A survey conducted by USGS states that around 15% of the American population uses well water. For private well water owners, dealing with water hardness and iron contamination is a severe problem. If these 2 problems are solved, well water becomes fit for use in a lot of cases. If the level of other contaminants in the waterfalls under the safe limit, you can even use the water for drinking and cooking purposes. In order to confirm this, you will have to do water testing before installing any water treatment machine.
Why do you need to have a water softener that can remove iron?
Hardness in water is caused by calcium and magnesium, iron seeps in the water when it moves through rocks underneath the well, or it can also enter your water through the plumbing system. While hardness causes a scale buildup on your plumbing, appliances, crockery; iron gives water a metallic taste and smell along with water discoloration. Both of them can harm your skin as they become a hurdle in clearing away the soap and shampoo properly from your skin. It can lead to skin allergies and rashes.
We come to the most significant point: why look for one solution instead of getting a separate water softener and an iron filter or why we don’t buy an expensive whole house water treatment plant for use. The answer: cost-saving on initial purchase and maintenance later on. Why we have to spend almost double the amount of money on a complicated water filtration system while we can get the work done with an inexpensive water softener that can remove iron as well.
Here is the solution
Looking for a water softener that can remove the iron is a tough call, because not all water softeners can do the needful. A lot of water softeners just remove a little amount of iron in water, and that too depends upon the softener salt you are using. After days of tiresome and mind-boggling research, we have prepared a list of water softeners that are perfect for removing hardness and iron from your well water. The list is small because only a few water softeners are able to remove iron and hardness at the same time, but it will serve the purpose. To help you make the best purchase decision, we have also included a buying guide to aid your selection.
Related Article: 10 Best Water Softeners for Well Water
Best Water Softeners for Well Water with Iron
|Top Picks (Comparison)|
|Editor's ChoiceIron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter||LATEST PRICE →|
|On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener||LATEST PRICE →|
|Tier1 Essential Certified Series Water Softener||LATEST PRICE →|
|Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener||LATEST PRICE →|
1. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain, 64k for the whole house
- Best for: Manganese, sediment, sand and rust
- Removes: 6 – 8 ppm iron
- Softener: 64000 grains
More Features: This water softener comes with a combo of iron filter. The digital metered valve makes the filtration process easier.
At the top of our list is a water softener from the house of AFWFilters. It is well known for producing quality water softeners, resins, and softener salts. It comes with a special filter to remove the iron from the water and is designed to be used for the whole house. The grain capacity is 64,000. It means that it is a very powerful softener and can deal with hardness up to 75 grams per gallon. It can remove Iron 6-8 ppm. Honestly speaking, it is quite impressive as only specialized iron filters can deal with such a high capacity of iron in well water.
Another thing we liked about this system is its capacity to remove manganese, sediment, sand, and rust from water. All these features increase the value of your money. You get a metered control system to control the settings and monitor the water usage and regeneration settings. The fleck 5600 SXT meter valve increases the ease of use. The system comes with a 5-years warranty. Don’t worry about life. Quality water softeners, like this one, work excellently for 15-20 years.
It comes with a bypass valve to allow you to stop the water passing from the softener. The connections are 1-inch MNPT to support connections with different sizes of plumbing.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
We recommend it for all the well water and municipal water users to deal with water hardness and iron. We understand that the installation may be a bit difficult if you are not a DIY person. It is an excellent system, just install it, sit back and enjoy soft and iron-free water.
2. On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener
- Type: Portable Water Softener
- Softener: with 8,000 grains
- Best for: Iron
More Features: It’s a lightweight water softener and you can port it easily while moving around.
Next up, we have a portable water softener, but it can only be used for small wells. It can remove calcium, magnesium, and ferric iron in the water. It has a small capacity of 8000 grains and is meant to be used for small families using small wells or even tap water.
It is a versatile model and can be used for RVs, boats, and camping purposes. Its weight is just 18 pounds, making it perfect for carrying it around. It makes sure that you get soft and iron-free water to keep your skin glowing, healthy, and fresh. It also keeps your plumbing, crockery, and other appliances from the harmful effects of hardness and iron in the water.
One issue with this softener is that you may need to buy additional resins as it does not come fully loaded with resin. Its price is way lower than the costly models, and this is what sets it apart. It may be smaller in capacity but is not less in working efficiency and performance.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
It is excellent for portable uses, but a small family using well water can also use this softener without any worries.
3. Tier1 Essential Certified Series 45,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softening System for Hardness, Iron and Manganese Reduction
- Type: Digital Water Softener
- Softener: with 45,000 grains
- Best for: Hardness, Iron & Manganese
More Features: For a greater efficiency, it comes with a digital metered valve. The installation of this water softener is quite easy.
Another water softener to remove iron and manganese from well water comes from Tier1. It has a grain capacity of 45,000 and is recommended to be used by a household for 1-6 people. It has the capacity to remove iron and manganese up to 4 ppm and 2 ppm, respectively. After passing through the softener, the water becomes soft and perfect for your skin. It will not damage your plumbing, appliances, and crockery. It will also remove iron taste, smell, and color from well water.
It has easy installation compared to the other water softeners and can be used with ¾ or 1-inch water pipes. For other sizes, the use of a connector is recommended. It comes with a metered control system to allow you to monitor and adjust the settings and water usage. It offers 4 different pre-set features such as meter immediate, meter delayed, meter with day override, and calendar clock modes. These modes help in controlling the system.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
It is an excellent softener and removes iron from water. However, it is costly and maybe a bit difficult for you to purchase if you are running on a budget.
4. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener, Black
- Type: Fleck Water Softener
- Capacity: 48000 grains
- Best for: 8 – 10 People
More Features: You get a USB drive loaded with instructions to install the system, all the parts, and a water hardness test strip to monitor the actual results.
The last softener on our list is also capable of removing iron from well water and makes it soft as well. However, you must keep in mind that you need to add in a softener salt, which is capable of removing iron. You can buy one from here.
The softener has a capacity of 48,000 grains and comes loaded with a high quality 10% cross-link resin. The resin cross-linking percentage is directly linked with the effectiveness of the softener. It is a powerful system and can work well for a family of 8-10 people without a decrease in the flow rate.
It comes with a 5-year valve warranty and a 10-year mineral tank warranty. You can control the system with the help of easy to operate LCD with all the controls and water usage display. You get a USB drive loaded with instructions to install the system, all the parts, and a water hardness test strip to monitor the actual results.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
This softener has an average life of 27 years. Its price is also in line with other softeners, and we recommend buying it.
A buying guide helps you select the best softener by listing all the essential features in one single place. We know that you are already aware of your needs, but it is better to find all of them together before making the final purchase. The following are the important factors to be kept in mind while buying a water softener for well water with iron.
Water Hardness Level
Make sure you buy a water softener that can deal with the specific level of hardness in your water. The best way to do this is to get your well water tested for hardness. You can either buy a testing strip or send a sample to your nearest lab. Please check with the facility that they are approved by relevant authorities before sending the sample. Some softener companies also offer a free testing facility at your home if you are buying from them.
The level of hardness is measured in grams per gallon. Once you have the result in your hand, check the softener’s specifications and then buy it.
Level of Iron Contamination in Water
Water softeners are only able to remove a limited amount of iron in the water. You must find out the level of iron before buying water softeners. Iron is measured in parts per million. The best water softener is able to remove a maximum of 7-8 PPM of iron from water. If the level of iron exceeds this amount, we recommend that you look for a separate iron well water filter.
Grain rating means the power of softener to remove sediment and other suspended particles in water. Most softeners come with a rating of 48,000-56,000. For well water, we suggest that you buy a softener with a higher rating. A higher grain rating is effective in removing suspended particles from the water.
Another feature to look forward to is the softening capacity. We don’t want you to end up with a small softener and suffer from a slow flow rate later on. You should check the softener’s details to accommodate the number of people in your household. You should always go for a softener which has a slightly large capacity than your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drink water from a water softener?
Yes, you can drink water from a water softener. However, health experts do not recommend consuming water from a water softener. The reason is that it is high in sodium and may contain some other impurities as well.
Where should I install a water softener?
You must install a water softener at the point right before the water enters your home. If you have a separate iron filter, it is recommended to be installed before a water softener to enhance its life. Water softeners must be installed before other water filters. You should try to install a water softener under shade to ensure it stays protected from heat and rain.
Which salt should I use in my water softener?
You can use any good quality salt in your softener. If you have sensitive skin, make sure you buy one which is evaporated naturally under the sun. We have reviewed the best water softener salts for sensitive skin. You can find one here.
When should I replace my softener resin?
A good quality resin works for 12-15 years without any issues. If you have an old softener, you may need to change it every 5-7 years.
I have a leftover softener salt. Can I mix it with a new one?
Yes. You can mix two different salts. The chemical composition may differ a little, but it won’t impact the working of your softener.
We have reviewed the best water softeners which can remove iron from well water. You should keep in mind that they will only work if the level of iron is not beyond their working capacity. You can buy any of the above-reviewed softeners and use it without any problems for the next 15-20 years.
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