Best Outdoor Water Softeners: Buying Guide Included

Why is it Worth The Money To Invest in Great Outdoor Water Softeners?

A startling 85% of households in America have hard water. Although the majority of us would prefer to live without limescale, we are aware that this water is safe to drink, which is why we may need to look at some of the best outdoor water softeners.

Finding the ideal outdoor water softener can be challenging enough without taking outside installation into account. You’ll be glad to know that you have many options if you do need to put an outdoor water softener outside, or if you simply prefer to.

Systems for softening water guard against issues like limescale (or scale), which are chalky calcium carbonate deposits, as well as other abrasive minerals like iron and magnesium. Hard water is a result of these deposits, which dries out skin and hair.

When one of these units is put in place, it works to soften the water that comes out of every faucet in the house, reducing or eliminating these harsh minerals. As a result, the soft water in the house is of higher quality, and after bathing, the skin, hair, and nails are healthier.

The greatest water softeners remove heavy minerals from the water through an ion exchange process or neutralise them so that they can no longer bond to one another and remain soluble in the water.

In our thorough investigation of water softening systems, we looked at each product’s features, specifications, and user feedback in a number of different categories. Based on our research, these are the top water softeners currently on the market.

How We Chose the Top Water Softeners For Outdoors

Since lawn mowers and cars are well known products, water-softening systems are less well known, making it challenging for consumers to determine which is the best.

But we were able to construct our list of the best water systems thanks to years of experience in the plumbing sector and a thorough investigation into the different kinds of water softeners.

The type of water softener, its capacity, its adaptability for different family sizes, and any distinguishing features that set a water softener apart from other products were important factors to take into account.

The majority of water softening systems rely on salt. There are plenty of good salt-based solutions for water softeners available, including both single-tank and dual-tank products, were chosen.

Because a large household normally needs a higher-capacity outdoor water softener, capacity and appropriateness are typically taken into account jointly. The fact that metered systems from reputable water-softener providers only regenerate when necessary also makes them popular.

Best Outdoor Water Softeners

SpringWell SS Salt Based Water Softener System

  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Grain Capacity: 32K, 48K, or 80K
  • Suitable For: Up to 6+ People
  • Flow Rate: Up to 20 GPM
  • Regen Method: Metered

This model has two tanks—a brine tank and a resin tank—and needs salt to operate. Sodium ions are used to replace the hard water mineral ions that are flushed away during regeneration using the ion exchange process.

The system includes a neoprene jacket that protects the tanks from temperature changes and precipitation, preventing mildew and dampness.

The capacity options for this model include 1-3 bathrooms, 4-6 bathrooms, and 7+ bathrooms, depending on the size of your home. As a result, you may use it in any kind of commercial or residential property.

The SpringWell outdoor water softener may be quickly installed at your main water line and comes with everything you need for installation, including the bypass valve, fittings, tanks, and soft water resin.

This model conveniently connects to the SpringWell app, allowing you to monitor and manage the softener from a distance. You won’t experience a decrease in water pressure with this model as long as you select the appropriate sized softened water system for your residence.

The unit for 1-3 bathrooms has an 11 GPM flow rate, while the unit for 4-6 bathrooms runs at 13 GPM, and the system for 7 or more bathrooms runs at 20 GPM.


  1. We appreciate the SS’s automated regeneration since it reduces salt and water waste while helping you to keep running expenses down. This method is one of the more economical ones we’ve looked at.
  2. SpringWell is a reputable business with a long history. You don’t have to worry about investing money foolishly in a SpringWell product. Additionally, the SS is more cost-effective than the bulk of outdoor water softeners on the market.
  3. We saw a quick improvement in the quality of our drinking water throughout our tests, and after the unit was placed, no additional scale formed.


  1. The SpringWell SS outdoor water softener is difficult to install. Most people hire a plumber to complete this operation.
  2. Higher initial investment

SoftPro Elite

  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Grain Capacity: 24K, 32K, 40K, 48K, 64K, 80K, 96K, or 110K
  • Suitable For: Up to 5+ people
  • Flow Rate: Up to 15 GPM
  • Regen Method: Metered

This NSF-certified appliance requires almost minimal maintenance and includes an easy-to-use control head with automatic regeneration settings.

Less water is needed for regeneration in this unit because of the system’s effective upflow regeneration technology. For your peace of mind, the outdoor water softener system has a lifetime warranty and all parts are made in the US.

The SoftPro outdoor water softener has an easy-to-use control panel that enables you to select from a number of pre-set modes, including auto-regeneration, auto-variable backwash, and even vacation mode, which will help you save money over the course of utilising this system.

The highest-quality resin currently on the market, the crosslink resin used in this soft water system is intended to endure an amazing two decades with typical daily use.

The guarantee offered by this equipment is among its best qualities. The circuit board’s warranty is for seven years, and the resin’s warranty is for ten years.

The outdoor water softener’s mineral and brine tank have a lifetime guarantee. You may be sure that this device only requires salt and water and can be left alone for years at a time with no further maintenance requirements.

Importantly, the SoftPro system includes a complimentary neoprene jacket guard, which helps to shield the mineral tank from cold and damp climates if you intend to place it outdoors.

You may instal this device yourself, and according to SoftPro, it will take a typical DIYer 4 hours to complete the task from beginning to end.


  1. The effectiveness of the SoftPro Elite has truly astounded us. The amount of salt used by a typical salt-based softening system is double that of the system. We discovered that we used relatively little salt and water during our tests.
  2. If you don’t like to spend money on maintenance, you’ll be glad to hear that the resin in the SoftPro Elite has a 20-year lifespan.
  3. We feel secure knowing that the SoftPro Elite is covered by a lifetime warranty. It is produced by the well-known business Quality Water Treatment.


  1. The system lacks a theoretical underpinning model. Additionally, it needs electricity, which may restrict the areas where it can be used.

SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-free Water Softener

  • Process: Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC)
  • Max Hardness: 81 GPG
  • Suitable For: Up to 6+ People
  • Flow Rate: Up to 20 GPM
  • Regen Method: n/a

The popular salt-free Template Assisted Crystallization technique (TAC), which transforms minerals into crystals incapable of adhering to surfaces and leaving scale deposits, is used by the SpringWell instead of salt to work.

Even though this method doesn’t technically create soft water, it will offer a way to resolve the majority of household hard water problems from a well or city water supply.

This SpringWell outdoor water softener system was designed with NSF-certified components that meet stringent performance, dependability, and durability requirements.

The system also has a 6-month money-back guarantee, so you may return it for a refund if it arrives defectively if you don’t like what you receive.

The FutureSoft can be installed anyplace as with all Springwell systems, as long as it is protected from freezing. To safeguard this system from harsh winter conditions, be sure to be ready in advance with a cover or insulated shelter.

If you’re thinking about purchasing the SpringWell, your water flow rate is not crucial because of its ActivFlo water technology, which enables it to function at all water pressures and prevents a decrease in flow while in use.

The FutureSoft system has a 5-micron pre-filter that needs to be changed about once a year to protect the system against bigger debris and pollutants like copper and silica.

This softener model is good at removing existing deposits from the pipes and plumbing in your home in addition to preventing new mineral deposits from forming.

The resin in the main unit has a minimum lifespan of 6 years, and there is no brine tank that needs to be topped off. Additionally, since electricity is not necessary, if you’re planning an outdoor installation, you have one less thing to worry about.


  1. Requires no electricity to operate
  2. does not eliminate minerals from thewater supply
  3. No regeneration is necessary.
  4. One of the best household softeners available


  1. Does not eliminate the minerals in hard water, which you may want.
  2. Can only stop the growth of scale
  3. Cannot be used with hard water that contains a lot of iron.

AquaOx WS

  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Grain Capacity: 64K
  • Suitable For: Up to 5 people
  • Flow Rate: Up to 16 GPM
  • Regen Method: Metered

You can rapidly set the system to perform at its best using digital touch screen settings, depending on how hard your water is and how much you use each day. If scheduling regeneration cycles appeals to you, you can do so as well.

The AquaOx is a top-tier outdoor water softener system that uses the best upflow technology to reduce the quantity of salt and water needed and only regenerate when necessary.

This system works with both well water and city water sources, and for added security, it has a 10-year warranty and a 12-month money-back guarantee.

The manufacturer recommends installing away from moisture and direct sunlight, and buying a cover for the machine if installing in an environment with insects or small animals.

There is a section of the user manual specifically devoted to outdoor installation, so you can rest assured that both the media and brine tank are designed to withstand the hot and cold climates.

This water softer includes a bypass valve, fittings, and the first softening media in addition to everything else you need for installation of the AquaOX. The media is pre-loaded and ready for installation right away. The system is 64 inches tall and 10 inches in diameter.

There are tutorials available if you need a little extra assistance, and the user manual is among the clearest I’ve ever seen. One of the easiest water softener units to use for guided DIY installation and maintenance, the unit will remind you to top off your salt.


  1. We were hopeful that the AquaOX WS would manage our hard water, and after using this system, our limescale issues were almost completely resolved.
  2. We were impressed by this outdoor water softener’s efficiency because it needed less salt top-ups than less effective systems.
  3. Utilizing the touch-screen interface is easy.


  1. Nearly all of this water softener’s characteristics overlap with those of the SpringWell SS. You might as well purchase SpringWell’s model if money is tight.

Fleck 5600 SXT 48K Grains Water Softener

  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Grain Capacity: 24K, 32K, 40K, 48K, or 64K
  • Suitable For: Up to 6 people
  • Flow Rate: Up to 20 GPM
  • Regen Method: Metered

With the media tank already loaded, this system comes partially pre-assembled, making installation simple. If you consider yourself to be reasonably handy, you should find the Fleck 5600 easy enough to instal yourself and save money by not employing a professional plumber.

Except for the drain line and the fittings needed to attach the softener to your plumbing, which you must purchase on your own, everything you need for setup is included, including the bypass valve and digital control head.

The Fleck offers on-demand regeneration and continuously monitors your water usage. If you use more or less water than normal, it will alter its regeneration frequency. Additionally, this machine has battery backup, so it will continue to function even if your power is down for up to 48 hours.

This outdoor water softener comes with a 10-year components warranty, so you’re covered when you buy it. Read the warranty’s terms and conditions carefully before you buy, though.

One of the more economical outdoor water softener solutions on this list, the system is predicted to pay for itself in 3.5 years and only costs a little over $600.

The Fleck 5600 can’t filter large amounts of iron, but if you’re seeking for something more specialised, the firm makes a great iron removal softener called the Fleck Iron Pro 2.


  1. We were really pleased with this Fleck model’s performance given its modest price. Immediately after installation, the water significantly softened.
  2. The components met our expectations in terms of quality, and it gives us peace of mind knowing that the equipment is assembled in the USA.
  3. You can choose between different grain capacity ranging from 24,000 to 64,000 grains depending on your water usage and water hardness.


  1. The Fleck 5600SXT was challenging for some purchasers to assemble by themselves. If you’re not handy, you’ll probably need to call a plumber.

Buyer’s Guide for Picking Good Outdoor Water Softeners

The best (and most obvious) way to treat hard water is with a whole-house water softener. The purpose of water softener systems is to either completely remove the hard water minerals or to change their structure so that they can no longer adhere to surfaces and form scale.

When it comes to water softener units today, we are spoiled for choice. Salt-based systems and salt-free softeners are all options, as are softeners for RVs and softeners for both the inside and outside of our homes.

This abundance of options is undoubtedly a good thing because it allows you to be choosy and because there are so many of them that you’re sure to find one that works just for you.

Can You Put a Water Softener Outside?

Can I place this outside? is a common query in relation to conventional water softener units. Typically, the response is the annoyingly ambiguous “Maybe.”

Not all whole-house water softeners are made to be installed outdoors. If they are shielded from the weather, especially freezing conditions, some can be erected outside (which I cover in more detail below).

A typical water softener does not perform effectively outside due to the nature of its construction. A resin tank and a brine tank, which are used in salt-based softeners, are particularly prone to being harmed by boiling or freezing temperatures.

Since both of these tanks are necessary to this kind of water softening system, if the weather damages one or both of them, the system will either not function or function much less effectively.

If you want to be confident the system will hold up to an outside climate, it’s best to opt for a water softener that clearly specifies in its product description that it is suited for outdoor use.

How Do I Protect My Outside Water Softener?

If you choose an outdoor water softening system, it will be built to better withstand the abrasive elements of the outdoors. However, there are steps you can do to safeguard your outdoor water softener so that its placement won’t have an impact on the effectiveness of your water treatment.

Electrical heat wrap tape for the fittings and pipes can be useful to prevent your outdoor water softener from freezing. This is useless for tanks, thus many people elect to construct their own insulated enclosure around the softener to protect it from exposure to subfreezing conditions.

Another option is to bury your tank; just make sure to pack the soil firmly to prevent air pockets from collecting around the system and causing it to freeze.

Although you probably wouldn’t consider it, sunlight can harm even the greatest water softener systems. The fibreglass resin may deteriorate from UV radiation, which would reduce the system’s effectiveness.

Once more, this is the reason housing or some kind of shade should be taken into account when designing an outside system.

If put outside, your water softening system needs to be secured, but don’t forget about your salt bags. These bags must be kept away from water, especially any that are open. You should be able to store them in a utility shed in your yard.

Water Softener Covers & Enclosures for Outdoor Use

An easy substitute is to purchase a cover or enclosure for your softening system online if building your own water softener enclosure sounds like too much labour.

For protection from exterior damage, such as frost and water damage, many brands offer specially constructed coverings. There are several options that are reasonably priced as well, with coverings costing about $100 and external cabinets costing about $150.

Types of Water Softeners

Salt-based, salt-free, dual-tank, and magnetic water softeners are the four primary varieties. A good water softener typically costs between the less expensive magnetic models and the more expensive salt-free versions.

Customers should become familiar with each type of water softener before choosing the one that best matches their needs.

Salt-Based Water Softeners

Salt-based water softeners come in a variety of sizes and can be used in almost any type of home, from RVs to mansions. Through an ion-exchange procedure, these outdoor water softeners eliminate heavy minerals from drinking water, such as calcium and magnesium.

The procedure involves drawing minerals into a resin inside the softener, where they are exchanged for sodium ions (salt). This ensures that the soft water in a home is neutral and healthy so that it won’t harm fixtures and appliances or dry out skin and hair.

While salt-based systems do add salt to the water, the amount is usually so minimal that no one notices. The drawback of salt-based softeners is that they require weekly salt recharges because the positively charged sodium ions in the resin do eventually run out.

These outdoor water softeners aren’t the best choice for compact rooms because they are also significantly bigger than magnetic or salt-free water softeners.

Salt-Free Water Softeners

Saltless water softeners treat water rather than softening it. By crystallising mineral ions, this is accomplished in order to prevent scale buildup in the piping.

A template-assisted crystallisation system is used in saltfree water softeners, and it consists of polymeric beads that include microscopic nucleation sites.

When heavy minerals adhere to these sites, a neutralising process starts to cause them to crystallise. Once developed, the crystals separate and don’t adhere to anything, preventing scaling from hard water and mineral buildup.

Although initially more expensive, saltless water softeners typically last for three years without requiring energy or recharging. These types are also more compact than salt-based systems, making them suitable for usage in modest to large-sized homes.

However, homes with excessive water usage and extremely high levels of hard water may have trouble using saltfree water softeners.

Dual-Tank Water Softeners

The ideal type of water softener system for residences that depend on well water is a dual-tank unit, which uses salt and has two resin tanks. The home continues to receive softened drinking water from the other tank while the other is in the regeneration cycle.

Most homes don’t require dual-tank softeners, and because of their size, they can be difficult to instal. Additionally, they cost more than other kind of water softeners and require periodic replenishment.

A dual-tank water softener, on the other hand, can process more water during each regeneration cycle and never run out of soft water.

Magnetic Water Softeners

Because they rest on a water pipe and take up almost no room, magnetic or electric water softeners are excellent for tiny places. While installing some types does need wiring into a home’s electrical system, others can be used without cutting into the water main.

The best electronic water softener system on the market won’t malfunction after installation, so you won’t need to be concerned about unintentionally pulling the plug.

Heavy minerals in the water are not eliminated by these outdoor water softeners. Instead, they neutralise heavy minerals by removing their negative or positive ions using a magnetic field.

The minerals cannot form bonds with one another and continue to be completely soluble in water until they lose their positive or negative charges.

For people who have mild to moderate problems with hard water, magnetic water softeners are the greatest alternative because they are a cost-effective solution.

Factors To Consider When Buying Water Softeners for Outdoor Installation

Local Climate

You are best suited for an outdoor water softener if the temperature in your area doesn’t drop below freezing during the winter or rise too high during the summer. But even if your climate is more erratic and variable, you can still put a softener outside.

Visit your neighbourhood hardware store or water treatment expert to find out which softened water systems are most in demand. You will gain knowledge of the systems that ought to function properly in your climate as a result.

Whatever system you choose, it’s important to plan ahead for its installation in your specific outdoor setting.

If hot summers are a regular occurrence in your area, you might want to instal your water softener in a shaded area, cover it from the elements from above, or even bury it underground where the dirt will keep it cool.

The easiest way to protect your tanks from frost and ice during the winter in your region is with an insulated cover or cabin.

Another inescapable element of a local climate is wildlife. A system can be shielded from insects and small animals by using the optional coverings that some water softener systems offer.

Additional Cover or Enclosure Costs

In light of the foregoing, be careful to account for the extra costs associated with obtaining a cover or enclosure for your home water softener.

You should budget an additional $50 to $150 for these accessories because, in general, the higher the price, the better the quality. Therefore, you shouldn’t cut corners here.

When choosing the appropriate sized cover or enclosure for your purposes, be sure to take into consideration the capacity of your unit, which may have an impact on its size.

Installation Site

The main water pipe closest to the point of entry into your property should have outside water softeners installed. This means that you normally can’t be too particular about the precise position of your installation, and it’s rare that this location will be in a naturally shaded area.

As you regenerate, keep in mind that you’ll also need a connection to a sewer line for your water waste to exit into.

Making ensuring there is space against the exterior of your home for the installation of a softening system may require cutting back plants or moving garden furniture that is in the way.

Electronic Components Involved

Your water softener will likely need access to electricity in addition to being placed at your waterline. If your water softener needs power to function, you might need to wire an electrical outlet to connect to it (most salt-based soft water systems do).

You must absolutely protect any electrical components from heat or moisture and ensure that they are acceptable for outdoor use. If installing an outdoor water softener sounds a little out of your league, you might think about paying someone to do it.

Capacity Required

Since grain capacity for water softener systems vary from model to model, you are not restricted to a single capacity if it doesn’t suit you. The grain capacity of a water softener gauges how long it can provide soft water before needing to regenerate.

The majority of households will need a unit with a regular 32,000 grain capacity, but if your home is very large—more than 4,000 square feet—you have a large family of more than six people, or your water is particularly hard—more than 15 grains—you may want to think about getting a larger unit.

Purchase a softener with a smaller capacity if necessary; doing so will be counterproductive.

Your water softener should ideally be sized such that it can regenerate once per week (it shouldn’t regenerate more frequently than once every three days or after more than 14 days, since this can lead to the resin compacting).

Calculate the following to determine the precise grain capacity required for your individual home:

The average number of people that consume 70 gallons of water per day in the country is the number of persons in your home.

Multiply this amount by the gpg value of your water’s hardness (grains per gallon). Purchase a test kit online if you are unsure about the water’s present hardness.

Your “grains per day” number is this amount. The ideal size for you can then be determined by dividing this amount by the capacity of a water softener.

For instance, if there are 5 people living in your house and they each use 70 gallons of water every day, you might calculate as follows:

350 grains per day (5 x 70) (for whole family).

350 x 10 grains (of hardness) every day equals 3500 grains.

When you split a 25, 000 grain capacity water softener by 3,500, you can calculate that it will regenerate every 7.1 days, which is exactly the capacity you need.

System Type

The quality of the water you receive will depend on the sort of outdoor water softener you use.

Since both salt-based and saltless softeners effectively create softened water and can both be used to treat well water supplies, there is no “best” water softener.

The advantage of salt-based softeners is that they entirely remove the minerals in hard water, which not only prevents scale but also protects your skin and hair, increases the efficiency of your appliances, makes it easier for water to lather with soap, and gives water a velvety feel.

In contrast, saltless softeners keep the beneficial calcium and magnesium minerals in the water, which has no impact on its quality.

The hardness minerals offer water a considerably more pleasant flavour without adding salt, and they also stop these minerals from developing scale.

When you take a shower, your skin and hair still come into contact with these minerals, but they can’t produce soap scum, which is a huge advantage.

Because magnesium and calcium are still present, a salt-based softener doesn’t exactly provide all the benefits that it would.

Costs of Installation & Maintenance

Because you have to think about things like how to shield your unit from the elements, how to provide it access to electricity, and how to connect a drain pipe, installing a water softener outdoors typically presents more obstacles than installing one inside (which tend to be more available indoors).

An expert plumber can complete the task in about an hour, saving you the effort and worry of DIY installation. However, keep in mind that this will incur a fee.

It truly is that unclear, however plumbers and handymen charge between $50 and $200 per hour, with the typical project costing around $250.

If you’re thinking about paying for a DIY installation, acquire prices from several qualified local experts and choose the one that best fits your budget.

The cost of maintenance varies based on the equipment you choose. You will need to replenish the salt in a salt-based softener with a brine tank roughly every 6 to 8 weeks.

Although softener salt is not expensive, you’ll need to keep plenty on hand because your system won’t function without it.

A water filter is typically included with both salt-free and salt-based water softeners to stop big sediment from getting inside and harming the media.

If you want to ensure the high-quality performance of your system for as many years as possible, you should remember to change this water filter about every six months. Filters can be purchased for as little as $20, depending on where you get them.

How Can I Know Whether My Water Softener is Operating Properly Outdoors?

The two tests listed below can be used to determine whether an external water softener is functional.

Obtain a sample of the water to be tested for hardness, and submit it to the nearby water company for evaluation. As an alternative, you can conduct the testing yourself by purchasing a water hardness test kit.

The outcomes should show whether or not the water softener for seasonal cabin units is working as intended.

The soap test is less precise but more useful. You can add pure liquid soap after obtaining water from a faucet. Try to create a lather or bubbles next. Your water softener for outdoor hose fixtures is operating well if you can generate copious amounts of thick lather.

Other suggestions include inspecting water appliances, fixtures, and pipelines for hard water stains or spots. Additionally, you might see crusts made of chalky white around water connections, and some people might note that the water has a peculiar flavour.

Washing machines, dishwashers, and other water-using equipment could not work properly. Other signs that the softener is not performing as intended include changes in water pressure and general quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I always need to use an outdoor water softener?

No. You should have a bypass valve in your system so you may direct water elsewhere anytime you need to. When performing maintenance, such as topping off the salt, or while the unit regenerates, a bypass valve is extremely helpful in allowing you access to water.

My own insulated water softener housing: is this possible?

Of course! There are several video lessons available that can be used for help, even if you don’t believe yourself to be particularly skilled.

How can I determine how much water I use each day?

You could just use the 70-gallon daily average for the country. If not, a smart metre unit could be able to inform you how much water your family uses every day. Being exact without one of these technologies is challenging.

Does the flow rate change if a water softener is installed outside?

No, the flow rate will remain the same as if the device had been installed inside. The grain capacity of the water softener you choose and whether it is appropriate for your home, as well as the incoming water pressure and whether it is high enough to support a water softener, all affect flow rate.

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