today from two of the best softener brands: Harvey & Kinetico.

When water softeners were first developed the top choice was electric, single tank systems. Today however, single tank electric water softeners are considered uneconomical and bad value for money. The latest and most advanced water softeners are twin tank and non electric.

Harvey Vs Kinetico Water Softeners - Water Softener Reviews

Kinetico and Harvey are considered the two biggest competitors when it comes to water softeners – with both companies providing high technology and guaranteed quality. 

1. The Harvey TwinTec S3

★★★★★

harvey twintec s3

 

Who Is the S3 Designed for?

  • The s3 is designed for homes with 2-3 bathrooms and up to 6 people.
  • It perfect for kitchens with limited space.
  • Ideal for people searching for something easy to maintain.
  • People looking for a constant supply of water without the use of electricity.

 General Specification

Type of System: A Twin tank chamber, non-electric system that uses block for regenration. Consisting of two cylinders, salt chamber and a brine tank.

Dimensions: 49cm high and 20.5cm wide with a depth of 44cm.

Efficiency: regeneration using 17L in just 10 minutes.

Warranty: 5 years parts.

Min/Max Flow Rate: 5L/h 65L/min.

Min/Max Pressure: 1/8bar.

 

Why 5 Stars?

The Harvey Twintec S3 is the previous model released by Harvey Water Softener company. Described as the world’s smallest twink tank water softener, this water softener is a top of the range but compact solution to hard water. Despite being small in size, the S3 is highly efficient, ensuring you get the most for your money. It uses a non electric system to provide soft water 24/7 and a highly accurate displacement meter to accurately measure your water usage.

The main drawback of the S3 is that it tends to work best with low pressure systems and may not be well suited for larger homes or homes using a high-pressure system. In larger homes, there is likely to be a small pressure drop of around 1 bar per 30L. This is usually fine for most average homes and is the equivalent to running a shower at the same time as running kitchen taps and using the toilet flush. Another drawback is the adjustable brine valve. Although this is considered a pro of the S3, the setting itself is set at a factory default setting. It is recommended the valve is set by a professional and can be frustrating to get right when adjusting yourself.

 

Pros & Key Features 

 Cons & Downfalls:

Small & Compact: its small and compact design allows it to fit easily under your kitchen sink. 

An Automatic System: a non-electric system means no timers or manual settings so the softener is exceptionally low maintenance.

Accurate Water Measurement: this twintec model uses an advanced and patented displacement meter. This allows the softener to measure water usage very accurately – down to measuring two drips per second.

Adjustable Brine Valve: allows for fine-tuning to your water hardness level to alter the salt used per regeneration – saving you salt and money.

Fast & Efficient Regeneration: the regeneration of the S3 occurs in just 10 minutes, requiring only 17L.

Softened Water 24/7: the 2 cylinders means you will receive softened water 24/7.

Great for Low Pressure Systems: works with very low-pressure systems.

Independently certified: examined and tested by the water regulations advisory scheme.

Exclusive Dealership: this softener is sold through an exclusive dealer network, meaning they are harder to find - especially online. We supply the S3 and can disclose a price quote by enquiry only.

Only Suited for Homes with a Low-Pressure Flow: not as beneficial for homes with high flow systems or large homes.

Pressure Drops: in larger homes the S3 can cause a pressure drop of 1 bar at 30 litres of water per minute (suitable for the majority of homes but not all).

An Adjustable Brine Valve: the fine-tuning can be frustrating if not carried out correctly and by a professional.

 

GO TO WATER SOFTENER PRODUCT PAGE

 

2. The Kinetico Premier Compact

★★★★★

kinetico premier compact water softener

Who Is the Premier Compact For?

  • This Kinetico model is perfect for properties with 2-3 bathrooms and up to 6 people.
  • It is a good fit for homes with limited space.
  • For people looking for something easy to maintain and long lasting.
  • For individuals requiring a constant supply of water without electricity.

 General Specification

Type of System: Twin tank, non-electric, block salt fed system. Consists of two cylinders, salt chamber and a brine tank.

Dimensions: 49.8cm by 21.9cm x 46.8cm

Efficiency: The compact uses 20.5L of water to regenerate in just 11m

Warranty: 10 Years

Min/Max Flow Rate: in low pressure systems 0.25l/min - 41 l/min. In High Flow systems 1l/min - 51l/min.

Min/Max Pressure: 1-6 bar

Salt Usage: 340g

 

Why 5 Stars?

Kinetico are the world’s leaders in water softeners and renowned for their high quality and robustly tested machines. They originally designed the twin tank water softener over 45 years ago and have installed their products in places such as Buckingham Palace, Savoy Hotel, NHS Hospitals and Thames Water. The Premier Compact is the S3’s direct rival and for good reason.

Similar to the S3, this model is again a twin tank, non-electric, block salt fed system, making it free from any timers & controls and also saving any worry about higher monthly electricity bills.

Again small in size, this product can fit easily under most sinks but packs in amazing durability and efficiency. With any Kinetico softeners trust and quality really is guaranteed. Not only does this machine come with a 10-year warranty, it also has a third part certification to verify its efficiency.

Unlike the S3, the Compact has its own soft water rinse – meaning that this machine cleans itself using soft water. This is thought to prolong the life of the machine and prevent limescale inside. It also uses an accurate metering system that has a watch-like precision to help you stop over producing soft water. The regeneration itself is designed to be more economical by regenerating the resin beads from the bottom up – saving salt and water. The compact also has the option for two different settings HE which is designed to work with low pressure systems/gravity fed systems and a HF setting which works with high flow systems.

Drawbacks of the premier compact are that it uses slightly more water within the regeneration process and a 40g more salt. However, these amounts are minor and Kinetico have used their softeners to calculate a predicted £400 a month saving on household bills. 

Pros & Key Features

Cons & Downfalls:

Small & Compact Size: to easily fit under your kitchen sink.

Twin Tank Design: to ensure an uninterrupted supply of soft water 24/7.

Non-Electric & Automatic: no higher energy bills, no timers or controls needed. A non-electronic softener is super easy to use and needs fewer repairs.

A 10-year Warranty: even with more external testing the compact comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts Vs only 5 years for the S3.

Third Party Certification & Externally Accredited: Kinetico are renowned for their high quality and trustworthy machines that go through robust processes of testing including external accreditation to verify efficiency.

Uses Its Own Soft Water Rinse: The Premier Compact cleans itself using soft water, protecting the machine and prolonging the lifetime.

Metered Regeneration: uses accurate meters to prevent over producing soft water. They determine the best time to regenerate based on your water usage, meaning less waste and more savings. It also means when you go on holiday you won’t have to do a thing – when you are not using water the softener knows not to regenerate.

Efficient Regeneration: the regeneration process occurs in just 11 minutes and regenerate the resin beads from the bottom up to use less salt use and less water.

EMax Technology: Unique and patented twin-tank design to give you and your home the ultimate in limescale prevention 24 hours a day.

Economical to Use: and low salt consumption.

QuietDrive: designed to make your soft water production as quite as possible.


Available Online: you can buy a Premier Compact (without installation) online directly from us for £1395.

Lower Operating Pressure: the max operating pressure of the compact is 6 bar which may not be suitable for homes with a higher pressure. Most homes operate with a water pressure set around 3-4 bar which allows showers and taps to work efficiently. But for larger homes with a larger operating pressure the softener would need to be fitted with a pressure reducing valve.

 GO TO WATER SOFTENER PRODUCT PAGE

 

3. The Harvey TwinTec S4

★★★★★

the harvey twintec s4

Who Is the S4 Designed for?

  • The S4 is perfect for properties with 3 bathrooms and families of 6-8 people.
  • It is a great choice for kitchens with limited space.
  • For people looking for something easy to maintain without the use of electricity.

General Specification

 General Specification

Type of System: A Twin tank, non-electric system which uses block salt regeneration. Consists of two cylinders, salt chamber and a brine tank.

Dimensions: 490mm high and 205mm wide with a depth of 440mm.

Efficiency: regeneration using 17L of water in 11 mins.

Warranty: 10 years parts.

Min/Max Flow Rate: 5L/hour 56L/min

Min/Max Pressure: 1-10bar

Salt Usage: 300g per regeneration

 

Why 5 Stars?

The TwinTec series 4 is the latest model of water softener from Harveys and an upgrade of the S3. With the same dimensions, you can expect the same small and compact size but a greater capacity and efficiency. Improvements on the S3 include a lower salt usage, to save you money on salt and a greater max pressure. This TwinTec product has been tried and tested for maximum durability & reliability and provides a maximum flow rate of 56 litres per minute. This ensures power showers and mega flows water systems are no problem.

This system contains smart shuttle metering, which is designed to adapt to all different types of heating and water systems. For example, this includes tanks in the loft, combination boilers and high flow hot water cylinders. The resin used in the S4 is patented and consists of a unique ultra-fine exchange resin. A High tech resin and twin cylinder design, ensures maximum operational efficiency and high flow rate ion exchange.

The downfall of the S4 is it is more expensive than the S3 - although with improvements to justify this. Another drawback is the adjustable brine valve. If set by a professional, this feature can increase efficiency and save money. However for the do-it-yourselfers this is factory set and has a label that says, "Factory Set, do not adjust".

Pros & Key Features:

 Cons & Downfalls:

Small & Compact Size: this softener has great dimensions and is the smallest twin tank softener in the world. It fits easily underneath most kitchen sinks.

Twin Tank Design: uses two chambers separately to deliver soft water 24/7.

Non-Electric & Automatic: the system requires no timers or controls needed.

A 10-year Warranty: the S4 has a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts.

A Patented Metering System: provides an accurate measurement of water usage.

A Nano Technology Ultra Fine Resin: the patented resin consists of ultra-fine resin beads to generate a higher flow rate and greater exchange capacity. This ensures maximum operational efficiency.

Smart Shuttle Metering for Pressure Adaptations: a smart shuttle meter means the S4 can adapt to different pressure systems including gravity fed systems, tanks in the loft, combination boilers and high flow unvented hot water cylinders.

High Flow Rate: a max flow rate of 56 litres per minute.

Great Efficiency: one of the most efficient systems in terms of regeneration that uses only 300g of salt per regeneration which requires only 17L of water and takes just 11 minutes.

Tried & Tested Durability: Harvey softeners are tested for maximum durability.

Adjustable Brine Valve: this feature is meant to allow you to set your water softener to match your water hardness. However, this is factory set and has a label that says, "Factory Set, do not adjust" so is best left to the professionals.

Exclusive Dealership: the S4 can be pricey and difficult to find, this softener is sold through an exclusive dealer network. We supply & sell the S4 and can disclose a price quote by enquiry only or phone call only.


GO TO WATER SOFTENER PRODUCT PAGE

 

4. The Kinetico Premier Maxi

★★★★★
the kinetico premier maxi water softener

Who Is the Premier Maxi For?

  • Unlike the S3 and Premier compact this semi-commercial water softener is ideal for households with 4+ bathrooms and up to 8 people. It can also be used for small businesses!
  • It is a good fit for homes with a larger amount of space and families that use more water.
  • For people looking for something easy to maintain and long lasting. For individuals requiring a constant supply of water without electricity.
  • For those with a high budget.

 General Specification

Type of System: Twin tank, non-electric, block salt fed system. Consists of two cylinders, salt chamber and a brine tank.

Dimensions: 29cm x 68.9cm x 69.1xm

Efficiency: regeneration in 11 minutes requiring 34 litres.

Warranty: 10 years

Min/Max Flow Rate: 1 l/min -57 l/m

Min/Max Pressure: 1- 8.3bar

Salt Usage: 500g

Why 5 Stars?

The Kinetico Premier Maxi is unlike most other water softener. It is a semi-commercial water softener which means its larger in size but has a much greater capacity. Because of its larger capacity, flow rate and operational pressure, if you live in a large home & have a large family with high water usage the premier maxi is a great choice. It is economical with a low salt consumption and regenerates again in just 11 minutes. Not only that but you will also get a brilliant warranty, on top of a world class quality water softener system to last. Unlike many other softeners on the market, this model is perfect for mega flow and combi boilers and ideal for 28mm pipework. This means it can really cope with higher flow rates.

Pros & Key Features:

Cons & Downfalls:

Large Capacity: suitable for large homes.

Dual Tank Design: for soft water 24/7.

Non-Electric & Automatic: the non-electric design means lower energy bills and that the machine itself is less likely to need any maintenance or repairs.

Higher Flow Rate & Operational Pressure: perfect for if you live in a large home & have a large family with high water usage.

Works Well with Higher Pressure Systems: suited for mega flow and combi boilers and can cope with larger flow rates.

A 10-year Warranty: even with more testing and a guaranteed quality the compact comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty for parts.

Third Party Certification & Externally Accredited: Kinetico are renowned for high quality robust testing including external accreditation.

Uses Its Own Soft Water Rinse: like the compact the maxi cleans itself using soft water.

Metered Regeneration: helps prevent over producing soft water and determines the best time to regenerate.


Efficient Regeneration: despite its large size the regeneration process occurs in just 11 minutes.

EMax Technology and QuietDrive: a patented twin-tank design delivers uninterrupted soft water and QuietDrive, so you will not be disturbed.


Economical to Use: and low salt consumption.


Available Online Now: you can buy a Premier Compact (without installation) online directly from us at the cheapest price for only £1645.

Price Point: The Premier Maxi is a great price for large homes and families but if you have a smaller home or are on a budget the high price point of this Kinetico softener may not be suitable for you.


GO TO WATER SOFTENER PRODUCT PAGE

Summary: Harvey or Kinetico?

When it comes to choosing the best system - there is no doubt that a non-electric and twin tank system is best. When it comes to deciding between Harvey and Kinetico - well that's a tough decision, with both companies delivering quality products. The Harvey softeners are super efficient on water and salt, however, Kinetico have world renowned quality and provide a range of systems for different homes.

Ultimately the decision depends on your price point, pressure in your home water system, size of your home and water usage.

If you have a tight budget and own a small - average sized home, the premier compact is a great and cost effective choice. 

However if you have a higher pressure system - the Harvey S4 is a great model which is compact in size but can handle fluctuations in pressure.

If your home is larger and you use a lot of water - the premier maxi is the water softener for you.

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