Anyone that lives in an area with hard water can tell you how many issues the high mineral count causes. Not only will your clothes look worn out after a few times in the washer, but you’ll also have problems with limescale on surfaces.
If you live in an area with hard water, the best way to get rid of calcium and lime deposits is to get a water filter to remove them from your supply, and we have just the devices for that purpose.
Best Water Filter to Remove Calcium and Lime
- Springwell CSS1 – Best Whole House Ion Exchange Filter
- Whirlpool 40,000 – Best Apartment Ion Exchange Filter
- Aquasana Water Conditioner – Best Salt-Free FIlter
- APEC ROES 50 – Best Undersink Reverse Osmosis Filter
- AquaTru Classic – Best Countertop Reverse osmosis Filter
Springwell CSS1 – Best Whole House Ion Exchange Filter
- Price – $2,333.96
- Flow Rate – 9 GPM
- Warranty – Lifetime warranty on tanks and valves
- Can both filter and soften the water
- The filters are very effective
- Comes with a handy Bluetooth app
- Very expensive
The best thing about the Springwell CSS1 model is that it’s both a water filtration and a water softening system.
Its water-softening capabilities make it efficient in removing hard minerals like calcium, so you don’t have to worry about limescale formation, while the filtration technology it employs can remove many other organic and inorganic contaminants.
The system comes with a pre-filter that catches larger soil and sodium fragments that might be present in the pipes and ensures they don’t enter the tanks and clog the main filters. If some inorganic contaminants like sand, silt, or clay are small enough to get past the pre-filter, they’ll get caught by the 5-micron sediment filter in the tank.
The main water filter consists of a KDF media that removes common water contaminants like chlorine and a catalytic carbon media that tackles pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and other common organic contaminants.
After the initial filtration process, the water passes through a resin tank full of positively charged sodium ion beads. These beads take in hard minerals like calcium and replace them with sodium ions. The process is called ion exchange, and it effectively softens the water that passes through the tank. As a result, the calcium gets removed, and so does the possibility of limescale.
This system also comes with a convenient app that allows you to connect your phone to your filtration unit via Bluetooth and monitor it. Thanks to the app, you can view your valve settings and tank status on your phone, get reports on the current water usage, and even manually start the regeneration cycle.
The only downside is that Springwell CSS1 is pricier than the other filters on our list. Still, the price is entirely justified when you consider what the brand offers – a pre-filter and two large tanks (three if you also count the sodium tank).
Whirlpool 40,000 – Best Apartment Ion Exchange Filter
- Price – $834.00
- Flow Rate – Not specified
- Warranty – 1-Year full parts and labor warranty
- Easy to install and maintain
- Takes up very little space
- Minimal sodium used per regeneration cycle
- The warranty is pretty limited for a device of this size and price
Despite taking up less space than the Springwell CSS1, the Whirlpool has a bigger grain capacity. This feature means it can handle water with a much larger calcium concentration, making it the best choice for removing limescale in areas with very hard water.
The first thing you’ll probably notice about this filter is that it doesn’t have a separate sodium tank and resin tank, unlike other ion exchange systems. Instead, these tanks are located in the same casing, making this system much easier to place in smaller homes or apartments. So, if you don’t have the space for standard-sized whole-house filters, the Whirlpool 40,000 is an ideal choice.
The design also means that this unit is much easier to install. All you need to do is place it near your main water pipe, detach a piece of the pipe where the filter can fit, and then attach one end to the input valve and the other to the output valve.
With the Whirlpool, you won’t have any issues with maintenance either since you just need to open the hatch right at the top to add salt to the system. A salt indicator light also tells you when the levels are getting low and need to be replenished, so checking salt levels now and then is another responsibility off your mind.
Additionally, the system uses a metered regeneration process instead of an automatic one. This means that instead of a preset time when the regeneration process is supposed to run, the system calculates the amount of softened water and only starts the process after removing enough calcium.
This simple feature minimizes sodium usage allowing you to go for much longer before you buy a new bag of salt.
The one downside of this device is the limited warranty. You still get one year of coverage, but that’s not very long for a water softener.
Aquasana Water Conditioner – Best Salt-Free FIlter
- Price – $799.00
- Flow Rate – 11.8 GPM
- Warranty – 6-year limited warranty
- Very affordable
- Environmentally friendly
- Decent flow rate
- The TAC system doesn’t remove the calcium from the water
The Aquasana Rhino is a compact unit and effortless to install. You don’t need too much space for it, yet you’ll get a decent flow rate of 11.8 GPM – ideal for apartments or homes with up to 3 bathrooms.
Like Springwell CSS1, the Aquasana Rhino comes with a pre-filter that removes large contaminants, preventing them from getting into the filtration tank. This pre-filter removes soil, sediment, and clay particles and can also catch sand and other larger contaminants commonly found in water.
As for the water softener, it uses a TAC system rather than an ion exchange system. Template Assisted Crystallization, or TAC, coats the calcium and the other hard mineral molecules in crystals. Crystallization prevents the minerals from sticking to the inside of your pipes and other surfaces the water touches, which, in turn, prevents limescale formation.
But remember that TAC doesn’t remove calcium from the water. The crystal coating prevents the calcium from forming limescale on surfaces, but testing the water will show that the hardness has not gone down, which makes estimating these devices’ effectiveness tricky.
Since this system is salt-free, it doesn’t need an additional sodium tank along with the main water softener unit. As a result, you won’t need that much space to install it, and you won’t need to constantly replenish the salt supply like with the ion exchange models.
The lack of salt required makes this unit much more eco-friendly than other water softeners because it doesn’t flush any salt or chemicals into the environment.
The system comes with a 6-year limited warranty, which is more than respectable for such a reasonably priced softener. You also get a 90-day money-back guarantee that allows you to return the product if you have an issue with it or its performance.
APEC ROES 50 – Best Undersink Reverse Osmosis Filter
- Price – $199.95
- Flow Rate – 50 GPD
- Warranty – 1-year limited warranty
- Very easy to install
- The 4-stage process removes a wide variety of different contaminants
- Can only be used on one sink in the house
The Apec is the smallest filtration unit on our list, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you. This unit is a very effective calcium remover boasting a 4-stage filtration process that eliminates the most common contaminants and minerals, eliminating limescale buildup.
- 1st Stage – The sediment filter removes soil, dust, and rust particles from your water.
- 2nd Stage – The carbon block filter eliminates chlorine from the water and any unpleasant smells, tastes, or cloudiness.
- 3rd Stage – The semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane removes chromium, radium, lead, and calcium.
- 4th Stage – The final stage is a coconut shell carbon filter that eliminates any residual taste from the water.
Technically speaking, this unit uses a 5-stage filtration process because there are two carbon block filters. However, both of these filters have the same role, so it just means that the extra stage ensures the unit does a much more thorough job of getting rid of chlorine and any unpleasant smells or tastes from the water.
A considerable benefit of under-sink models like the APEC ROES 50 is that they’re very small and take up virtually no space under your counter. Plus, installing this unit is straightforward since you just need to find a spot for the water tank and then place the filter near enough to the sink that you can connect it. This model also comes with its own faucet that you can put on your sink.
The only real downside of this filter is that it can’t filter the water through the entire house, as it can only cover one sink. However, considering the incredibly low price, one sink is still very reasonable.
AquaTru Classic – Best Countertop Reverse osmosis System
- Price – $519.00
- Flow Rate – 4.5 GPH
- Warranty – 1 year
- No installation required
- Great add-ons: alkaline mineral boost, wifi connection
- Needs to be refilled manually
The AquaTru is by far the most convenient filtration unit on our list in terms of ease of use. All you need to do to use this filter is place it on your counter, plug it into a socket, fill up the water reservoir, and turn it on.
The water filtration takes 10-15 seconds, and the device has an average flow rate of around 4.5 GPH (gallons per hour). As for the filtration itself, this unit uses a 4-stage process that removes calcium, lead, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, nitrates, and many other common contaminants.
Depending on how much water you drink per day, the filters in this unit can last between 6 months and 2 years, during which the manufacturer says that they can purify as much as 4,500 bottles worth of water.
While the base price of this device is $449, we recommend spending an extra $70 to get both the alkaline mineral boost and the wifi connection options.
The wifi connection is a convenient feature that allows you to connect your phone to your filter via Bluetooth. With this feature, you can remotely turn it off and on, see your filter life, and even check water quality and water consumption.
You can also use the app to see how much battery the countertop filter still has if you’ve unplugged it from the socket.
Additionally, not only does the app alert you when you need to replace the filters, but it opens the store for you and makes the whole process of buying new filters a simple click of a button.
As for the alkaline mineral boost, the app allows you to use the filter to make mineral-rich alkaline water that you can enjoy whenever you want. While this might not seem like an essential feature, we’d say that paying $20 to get free mineral water whenever you want is a pretty sweet deal.
The price is reasonable since you get an NSF-certified filter with many great features for around $500.
What Is a Calcium and Lime Filter?
Filtration systems designed to remove hard minerals from water and filters that remove molecules larger than hydrogen and oxygen molecules are essentially “calcium” filters. They remove calcium (a hard mineral) and, in turn, eliminate limescale formation. However, there isn’t a filter made explicitly for calcium molecules, or lime, which is the general term for chemical compounds such as calcium.
Limescale, on the other hand, is a byproduct of mineral-rich water rather than a substance in water. The calcium molecules stick to surfaces the water has touched, and when the water evaporates, the mineral deposits remain. These mineral or calcium deposits leave a sort of visible stain that’s called limescale.
Therefore, removing the minerals like calcium (and magnesium) from your water will prevent limescale from forming on your surfaces. In other words, filters that can remove calcium also remove lime and limescale.
Types of Calcium and Lime Filters
There are three types of calcium and lime filters – ion exchange softeners, TAC softeners, and reverse osmosis systems.
Ion exchange filters use a positively charged resin with sodium ions to exchange the calcium in the water with salt. The water is softened, and the calcium remains in the resin tank until it’s removed by the regeneration cycle.
TAC or salt-free filters crystalize the calcium ions to prevent them from sticking to surfaces. These units don’t require a sodium tank, so they use fewer resources and less space.
Reverse osmosis filters pass the water through a thin screen with very small holes. The screen prevents the calcium molecules from passing through, removing them from the water.
The Best Filter for Calcium and Lime
While all the filters we’ve picked effectively remove (or chemically alter) calcium from water, specific models are much better suited to the job than others.
Ion exchange systems like the Springwell CSS1 and the Whirlpool 40,000 use resin specifically made to soften your water and eliminate calcium molecules that promote limescale buildup on surfaces.
Salt-free TAC softeners like the Aquasana prevent the calcium molecules from sticking to surfaces through the crystallization process. However, they don’t remove the calcium from the water. Therefore, they’re effective against limescale, but the calcium will still be present in the water.
Reverse osmosis systems remove the calcium molecules from the water, but only to a certain degree. The AquaTru Classic and the APEC ROES 50 can handle a GPG of around 10. Any water that’s harder than 10 GPG will clog the membrane with calcium, and limescale might form in the RO screen itself as a result.
The bottom line is that ion exchange units are the best calcium filters because they’re the only models capable of entirely removing high concentrations of calcium molecules from the water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the top three questions people have about calcium and lime filters.
What is the cheapest calcium and lime filter?
The cheapest calcium and lime filter on our list would be the APEC ROES 50, which comes at a very affordable price of $199.95. However, it’s designed for only one sink.
The market’s cheapest calcium and lime filter would probably be the iSpring ED2000. The problem with this unit is that it can only prevent the calcium from forming limescale inside the pipes, so we don’t recommend it.
If you’re looking for something that can remove calcium throughout your home on a budget, then your best bet would be the Aquasana water conditioner which costs $799, or the similarly priced Whirlpool 40,00 at $834.
What is the average price of a calcium and lime filter?
Average prices are difficult to estimate, especially when you review a variety of different types of products that use different filtration technologies, like we just did. However, there are a few rough price ranges that we can share with you to at least give you an idea of what you can expect.
Smaller units like the AquaTru Classic and the APEC ROES 50 will be priced somewhere in the $200-800 range. They still have very capable filters, but their small size makes them less than ideal for whole-house use or families with more than two people.
On the other hand, whole-house units can be anywhere from $800 to $3,000 and higher. Larger grain capacities and flow rates will increase the price, as will additional features and perks.
How long do calcium and lime filters last?
Whole house units generally have a lifetime of around 10 years or closer to 15 if you maintain and clean them properly and regularly.
The lifetime of smaller units varies. Under-sink models will likely last 5-7 years, and the same is generally true for countertop models. But, again, this varies from model to model, and if you know how to take care of your device, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get a few more years out of it.
The Springwell CSS1 is the best overall unit on our list. It’s relatively inexpensive for its size and has a good flow rate with a very effective filtration system.
The Whirlpool 40,000 is a compact whole-house filtration unit that’s both easy to install and maintain, which makes it an ideal option for anyone living in an apartment or a small house.
The Aquasana Water Conditioner is a great salt-free option with the best flow rate on our list. While big houses can benefit from its flow rate, this unit is small enough to fit into any apartment, making it a good option for both large and small homes.
The APEC ROES 50 is easy to install and very cheap, so it’s a good option for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much on a filtration system.
The AquaTru Classic has a fast filtration process, long filter life, and a mineral boost feature. These perks make it a great all-rounder, as long as you don’t mind spending upwards of $500 on a countertop model.
Lastly, all the filters we recommend will help you eliminate (or alter) calcium and, consequently, limescale buildup, but the ion exchange units, the Springwell CSS1 and the Whirlpool 40,000, will be the most effective.