Of all the water sources, the well water is the worst. Essentially, water from a well is the most likely to be contaminated, has high mineral content, and, above all else, is likely to have high water hardness. In short, well water is bad-quality water, and installing the best water softener for well water is the first thing you need to do.
In fact, the US Geological Survey recommends several water treatment options, such as:
- Water softeners for well water (to remove calcium and magnesium ions that cause water hardness).
- Well water filtration system (removes impurities).
- (Optional) Distillation system.
- (Optional) Disinfection to remove microorganisms that might be pathogenic (bacteria viruses). Some water softeners for well water come with an optional UV filter for disinfection.
You might be wondering: Do you have to install all these systems to get high-quality water from a well? It’s recommended to do as much as possible.
This is the rule of thumb in most cases:
The most important device to install to purify well water is a specalized water softener for well water. To get the best water quality, however, invest in all-in-one water purification system that includes water softener + water filtration system + UV filter (optional).
The main device is a well water softener. Homeowners often seek an all-in-one solution for water purification. That’s why you will also find:
- All-in-one water softener + filtration combo.
- Optional addition of a UV filter to eliminate or deactivate pathogenic organisms like bacteria and viruses.
Well water needs a water softener with boosted key specifications (such as higher grain capacity to soften harder-than-average water from a well). At Waternity Lab we’re all about the specs; we have removed the guesswork and created a list and comparison of the best water softeners for well water (both softener-only as well as softener-filter combos).
You will find the list below, with a review of every water softener for well water. But first, let’s check the key specifications that a water softener for well water should have compared to a standard water softener.
Specifications You Want From Water Softener For Well Water
Not any water softener system is good for well water. That’s because well water has a higher content of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions that contribute to water hardness. These minerals clog piping via limescale built-up and can cause skin irritation issues.
Here’s the deal with well water:
- It usually has 200+ ppm water hardness (needs to be reduced to below 60 ppm).
- Has high contamination grade (that’s why investing in an all-in-one water softener + filtration combo makes sense).
- Can have high iron content (to reduce iron content, you will find the best water softeners for well water with iron in the table below).
The key specification to check is the grain-capacity. With the city water, you can get away with 22,000 and 32,000-grain water softeners. For well water, this capacity should be increased; look for above 40,000-grain water softeners.
Additionally, look for high water flow softeners, especially if you have higher water usage (4,5,6,7 person homes). High GPM flow will prevent the reduction of water pressure.
Water softeners for well water with iron have to have especially high grain capacity (preferably over 60,000-grain capacity).
With that in mind, let’s look at the best water softeners for well water, according to specifications.
Top Well Water Softener Systems (Comparison Table)
|Water Softener||Filtersmart FS1500 Combo||SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency||Fleck 5600SXT Softener||Aquasana Rhino Whole House||SpringWell SS1 Model|
|Type:||Best Well Water Filter + Salt-Free Combo||Best For High Iron Content||Cheapest Well Water Softener||Best Combo With UV Filter||Small Softener For Well Water|
|Flow Rate:||12 GPM||Up to 32 GPM||Up to 15 GPM||7 GPM||11 GPM|
|Capacity:||1,000,000 gallons||Up to 110,000-grain cap.||Up to 64,000-grain cap.||1,000,000 gallons||32,000-grain cap.|
Reviews Of The Best Water Softeners For Well Water
Based on the specifications, we can determine which well water water softeners are better than others. In the reviews of the best water softeners for well water, we’ll look at the type, flow rate, capacity as well as price and average review rating of each device:
#1 Filtersmart FS1500 (Best Water Softener For Well Water + Filter Combo)
|Type:||Best Well Water Filter + Salt-Free Well Water Softener Combo|
|Flow Rate:||12 GPM|
Filtersmart FS1500 is the best water softener, specifically for highly contaminated well water. The key is that Filtersmart offers the best salt-free water softener (1st tank) with an additional water filtration system (2nd tank).
As far as water softener itself is concern the 1,000,000 gallon capacity is essential. Well water does have a higher mineral content (harder water) than ordinary city water. That’s why the massive capacity is needed.
On top of that, a massive 1,000,000 gallon capacity needs a powerful water flow in order to function properly. Filtersmart FS1500 is designed to produce the maximum flow rate of 12 GPM. That means that, despite very thorough water softening, the water pressure in your faucets won’t be affected.
The water filtration that comes with the water softener is essential as well. Well water has a number of contaminants that should also be filtered out. Filtersmart FS1500 has a Jacobi carbon filtration system that filters out:
- Industrial solvents.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as SOCs and THMs.
All in all, the reason why Filtersmart FS1500 is the best water softener for well water is the capable softener combined with a powerful filtration system.
#2 SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency (Best Water Softener For Well Water With Iron)
|Type:||Best For High Iron Content|
|Flow Rate:||Up to 32 GPM|
|Capacity:||Up to 110,000-grain cap.|
For iron, you usually need a thorough salt-based water softener. Two conditions are essential for every water softeners for well water with high iron content:
- High capacity (preferably over 40,000-grain capacity).
- High water flow in order not to lose water pressure (above 10 GPM).
SoftPro Elite excels at both of these specifications. It has wide range of capacities from 24,000-grain (not appropriate for high iron content) to 110,000-grain (excellent for high iron content). What is more, the big 110,000-grain capacity unit has water flow rate of 32 GPM. This is pretty much the biggest GPM you can get on the market.
On top of that, this is a high-efficiency water softener for well water. That means it has an upflow regen cycle that saves more than 70% of water for the regeneration cycle and doesn’t cause as many problems as a standard-efficiency downflow water softener.
Based on the level of water hardness, you can choose from the wide variety of SoftPro Elite water softeners for well water. That, and the good reputation SoftPro softeners enjoy, makes the SoftPro Elite the best standalone well water softener.
#3 Fleck 5600SXT (Cheapest Well Water Softener System)
|Type:||Salt-Based Well Water Softener|
|Flow Rate:||Up to 15 GPM|
|Capacity:||Up to 64,000-grain cap.|
Fleck 5600SXT is probably the most well-known water softener on the market. It is a standard water softener; salt-based with a downflow regen cycle. It has a good reputation in terms of reliability and longevity.
What is important for well water, you can choose a model that has up to 64,000-grain capacity. That is more than enough to reduce even 300+ ppm hard water from a ‘bad’ well. On top of that, the 15 GPM water flow rate guarantees that you don’t experience a fall in water flow.
It needs to be said that Fleck 5600SXT is the test-and-tried old school water softener, appropriate for well water. There are more modern softeners out there but those either don’t have the needed capacity for well water softening or are much more expensive.
The price of the Fleck 5600SXT is also a significant factor when you’re trying to reduce the well water hardness. This standard device does cost less than $1,000 while the modern devices can cost well over $15,000.
#4 Aquasana Rhino (Best Combo With UV Filter)
|Type:||Best Combo With UV Filter|
|Flow Rate:||7 GPM|
Aquasana Rhino is one of the best water softeners overall. Even in the list of the top water softeners of any kind, it ranks quite high. The best part of Rhino is that it’s a water purification platform; you can add or remove parts like the water filter, softener, even UV filter.
Where does well water softening comes in?
Well, the Aquasana Rhino has that coveted 1,000,000 gallon capacity. If you need to soften very hard water (like well water), that’s ideal. The drawback of this all-in-one platform is the limited 7 GPM water flow rate. Because the whole system softens and purifies water so thoroughly, it’s can decrease the water pressure. That’s why you have to have high water pressure to install Aquasana Rhino.
That does come with some advantages, however:
- You get a salt-free water softener which is the best kind for well water.
- Water filtration system will eliminate contaminants commonly found in well water.
- UV light filter is an advanced feature; it will reduce or kill off bacteria and viruses.
In fact, the Aquasana Rhino is the only well water softener combo system that comes with the UV light filter. That’s why it’s most appropriate for households would truly want to drink and use pristine crystal-clear water.
#5 SpringWell SS1 Model (Small Water Softener System For Well Water)
|Type:||Upflow Water Softener System|
|Flow Rate:||11 GPM|
SpringWell has the best reputation in the world of water softeners. The SS1 model is a salt-based upflow regen water softener that is capable the deal with less hard well water.
It has a 32,000-grain capacity and can produce the maximum water flow rate of 11 GPM. These specs are not enough for a big household that draws water from a very hard water source. However, if you have a smaller household and the water hardness is somewhere around 200 ppm, the SpringWell SS1 model will do quite well.
Here the thing:
Everybody wants a SpringWell water softener. They are not exactly perfect for well water. But if your well water is not terrible, you can get a SpringWell device to help you reduce the water hardness below 60 ppm.
Additionally, despite being a SpringWell softener, you won’t spend a fortune on it because of slightly lower specifications. Ordinarily, you’re looking to spend over $1,500 for bigger SpringWell softeners. The SS1 model, however, is more moderately priced.
Verdict Of Well Water Systems
Well water needs high capacity and high water flow rate devices. Here the softening ‘power’ is everything.
Above is a list of the most powerful water softeners that are capable of dealing with very hard water.
If you have any questions in regards to how to treat hard well water, you can pose it in the comments below.