Finding a water softener for your home is not a simple process, but I’m here to help. I’ve applied my knowledge and experience with water-filtering systems to provide an in-depth analysis of SpringWell water-softener systems.
In this in-depth SpringWell water-softener review, I’ll go over the systems’ primary features, including capacity, flow rate, installation, warranty, and customer feedback.
Let’s dive into it!
Do You Really Need a Whole-House Water Softener?
This is a common question among homeowners. The answer is a resounding yes! It matters a lot if you intend to protect your home and loved ones from the detrimental effects of hard water.
Minerals such as calcium and magnesium in hard water can cause soap deposits in the bathtub, discolor your laundry, leave stains on dishes, and form scaly deposits inside faucets, showerheads, and appliances, as well as restricting water flow in pipes and reducing the efficiency and service life of water heaters.
According to the National Institutes of Health, if ingested as drinking water, extremely hard water can cause significant health issues, including weaker bone density, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, and malformations of the nervous system. Bathing with hard water can also cause atopic dermatitis or eczema and dry, broken hair.
Given these risks, it’s important to invest in a whole-house water-softening system to make sure that the water your family consumes is free of hard minerals and other dangerous compounds.
Water softeners soften water by eliminating negative mineral ions and replacing them with positive sodium or potassium ions. After this exchange, the water softener will renew (clean itself) and is ready to repeat the process.
Who Is SpringWell?
SpringWell Water Filtration Systems is a manufacturer of high-end residential and commercial water filtration systems. SpringWell started in 2005 as a small, family-owned venture. Since then, SpringWell has grown its product line to include an extensive selection of popular water filtration options, such as under-sink and countertop filtration systems, whole-house filtration systems, reverse-osmosis systems, and water softeners.
Based in Florida, SpringWell Water Filtration Systems has earned a reputation for making some of the best water softeners in the residential water filtration industry.
In addition to the higher quality of SpringWell water softeners, consumers get reasonable rates and a six-month money-back guarantee.
SpringWell Water Softener Reviews
The SpringWell line of whole-house water softeners is split into two categories based on the type of technology they use to soften water: salt-based water softeners and salt-free water softeners.
SpringWell (SS Series) salt-based water softener
The ion-exchange process has proven to be the most effective method for removing calcium and magnesium minerals from hard water by exchanging them with sodium from salt. The SpringWell salt-based water softener has perfected this technology to efficiently eliminate water hardness.
Its state-of-the-art metered control makes the system very efficient, preventing both salt and water waste. It is constructed of long-lasting, corrosion-free, and high-quality materials that will provide your whole house with softened water for years.
How the SpringWell ion-exchange process works
An ion-exchange water softener consists of a resin tank filled with negatively charged polystyrene beads. When hard water flows into the resin tank, the positively charged mineral ions attach to the negative ones, pulling the mineral ions out of the water and resulting in mineral-free, softened water. During the regeneration process, salted water from the brine tank flushes the hard-mineral ions down the drain and renews the resin beads for the next cycle.
This salt-based water softener, unlike the Futuresoft system below, gets rid of 99 percent of all hard minerals in the water. You won’t see much or any limescale buildup on your home’s fixtures and appliances. Your clothes will look brighter and cleaner, and your hair and skin won’t feel dry and itchy anymore. Other long-term benefits include appliances that work better and last longer, as well as fewer plumbing repairs and maintenance.
The SpringWell SS series includes three salt-based water softener models: the SS1, SS4, and SS+.
All three of these water softeners are equally effective at removing scale and softening water. They are all constructed from high-quality, corrosion free materials. Size and velocity of flow are the only distinguishing factors between the three models.
You should make your purchase choice based on your family size and number of bathrooms, as well as your water consumption habits.
The chart below shows the differences between these models:
|Specifications||SpringWell SS1||SpringWell SS4||SpringWell SS+|
|Tank width||9 inches||10 inches||13 inches|
|Tank height||48″ (57″ with head)||54″ (63″ with head)||54″ (63″ with head)|
|Flow rate||11 GPM||13 GPM||20 GPM|
|Connection size||1 inch||1 inch||1 inch|
|Operating pressure||25–80 PSI||25–80 PSI||25–80 PSI|
|Brine tank size||W 18″ x H 33″ (round)||W 18″ x H 33″ (round)||W 18″ x H 33″ (round)|
All SpringWell SS water softeners are delivered resin-filled and ready for installation. You can buy your desired salt for the brine tank separately.
The SpringWell SS salt-based softeners are among the best in the business. Not only do they apply a tried and tested method of water softening, they also integrate the best technology to keep you apprised of your softener’s status.
For instance, all three models are fitted with a bluetooth-powered, app-controlled softener head that lets you do any of the following things:
- View and change the control valve settings
- Monitor the valve status
- Initiate a backwash or regeneration cycle using your smartphone
- Check your water-usage activity over time
- Check the water hardness level
This Bluetooth softener head also has an intuitive LCD panel that’s easy to use and can come in handy during troubleshooting.
Other SpringWell SS advantages include the following:
- Every purchase of a SpringWell SS salt-based softener is covered by a lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee.
- At approximately $1,478.75, this softener is cheaper than the Futuresoft salt-free system. Even with included upgrades like a UV water-purification system and an RO system (a total of $2,921.88), you’ll still be saving a lot compared to the salt-free system.
- SpringWell water softeners have a higher water flow rate of 11–20 GPM in comparison to the industry norm of 7 GPM. The increased flow rate will ensure that your shower won’t be interrupted by someone flushing the toilet, turning on the washing machine, or cleaning the dishes.
- With high-quality, polypropylene tanks that offer exceptional chemical corrosion resistance, SpringWell SS salt-based softeners are made to endure. Both brine (salt) and resin tanks are covered with this material.
- This system monitors the saturation level of the ion-exchange resin and only initiates regeneration cycles when absolutely necessary, therefore avoiding salt and water waste and extending the cycle duration.
- The installation kit includes the bluetooth electronic head, 50-inch drain line, brine tank, hose clamp, and bypass valve. You also get a video walkthrough of the installation process.
- If you need clarification on any issue whatsoever, they offer great customer service, and their team is available 24/7 to assist you.
- The SpringWell SS series, unlike the Futuresoft system, is intended for use with any water source, including city water and well water. Even with an extremely hard water source, SS water-softening systems are still able to do their jobs.
- The SS series is engineered to combine with any other SpringWell system, including the SpringWell whole-house filter system, the SpringWell well-water filtration system, and the SpringWell UV water-purification system.
I didn’t find too much to complain about when evaluating the SpringWell salt-based water softener. It’s just a really good water softener!
However, the most significant drawback of salt-based water softening is the possible health hazards for those on low-sodium diets. For every grain per gallon (GPG) of hardness eliminated, the ion-exchange process adds 7.5 milligrams per quart of sodium.
Also, the homeowner’s diet will be devoid of calcium and magnesium, two important elements for bodily functions. Some people may need these as nutritional supplements, which are abundant in hard water but almost absent in softened water.
If the issue with the water supply is caused by bacteria or chlorine, water softening is ineffective: Water softeners do not disinfect the water, they do not handle the majority of issues with the taste and odor of organic sources, and many are damaged by exposure to even minimal concentrations of oils in the water.
However, SpringWell has an answer to the bacteria and chlorine issues. For $2,333, SpringWell will sell you a whole-house filter and salt-based water softener combo. It’s quite expensive, but if you live in an area with extremely hard water (or use well water), it’s a sound investment.
The SpringWell SS water softener is packed with great features, such as mobile monitoring and control, effective hard water reduction, a variety of sizes to accommodate household size, a lifetime warranty, and a six-month money-back guarantee.
More than 85% of reviewers on the SpringWell website awarded this product five stars, resulting in an average rating of 4.8 stars after more than 100 reviews. If you think the SpringWell salt-based water softener will meet your needs, you can buy it here.
SpringWell Futuresoft salt-free water softener
If you’re worried about the additional power or water pumping costs involved with using a whole-house water softening system, then the SpringWell Futuresoft salt-free water softener is your best choice.
The Futuresoft salt-free softener, as an eco-friendly alternative to many salt-based softeners, self-adjusts to water hardness, allowing homeowners to get the most out of the system’s conditioning capabilities. It does not need electricity and does not waste water during the softening process. You won’t have to worry about adding salt or cleaning the SpringWell Futuresoft too often, so it’s practically maintenance free.
How the SpringWell Futuresoft system works
Instead of ion exchange, salt-free water softeners employ a physical process known as template-assisted crystallization (TAC) to remove hard water minerals. This procedure turns the hardness-causing minerals in the water into a hardness crystal that will not adhere to any surface, preventing scale buildup on appliances and hot water heaters.
Because they do not truly “soften” the water, salt-free water softeners are often referred to as “water conditioners.” And since these systems do not retain any minerals, no recharge (cleaning) cycle is required to eliminate the collected ions.
To ensure maximum filtration quality and water pressure, SpringWell applied its proprietary ActivFlo technology to the Futuresoft water softener. The ActiveFlo system is a four-stage filtration process that puts up several filtration media for protection against water contaminants.
The SpringWell Futuresoft salt-free system is available in FS1, FS4, and FS+ variants. The main difference between these models is their flow rates, and thus, the number of bathrooms they are designed for.
The chart below shows these differences in detail:
|Specifications||Futuresoft FS1||Futuresoft FS4||Futuresoft FS+|
|Number of bathrooms||1–3||4–6||7+|
|Tank width||6 inches||9 inches||13 inches|
|Tank height||35″ (39″ with head)||48″ (52″ with head)||48″ (52″ with head)|
|Flow rate||12 GPM||15 GPM||20 GPM|
|Recommended operating temperature||34°F–120°F||34°F–120°F||34°F–120°F|
|Operating pressure||20–80 PSI||20–80 PSI||20–80 PSI|
|Hardness—in maximum grains per gallon (GPG)||81||81||81|
|Salinity—in maximum parts per million (PPM)||35,000||35,000||35,000|
Soft water has a neutral pH of 7, which means it’s neither acidic or basic. The water pH level scale ranges from 0 (very acidic), to 14 (very basic). The Futuresoft salt-free system works well with water that has a pH range of 7.0 to 9.5 and a temperature range of 34 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This water softener’s performance is the same across the three configurations.
We’ve established that SpringWell’s Futuresoft salt-free system employs innovative solutions to tackle water hardness issues. But how does it stack up against other brands in the same product category?
Here are several advantages that make it stand out from the competition:
- There is no water waste. A salt-based softener must be regenerated on a regular basis, which involves flushing 10–20 gallons of water down the drain for every gallon of softened water produced.
- The innovative design is easy to use and needs minimal maintenance. The system is designed to deliver enough pressure at the faucet depending on the number of bathrooms in a household.
- There is no need to add salt. Therefore, there will be no more hefty lifting or handling grotty salt sacks.
- The system comes with a six-month money-back guarantee, and SpringWell’s limited lifetime warranty covers the tank and valves as well.
- The Futuresoft can increase the efficiency of your home’s appliances by reducing scale and hard water. Many users have experienced a significant reduction in deposits on showerheads and other faucets.
- You can set up this SpringWell system yourself with the help of the included manual and an interactive online video. The system is quite simple to install since it does not need access to a power outlet.
- In case you get stuck during the installation or need confirmation on any particular issue concerning your Futuresoft system, their 24/7 customer support team will sort you out right away.
There’s no such thing as a perfect product, and this definitely applies to the SpringWell Futuresoft salt-free softener. I’ll start by pointing out the elephant in the room.
This system is not a water softener. It does not remove hard minerals from your water.
It’s a water conditioner that’s meant for areas with low levels of hardness in the water supply, or in urban areas where the water hardness has been mitigated by municipal treatment plants. If you’re using well water, SpringWell highly advises that you do NOT install this system and instead opt for a combo system (salt-based softener and a whole-house water filter).
Here are some other disadvantages I came across while reviewing this system:
- Despite not being an actual water softener, the Futuresoft system is more expensive than the SpringWell salt-based water softener. It retails at $1,542.86, which is $64.11 more than the salt-based softener.
- If you add the available upgrades—UV purification system ($1,000.90), single-tank installation kit ($157.49), whole-house water filter system ($981.79), reverse-osmosis (RO) drinking system ($442.23)—the price jumps to $4,125.27. That’s too much for a (not) water softener.
- Despite claims that the SpringWell Futuresoft is maintenance free, there are still measures a user needs to take to ensure the longevity of their system.
- There is a one-million-gallon capacity for the SpringWell Futuresoft media, or around six years of use. Following this, new media will need to be installed.
- The sediment pre-filter should be replaced every six to nine months. Replacing the sediment filter is crucial because it keeps the media from being clogged with sediment, rust, and dust.
- This system is engineered to be used together with other SpringWell products, such as its whole-house filter. However, this combo system goes for $2,455.85. That’s $100 more than the SpringWell water filter and salt-based water-softener combo.
The Futuresoft salt-free water softener is a fantastic alternative for individuals seeking an eco-friendly and salt-free method of water softening, as well as those who rely on city water supply. This system operates without electricity, so you don’t have to worry about excessive energy costs, and it requires very little maintenance.
The Futuresoft system is not for you if you actually want to soften your water and eliminate hard minerals. In that case, you should consider purchasing the SpringWell ion-exchange water softener.
If you do go with the Futuresoft, a lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee are included after purchase. If you are not satisfied with the water quality in your house after using this unit, you can return it without difficulty.
If you’re worried about sodium and you want an eco-friendly option, learn more about the Futuresoft here.
The Bottom Line
SpringWell water filtration systems are a force to be reckoned with in the water treatment industry. From a small family-run venture, the company has grown to be a global provider of high-grade water filters, water softeners, and other home water systems.
The SpringWell SS series of salt-based softeners is a reflection of how far the company has come since its inception. Their cutting edge Bluetooth-head technology lets you monitor the softener’s settings right from your smartphone and their high flow-rate capacity ensures your water pressure is uninterrupted. The system monitors the resin saturation level and all three models are covered by a lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee. Overall, the user feedback is largely positive.
This water-softener system combines efficiency, convenience, and durability in one affordable package.
If you live in an area with low levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water, and high levels of chlorine and bacteria, the Futuresoft water softener will work well for you. But if your source of water has high levels of hard minerals, like well water, the SS water softener system is best for your home.
For added protection, consider the SpringWell whole-house water filter and water softener combo.
SpringWell Water Softeners Review Methodology
This section describes the methodology I used to review these SpringWell water softeners.
Step 1: A list of all SpringWell Water Heaters
I began my independent review by compiling a list of the SpringWell water softeners with the highest distribution in the United States. This required research on websites such as Amazon, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Costco to determine the most popular system among customers.
Step 2: Online reviews
Next, I looked at reviews from trusted platforms including the BBB, TrustPilot, Google, Amazon, and SpringWell’s own site to see what customers had to say about the products. I needed to go through customer comments to see whether their experiences matched the manufacturer’s statements. Online reviews can be bought and bogus, though, so I couldn’t stop there.
Step 3: Interviews with real customers
Next, I needed to find out how to contact actual customers who had firsthand knowledge of SpringWell softeners. The only certain method was to conduct a questionnaire survey. So I gathered a few friends and planned a door-to-door survey within a 30-mile radius of our home. I also contacted a few professional plumbing contractors to inquire about their experiences with SpringWell water filters and softeners.
I conducted an online poll on Facebook and Twitter to widen my reach. After seven exhausting days of research, I had all the content I needed.
Step 4: Getting in touch with SpringWell
I had to contact the company for answers to some of the few negative reviews it had received from users. This allowed me to learn how the customer-service staff communicated with customers and performed under pressure.
Step 5: Test drives
If I was going to be impartial in my analysis, I needed to speak as an expert on this issue. This prompted me to lease the two most popular SpringWell whole-house softener models and perform a controlled test drive. After half-convincing my partner, leasing a water bowser full of well water, and “borrowing” some warehouse space from a close friend, I put both products through their paces. After a week of rigorous tests, I had everything I needed to sit down and write my review.
After three weeks of researching the SpringWell water-softener systems, I concluded that the SpringWell SS series of salt-based water softeners is one of the best water-softening solutions on the market today.
There’s really a lot to like about this system, such as the Bluetooth remote monitoring, self-adjusting regeneration cycles, durable tank lining, easy installation, six-month money-back guarantee, and lifetime warranty.
The SpringWell salt-based water softener is the best defense against hard-water problems for your family and home. And if your water isn’t that hard and you only need a conditioner, choose the Futuresoft water conditioner for an eco-friendly option.