Find Out What All Of Those Water Softener Review Sites Are Not Telling You

By Vicki Katzman

The Internet is a great place to find reviews on just about everything. But as you move up the ladder of expense and complexity of a product it becomes more difficult to determine how accurate or complete the reviews are. In the case of water softeners you can find a lot of reviews that may be accurate, but not always complete.

When you come to a decision on the water softener you want to get there may be details you have to figure out on your own. Most reviews will not mention plumbing design issues like bypass valves or drainage. These are things you need to think about when preparing your home or business for a new softener.

If you're cutting into an existing system you should have some plumbing experience or at least be willing to learn. This is also a point that you won't find in most reviews. You want a bypass setup so you can do maintenance on the system without shutting water off to the house.

The unit I ended up with was a "smart" unit that had a processor built in to keep track of how much water was being used and when to regenerate. The regeneration process is noisy as the unit will flush large amounts of water through the resin bed. Also, soft water is not available to the house during the regeneration process (our unit had an internal bypass so we could still get water) so the ability to schedule what time of day the regeneration process takes place is very handy.

Whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a plumber you will want to make sure you are not making soft water for your sprinkler system. Soft water is not good for plants or grass and would cost you a lot more money to add salt more often. This is usually a pretty easy bypass to set up.

Before you spend the money on the hardware and installation you want to be absolutely sure that hard water is your problem. Usually people decided they need a water softener based on orange stains on fixtures and deposits in the plumbing. If you have these signs, and if your neighbors also have softeners, then it's a pretty safe bet you need one too.

But if you want to be absolutely sure, you can submit your water for testing. Testing kits are usually available from your local hardware store or from online testing labs. This will give you absolute certainty with the added benefit of learning what other contaminants may be in your water. - 29857

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