The best water conditioner to buy in 2020

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WATER CONDITIONER

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Introduction

In my quest to find a 2 in 1 water conditioner, i was impressed by this system beyond doubt.

The Aquasana water system is both a water softener and filter. Since the May 2015, the Aquasana water filter-softener combo has been selling on most online stores with an average customer rating of 3.7 stars to date (09/01/2019).

This low maintenance water conditioner is useful if your water hardness level is 25 GPG and below .This is a whole house system that ensures that you get conditioned water for cooking,washing and bathing for about 10 years

How it works

This water conditioner uses a technology called SCM, an abbreviation standing for Scale Control Media. This technology alters the structure of water hardening ions (Calcium and Magnesium) into inactive microscopic crystals that are easily washed down the drain.

The crystal structure of the altered minerals prevents them from binding together and forming lime scale . These are the stages involved in the water filtration and softening:

  1. Water from the main line passes through the sediment pre-filter first .At this stage silt ,sediments and rust are removed from your water
  2. Water passes through the salt free softener .At this stage, the system uses a technology called Scale Control Media described above
  3. At this stage Copper-Zinc & Mineral stone reduces chlorine ,water soluble metals and scale significantly .At this stage again, the system inhibits algae and bacteria growth
  4. It’s at this particular stage when the activated carbon filter reduces pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that may be present in water
  5. This is the final stage that the Aquasana water filter-softener (professional kit option) does to produce ‘soft’ and clean water. Using the sub-micron post -filter  ,small sediments which could not have been grabbed by the pre-filter are  filtered.The organic particles which could not be trapped by the Copper-Zinc &Mineral stone are then reduced down to 0.35 microns
  6. If you decide to buy the most expensive UV filter option of this system, then the last stage is the UV filtration stage. The UV filter confers an added protection against bacteria and viruses that may have been resistant enough to survive all the rigorous stages above(Stages 1-5).Almost 99% of disease causing micro-organisms like E-coli(it causes diarrhea) are killed. If you have some more dollars to spend on a complete 10 year water conditioner, we highly recommend the UV filter option (This includes a filter, softener, professional installation kit and the UV filter).You can buy it on Amazon here

Specifications

  • Weighs 41.7 pounds or approximately 19 KG. This might be a disadvantage for those with carrying problems like back pain. If you have back pain ,you might need to seek help from someone who can assist you to carry it. You can rather engage a professional plumber
  • Sub-Micron Post-Filter. This filter ensures that you have an added layer of protection from microscopic cysts and other microorganisms.
  • The brass fittings makes it so easy to install and maintain the water conditioner over time

Pros

  • It is a whole house water conditioning system
  • Great tasting water. This system removes up to 97 % chlorine from your chlorine treated city water .Removing chlorine makes your water have that  great natural taste. Unlike salt based water softeners, this system does not remove the naturally occurring minerals (magnesium and calcium) from your water .
  • Removes contaminants .This unit reduces the content of pesticides, lead and mercury from your water .When  reduced significantly ,lead and mercury cannot cause harm to your body. According to Greenfacts, if consumed in large quantities, mercury can cause a lot of health problems which include emotional instability, headaches as well as memory loss among other conditions. On the other hand, if consumed in large quantities and for an extended period of time, lead can have fatal effects on the human body.According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , lead can cause a lot of conditions which include anemia, general body weakness as well as brain damage. So by getting this unit, you save yourself from so many conditions listed above
  • Breathe healthier air. Chlorine and other volatile chemicals (VOCs) can evaporate in shower steam and get inhaled. Inhalation of harmful amount of chlorine has been proven to cause irritation of the skin, eyes and throat. So by getting this system, you will start inhaling more cleaner and healthier air in your house than ever before
  • Healthier looking skin. As your exposure to chlorine is drastically reduced, the damaged parts of your skin will start healing .Your skin becomes moisturized as the dryness disappear
  • Save water. Unlike the salt based system which waste water by draining and back flushing ,this system does not do any draining .Neither does it do any back flushing whatsoever
  • Quicker cooking times. Conditioned water tends to boil faster than regular water thereby shortening your cooking time. If the time you use your appliances is shorter, the lifespan will be increased as well
  • Easy to maintain .You don’t need to add bags of salt from time to time as with salt based water conditioners .This system does not require drainage for waste water. There is no need for backwash.
  • Environmentally friendly. This system does not use any chemicals to soften water. Chemicals like sodium chloride which is the one used by salt based water conditioners has been proven to cause death of aquatic life if it gets washed into rivers and streams. It is also safe for septic tanks. Unlike salt based water softeners that discharge salty water into septic tanks, this system does not discharge salty water at all. Salt kills the bacteria that are necessary for the decomposition of waste material in septic tanks.
  • Long lasting plumbing and appliances. This system prevents scale build up. Scale corrodes the inside of your plumbing and water- using appliances like dish washers, water heaters etc.
  • Does not use electricity .You can even use it in the countryside where there is no connection to the grid
  • Ease of use. The way the long lasting tanks and filters are designed is such that replacement becomes quick and easy.
  • It reduces harmful contaminants like lead and mercury. Many scientists across the globe have agreed that high intake of lead and mercury can cause serious harm to the human body. Mercury can cause harm to the brain, kidney as well as the immune system regardless of age.
  • Saves money. This system saves you money because there is no need to buy filtered water bottles

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky. This system weighs about 41 pounds and measures 9 x 46 x 54 inches.You definitely need a big house with a basement to connect this system. If you have a small house, you can alternatively build a small shade outside to house this system
  • Does not lower hard water minerals. The calcium and magnesium are not eliminated from your water but are simply altered so they won’t adhere to each other to form scales .So you will notice that lathering of soaps won’t improve as some prospective customers might anticipate, this is because magnesium and calcium are still present in your water

Ideal for

  • As the flow rate is 7 Gallons per Minute(GPM), this system is ideal for 2-4 people and not more than 2 bathrooms.
  • To get a rough idea on how we got to these figures, analyse the table below which has been proposed by experts in the water systems industry :
Number of residents 1-2 bathrooms 4-5 bathrooms
2-4 residents 7 Gallons per minute 14 gallons per minute
5-6 residents 10 Gallons per minute 18 gallons per minute
7-8 residents 10 Gallons per minute 18 gallons per minute
9-10 12 Gallons per minute 20 gallons per minute

This table above is for illustration purposes only, just for you to have an educated guess at how many people and bathrooms can be serviced by this 7GPM water conditioner

  • For those on low salt diet. Unlike salt based water softeners, this system does not use salt to soften water. Salt has been proven to exacerbate various heart conditions including heart failure. Most cardiac patients are encouraged to take very low amounts of salt for the good of their cardiac health
  • Works best when your water hardness levels are not more than 25 GPG .If your water hardness level is more than 25 GPG, it’s better to get yourself a traditional salt based water softener .So it’s wise to get your water hardness levels tested before buying this system
  • Municipal and city water. This water conditioner might not produce pleasant results if used to condition well water .Well water normally has hardness levels which are way above 25 GPG.

Features

  • High performance system. The system can filter and produce up to 1 million gallons of conditioned water before replacement of the tank is necessary. So this might take around 10 years to produce the 1 million gallons although this is subject to your consumption.
  • Can work under temperatures ranging between 40-90 degrees_Fahrenheit
  • Dual tank design is meant to increase water contact time with the media that traps contaminants
  • It’s a 2 in 1 combo system. This system is both a water softener and filter
  • It comes with a 20 inch pre-filter .The 20 inch pre-filter lasts about 2 times longer than a standard 10 inch filter

Special instructions

  • You should note that this system might ship in more than one box and there is a possibility of the boxes arriving separately
  • This system has got a unique serial number that identifies it.If the order goes missing; Amazon will go ahead and register the serial number with the theft and loss databases. Registering with these databases ensures that the unit is not resold or used for fraudulent purposes
  • PEX tubing is not included with this unit
  • On average, most people replace the filter after about 6 months. You might need to change the filter earlier than this if you have 3 or more bathrooms. An earthy and mossy smell coming out of your filtered water is a clear indication that the filter needs a replacement.
  • Put shut off valves right before and after the filters. This makes it easy to change the filters when the need arises.
  • The white pre filter should be changed after 3-6 months on average with city water. This depends a lot on your water quality and use. Some users have actually reported changing their pre-filters after 1 month of use with well water. These statistics are based on an average family of 4 members and 2 bathrooms
  • The main(blue) cartridge should be changed whenever you hit 1 million gallons since the last filter replacement .When you receive this system from Amazon or before you change .a cartridge ,write down your meter count  so you can tell when it’s time to replace the main cartridge
  • You have to buy your own PEX tubing as this is not included with the purchase of this water conditioning system
  • The Installation kit that comes with the water conditioner is for 0.75 inch pipe fittings.
  • If you want to install it outside, please consult with a professional plumber for an appropriate UV resistant PEX
  • Before you install the water softener,make sure you read this piece of advice
  • If you envy the UV filter but do not have the money to buy the complete UV water conditioner, you can still buy the UV filter later and install it to your Aquasana water conditioning system.

Final Verdict

This is a high end water conditioner that I personally envy. Some of the most important factors that make me drool for this system include its completeness (filter + softener) as well as its maintenance free feature.

If you are a family of 2-4, this is an ideal water conditioning system that does its job very well. If your municipal or city water has a hardness level of not more than 25 GPG, this system will provide you with super clean water that is ‘soft’ as well.If your water hardness levels are above 25 GPG , a salt based water softener like the Pentair 5600SXT is highly recommended

Although the UV option of this water system is pricier than the other options, it is the best option if you know or suspect that your municipal water is infested with bacteria.

Just like any other product, this system also has its own disadvantages. The main downside of this system is that it is bulky and needs a bigger space to set it up. This might not be ideal for small apartment owners because of space issues.You can still make a shade for it outside if you live in a small apartment .

In a nutshell, I highly recommend this system to anyone who needs very clean and natural water for the whole house.

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