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Top 3 Outdoor Water Softeners

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
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Water softeners are instrumental devices for people living in areas with hard water. They work by replacing the calcium and magnesium ions in water with sodium ions. The exchange process resolves issues like soap not foaming, dishes getting a slimy film after you wash them, clothes coming out of the washer looking worn out, and other annoyances.

However, despite their usefulness, many people affected by hard water can’t install a traditional whole-house water softener for one reason – these devices take up a lot of space. Luckily, nothing says that you have to put these softeners inside of the house.

While there are no units that are specifically designed for the outdoors, some water softeners do work particularly well as outdoor units. Here are our top 3 picks if you want something that would work well installed outdoors.

Best Outdoor Water Softeners
SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System SS+
  • Flow rate – Enough for 7 – 9 bathrooms (20 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 80,000
  • Price – $2,086.32
Aquasure Harmony AS-HS48D Water Softener System
  • Flow rate – Enough for 2 – 4 bathrooms (15 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 48,000
  • Price – $579.99
FLECK 5600 SXT Metered Water Softener
  • Flow rate – Enough for 1 – 3 bathrooms (7 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 26,000

Outdoor Water Softener Systems

SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System SS+ – Best Overall

SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System SS+
  • Flow rate – Enough for 7 – 9 bathrooms (20 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 80,000
Pros
  • Comes with a phone app that allows you to control it remotely
  • Has a great flow rate and grain capacity
  • Lifetime warranty and 6-month money-back guarantee
Cons
  • The most expensive water softener system on our list

The SpringWell SS+ is the most powerful unit on our list. It holds both the best flow rate and the largest grain capacity, making it ideal for large homes or even small apartment complexes.

The 80k grain capacity also gives it enough filtration power to tackle even the heaviest mineral-infused water.

All water softeners from Springwell are high-quality products with excellent capacity, but if you’re looking for the highest flow rate and grain capacity, the SS+ model has you covered.

You’re able to pair the water softener with a reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system and a UV filter. The UV filter kills viruses and bacteria in the water, while the RO system stops many different contaminants and impurities, from soil particles to heavy metals, chlorine, and more.

Another strength of the SS+ model is its lifetime warranty on the tanks and the components. What’s more, you also receive a 6-month money-back guarantee that will have you covered if you’re not satisfied with your purchase.

The resin tank is made from hard wearing polypropylene material that gives this unit a bit more durability against the elements. Additionally, the tank comes with a cloth covering that can be zipped up to provide additional protection for the tank against scratches.

SpringWell products, including the SS+ softener, come with Bluetooth connectivity. With the app, you can wirelessly monitor your device, view all valve settings, review the current water usage, and start the regeneration cycle remotely.

Another great thing about this softener is that it comes with an instructional video and a step-by-step guide breaking down the installation steps to give you a chance to tackle it on your own. Installing the unit yourself will save you a few hundred dollars on plumbers or in-company installation fees, at the very least.

The only downside to this system is that it’s pricey. The $2k price tag on the base model is already high, but if you want the additional RO and UV filters, you’ll need to cash out around $1.5k more.


Aquasure Harmony AS-HS48D Water Softener System – Best Price

Aquasure Harmony AS-HS48D Water Softener System
  • Flow rate – Enough for 2 – 4 bathrooms (15 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 48,000
Pros
  • Decent flow rate and grain capacity
  • Very affordable
  • Uses a metered regeneration process
Cons
  • The warranty only lasts for 2 years

The Aquasure AS-HS48D water softener system is not only the most affordable unit on our list but also the cheapest whole-house ion exchange system with truly remarkable specifications that we could find, period. Plus, the resin tank is made from fiberglass, which gives it a lot more survivability outside than units made out of plastic.

Other whole-house systems usually start at $800 or $900 or use the salt-free water-softening method, yet this model boasts a low price while retaining a powerful filtration setup.

If you buy this product, you’ll enjoy a grain capacity of 48k and a flow rate of 15 GPM. The grain capacity may not be as high as the SpringWell, but it’s more than enough to handle everything but the most extreme water hardness levels.

As for the flow rate, 15 GPM easily covers up to 4 bathrooms, perfect for two or three-story houses.

The AS-HS48D also features a metered regeneration process, meaning it will only start once a specific amount of water has passed through the system. This process differs from the timed regeneration processes of other systems in that it’s only activated when necessary, so it reduces water waste.

With all those qualities, it’s disappointing that the unit comes with such a short warranty. Two years is ill-suited for large and expensive equipment like a water softener.

While the $500 price tag makes a bit more sense now, and it’s normal to have some trade-off for a bargain like that, in a market where most other water softeners come with a lifetime warranty or at least a 5-year warranty on their electrical components, the Aquasure AS-HS48D coverage falls short.


FLECK 5600 SXT Metered Water Softener – Best for City Water

FLECK 5600 SXT Metered Water Softener
  • Flow rate – Enough for 1 – 3 bathrooms (7 GPM)
  • Grain Capacity – 26,000
  • Price – $995.95
Pros
  • Uses a metered regeneration cycle system
  • Comes with a built-in capacitor with 48 hours of memory storage
  • 5-year valve warranty and 10-year tank warranty
Cons
  • A lower flow rate and grain capacity than the other units on our list

The FLECK 5600 SXT water softener comes with a lot of valuable features. As its name indicates, it’s a metered system, so the regeneration cycle only starts when the water reaches maximum capacity rather than automatically starting after a set time.

This metered cycle saves you a lot of money on unnecessary water waste since it’s much more economical than automatic cycle systems.

You also have several cycle options to choose from. These allow you to set the gallon limit at which the regeneration cycle will start. You can’t set your custom option, but you do have several pre-installed options that should give you enough flexibility.

The FLECK also features a built-in capacitor that stores the data from the system for 48 hours in the event of a blackout. Thanks to this feature, you won’t have to reset the system if a power surge happens, which is very convenient if you live in a city or area with frequent electrical spikes.

While the 5-year warranty on the valves is decent, the 10-year warranty on the tanks is more in line with the standards in the water treatment niche. However, it should be mentioned that the valves are made out of a fiber reinforced polymer, which makes the connection points more secure and slightly less prone to getting damaged from weather events, small debris, and so on, which is part of what makes the model suitable for the outdoors.

Our first concern with this unit is its low flow capacity. The FLECK 5600 SXT has a significantly more limited flow rate than the other systems on our list. That being said, while this may not be ideal for larger houses, one-story homes with 1 – 3 bathrooms will still benefit from this model.

Second, the 26k grain capacity means the model isn’t suitable for water with a high magnesium and calcium PPM content. This limits the usage of Fleck in areas with particularly hard water.

What is an Outdoor Water Softener?

Outdoor water softeners are no different from regular models since they look and function the same way. Your unit will be considered indoor or outdoor depending on where you install it.

Water softeners can be placed virtually anywhere on your property as long as they’re at least reasonably close to a power outlet and the house’s primary water line. Most water softeners are installed in the basement simply because that’s where the main water pipe can easily be located, and it’s usually the area of the house with enough free space.

An outdoor water softener is a term used to describe a system installed outside the house rather than inside. Also, outdoor water softeners are usually bulky and durable devices that could function well in outdoor conditions.

The softeners that we chose for our list are all durable in one aspect or another. The Springwell resin tank is made from polypropylene and the Aquasure resin tank is made from fiberglass.

While the exact materials of the FLECK 5600 SXT resin tank are not disclosed by the brand, the valves and connectors are made from fiber reinforced polymer. The connection points are therefore a bit more durable against strong winds or other weather conditions.

None of these units will survive gale-force winds or heavy rain without any protection, but they’re all more durable than most plastic water softeners.

Advantages of Outdoor Water Softeners

Outdoor water softeners have all the benefits of standard softeners. They soften hard water and prevent issues like worn-out clothes, soap not lathering properly, limescale forming on your sink and bathtub, and so on.

Installing them outside also means you don’t need to fit these large tanks in your basement or living space.

Disadvantages of Outdoor Water Softeners

When you install a water softener outdoors, you’ll expose it to the elements. The cold, rain, and other harsh weather conditions may damage and break the tanks. To protect your outdoor water softener, you’ll need to build something like an awning above them so that they have at least some protection against rain, snow, and so on.

If you live in an area with extremely low or high temperatures, you should further protect the water softener system by building something like a small shed around it. This means that you’ll need to spend a bit of money on construction materials, and you’ll need to dedicate some space in your yard for this protective awning/shed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on outdoor water softeners.

What is the cheapest Outdoor Water Softener?

The most inexpensive outdoor water softener on our list and on the market is the Aquasure AS-HS48D water softener system.
Remember that there are smaller systems that’ll cost you less money, and salt-free water softener systems are also cheaper. However, if we’re talking about whole-house ion exchange water softeners, then the Aquasure AS-HS48D is the most cost-effective option.

What is the average price of an Outdoor Water Softener?

Whole-house ion exchange units generally start at around the $800 mark and go up to $3,000 and more.
More expensive units have a much higher grain capacity and flow rate, but they’re too powerful for standard homes. Some home units go over the $3k price range as well, but they’re very rare and usually paired with chlorine injection systems and used on well water.
You may need to get a bigger and more powerful softener depending on the size of your home and the water quality in your area, but we estimate you won’t need to spend more than $1,500 – $2,000 on a unit that covers all of your needs.

What does installing an Outdoor Water Softener require?

You’ll need to find the main water line that leads to your house to install an outdoor water softener. Once you do, place the water softener close by and hook it up to the water supply.
You’ll want to turn off the water and remove a pipe section. Place the water softener close to the cut section and connect the pipe ends to the water softener. You’ll need to get some pipes and pipe angle connectors and measure how much pipe and how many connectors you need to properly hook up the resin tank.
The main water pipe will need to lead into the input valve on the water softener head on top of the resin tank. A pipe will also need to lead from the tank’s output section toward the house.
Once this is hooked up, you must attach the salt tank to the resin tank. This is pretty straightforward, and all you need to do is place the two tanks close together and attach the connectors they already come with.
Having done all this, the last step is to connect the water softener to a power source and turn it on.
Check for water leaks, ensure the regeneration process runs properly, and put a roof over the system. If you do all that, you’ll have successfully installed your outdoor water softener system.

Conclusion

The SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System SS+ is pricey. Still, if you can afford it, it’s undoubtedly the best unit on our list regarding flow rate, grain capacity, and overall features.

The Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener System is a very affordable unit providing coverage for 4-bathroom houses, which makes it an excellent pick for just about anyone.

The FLECK 5600 SXT Metered Water Softener is ideal for small homes that don’t need too much power and buyers who want reliability and quality.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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