Morton Water Softener Review

morton water softener review

A Morton water softener is the best choice if you are looking for a water softener that combines a compact design with an affordable price tag.

Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole...

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These units are capable of treating water with high hardness levels and removing dissolved iron. Their recharge cycles run based on actual water usage, saving water and money.

Do your sink faucets have a layer of white mineral deposits around the taps? Does your skin or hair feel dry after showering? Are your laundered whites not-so-white and brights not-so-bright? If so, you may have hard water.

Read on to learn more about softening your water and why a Morton water softener is an effective, economical solution for any household.

What Is Soft Water?

Whether your household water is supplied by a city or a private well, it contains dissolved minerals.

Two of the most common of these minerals are calcium and magnesium, which are present as positively-charged ions in the water. The higher the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions, the harder the water.

Over time, the dissolved minerals build up on appliances and faucets, and it is difficult and time-consuming to remove these deposits.

The ideal solution is to remove the calcium and magnesium ions before they even reach household appliances, faucets, and showers. The ions can be removed using a variety of methods, including ion-exchange, reverse-osmosis, and adding chelating agents to the water.

The resulting water is called soft water. The most common method used in commercial water softeners is ion-exchange using resin beads.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

how a water softener works

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The resin beads in a water softener tank are charged with negative ions.

Hard water coming into a house passes through a tank filled with these resin beads, which attract and bind the positive calcium and magnesium ions.

The soft water then flows out of the tank to the faucets or appliances around the home. The resin beads will need to be cleaned after some time in a process called recharging.

The most effective way to recharge the resin beads is to wash them with a solution of salty water, or brine, that is made from salt added to the brine tank in the softening unit. The sodium ions displace the calcium and magnesium ions, leaving the resin beads ready for the next softening cycle.

During the recharge cycle, the water softener is essentially out-of-order; it cannot provide soft water and recharge at the same time. However, to avoid this downtime and provide 24-hour access to soft water, there are two-tank models that provide a second tank for the recharge cycle. These units are costlier and take up more space.

The amount of salt needed depends on the hardness of the water, which is a measure of the amount of dissolved sodium carbonate in grains per gallon (gpg.)

Hard water typically has more than 10 gpg while soft water has less than 1 gpg. While concerns have been raised about whether the amount of salt in softened water is healthy, studies have shown that the amount of sodium carbonate that is present after softening is negligible and not linked to any adverse health effects.

Note that sodium chloride is not present in the softening process.

Water softeners can be used in homes that are on city water or well water. While generally considered safe to use with a septic tank, check with a professional to make sure your septic system can accommodate the extra water introduced by the backwash during the recharge cycle.

Why Use a Morton Water Softener?

While hard water poses no health threats, it can damage plumbing, requires more detergents in bathing and laundry, and leaves unsightly spots and residue on dishes.

Soft water remedies these problems and can also make your hair and skin softer and your drinking water taste better. Also, reduced mineral build-up means a longer life for your appliances.

Morton System Saver 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30
  • Compact single tank design: 17” wide x 21” deep x 43” tall
  • High water flow rates over 11 gallons per minute

Regardless of household size or water usage, there is a Morton water softener to suit your needs.


Most models are compact and occupy very little floor space. In addition, they are all programmable and user-friendly – simply enter the hardness level of the water, date, and time and the softener does the rest.


All Morton models have “Look Ahead” technology that predicts water softening needs based on usage; the recharge cycle then only runs when necessary, saving water and energy.


During times of high-usage there is an “on demand” option that will immediately start a recharge cycle if necessary, which is approximately two hours for all models. In addition, all models can be used with city or well water lines.


For best results, Morton’s salt should be used with every model and is widely available at home improvement and hardware stores, as well as at many grocery stores.


For all softener systems, keep the softener tank at least half full of salt and fill the tank with two bags of salt every two months.

Model Specifications and Pricing

Morton water softeners cover a range of options, making Morton a versatile and affordable option. Grain capacity is the number of grains per gallon of dissolved calcium and magnesium that can be removed before a recharge cycle is needed.


The maximum allowable water hardness refers to the hardness of your household water – the harder it is, the larger the grain capacity needed to treat it. The amount of water needed for each recharge cycle varies from 21 gallons to 40 gallons. All models remove dissolved iron, ranging from 6 parts per million (ppm) to 12 ppm.


To summarize the key features of Morton water softeners:

  • Grain Capacity Range: 20,000-45,000 grains
  • Maximum Allowable Water Hardness: 95-120 gpg
  • Household Size: 1-6 people
  • Dimensions: 17 x 21 x 43 inches

Most Morton water softener models can be purchased at Menards home store, either in-store or online. The exception is the Premium model, which is only available at Sam’s Club. The Ultra model can also be purchased at Walmart and True Value hardware stores. Prices vary depending on the retail outlet; the lowest price is given but should only be used as an estimate.

Models for Small or Medium Households

The Select is Morton’s smallest model, with a grain capacity of 20,000 grains. 

Designed for a household of one or two people. The Ultra and Premium models are designed for households of up to four people and have higher grain capacities of 27,000 gpg and 30,000 gpg, respectively. 

All three of these models have a maximum allowable water hardness of 95 gpg. In addition, all three have approximately the same dimensions of 17 inches wide, 20.5 inches deep, and 43 inches in height.

Models for Large Households

Morton offers two models of water softener that are designed for use in households with six or more people – the Elite and the Demand Control. 

The Elite has a grain capacity of 34,000 grains and a maximum allowable water hardness of 110 gpg, while the Demand Control has a grain capacity of 45,000 grains and a maximum allowable water hardness of 121 gpg. 

The Elite has the same dimensions as the Select, Ultra, and Premium; the Demand Control is just slightly larger at 21 inches deep and 48 inches in height.

Comparison to Competition

Water is an important aspect in every life and you want to make sure you have the best treatment system available for you and your family. 

Read on to learn how a Morton water softener stacks up to its competition.

OMNIFilter OM34K-S-S06 Twin Tank Water Softener, black
  • 34,000 grain water softener for homes with 2-4 people
  • Enjoy spot-free dishes, sinks, showers, and a longer life for clothes and linens
  • Reduces hardness, scale, iron, calcium and lime

OMNIFilter models are programmable and all models remove 5 ppm of dissolved iron. Recharge cycles are longer than other brands and range from 77 minutes to 235 minutes. 


The amount of water needed for each recharge cycle is also more than competitors and ranges from 38 gallons to 60 gallons. They are not as wide as Morton units, at only 13 inches in width, but are otherwise comparable in dimensions at 24 inches in depth and 45 inches in height.


The exception is model OM34K, which is 53 inches in height. All models have a maximum allowable water hardness of 99-100 gpg. The smallest model from OMNIFilter, OM26KCS, is designed for households of one or two people.


It has a grain capacity of 26,000 grains, a maximum allowable water hardness of 100 gpg. Models OM32KCS and OM34K are designed for households of two to four people and have grain capacities of 32,000 grains and 34,000 grains, respectively.


Model OM40KCS is the largest, for households of 6 or more people, and has a grain capacity of 40,000 grains.

Pros

  • Reduces hardness, scale, iron, calcium and lime

Cons

  • It cycles to often

WATER BOSS 74016 Big Boss Water Softener
  • A quiet, highly efficient water softener with built-in iron and sediment filters

WaterBoss water softeners are compact and have fast recharge cycles, ranging from 21 to 46 minutes, and use less water than their competitors at 16 to 27 gallons. 

All models include a built-in sediment filter and reduce dissolved iron by up to 10 ppm. 


WaterBoss softeners are shorter than their competitors, at approximately 26 to 33 inches in height. All models are approximately 15 inches wide and 19 inches in depth, except for the ProPlus 380, which is just over 16 inches wide and 20 inches in depth. 


The models for smaller households of one or two people are the Pro 180 and the 700. They have grain capacities of 18,000 grains and 22,000 grains, respectively, and allow for a maximum water hardness of 70 gpg.


For large households of more than 5 people, models 900 and ProPlus 380 are WaterBoss’ options. They have respective grain capacities of 36,400 grains and 38,000 grains, and a maximum allowable water hardness of 90 gpg and 100 gpg. 

Pros

  • Reduces hardness, scale, iron, calcium and lime

Cons

  • It cycles to often

Whirlpool WHES30 30,000 Grain Water Softener - Built in USA - Salt...
  • Whirlpool WHES30 is ideal for households of 1-4+ people and removes up to 8ppm of clear water (ferrous) iron
  • NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms such as embarrassing stains, build-up on your plumbing and faucets as well...
  • Whirlpool water softeners automatically calculate how much salt and water is required to regenerate and only use what is...

Whirlpool offers a wide range of water softeners, all of which are appropriate for households of four or more people. All single-tank models predict recharge cycles based on water usage and automatically calculate how much salt to use, saving water, salt, and money. 


All models reduce dissolved iron by 9 to 12 ppm and use 33 to 42 gallons of water per recharge cycle. All models are larger than Morton units, at 18 inches wide, 19 inches in depth, and 48 inches in height. 


Whirlpool’s smallest model, WHES33, has a grain capacity of 33,000 grains, a maximum allowable water hardness of 105 gpg.


Models WHES40 and WHES44 can accommodate up to 5 people, with grain capacities of 40,000 grains and 44,000 grains, respectively. Their maximum allowable water hardness values are 125 gpg and 140 gpg. 


The largest Whirlpool model is WHES48 and can accommodate households of more than 6 people. It has a grain capacity of 28,000 grains and a maximum allowable water hardness of 160 gpg;.

Pros

  • It uses efficient water and salt saving technology

Cons

  • A resin tank that split

Pros and Cons of Morton Water Softeners

Pros

  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Affordability at all model levels
  • Automated recharge cycles to optimize water usage
  • Easy-to-use controls

Cons

  • Moderately-high water usage for recharge cycles
  • Lower capacity for removing dissolved iron in lower-priced models
  • Warranty is not as good as competitors’

Conclusion: A Morton Water Softener Combines the Best of Affordability and Functionality

There is a plethora of water softening options on the market and a Morton water softener is the best choice for a whole-house water softener that can treat a high level of water hardness in a space-saving, economical design. 

While the units use more water per recharge cycle than some competitors, it is not excessive and amounts to approximately a regular load of laundry. 

Morton’s warranty on the softener tanks is quite standard at a 10-year limited warranty, but there is only a 1-year limited warranty on parts while competitors offer 3- or 5-year limited warranties. 

Overall, Morton balances quality with economy. 

You can have a high-end Morton water softener that provides your household with water that tastes great, will protect your expensive appliances from harmful mineral deposits, and leave your dishes sparkling and your clothes cleaner and brighter.

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