Home Water Softener Systems

A Water softener protects your appliances, skin, hair & allows soaps and detergents to work as they should. Installing it yourself will save you a great deal!

Here We Review excellent Home Water Softener Systems…

Crystal Quest Water Softeners1). Crystal Quest Water Softeners w/Pre & Post Filters.
See Review
Crystal Quest Water Conditioners2). Crystal Quest No-Salt Conditioners w/Pre & Post Filters.
See Review
Crystal Quest, Whole House, Dual Water Softener &  Filter System3). Crystal Quest, Dual Softener & Filter System Highly Effective. See Review

A water softener is an appliance that will prevent lime scale buildup on all your water-using fixtures, deliver spot-free dishes, keep your dish washer and hot water heater working at top efficiency. It’ll help your clothes washer to keep your white clothes the whitest they can be, without yellowing and colors that won’t fade. After bathing or showering, your hair and skin will feel amazing.

A water softener will protect every water-using appliance in your home from mineral scale that would otherwise clog, make unsightly, and much less efficient.

Learn the Difference Between a Water Softener and a Water Conditioner:

How Does a Water Softener Work?

A water softener is a system that uses a process called ionic exchange. The hard water travels through a bed of resin beads which traps minerals from the water and replaces them with sodium ions from salt, giving you softened water (water without inorganic minerals).

At intervals, the minerals are then flushed from the resin tank and drained out of the system, which refreshes or “regenerates” the resin beads.

What Can a Water Softener Do for Me?

A water softener will:

  • Improve the taste of practically any food cooked with water.
  • Greatly reduce the amount of soap and detergent used in your dish and clothes washers, make your shampoo work better, improves the health of your skin whether bathing or showering.
  • Reduce scale build up on your sinks, tubs, showers, clothing, and glassware.
  • Reduce scale that builds up in your pipes, water heaters, plumbing fixtures, dishwashers and other water-related appliances. Having your own water softener will lower your maintenance & repair costs and also extend the life of your homes appliances.

How much sodium is added to the water?

Very little sodium is used in the process of softening your water. In fact, a 12-ounce glass of softened water generally contains less than 18 milligrams of sodium, whereas a 12-ounce can of soda pop contains about 45 milligrams, and a slice of pizza has about 120 mg of sodium per slice. Most salad dressings contain between 250 mg to 300 mg of sodium in every two tablespoons. About two tablespoons is what most people put on their salads.

So as you can see, very little sodium is added to the water by a water softener.

Should I Get a Salt-Free Water Softener Instead?

First of all, lets get the terminology straight, there is no such thing as a “salt-free water softener”. A real water softener actually removes minerals from the water, making the water soft, whereas salt-free “conditioners” do not remove minerals at all, so therefore, they don’t soften the water. They condition the water, they don’t soften it, so they’re called salt-free “conditioners”.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Water Softener System

1). Test the hardness of your water – Either buy a test kit from your local hardware store, or have your swimming pool store test for hardness, or send a sample to a lab for an accurate measurement.

2). Determine your daily water usage – If you find that you need to soften your water, the next step is to get a fair idea how much your household uses daily.

3). Select the right size – An undersized system will use more electricity and water with each cycle. A softener that’s sized much larger than you need will cost more than is necessary.

Read my informative article, How to Size a Water Softener.

Want an affordable system that’ll give you quality softened water at a great price?    See the Home Water Softener Systems (below) that’ll give you just that…


1). Crystal Quest Water Softeners

Model #:    You select your model.

Company Info:

Crystal Quest Whole House Water Softener

Crystal Quest is a technologically innovative company that produces water filtering and treatment products for literally thousands of Residential Customers, Schools, Hospitals, Utilities, breweries, the Military, and many, many Companies large and small around the world.

They are involved in all aspects of product Research and Development, advanced Engineering and Design, to Manufacturing all of their own products.

Crystal Quest’s manufacturing plant is in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA.

System Uses a 3-Stage Filter Process:

• First Stage – The 20-inch long sediment Pre-Filter to remove any large sediment or silt particles to protect the Resin bed from contamination, and keeps the controller valves working freely.

Crystal Quest Water Softener Cut Away
Crystal Quest Water Softener Cut Away

• Second Stage – The pre-filtered water flows through the Ion-exchange Resin tank. Minerals from the water are attracted to and captured by the resin pellets, which exchanges sodium ions for the calcium and magnesium ions.

Note: The resin tank comes pre-filled with high-grade resin beads. The ion exchange resin beads are designed for industrial and residential water conditioning equipment.

• Third Stage – After the Resin Tank, the softened water then flows through a second, 20-inch, Post-Filter. This filter is designed to remove any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) that may be present. These would be pesticides and insecticides and industrial solvents.

Benefits and features of Crystal Quest Water Softeners:

  • Crystal Quest Residential Water Softeners use a Fleck Controller that Automatically Backwash’s the resin media to renew its ability to remove hardness minerals from your water. This Fleck controller regenerates on a time schedule that’s set during initial set up.
Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
  • Poly Glass™, fiberglass mineral tank is protected by a 10 year manufacturer warranty.
  • The Fleck 5600 Automatic Backwash, Computer-Monitored, Control Valve has an LED display and comes with 5-year manufacturer warranty.
  • The Fleck Control Head is simple and user friendly, so it’s easy to program.
  • Crystal Quest softeners come with Filter Resin already in the Tank, so there’s no need to fill it yourself.
  • Crystal Quest claims that these are the most advanced and effective water softeners on the market.
  • Crystal Quest engineered their systems for maximum filtration and maximum performance with the minimum of user maintenance.
  • Most or all components are made in the U.S.A, and all components are NSF approved.

Specifications – What’s Included:

Model: CQE-WH-01123S
Tank size:1.0 cu.ft. (cubic foot), 9″ dia. x 48″ tall
Tank capacity:9 GPM (gallons per minute), 35,000 Grains
Tank Material:White Fiberglass (available in Stainless Steel +$500.)
Controller:Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
Media Life:Ion-exchange Resin Media. Replace every 10+ years.
Pre-Filter:Washable, Pleated Polyester, 20″ x 2.5″ dia. Sediment Pre-Filter. Replace or wash every 3-6 months.
Post-Filter:Carbon Block 20″ x 2.5″ dia., Post-Filter should be replaced every 3-6 months.
Brine Tank:Large tank where you load the softener salt.
Model: CQE-WH-01123
Tank size:1.5 cu.ft. (cubic foot), 10″ dia. x 54″ tall
Tank capacity:9-11 GPM (gallons per minute), 48,000 Grains
Tank Material:White Fiberglass (available in Stainless Steel +$500.)
Controller:Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
Media Life:Ion-exchange Resin Media. Replace every 10+ years.
Pre-Filter:Washable, Pleated Polyester, 20″ x 2.5″ dia. Sediment Pre-Filter. Replace or wash every 3-6 months.
Post-Filter:Carbon Block 20″ x 2.5″ dia., Post-Filter should be replaced every 3-6 months.
Brine Tank:Large tank where you load the softener salt.
Model: CQE-WH-01124
Tank size:2.0 cu.ft. (cubic foot), 12″ dia. x 52″ tall
Tank capacity:10-13 GPM (gallons per minute), 60,000 Grains
Tank Material:White Fiberglass (available in Stainless Steel +$500.)
Controller:Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
Media Life:Ion-exchange Resin Media. Replace every 10+ years.
Pre-Filter:Washable, Pleated Polyester, 20″ x 2.5″ dia. Sediment Pre-Filter. Replace or wash every 3-6 months.
Post-Filter:Carbon Block 20″ x 2.5″ dia., Post-Filter should be replaced every 3-6 months.
Brine Tank:Large tank where you load the softener salt.

Whole House Installation Manual (pdf)

Pros:

  • Quality Components, warrantied by Crystal Quest.
  • Comes with a high capacity, premium grade filter media made from conventional gel polystyrene sulphonate cation exchange resin, designed for use in both industrial or household water conditioning equipment.
  • Includes large Pre and Post Filters for extra protection for the softener and water quality.
  • The 20″ pre-filter is made of pleated polyester and is made so that you can wash it and reuse it several times.
  • The 20″ post-filter is a carbon block that helps to remove organic chemicals and chlorine taste and odor.
  • Uses the proven Fleck 5600 residential control valve with SXT timer.

Cons:

  • Pricier than the non-warrantied, no-name brand, chintzy models on Amazon, but uses patented, commercial-grade filter media and hardware components that will far outlast those.

My Thoughts on Crystal Quest Water Softeners

Based on my research, I think Water Softener Systems, engineered, manufactured and sold by Crystal Quest are top-quality systems.

I really like that these systems include a large washable, pleated polyester, sediment pre-filter and an equally large carbon post-filter. I think this helps to protect the system from contamination and increases the quality of the water for the entire household.

Note: FilterWater.com is an authorized seller for Crystal Quest products.

Click for more spec’s and the latest price:

NOTE: FilterWater.com is an authorized dealer of Crystal Quest products.


2.)  Crystal Quest’s No-Salt Water Conditioners

Crystal Quest Whole House Water Conditioners
Crystal Quest Whole House Water Conditioners

Model #: You select your model.

Crystal Quest’s Salt-Free Water Conditioners transforms calcium in the water into nano-sized calcite crystals, which will not cause scale in piping, on your faucets, in your dish washer, hot water heater, or anywhere else.

Who is This Water Conditioner Good For?

This is a great alternative for those who have overly mineralized water, but…

  • who don’t want to have to keep buying and loading salt into a brine tank.
  • are living in an area where salt-based water softeners are banned. 
  • who don’t like the slick feeling of salt-softened water.

System Uses a 4-Stage Filter Process:

This water conditioner actually has four stages of filtration and is meant to condition your water for the whole house. Install this where your source water comes into your house or building.

• First Stage – This large, 20-inch long sediment Pre-Filter removes any sediment, silt or dirt particles. This protects the next filter stages. 

Crystal Quest Water Conditioner Cut Away
Crystal Quest Water Conditioner Filter Stage Cut Away

• Second Stage – Water then flows into the Crystal Quest, Eagle Conditioner Anti-Scale tank, where the tanks media acts as a catalyst to break apart calcium into very tiny calcite crystals. These cannot bind together to cause scale in your plumbing.  These Calcite Crystals will, fairly quickly, wear away any previously built-up calcification in your plumbing.

• Third Stage – Water now flows through another 20-inch filter, but this filter is a solid carbon cartridge that can remove VOC’s (volatile organic compounds), pesticides and industrial solvents.

• Forth Stage – Water finally flows through yet another 20-inch filter, this time it’s an Ultra-Filter membrane that will remove particles down to 0.2 microns.  This is small enough to remove virtually all bacteria, protozoa and other parasite, as well as most viruses.

More Specifications:

1.5 Cu. Ft. Eagle Schematic – Salt-Free Water Conditioner

2.0 Cu. Ft. Eagle Schematic – Salt-Free Water Conditioner

You Select your Model:

Model:CQE-WH-02132CQE-WH-02133
Amount of Media:1.5 Cu.Ft. (5.25 liters)2.0 Cu.Ft. (7 liters)
Approximate Capacity:1.0 Million Gallons (3.8 M Liters)1.5 Million Gallons (5.7 M Liters)
Service Flow:9-11 GPM (34-42 liters per min.)10-13 GPM (38-49 liters per min.)
Height with Controller:62″ (1.57 m)60″ (1.52 m)
Shipping Weight:400 lbs. (181.4 kg)450 lbs. (204 kg)

Crystal Quest’s ‘Eaglesorb’ Solution to Hard Water:

Crystal Quest Eaglesorb ES3, Anti-Scale Media – is an alternative to traditional ion exchange, water softening media. Eaglesorb ES3 is a non-chemical, salt-free, hard water treatment. Eaglesorb ES3 is a catalyst that breaks down the calcium and magnesium, the minerals that makes water “hard”, into nano-sized (billionths of a meter) carbonate crystals. Nothing is added to the water at all.

The carbonate crystal particles remain dissolved in water and just rinse away with the water flow. Due to their extremely small size, it’s impossible for the crystals to attach to surfaces within the plumbing, like calcium does.

Crystal Quest’s Water Conditioners are Salt-Free, Maintenance-Free, and don’t require regeneration or back-washing like salt-based water softeners do.

Additionally, the ES3 crystals dissolves previous scale buildup. This process has been observed to occur in as few as 3 or 5 weeks.

NOTE: Pre-treatment is required if you have iron, manganese, copper, oil, chloride, hydrogen sulfide, phosphate and chlorine above 3 PPM.

NOTE: If the hardness levels in your source water are 25 GPG (grains per gallon) or higher, then pre-treatment or additional media may be required.. Please consult a specialist if you have extremely high hardness.

Replacement FilterPart No.SizeCapacity
Pleated Cellulose Sediment CartridgeCQE-RC-040152-7/8” x 20”18-24 months*
Coconut Based 5-Micron Carbon Block Filter CartridgeCQE-RC-040142-7/8” x 20”12-18 months*
Ultrafiltration (UF) Water Filter MembraneCQE-RC-040562-7/8” x 20”24-36 months*
*Capacity is an estimate only and is dependent on in-fluent water contaminants and filter usage.

Pros:

  • No need to buy, haul and load salt continuously.
  • Perfect for locations where salt-based Water Softeners are banned.
  • Doesn’t create that slippery, slick feeling when washing your hands.
  • No need to backwash or regenerate the media. No need to provide a drain.
  • Multi-Filters give you high-purity water for the whole house water, down to 0.2 of a micron, capable of removing a host of chemicals and parasites.
  • Does NOT use electricity
  • Gradually removes 100% of old deposits of calcium and magnesium from pipes and appliances.

Cons:

  • Does NOT soften the water, because it doesn’t remove minerals .

My Thoughts on Crystal Quest Water Conditioners

Crystal Quest is always improving their cutting-edge water purification systems. A Crystal Quest Water Conditioner in your home or building will take care of your hard water issues, without the downsides of salt-based softeners.

Click for more spec’s and the latest price:


3). Crystal Quest, Whole House, Dual Water Softener & Filter System

Model/SKUResin Amount Cu.Ft.Grain CapacityFiltration Capacity
CQE-WH-011271.5 cu.ft. (for 1 to 3 bathrooms)48,000 grain Tanks750,000 gal (2839 kl)
CQE-WH-011282.0 cu.ft. (for 3-1/2 to 6 bathrooms)60,000 grain Tanks1,000,000 gal (3785 kl)

Company Info:

Crystal Quest is a technologically innovative company that produces water filtering and treatment products for literally thousands of Residential Customers, Schools, Hospitals, Utilities, breweries, the Military, and many, many Companies large and small around the world.

They are involved in all aspects of product Research and Development, advanced Engineering and Design, to Manufacturing all of their own products.

Crystal Quest’s manufacturing plant is in Kennesaw, Georgia, USA.

This System Uses a 6-Stage Filter Process:

Crystal Quest,Dual Water Softener and Filter System - Cut away
Crystal Quest, Dual Water Softener and Filter System – Cut away

• First Stage – The first stage in the filtration system is a 20-inch long, 2.5 inch diameter sediment Pre-Filter, rated at 5 microns (0.0002″). This filter removes any large sediment or silt particles to protect the next-stage Resin bed from contamination, and keeps the controller valves working freely. The large size of this filter and its pleated design greatly increases surface area for much longer life, assuring long intervals between filter changes with very low pressure drop.

Additionally, the filter material is made of a durable pleated polyester, which allows you to clean and reuse it. When it’s time to change it, I have a spare filter on hand for a quick change. I then clean the changed out filter and get it ready for the next time. I find that an old toothbrush and a larger brush in a pail of water work very well to brush off the collected sediment. This can be done several times before the filter wears enough to want to replace it with a new one.

• Second Stage – The water then flows through the Water Softener, a large tanks that filled with a special Resin Media that pulls out and captures the minerals that makes the water hard. This is the media that’s used in both commercial and residential system.

To flush away the captured minerals, this media can be regenerated using either Potassium Chloride, or Sodium Chloride salt, your choice.

Crystal Quest, Whole House,Dual Water Softener and Filter System
Crystal Quest, Whole House,Dual Water Softener and Filter System

Note: The resin tank comes pre-filled with high-grade resin beads. The ion exchange resin beads are designed for industrial and residential water conditioning equipment.

• Third & Forth Stages – After the Resin Tank, the softened water then flows through layers of a mix of two alloys, copper and zinc, called KDF Eagle Redox (ERA-6500 and ERA-9500) Alloy Media.

Certified to the NSF/ANSI 61 standard (does not impart impurities to the water), this filter media acts as a catalyst to change the structure of harmful chlorine and heavy metals and rendering them harmless by bonding to them and oxidizing them, This filter media also helps the downstream Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) media to perform better.

ERA-6500 Redox media mix is used to reduce chlorine and water soluble metals.
ERA-9500 Redox media mix is used to reduce chlorine, bacteria, algae, iron and hydrogen sulfide (sulfur or rotten egg smell).

• Fifth Stage – Water now flows through a large bed of Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) that effectively removes a wide variety of harmful chemical contaminants, unpleasant tastes and odors.

• Sixth Stage – The last filter of this filter system is a 20-inch long, 2.5 inch diameter Carbon Block Filter Cartridge. This filter is very effective at removing volatile organic compounds, pesticides, insecticides, and solvents.

Benefits and features of Crystal Quest Water Softeners:

  • Crystal Quest Residential Water Softeners use a Fleck Controller that Automatically Backwash’s the resin media to renew its ability to remove hardness minerals from your water. This Fleck controller regenerates on a time schedule that’s set during initial set up.
Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
Fleck 5600SXT Automatic Backwash Control Valve with LED display.
  • Poly Glass™, fiberglass mineral tank is protected by a 10 year manufacturer warranty.
  • The Fleck 5600 Automatic Backwash, Computer-Monitored, Control Valve has an LED display and comes with 5-year manufacturer warranty.
  • The Fleck Control Head is simple and user friendly, so it’s easy to program.
  • Crystal Quest softeners come shipped with Filter Resin already in the Tank, so there’s no need to fill it yourself.
  • Crystal Quest claims that these are the most advanced and effective water softeners on the market.
  • Crystal Quest engineered their systems for maximum filtration and maximum performance with the minimum of user maintenance.
  • Most or all components are made in the U.S.A, and all components are certified to NSF standards.

Specifications – What’s Included:

Whole House Installation Manual (pdf)

Pros:

  • Quality Components, warrantied by Crystal Quest.
  • Highly effective at making your water safe to use in the household for bathing, washing, cooking, gardening, drinking, etc.
  • Comes with a high capacity, premium grade filter media made from conventional gel polystyrene sulphonate cation exchange resin, designed for use in both industrial or household water conditioning equipment.
  • Includes large Pre and Post Filters for extra protection for the softener and water quality.
  • The 20″ pre-filter is made of pleated polyester and is made so that you can wash it and reuse it several times.
  • The 20″ post-filter is a carbon block that helps to remove organic chemicals and chlorine taste and odor.
  • Uses the proven Fleck 5600 residential control valve with SXT timer.

Cons:

  • Pricier than the non-warrantied, no-name brand, chintzy models on Amazon, but uses patented, commercial-grade filter media and hardware components that will far outlast those.

My Thoughts on Crystal Quest Water Softeners

Based on my research, I think Water Softener Systems, engineered, manufactured and sold by Crystal Quest are top-quality systems.

I really like that these systems include a large washable, pleated polyester, sediment pre-filter and an equally large carbon post-filter. I think this helps to protect the system from contamination and increases the quality of the water for the entire household.

Click for more spec’s and the latest price:

NOTE: FilterWater.com is an authorized dealer of Crystal Quest products and tends to have better prices than CQ.


Whether your water comes from a municipal source or from your very own well, I’m a firm believer of adding an additional filter system in the kitchen for drinking and cooking uses. This can be a countertop or an under-counter filter.

Even refrigerator water filters are better than nothing, but in my opinion, nothing beats the capability of a Reverse Osmosis system to remove virtually all contaminants for safe drinking water for your family.

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