Water Conditioners

SOFTENERS AND CONDITIONERS

Water Conditioner
Reviews

Water Conditioners are systems designed to address minimally hard water, which occurs when there’s a concentration of minerals in tap water. Find out if you need one and how to make the best choice for your home.

What is a Water Conditioner?

A water conditioner is a system that addresses hard water by binding to minerals and altering their chemical structure to render them harmless. These systems may also be known as descalers or salt-free conditioners. The term salt-free is used because water conditioners operate without using salt, which is required by their softener counterparts.

Water conditioners are designed to address minimally hard water, which occurs when there’s a concentration of minerals in tap water. The high mineral content of hard water leads to several issues including:

  • Damage to plumbing and appliances
  • Residue on dishes
  • Fading, stains, and damage to clothes
  • Dries out hair and skin

What Does a Water Conditioner Do?

Water conditioners alter the chemical structure of minerals in hard water so that they can no longer stick to things and form scale build-up. Conditioners do this by using a process called template-assisted crystallization (TAC). Water conditioners have TAC media that water must pas through, and when it does — the minerals react and form harmless, nanometer-sized crystals. So instead of hard water minerals binding to your plumbing to form scale, they bind to each other to form these crystals. The crystals are completely harmless ant you won’t be able to see or feel them.

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Buyer’s Guide for Water Conditioners

Beyond product reviews, this page contains additional information to help you get a better understanding of water conditioners.

Conditioners

product

Aquasana - Salt-Free Water Conditioner - WH-SFWC-S

Protect your home's pipes, plumbing, and appliances from scale buildup without the use of harsh chemicals or salt. New and improved system lasts for 10 years.

Learn More about the Aquasana - WH-SFWC-S
Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$799.00

Performance

Capacity

1,000,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

15.3 gpm

Replacement Cadence (years)

10

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$799.00

Performance

Capacity

1,000,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

15.3 gpm

Replacement Cadence (years)

10

Other Benefits:
  • Filter replacement subscription option
  • 90-day satisfaction gurantee
  • 10-year warranty
  • Upflow tank design
  • Eco-friendly
product

A. O. Smith - Whole House Descaler - AO-WH-DSCLR

Engineered to naturally reduce scale buildup on internal pipes and plumbing—salt and chemical free.

Learn More about the A. O. Smith - AO-WH-DSCLR
Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$399.00

Performance

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

7 gpm

Replacement Cadence (years)

6

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

<$0.01

System

$399.00

Performance

Capacity

600,000 gal

Flow Rate (gpm)

7 gpm

Replacement Cadence (years)

6

Other Benefits:
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 6-year warranty
product

iSpring - Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner - ED2000

ISPRING ED2000HD whole house electronic water descaler is an innovative, computerized water conditioning system that solves hard water problems without the need for chemicals, salt or filter cartridges by leaving the minerals in the water and preventing them from forming the limescale deposits. It functions by wrapping 2 antenna cables around the main water pipe to form a coil, creating a complex, frequency modulated, electromagnetic waveform. This induces an oscillating electric field into the water, resulting in the agitation of water molecules sufficient enough to trigger the release of carbon dioxide and cause the premature precipitation of calcium bicarbonate. This process naturally results in a small increase in solubility, which allows the now unsaturated water to dissolve existing scale deposits and remove them from the water system. Limescale deposits on your fixtures will soften over time after regular contact with the treated water from the ED2000HD. For water over 25 grains of hardness, it's recommended to use traditional water soften in addition to the ED2000HD. Water with high iron content (over 0.3 ppm) should use an iron removal filter prior to the ED2000HD. Homes with water mains over 1 in. but less than 1.5 in. may need to use 2 ED2000HD side by side, water traveling more than 50 ft. may require an additional ED2000HD further down the plumbing line.

Learn More about the iSpring - ED2000
Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

-

System

$139.99

Performance

Capacity

-

Flow Rate (gpm)

-

Replacement Cadence (years)

-

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

-

System

$139.99

Performance

Capacity

-

Flow Rate (gpm)

-

Replacement Cadence (years)

-

Other Benefits:
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy install
  • 1-year warranty
product

YARNA - Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System - CWD24

Yarna CWD24 is a water descaler system that uses electric impulses to prevent minerals like calcium and magnesium from bonding and building up inside your water pipes.

Learn More about the YARNA - CWD24
Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

-

System

$199.99

Performance

Capacity

-

Flow Rate (gpm)

-

Replacement Cadence (years)

-

Best Price*

Cost Per Gallon*

-

System

$199.99

Performance

Capacity

-

Flow Rate (gpm)

-

Replacement Cadence (years)

-

Other Benefits:
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy install
  • 1-year warranty

Water Conditioners vs. Water Softeners

Water softeners and water conditioners both aim to address hard water, but there are a few differences between these types of systems. 

The primary difference between water softeners and conditioners is how they work. Water softeners remove hard water minerals through ion exchange — which replaces hard water ions with salt. Water conditioners don’t remove hard water minerals, these systems alter the chemical structure of the minerals to render them harmless.

Typically, water conditioners can only tackle minimally hard water. If your home has very hard water, you will likely need to use a water softener.

Another major difference between water softeners and conditioners is maintenance. Water softeners require frequent salt bag replacements to continue working, along with electricity that can increase your utility bill. By comparison, water conditioners have neither of these requirements, which makes them a low-maintenance and eco-friendly alternative.

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*Product performance claims and prices were taken from publicly available information on Amazon, are accurate as of 1/3/2024, and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Cost per gallon is calculated as replacement filter price/capacity. Not all contaminants will be listed in charts. If you find information that is inaccurate, please send the correct info with supporting documentation to info@waterfiltercomparisons.com, and we will address any errors. As an Amazon Associate, Water Filter Comparisons receives a commission on purchases made through our Amazon links.