If you have hard water, which is water filled with minerals, then you probably know the need to soften it by using a water softener. Hard water can leave a film on everything it touches, from your bathtub to your dishes to your skin. It can also cause discoloration. Sometimes hard water tastes bad or has an odd taste that isn't pleasant.
Softened water is cleaner water. The impurities are removed to provide clear and good tasting water. It doesn't leave residue or build up behind and allows you to avoid issues with staining or film. However, to properly soften your water, you need a good water softener system.
We want to provide you with a look at one of the options on the market. RainSoft has been in the business of helping people get mineral-free water that is clean and crisp since the 1950s. This company provides some different options and works to customize a solution for your home. Learn more about your options in a RainSoft water softener. Get information about pricing and the pros and cons as well. Also, see how RainSoft stacks up against its competitors to help you make the most informed decision.
Water Softeners Explained
Before we look at the water softener systems from RainSoft, let us first learn a bit about water softeners in general. This will help you understand how they work and what they can do for you. This is helpful information to have when you are shopping because it enables you to go into the buying situation with some background knowledge of what the system should do for you.
A water softener is needed if you have hard water to any degree. Well water really benefits from a softener, but some municipal water sources also need softening. Hard water is any water that contains minerals. These minerals get into your water in the ground as water rushed over and eroded rocks and metals in the ground, such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Without softening, it causes build up on pipes and plumbing fixtures and anything that water comes in contact with. The softener removes the minerals and replaces them with sodium ions in a process called ion exchange. The water flows into the softener, the ion exchange occurs, the minerals stay behind, and the softened water goes into your pipes.
You do have to do some routine maintenance of your water softener to ensure it works. To make the ion exchange happen, you must add salt specifically made for the water softener to the system's holding tank, called the brine tank. The softener takes from the brine tank as needed to soften the water.
Softening your water can extend the life of appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, or help prevent breakdowns of refrigerators with water dispensers. It keeps pipes flowing better, makes water taste better and improves the life of plumbing fixtures. It helps make it easier to wash off soap and reduces soap scum, while also making your skin and hair cleaner. It can make clothes brighter and prevent yellowing or staining from deposits in water, along with preventing build-up on glasses, silverware and other items. It makes it easier to clean sinks, bathtubs and toilets. You also need less soap to wash since hard water can reduce lather and make it tougher to get things clean.
RainSoft Water Softener Specifications and Details
RainSoft has been making water softeners since 1953. The company offers comprehensive water filtration systems. Water softeners are the first step in making your water cleaner. They are referred to as water conditioning systems by RainSoft. The company offers four water conditioning system options.
The EC5 series is fully configurable and computer-controlled. It features real-time status notifications for low salt, power loss, power restored, filter change and service and other reminders. These show on the display on the system, but you can also get them in the RainSoft Remind app.
The system has a microprocessor controller to manage systems, including regeneration. It features a self-cleaning control valve and a self-lubricating 75-inch-per-pound drive motor. The DC power supply uses less energy, and the system has fewer moving parts for durability and less maintenance. The brine valve system works to prevent overflows. Plus, the system has a fail-safe tank within a tank and battery backup built in to prevent data loss in an electrical outage.
The EC4 series also has various configurations to meet your specific needs. It has a smart-feature microprocessor controller that is super fast acting. It regenerates as needed on its own while removing calcium and magnesium. It features a self-cleaning control valve and has high flow rates for good supply of water without loss of pressure. It also has a self-lubricating 75-inch-per-pound drive motor.
The system is energy efficient thanks to the low-voltage 24-volt electrical system. The brine valve float system stops overflow issues, and it also has the fail-safe tank within a tank with the built-in backup battery in case of power loss.
The EC4-CAB is very user-friendly. This system can handle the removal of iron. It has the EC4 technology with smart features that make it easy to use. It has a one-button push to wake up and turn on the display. The display provides messages and instructions for making it simple to see what is going on with the system. It also has automatic recovery after a power outage that keeps regeneration cycles on track
The system has three different alarm tones, so you know what is going on. There is an alarm for no salt, low salt and service. The two-line LCD display is large and easy to read. The information center provides all the needed information, including usage profile, water quality, support data and system data, which makes troubleshooting easy.
The systems have a proportional brining feature to save on salt, and a shorter regeneration cycle customized to your homes water usage. It also auto-adjusts for daylight savings time and can maintain time for up to one week during a power outage. The program settings are maintained forever with no need to reprogram once programmed.
Outside units come with a plastic enclosure for longevity. The system has overflow protection on the brine tank. It can use salt or potassium chloride for operation.
The TC series also has various configuration options. It has an easy to program electronic timer and removes calcium and magnesium. The self-cleaning control valve makes it highly functional. It also has a high flow rate for consistent water flow and no pressure loss. The self-lubricating 75-inch-per-pound drive motor is made for durability. It is an energy efficient system with a low voltage 24-volt electrical system. The fail-safe features help to prevent overflow, allow continued operation in power outages and feature a tank within a tank build.
All the systems from RainSoft are designed for different situations. RainSoft dealers can help you to determine which one is best for your water situation. All systems have a limited lifetime warranty.
The only way to get accurate pricing on a RainSoft water softener is to speak with a representative and get a quote. RainSoft does not advertise prices on its website or in retailers where products are sold as every unit is customizable, which will affect the pricing. You need to contact a sales representative to get a consultation to see what your needs are and to build the system that will work for you. This requires in-home testing and a sales pitch to get pricing.
However, there have been prices released by consumers. In 2010, the price for the EC4 system seemed to be around $2750. There seems to have been a jump in price, though, because, in 2018, the reported price was $4888. Again, the only way to get an accurate price is to get the in-home consultation.
Comparison shopping is the process of looking at a few different options to see which one you like the best. When comparing products, you can get a better idea of what each offer and see which one best suits your needs. It helps to get an overall idea about quality and function so you can make the most informed decision when buying.
Comparison shopping, while helpful, can be quite time-consuming. That is why we have done all the legwork for you. We put RainSoft water softener systems up against three top competitors to provide you with a good overview of each option. You can easily compare the ratings we give and learn more about each option.
Ease of Use
RainSoft makes a very solid product that does what it claims to do. With a RainSoft water softener, you get easy to use computerized systems and softeners with low maintenance and self-lubricating motors. There is also the app that you can download for hands-free monitoring of your system. Plus, the systems all come with an outstanding limited lifetime warranty.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
The actual cost for a system from Culligan is not clear because you have to get a consultation and quote just as with RainSoft. However, Culligan is a respected name in the industry. The softeners help to filter calcium and lime. They can be customized to needs and budget.
The company claims to have the most energy efficient water softener on the market. The systems feature proportional brining, which helps reduce salt use. It also has a few other special features, such as Aqua-Sensor technology, which adjusts to water conditions, and saves money and water.
The Smart brine tank monitors the salt quantity and lets you know about remaining salt levels. A Soft-Minder meter tells you daily water use and gives you access to advanced system diagnostics. The Dial-a-Softness valve lets you customize the feel of your water.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
The Pelican Advantage Series is the only one on the list with pricing provided up front. These systems are designed for one to three bathrooms or four to six bathrooms. They feature high capacity resin tanks and are metered systems using salt or potassium. They are highly customizable systems, and the company claims they are virtually maintenance free. They do offer a seven-year warranty on the electronic head.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
The Premier Series from Kinetico is advertised as efficient and effective. It is best for homes with difficult water situations. It features on-demand regeneration and has generous flow rates for the best pressure. These systems treat iron, along with other hard water situations and some can remove chlorine.
They are a two-tank system. One for regenerating or on standby while the other provides water. These systems work great for homes with high water use. They have no timers or computers to adjust or repair and come with a 10-year warranty. Again, pricing is only offered through a quote.
- Ease of Use
- Build Quality
Pros and Cons
It is important to weigh the good and the bad about a product before buying. It can help to get information directly from those who have bought a system, so we looked through reviews to provide the following list.
The RainSoft water systems get great reviews for function, but the cost and the less than attentive follow-up service bring the rating down. People had some bad experiences with installation issues and with getting anyone to respond after the system is installed. However, people love how the systems do exactly what RainSoft offers. So, if you want a stellar water softener that will do an excellent job, this could be the best option, but do make sure you stay on top of any interactions with customer service.