Lowes Water Softener Reviews – Pricing and Information
Lowes is a well-known company that spans across the country offering a large variety of home improvement products and options to enhance your living quarters. One of these many items that you can frequently find at this home improvement chain is a vast selection of water softener units.
The quality of the water that comes out of our tap is essential for the well-being and health of the everyday household, but not every water softening unit performs the same as the next. It’s important to choose a group that can take care of your water softening needs, but also provide a great value to your family and your budget.
We’ll be taking a look at several water softener models that Lowes provides and offer valuable insights into what may be the best options for your families needs. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be able to make a particular choice on which model you should purchase for your home as well as understanding that you’re getting the best value provided.
What Are Water Softeners and How Do They Work?
The Problem With Hard Water
If you do not live in an area where water is hard, then a water softening unit is probably not a primary concern for your household. However, individuals who have to deal with hard water coming from their tap have a lot more issues with hard water than with soft water areas.
Hard water comes from the mineral deposits that the liquid picks up while it's still in the ground. This factor doesn’t mean that the water is unfit to drink as many of these minerals that we consume inadvertently can be very beneficial to our body’s health.
The two main culprits of hard water specifically are calcium and magnesium. High amounts of these two elements make up the majority of what turns into hard water, and they’re also the cause for many problems associated with having this issue in the house. The presence of these two minerals are the reason why your water doesn’t function well in your home.
Hard water can adversely affect the effectiveness of your soaps and detergents that you use in your home. When you wash your clothes, the soaps might end up sealing in dirt and grime instead of cleaning it out of your fabrics, and you’ll have stiff clothes that can come out feeling waxy because the soaps can’t dissolve in your hard water fully.
The same is true for body soap and shampoos that you’ll use in the shower or bath. Your skin won’t feel clean because anything you use won't fully rinse off and instead leave behind this filmy substance after you dry off. Also, your hair will come out looking lackluster and without any life to it.
All of the nasty soap film on the shower and the water spots left over on your dishes is all a result of hard water blocking your soaps ability to do its job, and all it will do in the end is leave you frustrated. What is worse is that hard water will build up calcium deposits in your piping which will reduce drainage and present a sizable plumbing bill.
On top of that, hard water can make your water heating unit work harder and as a result, reduce the lifespan of your unit. Hard water is a damaging force that will cause more problems the longer you suffer from using it. Water softeners prevent all of these problems and more which makes it all the more important to get a unit installed as soon as you can.
Fixing The Issue With Water Softeners
So how does a water softener take these problematic elements out of your water to prevent damage to your home? Typically water softener units are plumbed into your homes water supply and then perform a process which is known as ion exchange. In layman's terms, this means that the unit exchanges the magnesium and calcium minerals for something else.
Commonly what’s traded out is sodium which comes out of small polystyrene beads which can also be known as zeolite or resin. All of these beads carry a negative charge which is vital because magnesium and calcium in water will bring a positive charge. Your positive elements will cling to the beads when your hard water gets flushed through the tank.
While sodium ions carry a positive charge, it’s not strong enough compared to the charges brought in magnesium and calcium ions so when a robust brine solution flushed through the system, it can drive the calcium and magnesium off of the beads. Water softeners will frequently have a separate brine tank to start a three-phase regeneration cycle.
In the first phase, which is known as the backwash cycle, reverses water flow to flush out dirt from the tank. The second phase which is a recharging process will clean a highly concentrated sodium mix from the brine tank and into the mineral tank. The sodium flushes the accumulated magnesium and calcium by replacing those ions with sodium ions instead.
Once the magnesium and calcium ions flushed down the drain, the mineral tank gets cleaned from all the excess brine, and the brine tank gets refilled. Most of the famous water softener models will have an automatic regeneration system while more basic models will have an electric timer that will flush and recharge the system on a schedule.
During any of these recharging phases, soft water will not be available for use, so time your chores accordingly.
Another form of control makes the use of a computerized system that watches how much water gets used. When the beads have been depleted of sodium thanks to the overabundance of magnesium and calcium ions, the computer reads these levels and initiates the regeneration cycle.
Soft water will still be accessible while the regeneration process is underway because the computerized system will reserve enough resin for use while it undergoes the process which means you’ll be able to use your water like usual without needing to worry about dealing with hard water.
The third and final type of control utilizes a form of a mechanical meter that measures water usage and will start the charging process once it hits a certain point. These systems are excellent because they don’t use any electrical components and your mineral tank will only recharge when it’s needed.
You’ll save on your energy bills, and if equipped with two different mineral tanks, you’ll always have access to soft water while one mineral tank is going through a recharge.
What Makes Lowes Water Softener Unique?
Lowes carries the best rated Whirlpool brand water softeners as well as several highly rated softeners by Pelican, Krystal Pure, and A.O Smith. The whirlpool units come in different grain ratings from 33,000 all the way up to 46,000, and they come with a five year warranty with your purchase.
The three Krystal pure units are much more expensive than the Whirlpool brands, but their grain rating ranges from 42,000 all the way up to 64,000. Krystal pure tank design is slimmer and would be more functional for families with small households where space is at a premium.
Pelican isn’t far behind Krystal Pure both in price, design and grain rating. Two models work as both a filtration system and a water softener system all in one. One model has a grain rating of up to 140 grains per gallon while the other works without the use of salt to soften up your household's water.
A.O Smith only features two models on Lowe’s website, a 35,000 grain and a 40,000 grain model. Both units come highly rated, and they’re some of the more affordable options available.
The prices for each water softening unit is different depending on the brand and how much filtration power you’re looking to get. We’ll go over top-rated models and the price range you can expect to see from each one.
First, we’ll start with Whirlpool brand water softeners since they’re a brand that most people know the best. All Whirlpool water softeners are all NSF certified to provide the best in hard water removal.
Whirlpool Water Softeners
The Whirlpool 33,000-Grain Water Softener is currently priced on Amazon for $$$.$$ and features:
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The Whirlpool 44,000-Grain Water Softener is selling for $$$.$$ on Lowes' website. This model features:
Whirlpool SMART 46000-Grain Water Softener is priced on Lowes' website for $$$.$$. This model comes with the following features:
Next up we’ll take a look at the A.O Smith brand water softeners.
A.O. Smith Water Softeners
A.O. Smith 35000-Grain Water Softener is currently selling for $$$.$$ Lowes' website which makes it one of the most budget-friendly models displayed. The features that come with this model are:
A.O. Smith 40000-Grain Water Softener is the only other model that Lowest carries, currently priced at $$$.$$ on their website. These models core features include:
Pelican Water Nature Soft Salt-Free Water Softeners
Pelican Water Nature Soft Salt-Free Water Softeners are one of the higher rated and pricier options out there for an advanced water softening unit. Even though they cost $$$$.$$ on Amazon, they're well worth the price.
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Pelican Water Naturesoft Salt-Free Water Softener is a model rated for four to six bathrooms and would be ideal for larger households. This model is currently selling on Amazon for $$$$.$$. This model's features include:
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How It Compares
Lowe’s largest competitor aside from online vendors would be Home Depot. Home Depot carries a large assortment of water softeners, but they do not sell many of the same brand names like Lowes does.
As far as comparing product, the only brand name that carries over in both stores would be the Pelican brand water softeners which Lowes has more variety with that brand all while retaining the same prices.
Lowes prices even beat online competitors like Amazon in both availability and rates depending on the model view, not to mention there’s always an associate that can be found to determine best if a model you’re interested in will work well for your household.
What We Think
Lowes carries some of the most trusted brands and for reasonable prices. While Home Depot carries its assortment of water softeners that have their own higher ratings, you won’t have access to nearly the same brands as what Lowes carries regularly.
Customers were satisfied with the quality of the products that were provided and even more thrilled with the prices and availability of each product. With that in mind, it’s not hard for us to agree that Lowe’s selection of water softener units is a great value and an even better quality.