Families relying on traditional wells for their water needs will want only the best water softener for well water. Unlike municipal or city water, well water might contain more than limescale-forming calcium, magnesium, and carbonate ions. Iron, sulfur, microorganisms, and other substances might also be present.
That is why water softening systems for well water have a robust design to prevent limescale and rust formation while improving overall water quality. Unfortunately, picking the right well water softening device can be confusing if one is clueless about the things to consider, such as the three following factors.
- Type: The water softener type a buyer chooses depends on the household’s needs. A traditional salt-based water softener is suitable in many cases, but more crucially in situations where the primary concern is limescale formation. Well water with high iron and sulfur content might require a dedicated iron filter.
- Iron and Sulfur Removal: Some households have issues with high iron and sulfur concentrations in their well water. That is why it would be best to consider the water softener’s iron and sulfur removal capabilities, expressed in parts per million (ppm). In general, a product with a higher ppm rating is better.
- Softening Capacity: Products have varying water softening capabilities. Ideally, one should pick a water softener with a higher GPG or ppm (mg/L) rating. For example, a 50,000-grain unit is better than a 40,000-grain water softener. Likewise, a product that removes 10 ppm of iron is a wiser choice than an 8-ppm device.
Prospective buyers of water softeners for well water might also want to consider other factors. This article will describe and discuss these attributes in the following review of the top-tier water softeners for well water and the succeeding buying guide.
|Warranty||up to 10 Years|
AFWFilters Iron Pro 2
Table of Contents
- 11 Top-rated Water Softener for Well Water Reviews
- 1. Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series Water Softener
- 2. Aquasure AS-HS64D Harmony Series Whole House Water Softener
- 3. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener Iron Filter Combo
- 4. Aquasana Rhino EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST Well Water System
- 5. AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT Air Injection Water Filter
- 6. DuraWater IRON EATER Air Injection Water Filter
- 7. Whirlpool WHES40E Water Softener
- 8. Pentair WS48-56SXT10 Water Softener
- 9. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter
- 10. Tier1 Everyday Series Digital Whole House Water Softener
- 11. SpringWell Salt-free Water Softener and Filter
- What to Look for When Buying Water Softeners for Well Water
- Do You Need a Special Water Softener for Well Water
- What Is the Best Way to Soften Well Water
- How Much Does a Water Softener for Well Water Cost
11 Top-rated Water Softener for Well Water Reviews
1. Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series Water Softener
A two-member household might find the Whirlpool WHES40E’s water softening capacity too high. In that case, the Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series is a wise choice. This water softener has a similar design, technology, and performance compared to the higher-capacity variant.
This product’s 31,000-grain capacity is sufficient for a small family. It does an excellent job of removing scale-forming minerals, extending the lifespan of water fixtures and appliances. Bath times are also more pleasant, allowing soaps and shampoos to form a rich lather. People will also feel smoother and silkier skin.
If one also considers its 120-GPG maximum water hardness rating, this water softener stands out. It should work with almost any home, regardless of their water source and water hardness level.
Scale buildup is not the only concern this water softener addresses. It also manages iron levels in well water. While its iron-reduction capability is lower than the WHES40 (10 ppm), its 3-ppm limit is commendable. Folks will not have issues with rusty pipes and faucets again.
I also like its automated regeneration requirements technology. There is no guessing how much water softener salt for well water one must buy to recharge the system because the appliance already displays the information. Best of all, it requires 25% less salt than traditional salt-based softeners.
- 31,000-grain capacity, perfect for 2 people
- Lengthens life spans of appliances, produces better soap lather, and softens skin
- Removes 3 ppm iron
- 25% less salt regeneration requirement (salt quantity is calculated by softener)
- 120 GPG water softening capacity
- A bit bulky and hefty
- Not for sulfur elimination
2. Aquasure AS-HS64D Harmony Series Whole House Water Softener
Families can say goodbye to limescale in their plumbing system, sinks, and other surfaces with the Aquasure AS-HS64D Harmony Series Whole House Water Softening System. This salt-based water softener has sufficient water softening capacity to serve a household of four to five.
As a dedicated salt-based water softening system for well water, this product can accommodate 64,000 grains of calcium and magnesium carbonates before recharging. Suppose the well water contains 25 GPG of hardness minerals, and the family consumes 300 gallons daily. In that case, the household can use this product for at least eight days before regeneration.
Recharging the system is also straightforward because of its one-button regeneration. Maintaining it is as breezy as operating the device. I love the Aquatrol digital flow control valve, which the company designed after the Fleck system. The advantage of this is that people will not have issues looking for spare parts.
The digital control head is also customizable. Although it works on-demand, one can program the controller to suit the family’s water softening needs.
This product also comes preloaded with a premium-quality resin. With proper care, families can extend the resin’s lifespan to 15 years. That is good news for budget-conscious people, giving them excellent value for their money. If that is not enough, the product’s five-year warranty should put families at ease.
- 64,000-grain capacity, suitable for families with 5 people
- Aquatrol advanced and customizable digital control valve
- Preloaded with premium-quality resin bed that can last up 15 years
- Effortless regeneration and maintenance
- 5-year warranty
- Not for well water with high sulfur and chloramine levels
- Heavy at 149 pounds
3. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Water Softener Iron Filter Combo
The principal concern with a dedicated water softener is its inability to remove big amounts of iron, sulfur, manganese, and other heavy metals. By default, water softeners replace calcium and magnesium with either sodium or potassium. Hence, there will be nothing left to dislodge ferrous compounds and sulfates in the water.
That is why I like the Iron Pro 2 water softener system for well water. People can look at it as the perfect marriage between a salt-based water softener and the AIS10-25SXT, since it uses salt and a digital control valve. It is an ingenious system that many families with well water should consider.
I like this system’s 64,000-grain capacity. Suppose a family of five consumes 400 gallons every day, and they have 5 GPG water hardness. In that case, this family can expect to use the water softener and iron filter combination for at least 32 days.
If various forms of iron are the household’s concern, this system works like a charm, too. It can remove up to 6 ppm of iron, manganese, and other heavy metals in the well water. Its action reduces corrosion or rust formation while minimizing sand and sediment buildup in water fixtures and plumbing.
Since it is a combination product, I find its price reasonable. Families will love the value they get from this well water softening appliance.
- Combination of water softener and iron filter
- Has a high capacity (64,000 grains)
- Eliminates 6 mg/L (6 ppm) of iron and manganese
- Reduces rust, sand, and sediment
- Great value for money
- Tricky installation without the correct fittings
4. Aquasana Rhino EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST Well Water System
The Aquasana Rhino EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST is a comprehensive water conditioning system for well water suitable for families with modest limescale, corrosion, microbial, and contaminant issues. This product is not only a water conditioner but also a water filtration system for the modern family.
I admire this water filtration system’s five-part design. Its first stage removes sediment, silt, dirt, and other large objects from the well water. The water then goes to the kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) media to eliminate heavy metals, VOCs, and other water contaminants. The third element features a carbon filter for improving the water’s aesthetic properties.
There is also a post-filter forming this product’s fourth stage, further improving the water quality. Then, the last component kills disease-causing microorganisms by subjecting them to UV light. The result is water that is not only safe to drink but also smells and tastes great.
I love its 500,000-gallon capacity. Households with 500-gallon daily water usage can expect to use this system for at least three years. While its real-world performance might be shorter than three years, families can feel confident about the product’s warranty.
Installation is more straightforward than it seems because of the Pro Install Kit included with the package. However, I strongly advise getting an expert to set the system up if one does not mind spending a few hundred dollars more.
- 5-stage water treatment and purification system
- Improves overall quality of the well water, including its taste and smell
- 500,000-gallon capacity
- Pro Install kit included
- Comes with a warranty
- Professional installation recommended
- Not for TDS reduction
5. AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT Air Injection Water Filter
The AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT is the perfect solution for households with high iron, manganese, and sulfur concentrations in their well water. It features a revolutionary technology that outclasses conventional iron filters.
I love this system’s ingenious Silver-10 air injection technology, a class above traditional water softeners with oxidizing tanks. This water softener for well water with iron and sulfur uses a purpose-built piston to create a pressurized air bubble in the tank. The piston forces iron, sulfur, manganese, and other heavy metals towards the air bubble, promoting oxidation.
At the tank’s bottom is a high-efficiency trapping medium that collects oxidized minerals, freeing the water from these substances. I am also happy to report that the medium does not cost a fortune to replace – good news for budget-conscious families.
I am glad this product can handle well water iron concentrations up to 10 ppm and magnesium levels of 2 ppm.
Replenishing the air bubble is also a cinch because the 25SXT controller automatically backwashes the tank and replaces the air bubble. The overall design not only improves water softening but also makes maintenance effortless.
Doubters will be happy to note this product comes with a WQA certification, proof of the iron filter’s quality construction and safety.
- Advanced Silver-10 air injection oxidizing technology
- Removes 10 ppm iron, 2 ppm manganese, sulfur, and other minerals
- Low-cost, high-efficiency iron-trapping component
- Minimal maintenance requirements
- WQA certification
- Does not remove calcium
- Costs more than standard products
6. DuraWater IRON EATER Air Injection Water Filter
Households with an existing water softener for well water with rust and rotten egg smell issues should install the DuraWater IRON EATER before their water softening system. This device is similar to the AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT, except with a higher iron and sulfur removal capability.
I love this device’s filtration media, capturing iron, sulfur, and manganese as they pass through an air pocket at the tank’s top. The vacuum-like mechanism draws water contaminants down a central tube after exposing them to the filter to trap.
Unlike other iron filters that can only accommodate so-so ferrous and ferric levels, this product can handle iron concentrations up to 12 ppm or 0.7 grains per gallon. Its sulfur-removing property is also noteworthy, eliminating 10 mg of sulfur per liter of well water. It can also remove up to 2 ppm of manganese.
Families will never worry about the rotten egg smell in their water or the rusty stains in the sink or bathroom tiles. Drinking and cooking will be more pleasant while extending water appliances and fixtures’ lifespan.
Controlling the system is a breeze because of the product’s dependable Fleck 5600SXT digital control valve.
The best part is this product is about two times less expensive than the AIS10-25SXT, making it an exceptional buy.
- Filtration media that work well with a softener
- Digitally-controlled oxidizing mechanism
- Removes more iron (12 ppm) and sulfur (10 ppm) than other brands
- Costs 50% less than a leading product
- Additional installation hardware might be necessary
7. Whirlpool WHES40E Water Softener
There are many reasons the Whirlpool WHES40E is one of the top rated water softeners for well water on the market. It is a well-thought-out system designed to eliminate many water hardness minerals from well water, ensuring the family retains their water appliances’ optimum function and enjoys the benefits of soft water.
While this product only has a 40,000-grain capacity, it is sufficient for a family of three. A household can consume 4000 gallons of water every day, and this system will work for at least ten days. Moreover, I must emphasize its 125-GPG maximum water softening capacity. Most products I know cannot handle 25 GPG, underscoring this model’s unparalleled performance.
I also admire its ability to reduce ferrous iron levels. Well water with high iron concentrations (<11 ppm) is no match for this water softener. Never again will people worry about rusty pipes and water appliances. Families will appreciate this water softener’s impact on their water heaters and washing machines’ extended lifespan. It also has NSF’s backing to prove its quality build and safety.
Operating this product is less complicated than using other water softeners I know. The touch controls are responsive, and the display is large enough for viewing water softening parameters. Its regeneration requirements are spot-on, automatically calculating the necessary salt and water quantities.
- 40,000-grain capacity, removes calcium, magnesium and protects appliances
- 125 GPG rating
- Removes 10 ppm of iron
- Fully automated regeneration with responsive controls and large display
- NSF certified
- Not for sulfur and manganese removal
8. Pentair WS48-56SXT10 Water Softener
The Pentair WS48-56SXT10 is another reliable water softener for well system suitable for almost any household. It has excellent water softening capability, an admirable water flow rate, and a dependable valve controller for effortless operation.
With its 48,000-grain capacity, a four-member household with modest water usage can enjoy soft water for at least two weeks. Families can have more enjoyable showers and more effective washings of their items and belongings. They can also say goodbye to limescale buildup in their water heaters, faucets, sinks, and other water fixtures.
I like this water softener’s 10% crosslink resin, allowing it to soften more water over an extended period. Most water softeners I know only have 8% crosslink designs, requiring more frequent regenerations. The design also makes it more chlorine-resistant than other brands, suitable for city water applications.
It also pays that this product’s digital control head is the ever-reliable Fleck 5600SXT. It is a proven system for better on-demand water softening. The digital valve controller is also programmable, empowering homeowners to dial in their preferred settings. I am glad the company has this feature because it makes operations less complicated and more straightforward.
I also like its 14 GPM maximum water flow rate. Households will never have problems with an insufficient water supply.
- 48,000-grain capacity
- 10% crosslink premium-quality resin
- Reliable and programmable digital control valve
- 14 GPM maximum flow rate
- Ideal for city water
- More effective washes and less scale
- Not for iron and sulfur removal
9. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter
The AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 is a well water softener system that protects water appliances and domestic plumbing systems against limescale buildup, slime formation, and corrosion. It combines a tried-and-tested digital valve controller and a unique 2-in-1 water softening and iron filtration design.
I am impressed with this water softener’s high-capacity design, accommodating 64,000 grains per cycle. A household with 300-gallon daily water consumption and 10-GPG hard water level can use this product for three weeks before regenerating.
It can also handle water hardness levels up to 70 GPG, bested only by Whirlpool’s water softeners. I think it is sufficient for most homes, considering the average water hardness level in the US is 10 to 25 GPG.
Of the many water softeners I reviewed, this product has the highest manganese-removal rating. While others can only handle 2-3 ppm of manganese, this water softener more than doubles the performance. Its 6-ppm manganese-removal capability is excellent news for households concerned about the black and slimy stains on their sinks and water fixtures.
I also appreciate its iron-removal properties, handling up to 4-7 ppm of iron in the well water. It also reduces sediment, sand, and silt levels to produce well water that does not feel coarse on the skin.
Operating and maintaining this appliance is also a breeze because of its ever-reliable Fleck SXT5600 digital valve controller.
- 64,000-grain capacity for less frequent regenerations
- Removes 4-7 ppm of iron and 6 ppm of manganese
- 70 GPG water softening performance
- Removes rust, sand, and sediment
- Effortless operation, thanks to the Fleck valve controller
- Some issues with installation
10. Tier1 Everyday Series Digital Whole House Water Softener
Homeowners with moderate calcium and magnesium problems in the well water can consider the Tier1 Everyday Series whole house water softener for well water.
Like many water softeners with a 48,000-grain capacity, this product is perfect for a family of four or five. Such a family can enjoy soft water continuously for 12 to 16 days between regeneration cycles. The home’s water flow rate also stands at 11.2 GPM, ensuring everyone gets the soft water for their activities.
The bright LCD display and thoughtful control button layout also make operating this water softener a cinch. The screen shows the information users need, enabling them to make the necessary adjustments.
This model is a dependable system that frees plumbing fixtures and water appliances of limescale and rust. I love its salt regeneration requirement because it is lower than other brands. This water softener only uses 22.5 pounds of salt to regenerate its 1.5-cubic-foot brine tank. I have seen water softeners needing more than 30 pounds of salt for a similar design.
- Ideal for 4 to 5 people
- 15-lb of salt per cubic foot regeneration requirement, lower than other brands
- 2 GPM maximum water flow rate
- Easy-to-use digital controller
- Prevents rust and limescale from forming
- No low-salt level indicator
- Manual bypass valve
11. SpringWell Salt-free Water Softener and Filter
This SpringWell product is a worthy option for families who want a salt-free water softener for well water. It does not have a rechargeable resin that requires cumbersome backwashing and regeneration. Its salt-free design also makes it ideal for people who do not want additional sodium in their drinks.
As a water conditioner for well water, this product prevents limescale formation without dumping salts into the water or removing essential minerals. Instead, it removes up to 99.6% of chlorine and its associated taste and odor to make the water more pleasant to drink. The system also eliminates other contaminants for safer water.
While the catalytic coconut shell carbon filter improves the well water’s aesthetic qualities, the kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) filter is where the water conditioning magic occurs. The technology removes heavy metals, minerals, organic substances, and other particles from the well water.
I find the product’s ActivFlo technology incredible because it extends the contact time between the well water and the filter media. An extended contact period facilitates more efficient filtration, resulting in cleaner, safer, and healthier well water. Families will love the overall quality this product brings to drinking water.
- Removes 99.6% of chlorine and other water contaminants
- With premium-quality KDF filter
- High-performance catalytic coconut shell carbon filter
- Unique ActivFlo technology
- No regenerations necessary
- Does not remove bacteria
What to Look for When Buying Water Softeners for Well Water
Picking the best water softener for well water can be challenging to the uninitiated. There are many water softening systems on the market with dubious water softening properties. Some also have mediocre constructions, undermining buyers’ investment.
Here are several things every buyer must look for when choosing a water softener system for well water.
Consumer reports say water softener systems for well water applications come in several types, based on what they remove and their inherent design. In general, a water softener must reduce well water hardness levels by eliminating the water hardness minerals from the well water.
- Salt-based systems
These products rely on the ion exchange process to remove calcium and magnesium ions from the well water and replace them with sodium ions. These products consist of a salt tank and a mineral tank or resin tank.
The ion exchange happens in the resin tank, where the process of softening water happens. The soft water goes to the rest of the house for consumption.
These systems have a regeneration cycle for replenishing the salt in the mineral tank or brine tank. Each cycle can last a few hours, depending on the water softener’s rated capacity. A bypass valve helps during regeneration, allowing families to enjoy an uninterrupted water supply. Unfortunately, some products have a manual bypass valve that can interrupt water usage.
Experts agree that salt-based softener systems offer the best approach to softening water. They mitigate soap scum, prevent limescale formation, and protect the plumbing system and water appliances. Some products can also remove iron compounds.
Unfortunately, salt usage can be a concern for some people. Others are also wary of increased sodium ions in their drinking water.
- Salt-free softeners
Salt-free water softeners, also called salt-free water conditioners, have different mechanisms of action. Some salt-free water softening products use electromagnetic or capacitive electric fields to alter the shape of water hardness minerals without removing them from the well water.
The principal advantage of these water softener systems is their ease of maintenance. They do not have a regeneration cycle, making them more affordable to operate. Although these systems do not remove minerals, they can still protect the plumbing system from limescale formation.
- Water filters
A whole-house water filter can also function as a water softener, especially if they have filter media that eliminate water hardness minerals. It would be best to look for a water filter with KDF technology to eliminate as many heavy metals from the well water as possible.
Iron and Sulfur Removal
The issue with well water is that it contains not only calcium and magnesium. It can also have iron, sulfur, manganese, and other heavy metals. While a conventional water softener can remove iron, its rating is modest at best. Most products can only remove no more than 3 ppm of iron.
Most experts recommend installing an iron filter to complement the water softening abilities of traditional water softeners. Unfortunately, this will increase the initial cost. That is why it would be best to get a combination product to treat well water with iron. These products are water softeners with integrated iron filters.
Buyers must check the well water softener to determine if it also reduces iron, sulfur, and manganese levels, and if it does, by how much?
Soft water should have a low number of hard minerals. Hence, a good water softener must remove as many hard minerals as possible. For example, a 60,000-grain water softener can remove 60,000 grains of hard minerals from the well water.
Installing a dual tank water softener can be more challenging than setting up a single-tank unit. Multi-stage water filtration systems can also be complicated to set up. That is why it would also be best to consider the product’s installation requirements.
Some products require periodic maintenance, including regular observation of the softener’s regeneration cycle. Other systems might require frequent cleaning of the fine mesh resin or the resin tank to continue enjoying soft water. It would be best to get a product with automated functions to make maintenance more convenient.
Although optional, a softener’s third-party certifications offer potential buyers a sense of confidence in the product’s quality and safety. It might not validate its water softening performance, but most people will trust a certified product more than one with a dubious reputation.
One can check for Water Quality Association, National Sanitation Foundation, and the American National Standards Institute certifications.
Reputable companies are not afraid to stand by their products. That is why some brands offer up to ten years warranty for their water softeners. It makes sense to get a water softener with an extended warranty for peace of mind.
Do You Need a Special Water Softener for Well Water
Everything depends on the well water composition. The US Geological Survey says groundwater contains dissolved organic substances and minerals, such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, potassium, sulfate, and bicarbonate.
Excessive calcium and magnesium levels can harden the water. If the dissolved minerals in well water exceed 1,000 mg/L or 58.4 grains per gallon (GPG), the well water is unfit for drinking. The hard water level in the US starts at 60 mg/L or 3.5 GPG. Very hard water contains more than 10.5 grains of dissolved minerals per gallon (>180 mg/L).
Acidic groundwater can contain high ferrous or ferric iron concentrations, causing reddish to brownish stains on surfaces.
Groundwater can also contain sediment, silt, dirt, and debris. If the well is shallow, there is the risk of contaminating the well water with bacteria and other microorganisms.
A traditional salt-based water softener is sufficient if one’s concern is the limescale-forming minerals. However, an iron filter is a must to reduce iron and sulfur in the well water. Moreover, shallow wells might benefit from a water treatment system to eliminate sediment, microorganisms, and other water contaminants.
What Is the Best Way to Soften Well Water
The best way to soften water is to remove the minerals that harden it.
Salt-based water softeners replace magnesium and calcium ions with sodium or potassium chloride via an ion-exchange process. On the other hand, a water conditioner (also called salt-free water softener) alters the minerals’ behavior to prevent them from forming limescale without removing calcium and magnesium from the water.
Well water does not only contain carbonates and limescale-forming minerals. It also contains other minerals, such as copper, iron, and sulfur. That is why the best way to soften well water is by using a softener with an integrated iron and sulfur filter.
A well water conditioner can also help if it has the correct technologies to remove minerals and substances that harden the well water.
How Much Does a Water Softener for Well Water Cost
Buyers can expect to pay between $200 and $2,500 for a well water softening technology. The water softener system for well water cost depends on the product type, capacity, and inherent features.
For example, one can get a capacitive or electromagnetic salt-free softener for $150 to $300. Unfortunately, these systems are not suitable for well water with high iron content. A traditional salt-based system can cost $300 to $1,500. Water softeners with built-in iron filters are more expensive, ranging from $500 to $2,000.
Whole-house filtration systems with iron-removal and water softening capabilities can cost $1,000 to $2,500.
The cost does not include labor for installation, which can set the owner back another $500 to $6,000. The installation cost depends on work complexity and location.
The best water softener for well water not only protects plumbing systems and water appliances against limescale formation. It also mitigates rusting, improves water quality, and extends water appliances and fixtures’ lifespan.
Choosing the right well water softening technology requires an appreciation of the most appropriate type for one’s needs, including its capacity, installation requirements, warranty, and other valuable features. Examining a product’s attributes can help anyone pick the right water softening system for well water.
My work as a freelance copywriter allows me to work with Stephen later join Usawaterquality as a content producer. Our team works together to produce high-quality contents that cater to the needs of large companies and households.