In this blog, you will learn:
- Both residents with city water and residents with well water have hard water in Naperville, IL.
- The right Naperville water softener for your home will depend on what you want to get out of it.
- Big box brands like WaterBoss and Kenmore are more affordable but lack the quality of more expensive models.
- Fleck and Autotrol only supply the valves for their Naperville water softeners, and distributors add the rest of the units.
- EcoWater water softeners are longer-lasting, more durable and more technologically advanced than the other brands.
Softer Water in Naperville is Possible with the Right Water Softener!
Like many Chicago suburbs, Naperville has a hard water problem.
The city purchases Lake Michigan water from the DuPage Water Commission. This water has an average hardness of 8 grains per gallon (gpg). Anything above 1 gpg is considered hard water, and ideally, the hardness level should be at 0 gpg.
Of course, not all Naperville residents get city water. Some get water from a private well. This water comes from natural aquifers beneath the city and is much harder than Lake Michigan water at an average of 17 gpg!
So, whether you live in Naperville and get your water from the city or a well, it’s a safe bet your water is too hard.
What does this mean? It means you likely live with a lot of preventable annoyances and costly problems. Hard water dries out skin and hair, discolors clothing, fogs up glassware and produces unsightly scale on faucets. It also can clog up your plumbing and reduce the effectiveness of soap, leading to extra bills and expenses.
It’s no wonder many residents are investing in Naperville water softeners. After all, water softener systems eliminate hard water symptoms by completely removing the minerals that cause water hardness!
The choice seems like a no-brainer. But here’s the thing: not all water softeners are created equal. Some simply work better than others.
So, how do you pick the best water softener for your home? The answer will depend on what you are hoping to get out of it.
In this post, we will look at five popular Naperville water softeners and explain why they might be the right solution for you!
1. WaterBoss Water Softeners
You will typically find the WaterBoss when shopping at big box stores. For example, national retailers like Ace Hardware, Menards and The Home Depot all sell WaterBoss units. So, they’re clearly popular. The question is, how effective are they? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
The most appealing thing about a WaterBoss unit is its price. These are some of the most affordable softeners on the market at between $500-700.
WaterBoss softeners can also have up to a 36,400-grain capacity and can handle up to 90 gpg hardness and 10 ppm iron. These capabilities should work for a family of four with an average water hardness of 10-20 gpg.
While the low price is appealing, there’s a reason the WaterBoss is less expensive than other brands. For one thing, it has a very compact design, which doesn’t give the system a lot of room to clean itself. This design limits the softener’s effectiveness at softening the water. The until will use much more salt and water to regenerate than other models. It will also decrease the water pressure in the home.
So, while the WaterBoss can save you money initially, it can also cost you money in the long run by requiring expensive service calls. You will also have to spend money replacing the softener after a couple of years that you wouldn’t have to spend with a longer-lasting unit. And worst of all, it will increase your water bill.
The WaterBoss is ideal if you’re looking for a quick fix and have moderately hard water. So, if you know you and your family will only be in a living situation for a year or two, this may be the option for you.
Kenmore Water Softener
Kenmore water softeners are another type of softener sold at big box stores. Up until a few years ago, the brand was owned and sold by Sears. However, Sears declared chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018, and there are now less than 200 Sears stores left in existence.
Because of this, it’s natural to be a bit hesitant to purchase a Kenmore. After all, what happens if the unit breaks down? Will Sears honor warranties or have the replacement parts available to fix the unit?
The good news is, Sears has been good about this up to this point. And there are other companies like GE and Amazon that still sell Kenmore units and parts. We at Angel Water also happen to be an authorized service center for Kenmore water softeners.
Having said all that, let’s take a look at why you might purchase a Kenmore softener for your home.
In our experience, we’ve found Kenmore to be a step up from other big box brands like WaterBoss. The units can handle softening the water for households of 4-6 people with relative ease. They are also easy to install, and you can find them for as low as $500.
Like WaterBoss, Kenmore softeners also lack the high level of quality you can find in more expensive units. They only come with a one-year warranty and typically don’t last much longer than that. They can also cause a decrease in water pressure in the home.
A Kenmore water softener will give you many short-term benefits, like easy installation and a nice low price point. However, if you’re looking for a unit that will give you dependable results for multiple years, you will want to go with an NSF 44 certified brand.
Fleck Water Softener
Fleck is one of the most frequently sought-after water softener brands in the Naperville area. However, when our customers ask us if Fleck makes a good water softener, we have to explain that Fleck doesn’t make a water softener. Rather, they only make the control valve for a water softener, which they sell to water softener distributors. The distributors then put together the rest of the unit.
Because of this, there are some things to watch out for when purchasing a Fleck unit. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons to see if one is right for you.
Fleck is a popular brand because it has been around for a long time (over 40 years). And in that time, the brand has developed a reputation for making a dependable control valve that can get the job done. The valve also comes with a long-term warranty of up to five years.
Another big selling point is the relatively low price of the units. They often retail for as low as $1,200.
The problems with purchasing a Fleck system usually have nothing to do with the brand itself. Rather, issues surround how local water softener distributors put together the rest of the system that they add the Fleck control valve to.
Unfortunately, many dealers use subpar salt tanks and resin to save a few bucks. So, it doesn’t matter how good the Fleck control valve is since the rest of the unit produces less than stellar results and only lasts a few years before breaking down. Therefore, it’s important to check the warranty and quality of the rest of the system when purchasing a unit with a Fleck control valve.
Fleck units are also not NSF 44 certified to reduce radium-225 and -228 or barium from the water. (It’s always a good idea to look for a softener that can reduce radium since it’s the source of dangerous radon gas.)
As you can see, there’s a good amount of risk that comes with purchasing a Fleck unit. So, don’t do it unless you’re willing to do your homework and make sure that the whole unit (not just the control valve) is built to last.
How do you find a legitimate Fleck dealer? The first step is to look up the business address on Google Maps. You should find a brick-and-mortar business there and not some shady dealer operating out of a garage. Once you know the business is legitimate, you can do some more research by reading their website and looking at recent customer reviews.
If you do this, then you can expect to enjoy 4-7 years of decent water softening for a relatively low cost.
Autotrol Water Softener
Autotrol is a water softener brand owned by General Electric. Like Fleck, Autotrol only designs the valves for their Naperville water softeners. They leave adding the tanks and resin for the system to local water softener distributors.
Autotrol water softeners will often give you higher quality results than big box brands like WaterBoss or Kenmore. This is largely due to the metered control valves, which can save you money by reducing salt usage. These units are also relatively inexpensive, with prices typically around $1,200.
Just like a Fleck unit, an Autotrol relies on the water softener distributor to supply the tanks and resin for the system. Unfortunately, distributors don’t always use the highest quality parts to do this. Instead, they often use cheap parts that lack the quality certification necessary for the system to run well. As a result, Autotrol systems sometimes lack the longevity and dependability of other systems. It all depends on the distributor you’re buying it from. Autotrol systems also lack NSF 44 certification.
If you’re thinking of purchasing an Autotrol, be sure to pay very close attention to the warranties. Is the whole system warrantied or just the control valve? A quality system will have a long-term warranty for all its parts.
EcoWater Water Softener
The EcoWater brand is an industry leader for its advanced and eco-friendly water treatment systems. Here are some of the pros and cons of going with one of these higher-end water softeners.
Unlike Autotrol or Fleck, EcoWater always makes all parts of their water softener units. So, you don’t have to deal with the uncertainty of wondering if a distributor added its own substandard parts.
On top of this, EcoWater has NSF 44 certification for its Naperville water softeners. NSF 44 certification means that the product has gone through rigorous testing and has been proven to do what it says it will do. Plus, it will reduce harmful radium-226 and -228 and barium. Therefore, you can be confident that an EcoWater softener will efficiently reduce hardness without negatively impacting the water pressure in your home.
EcoWater units also come with many advanced features, such as the ability to control and monitor your softener right from your smartphone!
Plus, these units use significantly less salt and water when they regenerate than other water softeners. An EcoWater softener can save you money for many years to come as a result!
But most importantly of all, EcoWater units are built to last and come with a 10-year warranty. So, you can be sure that your investment will pay off for the long haul.
EcoWater water softeners are the most expensive of the brands we’ve looked at. So, they probably won’t be the best option for someone looking to save money with a quick fix. However, this extra investment upfront is certainly worth it because it will protect your health and home. You will also make that money back in the long run as you use less salt and water!
If you’re looking for quality, durability and longevity, then you can’t go wrong with an EcoWater system. It’s perfect for families looking to put down roots and enjoy softer, healthier water throughout their home.
Which Water Softener Sounds Best to You?
As you can see, all of these Naperville water softeners have their pros and cons. So, ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh those and choose the one that works best for you. If you have a model you’re leaning towards but have more questions, we’d be happy to help!
We at Angel Water sell, install and service all of the units listed in this blog. Our licensed experts would be happy to answer your questions and walk you through the purchasing process. Give us a call today at 847-382-7800 or stop into one of our stores in Lake Barrington or St. Charles.