Water softener advice?

My 15-year-old water softener (salt type) is on its last legs and will have to be replaced soon.

I want the same type, but there seem to be a slew of them on the market, from Sears, Home Depot, etc. The company that put ours in originally is out of business.

It is not something I want to install myself, and I assume Sears or Home Depot would arrange for installation. There are all sorts of other companies pushing their brand, but i am a bit leery of getting one of those. However, they may be legit.

I have read enough about the physical types (magnetic, etc) to not want one of those. Reading about them indicates that they don’t remove the minerals or actually soften the water, but just “make the water seem softer.”

And advice?

As someone who worked in the water treatment business for years I’d recommend getting a Autotrol or Fleck unit from a local company that services them.

Both are well engineered with long histories of dependability. The companies stand by their products. I can easily get replacement parts for systems over 40 years old.

Both will be considerably more expensive then what you’re looking at with Sears and Home Depot. Your comparing systems that are disposable 3-5 year systems to systems meant to last a lifetime.

I would not consider anything that is not a ion exchange softener. Plenty of people looking to make a buck selling magnets and snake oil solutions, don’t get roped into that. Water softeners are the proven solution with a history of working as intended.

There are a few basic types of softeners to consider based on your lifestyle. Single tank systems are set to regenerate at a specific time of day(3amis typical) based on estimated or metered usage. When regenerating they use unsoftened water and allow unsoftened water to bypass them. This makes them slightly less efficient and can result in unsoftened water getting into your system.

Twin tank systems use two separate tanks, when one has reached it’s metered capacity the system switches to the other fully charged tank. The depleted tank is then regenerated using softened water and any water run during that regeneration is being treated by the charged tank, thus no untreated water.