Written& Reviewed By: Andrew Miles
Over my 30-year career as a master plumber, I’ve had the chance to install hundreds of water softener systems in residential homes. So I’ve seen the good and the bad and how these things hold up. So, In this guide, I will discuss all the essential factors to consider when searching for the best water softener & filter combo systems for you. I even added my in-depth reviews of a few of my favorite water softener and filter combination systems.
Once you have reviewed this guide, I’m confident you will have all the knowledge to decide which system is best for you.
- SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System – Best for those on municipal water supplies
- Kind E-3000 – Easiest To Install
- DROP City Smart Water Softener – Ideal for tech-savvy homeowners.
- Filtersmart Water Filter and Softening Combo – Best For Long Lasting Filters
- Aquasana Whole House Filtering System – Best or Compact Spaces
- Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo System Reviews
- 1. SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo (Best for those on municipal water supplies)
- 2. EVO/Kind Water E-3000 (Easiest To Install)
- 3. DROP City Smart Water Softener Review
- 4. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo (Best For Long Lasting Filters)
- 5. Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo (Best or Compact Spaces)
- Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System Comparison
- How Does a Whole House Water Softener and Filter Work?
- What are the benefits of a water filter and softener combo?
- How to Choose a Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System
- Conducting a Water Quality Test
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo System Reviews
My Review Method:
I approach each review with a hands-on, meticulous methodology. My review process is grounded in years of experience and technical know-how. I personally tested each water filter and softener combo system in real-world settings, simulating typical household conditions to assess their performance, efficiency, and ease of use. This hands-on experience is complemented by a thorough analysis of technical specifications, customer feedback, and industry standards. I also consider factors such as water quality, usage requirements, and specific features that cater to different household needs. My goal is to provide you with comprehensive, unbiased, and practical reviews that help you make informed decisions for your home’s water quality needs.
1. SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo (Best for those on municipal water supplies)
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This Springwell system is impressive. It works incredibly well for those living in cities and dealing with municipal water supplies heavy in fluoride and sodium. One noticeable thing was the water pressure after the installation was not as affected as many other whole-home water filters and softeners.
As someone who has personally recommended and installed a few dozen SpringWell Whole House Water Filter Systems for customers, I can attest to its exceptional performance and reliability because this is what I use in my own home. This system has been a game-changer in ensuring clean and safe water throughout my home.
1,000,000 Gallons Capacity: The high capacity of this system is one of its standout features. For my family, it has provided consistent, quality water filtration without any noticeable drop in performance. This long lifespan means I don’t have to worry about frequent replacements or maintenance, which has been a huge relief both financially and in terms of convenience.
Quality Certified Parts and Materials: I was initially drawn to the SpringWell system because of its commitment to quality. After installing it, I could see the difference these high-grade materials made. The system operates smoothly and efficiently, and I’ve had no issues with breakdowns or parts wearing out prematurely. It’s reassuring to know that the system is built to last and can withstand the daily demands of a busy household.
Comprehensive Filtration: The effectiveness of the SpringWell system in removing contaminants from water has been remarkable. From the moment I installed it, the difference in water quality was evident. The water from every tap in my house became noticeably cleaner and tasted better. Whether it’s for drinking, cooking, or bathing, I now have peace of mind knowing that the water is free from harmful contaminants.
Installation Experience: Installing the SpringWell system is a straightforward process. The clear instructions and well-designed components made the installation smooth and hassle-free. You will need some basic plumbing and installing experience to ensure that its mounted properly. Its not super difficult but that’s coming from someone that has installed many over the years, so take that as you will. Even if you start to do it yourself and have issues, you should be able to find an installer in your area for a few hundred bucks.
Customer Satisfaction: Since installing the SpringWell system, the feedback from my family has been overwhelmingly positive. They’ve noticed a significant improvement in the taste and quality of our water. We’ve also seen a reduction in issues related to hard water, such as limescale buildup on appliances and fixtures.
Conclusion: The SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their home’s water quality. Its high capacity, quality construction, effective filtration, and ease of installation make it a standout product that I confidently recommend.
- Ideal For: Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions, & Rural
- Flow Rate: 15 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: UV Water Purification System
Why I Love It
- Although most people prefer salt-free systems, we liked that you could choose between that option and not.
- After months of regular usage, we saw no calcification or limescale build-up on any appliances.
- The odors and tastes associated with chlorine were removed, and the water tastes great!
Keep In Mind
Basic plumbing and mounting experience needed.
2. EVO/Kind Water E-3000 (Easiest To Install)
I recently had the opportunity to set up the Kind E-3000 Whole House Water Filter and Salt-Free Softener for a client. This experience left me thoroughly impressed with the system’s capabilities and design.
The installation process was straightforward and efficient. Unlike some systems that can be complex and time-consuming, the Kind E-3000 was up and running in a relatively short time. This ease of installation is a significant advantage, especially in homes where extensive plumbing modifications are not feasible.
Water Quality Improvement:
The client’s primary concern was the high levels of dissolved solids and bacteria in their water supply. The Kind E-3000 excelled in addressing these issues. Post-installation, the homeowner noticed a remarkable improvement in water quality, especially with a normal water hardness level. The system effectively removed contaminants, providing cleaner and safer water throughout the house.
What sets the Kind E-3000 apart is its combination of advanced filtration and salt-free softening technology. The system utilizes a 5 5-micron pleated Sediment Filter for visible particulate matter and a Chlorine/Chloramine Carbon Block Filter for chemical contaminants. Additionally, its eSoft Salt-Free Technology works through Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC), effectively preventing and removing hard water scale without the use of salt.
Environmental and Health Benefits:
The Kind E-3000’s salt-free approach is not only environmentally friendly but also maintains beneficial minerals in the water. This aspect was particularly appealing to the homeowner, who was conscious of both environmental impact and health benefits. The system ensures soft water without the slippery feel often associated with traditional salt-based softeners.
The homeowner was delighted with the system’s performance. They appreciated the maintenance-free aspect, the improved water quality for drinking, cooking, and bathing, and the protection it offered to their plumbing and appliances. The Kind E-3000 proved to be an all-in-one solution for their water treatment needs.
The Kind E-3000 Whole House Water Filter and Salt-Free Softener is an excellent choice for homeowners seeking a comprehensive solution to water filtration and softening. Its combination of efficient filtration, innovative salt-free softening, and ease of installation makes it a standout option in the market.
- Ideal For: Whole House Softening & Filtering
- Flow Rate: 8 GPM
- Capacity: 650,885 Gallons
- Key Features: 25-80 PSI
Why I Love It
- This system is straightforward yet effective at removing hardness particles and impurities.
- The lead removed from this water was the best we have seen so far.
- This system has three levels (Basic, Standard, and Premium), but you get carbon and sediment filtration regardless of which you choose.
Keep In Mind
This is not the best choice if you rely on a well for your water.
3. DROP City Smart Water Softener Review
I was recently introduced to DROP, so I had to try one on one of my rentals. I’m really impressed with the overall quality of the system. Installation was on the easier side, and the water was high quality.
My Favorite Aspects of the DROP System:
- 2-in-1 Tank Design: The integration of both water softener and filter in a single tank is a game-changer. It simplifies the installation process and saves space, which was particularly beneficial in the compact utility area of my rental property.
- Smart Connectivity: The system’s ability to send notifications to my smartphone about system status and water usage data is remarkable. It’s a feature that adds convenience and ensures I’m always informed about the system’s performance.
- Water Usage Data and History: Monitoring water usage is crucial in a rental setting. The DROP system provides detailed usage data, which helps in managing consumption and detecting any unusual patterns that might indicate leaks or other issues.
- 5-Year Warranty: This extended warranty period provided peace of mind, ensuring that the investment in the system is protected.
In my installation experience, the DROP City Water Softener excelled in treating municipal water. It effectively removed chemicals like chlorine and chloramine, which are common in city water supplies. The water post-treatment was noticeably cleaner and tasted better, which was a significant improvement for the tenants.
The patented piston design in the DROP system is another highlight. It has the capability to shut off water to the home, which, when combined with DROP Leak Detectors and the DROP Hub, offers an integrated solution for water softening, leak protection, and water conservation. This comprehensive approach to water management is something I haven’t seen in many other systems.
The DROP City Water Softener is an excellent choice for homes with city water supply. Its combination of effective filtration and softening, smart technology features, and comprehensive water management capabilities make it a standout option for homeowners seeking a modern, efficient water treatment solution.
- Ideal For: Those Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions
- Flow Rate: 5 – 8 GPM, depending on tank size
- Capacity: 27,000 – 40,000 Grains, depending on tank size
- Key Features: Smartphone control and monitoring
What I Like:
- Provides both water softening and chemical removal in one system
- Uses catalytic carbon and high-performance ion exchange resin to filter water
- Patented piston design allows for shutting off water to the home
- Battery backup keeps settings in place in the event of power loss
- Uses less space by having 1 tank instead of 2
- Made in the USA
What I Didn’t Like:
- Requires the use of the DROP Hub for full functionality
- May not be suitable for well water, as it is specifically designed for municipal water supplies
4. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo (Best For Long Lasting Filters)
I must say the Filtersmart water filter and softening combo stands out for several reasons. One installation, in particular, stands out due to the unique challenges the homeowner faced with their well water supply.
The homeowner was struggling with water that had high levels of dissolved solids and bacteria, common issues with well water. After evaluating their situation, I recommended the Filtersmart system.
Its ability to tackle these specific problems made it the ideal choice. Post-installation, the homeowner was thrilled with the significant improvement in water quality. The system effectively removed the contaminants that were previously a constant concern, providing them with cleaner, safer water.
What I appreciate about the Filtersmart system is its ease of installation. Unlike some systems that can be cumbersome and time-consuming to set up, I was able to get the Filtersmart up and running in less than an hour. This ease of installation is a significant advantage, especially in homes where complex plumbing modifications are not feasible.
Another notable feature is the system’s long-lasting filter capacity. This aspect was particularly appealing to the homeowner, as it meant the system required minimal maintenance. For a household that relies on well water, having a low-maintenance solution like this is a game-changer.
The Filtersmart system is an excellent choice for homes with well water. Its combination of effective filtration against dissolved solids and bacteria, ease of installation, and low maintenance requirements make it a standout option for homeowners looking to improve their water quality.
- Ideal For: 1-3 Baths
- Flow Rate: 7 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: NSF certified
Why I Love It
- The installation is easy for anyone, regardless of plumbing experience.
- I like the longer, more slender tanks; they can easily fit into virtually any space and stay entirely out of the way.
- The water filter capacity is 1,000,000 gallons, which is good for nearly an entire year.
Keep In Mind
We noticed that the coconut-shell-activated carbon took a few priming days before it was ready to go.
5. Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo (Best or Compact Spaces)
I’ve been particularly impressed with Aquasana’s commitment to cleaner water. Over the past decade, I’ve seen them evolve from simple pitchers to sophisticated whole-home filters and softeners, like the one I recently installed in a customer’s home. This whole-home water filter and softening combo from Aquasana has been a standout, offering not just clean and healthy water, but also peace of mind.
I’ve had the opportunity to set up numerous Aquasana whole-home filters and softeners. One particular installation stands out, where the homeowner was deeply concerned about the quality of their city water supply, which was laden with chlorine, lead, and fluoride.
After assessing their needs, I recommended the Aquasana system. Post-installation, the difference in their water quality was night and day. The system’s ability to remove such a wide range of contaminants was immediately noticeable. The homeowner reported a significant improvement in both the taste and clarity of the water, which was a primary concern for them.
What impresses me about the Aquasana system is its unique up-flow technology. This feature was a key selling point for this installation, as it ensures more comprehensive filtration by slowing down the water flow through the filters. This design effectively captures more toxins, a crucial factor for homes with high contamination levels.
Another aspect that the homeowner appreciated was the system’s affordability. Despite its lower price point, the Aquasana delivered performance on par with more expensive systems, offering excellent value. This affordability, combined with its high efficiency, made it an ideal choice for their home.
The Aquasana whole-home water filter and softener combo is a standout choice for those dealing with heavily contaminated city water. Its combination of effective filtration, innovative technology, and affordability makes it a practical and reliable solution for improving home water quality.
- Ideal For: Who Live in Cities
- Flow Rate: 7 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: Salt-Free Descaler Tank
Why I Love It
- As water flows through the different filtering stages, there are areas where water flows upwards, which is excellent for filtering because it moves slow and gives the filters more time to work.
- The salt-free technology is excellent for your pipes and home appliances, with no limescale build-up.
- The option UV looks great and is easy to install with the system.
Keep In Mind
If you do not use a licensed plumber to install the system, it will void the warranty.
Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System Comparison
|Type of Softening Technology
|SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo
|UV Water Purification System
|EVO/Kind Water E-3000
|DROP City Smart Water Softener
|27,000 – 40,000 Grains
|Smartphone control and monitoring
|Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo
|Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo
|Salt-Free Descaler Tank
How Does a Whole House Water Softener and Filter Work?
I’ve always appreciated the understated elegance of whole-house water softener and filter combos, like the SpringWell system I installed last year. These units are surprisingly straightforward, devoid of complex mechanisms. Once set up, they blend seamlessly into the home. You hardly notice they’re there, yet they’re always working silently in the background.
When I connected my SpringWell system to the main water supply, it was a revelation. The raw water entered the system and was immediately subjected to a thorough cleansing process. The first stage was the sediment filter, which efficiently captured larger particles like rock and rust. I noticed a significant improvement in the water’s appearance and taste right away.
As the water journeyed through the system, it underwent several filtration stages. Each stage targeted different contaminants, from bacteria to protozoa. I was particularly impressed by how comprehensive this process was, ensuring that the water reaching my faucets was of the highest quality.
The Kind Water E-3000, another system I’ve had experience with, follows a similar process. When the water reaches the softening stage, it’s treated with a carbon-activated compound, effectively removing any residual particles. This step is crucial for protecting appliances and plumbing from limescale and other harmful compounds. In systems equipped with UV light, like mine, this final stage uses UV rays to eradicate any lingering bacteria, providing an additional layer of purification.
The end result is a seamless integration of filtered and softened water into the home’s existing water lines. Every time I turn on a faucet, I’m greeted with water that’s not only clean and safe but also kinder to my appliances and plumbing. It’s a quiet yet powerful transformation that has significantly improved my home’s water quality.
What are the benefits of a water filter and softener combo?
The benefits of a water filter and softener combo in a home are truly transformative. I remember when I first installed the SpringWell system in my house; it was like a veil had been lifted off my water supply.
Individually, a whole-home water filter does wonders in providing clean, purified, and safe drinking water. But it’s when paired with a water-softening unit that the magic really happens. This combination ensures not only the purity of the water but also its gentleness on everything it touches.
Before I had the combo system, I didn’t realize the toll that hard water was taking on my appliances and pipes. It’s the hidden damage that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. The water softener component of my system, similar to what I’ve seen with the Kind Water E-3000, targets those hard minerals in the water – the culprits behind the limescale buildup and the gradual wear and tear on the plumbing.
What’s remarkable is how these two systems complement each other. The water softener works more efficiently with water that’s already been filtered, focusing its energy on removing hardness without the distraction of other contaminants. This synergy means that every drop of water flowing through my home is treated to the highest standard.
I’ve noticed a significant difference in the lifespan of my appliances and the integrity of my pipes since installing the combo system. It’s a relief knowing that the water running through my home is not just clean for consumption but also kind to the infrastructure of my home.
In essence, having a whole-home water softener and filter combo is like giving your home a comprehensive health plan. It’s not just about the immediate benefits of clean water but also about the long-term care and maintenance of your home’s vital systems. For me, it’s been a game-changer, and I often find myself thinking, “This is truly the best of both worlds.”
How to Choose a Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System
In my years of installing whole-house water filter and softening systems, I’ve learned that choosing the right system is more than just a purchase; it’s about ensuring safety and reliability for your home. I always advise my clients to consider several key factors before making a decision.
Assessing Your Household’s Water Consumption
The first step is to understand your household’s water usage. This isn’t just about how many people are in your home, but also the number of bathrooms and water-reliant appliances you have. For instance, when I installed a SpringWell system in a large family home, its capacity perfectly matched their high water usage, whereas a smaller home I worked on was more suited to the EVO/Kind Water E-3000 due to its different capacity options.
Importance of Pre-Sediment Filtration
A crucial component in these systems is the pre-sediment filter. It’s the first line of defense against larger particles. From my experience, these filters generally need replacement every 6 to 12 months, depending on your water usage. I remember a case where a client neglected this, leading to reduced efficiency and more frequent maintenance needs.
Conducting a Water Quality Test
I always perform a water quality test before recommending a system, you should too. This test reveals the specific contaminants present in your water, which is vital for choosing the right filters. For example, while installing a Filtersmart system, I found it was ideal for one client’s water profile, but for another, the Aquasana system was a better fit due to its specific filtration characteristics.
Matching Filters to Your Water Profile
After understanding the water quality, it’s essential to match the contaminants with the filters’ capabilities. Each system has its strengths. For instance, while the DROP City Smart Water Softener excels in urban settings, the Filtersmart might be more appropriate for homes with well water.
Personal Experience and Recommendations
I’ve seen firsthand how the right water filter and softener combo can transform a household’s water quality. It’s not just about clean drinking water; it’s about prolonging the life of your appliances and plumbing. Each installation has reinforced my belief that investing in a quality system is one of the best decisions a homeowner can make for their family’s health and home’s longevity.
Filter Process And Stages
In my line of work, assessing the filter process and stages is crucial. It’s not just about the number of stages a system has, but how effectively each stage works. Some combos take longer to process water, which can be a concern in households with high water usage. For example, when I installed the SpringWell system, its multi-stage process was efficient without compromising on flow rate, which was perfect for a busy household.
Remember, more filters don’t always equate to better quality. It’s about the right balance. I always check the flow rate and each stage’s toxin removal capability. For instance, the EVO/Kind Water E-3000 has fewer stages than some other models, but each stage is highly effective, making it a great choice for certain homes.
NSF Standards Compliance
The NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) standards are something I always bring up with my clients. This independent testing organization ensures that water filters and softeners meet strict quality and safety standards. For instance, a product certified under NSF Standard 42 is proven to effectively remove chlorine. I’ve found that systems like Aquasana and Filtersmart, which boast multiple NSF certifications, offer my clients peace of mind about the quality and safety of their water.
Considering pH Range in Water Filtration
The pH level of your water is a critical factor. Many systems struggle with acidic water (pH below 7). In my experience, it’s essential to choose a system that can either handle acidic water or, better yet, increase the pH to a safer level. For example, while installing a DROP City Smart Water Softener, I noted its capability to work efficiently across different pH levels, which was a significant advantage for homes with varying water quality.
Water Flow And Pressure
A common concern I hear from homeowners is about water flow and pressure. They worry that installing a whole-home water filtering system will reduce flow rates. However, modern systems like the ones I’ve installed from SpringWell and EVO/Kind Water E-3000 have significantly improved in this regard. We don’t see the drastic drops in flow rates anymore.
It’s essential to check the specific system’s flow rate, especially if your home has multiple bathrooms. For instance, you can opt for a system designed for larger homes even if you have fewer bathrooms, ensuring you never compromise on water pressure.
The addition of UV light stages in water filter and softener combos is something I often discuss with my clients. While these are usually optional, they’re incredibly effective at eliminating bacteria and protozoa that standard filters might miss.
I like systems such as the Aquasana that offer UV light stages to provide an extra layer of security, especially in areas prone to microbial contaminants. If your budget allows, and you don’t mind the UV light being constantly powered, it’s a worthwhile investment.
One of the most appealing aspects of modern water filter and softener combos is their low maintenance. Many of the systems I’ve installed, including the Filtersmart models, are designed to handle up to 1,000,000 gallons before needing any filter changes or significant maintenance. It’s crucial to match the system’s capacity with your family’s water usage to ensure you’re not caught off guard by frequent maintenance needs.
Installation & Maintenance
Installation and maintenance can often be daunting for homeowners. Thankfully, manufacturers have made significant strides in making these systems more user-friendly. For example, the KIND Systems & DROP City Smart Water Softener are designed with easy installation in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my water filter and softener combination last before replacing the unit?
Short answer, forever. Many companies that make a water filter and softener combo design these systems to have a lifetime warranty. You will still need to replace the sediment filters, but the unit itself should last forever.
How often will I need to change my sediment and other water filters?
This will depend on the filter you choose. Many will need to be changed once or twice per year, while others will have longer ratings than that. Ensure you investigate a filter’s exact capacity before they need replacing.
Is a UV light required for water filtering and softening?
No, you can still obtain amazing water without the UV light stage. They are a great option for those who can afford them but require electricity and some cleaning. The light is usually covered by a quartz tube, which will need to be cleaned 1-2 times per year.
In summary, my experience with the SpringWell and Kind Water whole-home water filter and softener combos has been exceptional. Both are best at removing contaminants like chlorine, lead, and fluoride, especially beneficial for city living. The unique up-flow technology ensures thorough filtration, and surprisingly, it’s one of the most affordable systems I’ve encountered. The quality it delivers at its price point is truly impressive, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to enhance their home’s water quality.