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If you find yourself concerned about your succeeding electricity bills, or you simply want to live a healthier lifestyle, then you might need to get a non-electric water softener. Water softeners are becoming an essential part of a residential water system. They can prolong the service life of water appliances and fixtures. These systems provide similar results as conventional systems without relying on electricity to run. If you want the best non electric water softeners for your home, you are at the exact right place.
Benefits of water softening systems
Hard water contains a large number of dissolved minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium. Water softeners are devices that ‘soften’ water by replacing minerals that can ‘harden’ water.
There are several problems associated with using hard water in households, like the formation of limescale on water pipes and appliances, skin irritation, persistent stains on glassware, tiles, bathtubs, and so on.
Below listed are the main benefits of using water softening systems are:
- A scale-free pipe system – As mentioned, the minerals in hard water tend to create limescale on pipes and can cause damage over time. The water softening process removes the minerals responsible for the formation of limescale.
- Residue-free appliances – By preventing mineral buildup, a water softener helps reduce leakage and prolongs the life of your household appliances. It also saves you from the foul smell that usually emerges from residue inside your faucets, bathroom sinks, showerheads, and water heater.
- Smoother hair and skin – If you’ve been washing with hard water and having poor luck with your skin and hair care, try a water softener. It can really be a game-changer in reducing skin irritation and hair dryness.
- Softer clothes – Once your water is free of unwanted mineral particles, you should notice your clothes and towels getting silkier and softer after laundry. Soap scum and stains should become less of a problem, and the fabrics will take longer to fade or fray.
- Clean, shiny glassware and silverware – A water softener either removes or alters the structure of the minerals, preventing them from sticking to surfaces. As a result, you should no longer see a calcium film on your mirrors, glasses, or car after washing.
Electric vs. non-electric water softeners
Usually, water softeners are based on an ion-exchange resin, which replaces magnesium and calcium with either potassium and sodium.
Electric water softener systems are the original water softener systems that utilize an electric timer to determine when to regenerate the resin bed inside the tank.
For instance, at a set time every day, the timer activates the water softener process by flushing the resin bed with water and salt to initiate the process of softening the water.
Non-electric water softeners are typically called mechanical softeners. Their design eliminates virtually all the pitfalls associated with electrically powered systems while providing very similar results.
Mechanical systems don’t rely on a timer. Rather, these systems measure the volume of water you use.
Non-electric softeners keep pace with your usage and demand without wasting water, power, or salt.
Why choose a non-electric water softener
Regeneration after reaching the mineral threshold
Electric water softeners regenerate at a predetermined time every day. The problem with this kind of control is that we do not use the same amount of water every day.
There are days when the amount of water you use is worth several days. Also, there will be instances when you have to use hard water because the system has not reached its assigned time of regeneration yet.
Or when you simply do not use water that often. In those cases, the unit will regenerate the resin even though the hard mineral threshold is not yet achieved.
On the other hand, non-electric water softeners regenerate the resin on an on-demand basis.
This means that the resin bed is regenerated after it reaches its hard mineral threshold. You’ll get a continuous supply of soft water.
Saving on electricity
If you are concerned about your high electricity bills, then you might want to get a non-electric water softener, since these units do not require electricity to run.
Non-electric water softeners use a lot less salt and water in regeneration. They do not produce and discharge chloride into septic and sewage systems. Therefore, non-electric units are much more environment-friendly.
Top 5 Non-Electric Water Softener Reviews
If you are looking for a suitable non-electric water softener, you should consider Tier1’s Essential Certified Series. It is a salt-free system whose tank does not require regeneration or recharging, so there is no need for electricity.
This is a kit that already includes a prefilter to take care of the large sediments in the water and reduce the amount of chlorine in the water. It gives you drinking water that is fresher and smells nice, too.
Tier1 is a point-of-entry system that you can install in the main water line before the water gets distributed to the different appliances and fixtures in your house. There is no worrying about the installation, either. Tier1 designed the product to be a breeze to set up.
Tier1 also designed the Essential Certified Series for homes with 4 to 6 bathrooms. The capacity is large enough to provide you with many benefits.
It includes a 10-inch x 54-inch resin tank with scale media blend, 20 inches by 4.5-inch sediment filter with housing and bracket, required flex connector(s), and ball valve and nipple(s).
The only concern with the Tier1 Essential is that it does not remove the hardness minerals.
What it does is that alters the chemical behavior of these minerals to prevent them from sticking to the surface of pipes and water fixtures. As such, do not be alarmed if your water hardness level remains the same.
On the bright side, you will never have to worry about backwashing your system. The unit is also constructed of durable materials that can last anywhere between 4 and 5 years. There is no maintenance required until this time, except for routine checks of the valves and connections.
The SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Softener system is a fully salt-free appliance. It uses ion exchange to mitigate the issues found with hard water minerals that allow scale build-up and is harmful to skin and hair.
The system has a pre-filter that removes contaminants such as copper, silica, and oil, and keeps them out of the main FutureSoft system. Therefore, in order for the main system to do its work fully optimized, the pre-filter needs to be changed once per year.
Water contains healthy minerals that your body needs so you would like to keep them when filtering the water, the Springwell system does this so it’s a good choice for healthy skin, hair, food, and clothes.
It provides 99.6% scale prevention without the use of chemicals and salt. With less limescale build-up and other contaminants, your household appliances will need fewer repairs, and also stains will be removed with this system in play.
With a capacity of 1000000 gallons and a maximum flow rate of 9 gallons per minute, it is ideal for homes with 1-3 bathrooms.
The APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Water Softener is unique for its advanced ceramic media which is converting the hard ions in water from positively charged ions into scale-resistant crystalline form. In that form, the ions can connect to any surface, therefore the limescale can’t happen.
That softening system is completely chemical-free and salt-free, which is great for the environment. Also, it doesn’t require any maintenance in the form of buying supplement salt or cleaning and replacing filters. We do recommend periodic checks of the integrity of the plumbing.
High-quality construction is covered with a 10-year limited warranty which is a guarantee for the longevity and durability of this device. The unit has a flow rate of 15 gallons per minute and it’s suitable for up to 6 bathrooms. It is suitable for water hardness levels below 25 grains per gallon.
The APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Water Softener weighs 80 pounds, and its dimensions are 10’’x10’’x 54’’. It comes with a 20’’ wide pre-filter, which removes large sediment and dust particles from the water.
This is a premium quality unit that comes at a very affordable price compared to other systems.
The only downfall of FUTURA-15 is that it can be a bit tricky to install. But overall, if you are indeed looking for a reliable system that will soften your water without having to spend on electricity, then the APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 is an excellent choice. It is very affordable and does what it is designed to do.
AQUIOS AQFS220 utilizes a commercial, natural technology that ensures that calcium, magnesium, and other minerals do not accumulate or build up on faucets, water heaters, showerheads, internal pipes, or any other device that utilizes your existing water source.
It comes with a 5-micron sediment filter. We tested the unit and found out that it reduces the amount of chlorine in the water. It also reduced total dissolved solids, although not as efficient as those dedicated filters with smaller pores. Therefore, you no longer need to worry about having to purchase a separate sediment filter.
The positive side of using AQFS220 is its near-zero maintenance requirements. There is no backwashing and no regeneration of the unit. You can go on an extended holiday and return with softened water readily available to you.
The AQUIOS Water Treatment System includes your first cartridge and is rated for 40,000 gallons of usage before it requires replacement. This should last approximately six months for the average family household.
The installation of the system is easy enough, and It doesn’t take up too much space in your home. However, it is essential to install the system properly. This will help eliminate leaks, especially from the connections.
This unit offers optimum convenience for small residential homes. The only negative side is that it is not recommended for water whose hardness level exceeds 10 grains per gallon. The high level of hardness of the water can easily overwhelm the system, and it can require more frequent cartridge replacement.
P3 P7920 Water Conditioner is 14.5” long, 10.2” wide, and 19” high. It’s very compact and highly portable so you can easily transport it and place it anywhere. It’s also very lightweight since it weighs only 12 ounces.
This unit is a chemical-free water softening system that uses 10 high-Gauss ferrite magnets. The strong pulling power of these PVC and ceramic magnets is polarizing hard ions such as calcium and magnesium.
In that way, their molecular structure is changed, so they lose their adherence power to surfaces of water lines and household appliances. That is very beneficial for human health because the system is retaining healthy minerals in the water.
This water conditioner is eco-friendly because it doesn’t use any additional chemicals or salt that are later released in nature.
Installation of this unit is very easy, you just have to connect it directly to the main water pipe. Also, it’s maintenance-free since you don’t have to buy any additional replacement salts, new filters, or anything else. The device is suitable for 3/4” wide pipe that’s made from any material such as iron, copper, PVC, and others.
Best Non-Electric Water Softener Systems Buying guide
What makes buying a non-electric water softener difficult is that there can be hundreds of brands, models, and variants from which to choose. We simplified the process of selecting an excellent softener by focusing on the most essential aspects of a product.
The first thing you must consider when picking the best non-electric water softener is your average daily water consumption. You can check your water bill and divide this number by 30 to get your daily average.
Also, it is crucial to check the hardness level of your water. An average home has a water hardness level of about 2.5 grains per gallon. However, this can vary depending on the region of living.
Use this information to determine the water softening capacity of the device that you need to buy.
Type of water softening
Non-electric water softeners typically come as salt-free systems. Those systems do not use either sodium chloride or potassium chloride for removing magnesium and calcium from the water.
Instead, salt-free systems rely on altering the composition of hardness minerals, which prevents adhering to the surface of water appliances, and the formation of limescale.
Therefore, if you’re choosing to buy a non-electric unit, you can choose a system that uses a phosphate bed to neutralize the adhesive capabilities of calcium and magnesium.
You can also choose an electromagnetic type of water softener. These devices also prevent the sticking of hard minerals in pipes.
Before buying a non-electric water softener, check if the unit is easy to install. If you think that this is not your thing, then you should prepare yourself to hire a plumber.
As with many other home devices, the thing about water softeners is that you do not get to try them before purchasing them.
We’d like to avoid going back to the store and asking for a replacement or returning it to the manufacturer if purchased online. That is why it is important to read different non-electric water softener reviews before buying one.
Keep in mind that most reviews are based on the personal experiences of customers. One customer may praise a particular product, yet another person may despise it.
Knowing that a product has received an appropriate certification from a reputable organization can help you decide on which water softener you should purchase.
Such a third-party certification can speak enough of the quality of the non-electric water softener.
In my opinion, the two models you should buy are APEC non-electric water softener or Tier 1 eco-friendly non-electric model because they both have pre-filters that are extending the longevity of the system and unique chemical-free systems to convert hard ions to non-adhering molecules. Both of them can serve homes with up to 6 bathrooms.
If you live in a smaller household, you can go with SpringWell Futuresoft Water Softener. This unit also comes with a pre-filter and is ideal for homes with 1-3 bathrooms.
If you want to read more about other water softener system types on the market and reading buying guide, check out this article on Best Water Softener 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide.
Wayne is a water quality expert – The founder of Water Filter Data. He has a degree in microbiology and his field of expertise is drinking water. His goal is to allow for clean and healthy water for as many people as possible.