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Shower filters, do you need a water softener?

Some of you might live in a place (like an apartment) where you do not have access to install a whole-home water softener. So what about a water filter? Will that work just as well?

Yes, and no.

Obviously, you’re only removing the minerals from the water at the source, which is the shower. This could be adequate if you have just one shower or just one place where you need to soften the water. Water shower filters can be effective, and they’re better than nothing, although they’re not as good as a water softener. On the plus side, they are relatively  easy to install as well, not needing a plumber.

Here are the top shower filters:

Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mount 10,000 Gallon Capacity Filtered Showerhead, Chrome Finish

Ranked #1

Product Features:

  • Filter showerhead
  • Stationary design
  • Patented filter that reduces 99% of chlorine reducing sulfur odors and scale
  • Anti clog rubber spray nozzles and 10,000 gallon filter capacity
  • Easy to install with no tool required
  • 5 spray settings with massage
  • NSF Certified with a 5 year warranty


Sprite HO2-WH-M Universal Shower Filter and 3 Setting Shower Head, White

Product Features:

  • Shower Chlorine-Free
  • Softer Hair and Smoother Skin
  • Breathe Easier and Healthier
  • High Capacity Filter Including Massaging Shower Head
  • Reversible Filter Cartridge (model HOC)

Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System with Adjustable Showerhead

Product Features:

  • Unique dual-stage filtration with up-flow filter design provides superior shower filtration
  • Removes over 90% of chlorine for softer skin and shinier, healthier hair
  • Enhances pH balance for the purest shower possible
  • 2.5 gallons per minute of ultra-filtered high quality water

Culligan ISH-100 Level 2 Inline Shower Filter

Product Features:

  • White inline shower filter (showerhead not included)
  • Reduces chlorine taste and odor up to 97%
  • Reduces Sulfur odor
  • Reduces Scale
  • Culligan ISH-100 Shower Filter prevents drying of skin and hair



How much should I spend on a water softener?

Most of us live in a city or rural area with hard water, it’s more common than uncommon. Over time, you will see the affects of these minerals in your water, and it’s not pretty. Dry hair and skin, and residue left on dishes are just two affects of hard water.

There are a wide range of water softeners and price ranges to choose from. From as little as $400 to more than $10,000. You have a lot of choices. In the end, choose a system that fits your needs and your budget and don’t be swayed by information that does not fit your needs and your budget.

Some things to consider:

  • What size of water softener do you need? Take into account how much water needs to be softened (based on the size of your family), how large your home is, and how hard the water is.
  • How long do you want your water softener to last? What kind of warranty do you want?
  • There is a vast difference in the quality of the water softeners on the market. Some have cheaper components, and of course, will not last as long. Get the best you can afford for the best value.
  • You can have a water analysis done to determine what is in your water, if you wish. However, the city where you live should also be able to provide this information.
  • You can certainly install a water softener yourself, but you can never underestimate the value of having a professional installation. Factor this into the overall cost of your water softener.


Fleck 7000 SXT Review

The Fleck 7000 SXT is one of the newer designs of the Whole House Water softeners from Fleck. This one features their new 7000 valve and has a larger capacity which can handle 64,000 grains per regeneration. The valve works with a 35 gpm and allows high pressure with a 1.25 valve.

The unit features an integral microprocessor and can be programmed so you can get minimum slat consumption for a highly efficient regeneration. With metered on demand water softening this unit can save you money both on water and on salt.

Fleck 7000 SXT

This unit features a 12 x 48 resin tank and a 15 x 17 x 36 square brine tank which is equipped with a safety float to prevent overflows. The complete system measures 30 x 15 x 56 and features the 7000 SXT on demand control valve. The purchase of this unit comes with 2.0 cubic feet of high capacity resin so you can start using it right away without spending out of your pocket.

Features of the Fleck 7000 SXT

  • High Capacity. This Fleck unit can handle up to 64,000 grain, making it perfect as a whole house system for larger households and even for small businesses.
  • Complete Salt Based System. The Fleck 7000 also comes with a resin tank and a brine tank, equipped with a safety float which ensures you don’t have to worry about overflows which can cause expensive water damage in your home or office.
  • Multiple Warranties. Protect your purchase so you can shop with confidence. There is a 10 year warranty on the tanks as well as a 5 year warranty on the valve.

Advantages of the Fleck 7000 SXT

  • Eco-Friendly. Like all Fleck units, this one is made with top quality materials which are environmentally friendly. The unit is designed to use less power consumption over a year than other similar models on the market. Because the unit uses less salt it is also better for the environment.
  • Easy to Use. The Fleck 7000 is easily programmed thanks to the electronic powerhead that offers the end user the ability to program it with push buttons. Once installed you can tweak the programming to be suitable for your specific home use.
  • Easy to Assemble. The unit comes fully assembled and ready to be installed. There is an included instructional video that shows you step by step installation from start to finish. If you prefer you can get a professional to install the unit for you.

Things to be Aware of

Depending on which configuration you choose, the Fleck 7000 can be on the expensive side of things. 

Bottom Line

The Fleck 7000 SXT is suitable for homes with 2 to 6 people and can handle hardness of up to 50 grains per gallon. This high flow system is great for homes with 4 or more bathrooms and with showers with multiple shower heads.

On The Go Portable Review

If what you need is a portable water softener this model from On the Go is a good choice. Weighing just 18 lbs and measuring 22” H x 6.75” in diameter, this unit is not only portable but also lightweight and easy to move around, accentuated by a carry handle which makes the unit easy to carry.

This portable water softener is suitable for your RV, providing you with all the benefits of softened water even while on the go. With this unit you can prevent the buildup of scale and prevent stain formation as a result of rust and hard water.

On The Go Portable

This portable water softener has all the necessary features to provide you with the best water on the go. Have water with improved taste and odor that does not dry out your skin with this model. With a grain capacity of 8,000 and a production capacity of 320 to 800 gallons this water softener is a good choice.

Features of the On The Go Portable

  • Capacity. The On The Go Portable is small but provides a high capacity of softened water for its size. It offers a capacity of 8,000 grains and is able of producing up to 800 gallons of water per regeneration.
  • Salt Based Model. This water softener uses standard table salt unlike other types of water softeners that use special salts. There is no need to purchase expensive salts or to drag large bags of specialty salt from the store and halfway across the country.
  • Quick and Easy Regeneration. The On The Go uses common table salt and regenerates quickly, easily and at an affordable cost. One box of table salt is all you need and this is easy to input thanks to the large mouth design of the unit. Once the salt is added, the water softener regenerates in less than 15 minutes, a service that will provide you with around 20 days of softened water.

Advantages of the On The Go Portable

  • Output. Don’t be fooled by the size of this portable unit, as it is still able to provide high flow rates regardless of its size. It allows you to see little to no low pressure drops so you can have an even and adequate water flow.
  • Easy Installation. This unit provides easy installation with its compact size, and can be placed nearly anywhere. Hook up is easy and fast as there is no need for any tools to install it. To set up this water softener you just need a standard hose connection to attach it to a water source and to your boat or RV.
  • Does Not Need Electricity. The On The Go does not need any sort of fuel to power it. There is no need for electricity, propane etc. As such, this little unit will provide you with the best quality water without the added expense of having to pay for something to power the unit.

Things to be Aware of

Some users have noted that the hose parts included with the water softener are not entirely durable, so that may be something to be aware of.

Bottom Line

The On The Go Portable comes with a host of accessories that make it an ideal choice. Your purchase provides you with harness test strips, inlet & outlet caps, inlet high-flow shut-off valve, back-flush adapter and other hose adapters and connectors. It is a good choice if you are looking for a portable water softener for your marine and RV expeditions.

602abcWATER 16k Review

The Clack 602abcWater 16k portable water softener is a powerful water softening appliance that stands 18 inches tall and is 10 inches in diameter. It provides a high capacity of 16,000 grain and is portable with a custom metal carry handle. The appliance is suitable for use in RV’s, Motorhomes, Motorcycles and Boats.

It can also be used for pressure washing and carpet cleaning if you want soft water to do just those tasks. The portable water softener also features a soft water test kit for those who want to take it on the road. This appliance can be had in three different colors; Almond, Blue and Black.

602abcWATER 16k

The 602abcWater by Clack water softener is completely portable for all your on the go water softening needs. The system regenerates in just a couple minutes but has a high capacity of 16,000 grains regardless.

Features of the 602abcWATER 16k

  • Completely Portable. This unit is 10 inches in diameter and 18 inches tall. It comes with a custom handle that makes it extremely easy to carry. The handle is made from a powder coated metal handle making it very strong and comfortable.
  • Regeneration. This unit regenerates quickly and with only one box of common table salt. Water softener salt can be used with this unit as well. The unit is manually regenerated.
  • Components. The Calk 602abcWater water softener comes with a number of components, such as a soft water test kit and brass screw in hose adapters. You are guaranteed the best components as each package is hand assembled to ensure quality.

Advantages of the 602abcWATER 16k

  • Quick & Simple Regeneration. A part of being portable is meaning that the appliance must adapt to the changes of life on the go. And this it does thanks to its quick and simple regeneration. The appliance can be regenerated in just a couple minutes with common table salt or with specialty water softening salt.
  • High Capacity. This water softener is small but very capable. It provides a capacity of 16,000 grain supplying around 2000 gallons of water per regeneration at an 8GPG rate of water softening. ‘

Things to be Aware of

The unit is not entirely pre-charged, so you will want to charge it prior to using it for the first time.

Bottom Line

The 602abcWater by Calk is a sturdy portable water softener that can take care of all your needs on the go. It is also suitable for single occasional uses such as car washing and carpet cleaning. It packs a punch with a 16,000 grain capacity but is easy to maintain requiring just table salt and a couple minutes to regenerate. Ensure you charge the portable water softener before use for the best results.

Aquasana SimplySoft Review

The Aquasana SimplySoft combination pro install kit features a water filter and water softener. The water filter component included in this kit is the Aquasana Premium Rhino and the water softener included is the SimplySoft salt-free water softener. This kit provides you with top quality professional grade equipment for your home or business place.

The SimplySoft gets rid of chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, silt, rust, sediment, industrial solvents and water soluble metals – taking care of any pollutant that can get into your water system.

Aquasana SimplySoft

This professional combination kit has all the features you need to get clean, healthy and soft water flowing through your pipes. This system has the features that will get rid of up to 97% of the chlorine from your regular tap water. The SimplySoft comes with bypass valves, brass fittings, bend supports of all grade A quality.

Features of the Aquasana SimplySoft

  • Salt Free. The water softener that is a part of this kit requires no salt. It has been, however, proven to be just as effective as your salt based systems with the ability to reduce scale by 99.6%.
  • NAC Technology. This technology allows you to soften your water without demineralizing it. This means that there is no negative impact to the environment as there is no sodium being pumped into your communal water supply. It works by crystalizing the unwanted minerals so they don’t bind and form scale buildup.
  • High Efficiency. This premium kit provides the best in water softening and water filtration, as it greatly reduces all harmful contaminants in water. Contaminants that the system will remove include chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, sediment, rust, silt and water soluble metals.

Advantages of the Aquasana SimplySoft

  • High Capacity. The SimplySoft can get rid of up to 97% of chlorine and can reduce scale by up to 99.6%. The filter is good for up to 10 years or one million gallons of water making it suitable for businesses or large residences.
  • Included Installation Kit. Everything you need to have this system installed is included with your purchase. Not only are your installation items included but they are also top quality. They include bend supports, brass fittings, shut off valves, slip unions, brass tee fittings and bypass valves.
  • Easy to Maintain. The SimplySoft does not require salt, electricity, or back flushing. The system basically takes care of itself once properly installed.

Things to be Aware of

Owners of the system note that the pre-filter has to be changed every one to two months or it will get plugged, which will result in a reduced water flow.

Bottom Line

The Aquasana SimplySoft is a great choice for homes and businesses alike. It takes care of all your usual water contaminants and does this at a professional level. It is however easy to install and easy to maintain by the end user and all round a great purchase if you need a whole home water filter and water softener.

Watts RV PRO-1000 Review

The Watts RV Pro-1000 (also called the M7002) is a high quality water softener or conditioner. This portable water softener is the ideal choice for the avid traveller who spends a lot of time on the road. If you live in a motor home or camp in an RV on a regular basis you don’t have to settle for hard water.

With this portable water softener, you can have healthier and better quality water while you are on the go. It measures 22 x 8 inches in size and will take up a little bit of space but since it runs on table salt there is no added gigantic bags of salt to haul.

Watts RV PRO-1000

The Watts RV Pro-1000 is perfect for on the go use. The unit will regenerate in 20 minutes on normal table salt, while each regeneration process requires 2 pounds of salt.

Features of the Watts RV PRO-1000

  • Test Strips Included. The included test strips help you to monitor the quality of your water and the efficacy of the Watts RV Pro-1000. Test before installing the unit and after to see how well the unit is working. You can also run periodic tests so you can know when to regenerate the unit..
  • Uses Normal Table Salt. This will help to cut expenses for you for sure. With just 2 lbs. of salt you can regenerate this unit and provide yourself with gallons of softened water. 2 lbs. of salt is also more convenient to carry than bags of commercial water softening salt especially when you live a fast paced life.

Advantages of the Watts RV PRO-1000

  • Portability. The unit is highly portable, and with a carry handle it is easy to carry around. It is sizable and will take up some space in your luggage, but it is still easy to carry around if you are camping, living in a trailer park or enjoying a boat ride on the open waters.
  • Easy Regeneration. If you are out and about, you don’t have time for lengthy and difficult manual regenerations. Neither will you have space for heavy bags of commercial water softening salt. With this unit you don’t have to worry about any of that. The unit easily regenerates water with just 2 lbs. of normal table salt and quickly regenerates in just 20 minutes.

Things to be Aware of

This unit has to be regenerated more often than your standard whole house unit, so bear that in mind before making a purchase.

Bottom Line

The Watts RV PRO-1000 features a portable design that is great for use in RV’s, motorhomes and Marine vehicles. It is also great for cleaning needs outside of the house such as car washing and carpet cleaning, and it makes for one of the best water softener options out there today.