Best Water Softener Resin in 2019 – Top Models Compared

Best Water Softener Resin

When you water is “hard”, it is high in dissolved minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. Water becomes “hard” as it moves about rock and soil, holding a very small trace of these minerals in their water solution. Hard water is not a health concern, but it can still be a problem that can hinder the performance of cleaning products such as dish detergent and soap.

As a primary answer to hard water, homeowners buy what are known as water softeners. Water softeners take calcium and magnesium away from water and replace then with sodium and salt, thanks to ion exchange. In order to get soft water time after time, you have to fill your water softener with quality resin.

Which is the best water softener resin? Well, we will be looking at six different resins in our review, all of which have various benefits as well as one or two detriments. Each of them, in essence, deliver unique results. So which is the resin that you need to buy? Find out by taking a look at our extensive review.

Name

Resin Type

Size

Color

Price

ABCwaters SOFRES1 Water softening resin

8% Standard Cation

1 Cubic Foot

Black

Purolite C-100E Cationic Resin

8% Standard Cation

1 Cubic Foot

Clear, amber

LiquaGen Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin

Fine Mesh

0.5 Cubic Foot

White

AquaTrol Water Softener Resin (Editors Choice)

Fine Mesh

1 Cubic Foot

Amber

High Capacity Replacement Water Softener Resin

8% Standard Cation

0.5 Cubic Foot

White

Mobile-Soft-Water' 1 Cuft Water Softener Resin

8% Standard Cation

1 Cubic Foot

Amber

6 Best Water Softener Resin Reviews

1. ABCwaters SOFRES1 Water softening resin

This first water softener resin is by ABC waters. This is a bag that is one cubic foot in size. It should be noted that you will either get one large bag or multiple smaller bags that equal in one cubic foot. This resin is eight percent standard cation. All this resin total weighs about 50 pounds.

With a bag of water softener resin this big, you can properly fill a tank that is 9 by 48 inches in size. The screen must be in between 16 to 50 US.

These beads are spherical in appearance, and they are polystyrene cross-linked along with divinylbenzene. The color of these beads are jet black.

This water softener resin can dissolve manganese, iron and suspended matter by filtering action outside the bed. This resin has been approved by the U. S. Food and Drugs Code of the Federal Regulations.

This resin is safe to use for either a water softener in the home or in a commercial building. No matter if you need soft water for your home or business, this resin can work with either.

One problem with this resin is that the measure is inaccurate. While it is advertised as one cubic foot, the bag says and actually measures 25 liters. With a cubic foot being 28.3 liters, this is slightly less than a cubic foot, which might not be enough for certain-sized water softeners.

Pros​​​​​

  • Approved by officials
  • plus
    Can dissolve suspended matter
  • plus
    Safe for residential and commercial buildings

Cons

  • Size is inaccurate

2. Purolite C-100E Cationic Resin

This next resin from DuraWater is the Puralite C-100E. There are many similarities between the Puralite resin and ABCwaters’ resin. Firstly, it is advertised as 1 whole cubic feet. It can fill a water softener that is nine by 48 inches in size. It is also eight percent standard cation resin.

This is a strong resin that comes with a strong amount of sodium. This resin has also been approved by the U. S. Food and Drugs Code of the Federal Regulations.

For that matter, this resin specializes in making water better as well as food and beverages better as well. This resin has a high amount of physical and chemical stability.

The benefits of this resin include efficient regeneration, low extractables and a decent kinetic performance. You will get soft water for as long as the resin is still good, thanks to the easy shift of the beads. And speaking of the beads, they are a mixture of amber and clear beads that are spherical.

Surprisingly we have not found any flaws with this resin. It works fine, and there are no real setbacks to be found.

Pros​​​​​

  • Approved by officials
  • plus
    Great kinetic performance
  • plus
    Efficient regeneration
  • plus
    Great chemical stability

Cons

  • N/A

3. LiquaGen Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin

LiquaGen’s water softener resin is a large 1.5 cubic foot in size. It is shipped in three bags of half a cubic foot each. This is a fine mesh resin. It is a white, powdery resin with grains that are a little bigger than sand grains.

Replacing hard ions like magnesium and calcium, in comes sodium ions as softer alternatives for your water.

This water softener resin is touted as a high quality resin that is made for the treatment of food, beverages and water, including water used as an ingredient for food.

Included with these three bags of resin is a funnel. You might have a special funnel for pouring in your new resin in, but in case you don’t, this bag of resin has you covered. Funnels make changing your resin easy and mess free.

LiquaGen’s resin has great physical and chemical stability, great selectivity and decent thermotolerant characteristics.

Instead of ten percent cross linked resin, this resin is actually eight percent. This might sound convincing that a ten percent resin could be priced as low as is, but it sounds like they bait and switch so that their resin would sell more. If you ask us, this is kind of shady for them to do.

Pros​​​​​

  • Great chemical stability
  • plus
    Comes with a funnel
  • plus
    Small resin beads
  • plus
    Great chemical stability

Cons

  • Cross link is inaccurate

4. AquaTrol Water Softener Resin

Aquarol’s water softener resin also comes in a one-cubic-foot bag. It can work with any 32000-grain water softener. This is a fine mesh resin that comes in small amber grains.

While most cation exchange is cross linked eight percent, this is ten percent cross linked resin. What this means is that this resin has a much longer life than others. Aquatrol’s resin also has great chemical and physical stability.

This bag comes with a special flap that makes pouring it out into your water softener easy. It works in the way a flap for a box of baking soda works.

This resin has been approved by the U. S. Food and Drugs Code of the Federal Regulations, and is designed for food, water and beverages.

For a bag that is one cubic foot in size, this is a very affordable bag. With all that it offers, is there anything that you should be concerned with? The answer is no, surprisingly. It works great for the price that it goes for. We are wondering how the company is making a profit with this resin though for prices that are low.

Pros​​​​​

  • Has an extended life
  • plus
    Small resin beads
  • plus
    Great chemical stability
  • plus
    Comes with a pouring flap

Cons

  • N/A

5. High Capacity Replacement Water Softener Resin

This next water softener resin is from A-Plus Waters LLC. This is an eight percent standard cation resin that comes in one half-cubic foot bag.

It can fill up to a 16,000-grain water softener, which is rather small; mostly ideal for apartments and individual applications.

This water softener resin can either be used in residential or commercial settings. It has high-capacity gel polystyrene cation exchange packed with sodium ions.

There are not much other details provided to us about this resin. It has been brought to us in generic packaging and comes in spherical beads that are small and pearly white.

This is a small bag of water softener resin. It is only good for 16000-grain water softeners. Unless your softener is small and you do not use a lot of water, you should consider a bag of resin comes with more. You can also consider buying two bags of this resin, but it might be more affordable to buy one bigger bag.

Pros​​​​​

  • Safe for residential and commercial buildings
  • plus
    Small resin beads
  • plus
    Efficient regeneration

Cons

  • Rather a small bag
  • minus
    Not much is known about this resin

6. Mobile-Soft-Water' 1 Cuft Water Softener Resin

This last water softener resin is from 602abcWater. It is one cubic foot in size and can supply a 32,000-grain water softener easily. This is a premium grade eight percent crosslink replacement resin.

This water softener resin has been tested and certified under industry regulations. Not much else is known about this resin, other than it comes is glossy amber beads.

Does it work well in water softeners? You bet. From what we have experienced, the water gets soft quickly and stays soft. The calcium and magnesium in the water has been reduced significantly and replaced with sodium, so there is no need to worry if it doesn’t do its job.

There is just so much uncertainty with this water softener resin. So far, so good on our end. But it does not have a reputation for either being a good or bad resin, so you are not sure what you are getting what you pay for.

Pros​​​​​

  • Safe for residential and commercial buildings
  • plus
    Approved by officials
  • plus
    Great chemical stability

Cons

  • Not much is known about this resin

Some FAQ About Water Softener Resin

How Is Resin Replaced In A Water Softener?

In most water softeners, here is how water resin is replaced.

First, turn off the water in your water supply. Next, disconnect the plumbing so that no water can leak out of the softener.

Unscrew the control head on top of your water softener. Lay the water softener down on its side or over a trash can so that the water spilling is minimal.

Fasten a garden hose to the water softener where appropriate. Turn the water on connected to the garden hose so that you can rinse or flush the old resin out of the water softener. Throw out the old resin, but keep the old gravel.

After you are done rinsing out the water softener, stand it upright. Place some strong tape over the opening in the product tube. Then, refill the old gravel so that it covers the screen entirely.

Now you are ready to put the new resin in. Pour in the new resin until the tank is slightly over a half capacity full.

Reconnect the water softener to the plumbing, remove the tape and reattach the control head where necessary. Turn your water supply back on and put the system in manual regeneration mode.

You should be good to go, there. To check to make sure your water is soft, pout a glass under one of your faucets and taste it.

What Kind Of Water Softener Resin Do I Need?

The first thing that you should realize is that there is small, if any differences between the brands that make water softener resin. With this in mind, it is a good idea to choose the cheapest resin you can find.

 It is a good idea to not have dried out resin, otherwise you might have a sticky situation where you have high levels of particulates with a lot capacity. As water softener resin dries out, it deteriorates into smaller particles. With this in mind, always buy fresh resin, and not old or pre-owned resin.

While you tend to get better quality products for high prices, this is not the case at all with water softener resin. While it is true that you will find resin going for various prices, it is all up to the company to determine how much to charge for it. More costly resin does not always mean better resin.

What Types Of Water Softener Resin Are There? 

There are two common types of water softener resin: 8 percent standard cation and fine mesh. Most water softeners use the 8 percent standard, as it is pre-charged with sodium. This type of resin is great if you have water that is less than 3 ppm of dissolved iron. This type of resin will guarantee soft, supply water for 10 to 15 years, depending on your typical quality of water.

Fine mesh resin is physically smaller than standard resin, which allows the resin to pack closely together and seal in air cavities. You can compare the two types of resin like comparing a pile of baseballs to a pile of marbles. The smaller orbs give you a much larger surface area for the iron to work with.

Fine mesh resin can easily get rid of dissolved iron that is up to 10 ppm. Fine mesh resin can also be used to coincide with activated carbon for reductions of hydrogen sulfide. Another great purpose of activated carbon is to improve the feel, smell and taste of your water. However, fine mesh resin needs a specialty riser screen with a gravel bed or small slots so that resin migration is not an issue.

So, which is better for your home? That really depends on what you need more. If your water has around five ppm, go with the 8 percent standard. If higher than five ppm, choose the fine mesh although you will need the proper water softener so that it works to its full potential.

How Often Should I Change The Resin In My Water Softener?

Typically, water softener resin will last up to 15 years as it becomes fed with the city’s water. There are two things that cause the resin to eventually be rendered useless, and those things are the resin’s own organic coating and iron. In order to tell if you need to change the resin in your water softener, you will start to notice the water in your home getting harder and harder.

You can buy a resin cleaner or undergo some tests with your water softener to determine if new resin is necessary. However, it is much cheaper to just buy new resin and replace it regardless of your uncertainties rather than call a plumber or other specialist to check it out. For as long as the water softens, but doesn’t stay soft for long, you should likely consider softer resin.

Final Verdict

The water softener resin that we urge you to buy is the AquaTrol Water Softener Resin.

All of these resins work well, but the most decisive factor is the price. For a one-cubic-foot bag of resin, this is hands down the cheapest. As we have covered previously, going for the least expensive option is what you should do when it comes to water softener resin, as they all work well. Is the quality still good enough from Aquatrol? It sure is.

About the Author Juan Williams

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