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…

FLEXX PRO Water Softener1). FLEXX PRO Water Softeners, Smart Program’g Very Reliable. See Review
Crystal Quest Water Softeners2). Crystal Quest Water Softeners w/Pre & Post Filters.
See Review
Crystal Quest Water Conditioners3). Crystal Quest No-Salt Conditioners w/Pre & Post Filters.
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). FLEXX PRO Water Softeners w/Smart Program – Commercial Grade – Rugged and Long Lasting – U.S. Made

Models: FXP-100 (10 GPM, 35k Grain), or FXP-150 (15 GPM, 53k Grain) by US Water Systems. 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

US Water Systems is a family-owned business located in Indianapolis, Indiana. They started out with brick and mortar stores, service trucks, in-home sales, installers and service techs. They and their crew have decades worth of experience and have built a successful and reputable local business. Now they’ve expanded into online sales. They have a great reputation of providing fantastic customer service and make themselves available.

The Many Benefits of US Water’s Flexx Pro Water Softeners:

FLEXX PRO 35k grain (10GPM) w/Smart Program
  • The Flexx Pro Series softeners come with premium 10% cross-linked ion-exchange resin. Regeneration is based on water used, not based on time passed, so the resin beads are always refreshed when they need to be. The controller measures how much water passes through the unit, so it always regenerates at the right time.
  • The Resin Tank is a durable fiberglass tank, with a chrome sleeve cover for a nice rich appearance.
  • Flex Pro Water Softeners (not to be confused with Fleck controllers) are sold and warranted directly by the U.S. based manufacturer, US Water Systems.
  • The Water Softener ships quickly with its Bluetooth enabled Controller head.
  • Has the features of much more expensive systems, but have a budget price.
  • Has the best warranty on the market. A 10-year warranty on the Resin Tank and a 7-year warranty on the Control Valve and electronics, which includes the internal parts, unlike other manufacturers.
Flexx Product Features
  • Updated and simplified programming through an Apple or Android smartphone using the freely downloaded Waterlogix App. It takes less than a minute to program.
  • Systems are made in the U.S.A.
  • View your daily or monthly water usage anytime.
  • You can program the cycles and minimize the salt usage, so you save on salt and regeneration water.
  • Commercial-Grade components and only one moving part in the controller makes Flexx Pro Water Softeners incredibly reliable and long-lasting.
  • Brine tank is refilled with softened water, so the injectors cannot become encrusted with minerals.
  • Large 1-inch Stainless Steel Bypass ports, so flow is unrestricted.


Tank SizeCapacity
9″ dia. X 48″ tall1.0 cu/ft (35k Grain)
10″ dia. x 54″ tall1.5 cu/ft (53k Grain)

My Thoughts on FLEXX PRO, Commercial-Grade Water Softeners:

The FLEXX PRO line of water softeners are excellent, commercial-grade softeners made for residential or commercial use.


Flexx Smart Valve
  • U.S. Water Systems created their own brand of improved Control Heads for their own water softeners. They used the best time-tested features of the industries control valves and then made many improvements to it. They redesigned better seals and spacers, better brine valves and improved the cantilever technology, which then creates less stress on the single moving part. The bottom line is, US Water Systems Control Heads work better and last much longer than the rest.
  • This allows US Water Systems to provide the best warranty in the industry. Where other manufacturers will not warranty their complicated, prone-to-fail, internal controller parts, US Water Systems does so with confidence.
  • Flexx Softeners come with a premium 10% cross-linked ion-exchange resin, whereas the industry standard is 8% resin.
  • US Water Systems provide exceptional Customer Service, with phone call accessibility for questions on installation and operation.


  • Installation instructions would be improved with the addition of a couple of simple diagrams.
  • Must be in fairly close proximity to the controller with your smartphone for the Bluetooth signal to communicate with the controller, but I don’t see this as much of an issue, as you’re likely to be near the controller during programming anyway.
  • Radio communication through a Smart Phone is necessary to program the controller. Maybe in this age of Smart Technology, it might not be an issue with most owners.


I’ve spent a good amount of time researching the company, their reputation, and their products. I’m very impressed with the company and the stellar reputation they’ve earned from their customers in their feedback. In my research, I’ve found this system to be one of the most reliable softeners, and their customer service is top-rate.

Click to see more Specs and the latest price on Amazon:

You select the size you need.

Crystal Quest Whole House Water Softener

2). Crystal Quest Water Softeners

Model #:    You select your model.

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.

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)


  • Quality Components from 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.


  • Internal control valve components are not warranted by the manufacturer, although Fleck Controllers have long track record of reliability .

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:

3.)  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:

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.


  • 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.


  • 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:

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.

Share this article: