- Water Softener Resins – Comparison
- Best Water Softener Resin - Updated List
- 1. LiquaGen Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin -1.5 Cu.Ft
- 2. Oceanic Water Systems Water Softening Resin
- 3. Purolite C-100-E Cation Exchange Resin Replacement
- 4. SOFRES1 Water Softener Replacement Resin 1 cu. ft
- 5. Ion-Exchange Resin By HydroTec Systems
- 6. Tier1 IER-100 - Ion Exchange Water Softener Resin
- 7. AFWSofteners Birm Iron Softener Water Resin
- 8. Amanzi Cation-100-Box Hi-Capacity Water Softening Resin
- 9. Amanzi Cation-50-Box Hi-Capacity Water Softening Resin
- 10. Aquatrol Water Softener Resin Replacement
- How to Replace the Resin in the Water Softener
- Which water softener resin is the best?
Are you trying to find the best water softener resin?
You are in luck!
On this page, you will find the best resins that you can use in your water softener system to remove magnesium and calcium and iron of hard water.
In case you are strapped for time feel free to jump to the top recommended product.
Not in a rush? Strap yourself in, it’s going to be one of those 10 Best Resins for water softener. Plus, we have lots of helpful information, starting with this…
The Problem with Hard Water?
Yes, there’s such a thing as hard water. Without the Resin, your home water softener system won’t be able to soft hard water. That’s something you want to avoid it at all costs. Here are the reasons why:
• Stains: calcium and magnesium are the two main culprits that make water hard. These two usually leave limescale on basically anything. From clothes to appliances, utensils, pipes and what have you – they will all look stained. Scale build-up can force you to replace pipes, water heaters, and other water-based systems.
• Dry skin: the other effect of calcium, magnesium and iron is that they dry your skin. They clog pores and cause itching.
• Unpleasant taste and odor: when your water has sulfur or chlorine, it will have a “rotten egg” smell and musty odor.
• Soap won’t lather: this is not as bad as the first three but it’s a nuisance nonetheless. Even your bath water won’t have enough soap to help you relax because soap doesn’t lather in hard water.
So, that’s the problem with hard water. The solution? Use the water softener resin with your water purifier or water softener.
Water Softener Resins – Comparison
1.5 Cubic Feet LiquaGen Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin
1.5 cu. ft.
Oceanic Water Systems Water Softening Resin
1.0 Cubic Ft
Purolite C-100-E Cation Exchange Resin
1 cu. ft.
SOFRES1 Water Softener Replacement Resin 1 cu. ft
1 cu. ft.
Ion-Exchange Resin By HydroTec Systems
1 cubic foot bag
Tier1 IER-100 - Ion Exchange Resin
1 cu ft
AFWSofteners Birm Iron Softener Water Resin
1 cu. ft,
Amanzi Cation-100-Box Hi-Capacity Water Softening Resin
1 cu ft.
1 cu ft.
Aquatrol Resin Replacement
1 cu ft.
Best Water Softener Resin - Updated List
LiquaGen is the go-to brand when you are looking for a high-end water softener resin at an affordable price. This particular resin replacement is 1.5 cubic feet. It contains (in bead form) top-notch acid cation.
Many water softener resin reviews rate the LiquaGen as the best resin for water because it’s a 10% crosslink. In other words, it’s a fine mesh resin whose beads are just a tad bigger than a grain of sand. Why does that matter?
For one, the small pellets make this resin durable. It will last you for years, and after exhausting the resin bed, you can regenerate it with common salt. So expect this resin to work well in your water softener system for 15 plus years.
Secondly, the 10% crosslink feature makes LiquaGen perfect for removing iron. Unlike magnesium and calcium, iron can damage a resin if it’s an 8% crosslink. Iron molecules are larger. They tend to stick to resin more than magnesium and calcium molecules.
LiquaGen (which is a 10% crosslink) can handle iron molecules because its beads are smaller. You will only need to add more salt (sodium) for regeneration. An added advantage is that it comes with a funnel.
- Replaces hardness ions with sodium ions
- Long life expectancy of up to 20 years
- Funnel included
- Higher crosslink produces pure water
- Handles water with high iron content
- Affordable price
- Excellent chemical and physical stability
- Pricier than some other water softener resins
This 1 cubic foot water softener resin from Oceanic Water Systems is also a 10% crosslink. It has a few more similar properties with LiquaGen. For example, it’s a strong acid cation exchange resin. For that reason, the Oceanic Water Systems Water Softening Resin is a perfect resin replacement for a reverse osmosis system.
Besides, its high crosslink (10% instead of 8%) makes it efficient at removing unwanted ions. Its arguably the Premium quality resin for water softener if the water has a high chlorine content.
So if you get your water from a municipality or city, you may want to consider adding this resin to your whole house water softener.
On the downside, it doesn’t do so well in softening out iron molecules. That’s something to consider if your water has a lot of iron. Overall, this product is perhaps the top notch quality resin for multi-purpose use. You can put it in an in-house water softener as well as commercial water softener system.
- Tiny microbeads (0.5 to 1mm diameter)
- Ideal for whole house water softener
- Great addition to hard water softener for chlorine
- Not affected by high temperature
- Excellent physical and chemical stability
- 10% crosslink but doesn’t softener out iron molecules
- Loading funnel not included
Next up is the Durawater C100E Purolite C-100E Cation Resin. This water softener salt is sodium. It’s perfect for domestic and industrial water purifier systems. In other words, it works best as a whole house water softener resin and as an industrial water treatment resin.
To be more specific, the C100E Purolite is a polystyrene strong acid cation exchange resin. That’s the one feature that makes it perhaps the excellent performance water softener resin replacement. Why?
While it may be an 8% crosslink, this industrial-grade replacement resin is a top buy. It can handle the hardest and harshest water. So if you are worried about high iron, magnesium and calcium content in your well water, make this one your top priority. Because it makes it the top rated resin for well water.
- not only use for home but also work fine for Commercially
- Treats hard water from well
- Compatible with almost standard all water softeners
- Efficient regeneration
- Strong acid cation
- Resin beds depletes fast
The ABCwater Sofres1 replacement resin is perfect for water that doesn’t have chlorine and iron. You can put it among the best rated water softener resins for removing calcium and magnesium. That’s largely expected because it’s an 8% crosslink resin with Divinylbenzene.
But what makes this particular brand awesome is that you get plenty of resin replacement. Designed in bead-form, this product comes in a 1 cubic foot bag. There’s plenty of it for a standard 9-inch mineral tank.
The other thing that puts this brand among the best resin for water softener is its chemical functionality. It’s a polystyrene sulfonate cation exchange. Meaning you can use it for any reverse osmosis water softener system. That includes residential and industrial water treatment systems.
If you are worried about the safety of this resin replacement, then don’t. because Its approved by the FDA, USDA and NSF. Not many water softener resins get as many approvals.
- High capacity resin
- Shelf life of over 12 years
- Comes with one-year warranty from manufacturer
- Compatible with all standard water softeners
- Approved by FDA, USDA and other bodies.
- Doesn’t treat high concentration of iron
If you are looking for the DIY replacement resin then this is it. The Hydrotec Systems Water Softener Ion-Exchange Resin is very simple to put in your water softener system. You won’t even need to call “the guy”.
More importantly, it’s the best resin for water softener if there’s plenty of iron in the water and/or if your softener is older than 5 years. A cation-ion exchange media (sodium form), this resin replacement is 8% crosslinked. It comes in a one cubic foot bag, which is equivalent to 50 pounds.
If you’ve done some little research on HydroTec Systems you probably know that, the formula for this water softener resin was created by a USA company that is now defunct. And it meets all the minimum requirements for water filtration systems, including ANSI 61/NSF. Meaning it’s completely safe for consumption.
- Easy to install in water softener system
- Food-grade quality
- Ideal for iron-rich water
- Resin bed lasts very long
- Meets all USA safety standards
- Has to be used in one go
- Doesn’t have a long shelf life
The main selling point for this resin is that it’s a 10% crosslink. In other words, it’s a premium, high-grade and high-capacity water softener resin replacement with a fine mesh.
Besides, this polystyrene strong acid cation exchange resin is designed for commercial as well as residential use.
So how does the Tier1 IER-100 Ion Exchange Water Softener Resin work? It saturates hard water to the point of removing hardness elements like calcium, manganese and magnesium. Ultimately, this water softener resin leaves you with soft and pure water for drinking, cleaning, cooking and whatnot.
Packaged in 25-liter bags, the resin is compatible with most water softener systems. That amount should be enough to occupy up to 0.88 cubic feet of resin bed. And it’s easy to use, you can replace it yourself without the help of a professional.
- 10% crosslink for efficiency
- Premium-grade resin beads
- Fine mesh resin bed
- Ideal for residential and commercial applications
- Easy to install and use
- Packaged in 25 liters only
The AFWSofteners Birm is yet another water softener resin that’s designed for residential use. Packaged in a 1 cubic foot bag, this resin replacement removes iron up to 8ppm and manganese up to 6ppm. Besides, it can softener out dirt, rust and sediment to leave you with pure water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.
It is a USA-made product, so expect efficiency to be top-notch. Just make sure you use the right amount for your tank. For instance, if your tank is 8 x 44 feet then you should use 0.5 cubic feet of media. Similarly, a 9 x 48 feet tank requires 1 cubic feet of media.
You can check the packaging and AFWSofteners’ website for the recommended amount of media. While at it, make sure you also check the backwash recommendations. AFWSofteners recommend a service flow of 3.5-5 GPM/ft2 and backwash rate of 10-12 GPM/ft2.
- Excellent for residential use
- Efficient resin for whole house water softener
- Removes all hardness molecules
- Softeners out dirt, debris and residue
- Fairly affordable
- Not very durable. Lasts 4 to 5 years
- Cannot be added to existing calcite softener
There are a couple of things that make this product a fan favorite and possibly the best resin for water softener. For starters its 100-box, not 50-box. That means it’s the fine mesh type, even though it’s still a cation.
Secondly, this resin is a standard 8% crosslink. You can easily use it with any standard water softening system. Even so, the fine mesh gives this resin replacement an extra edge over the rest.
It can softener out molecules that your ordinary water softener salt won’t, like chlorine. Besides, it softeners out iron much better than any other 8% crosslink resin on the market. That’s still down to the fine mesh.
Lastly, the Amanzi Cation-100-Box is impressively durable. This 1 cubic foot resin will last you anywhere between 10 and 15 years. So if you’re looking for the resin for the long haul then consider this one.
- Fine mesh resin
- Standard 8% crosslink
- Softeners out chlorine and iron molecules
- Easy to use
- Lasts up to 15 years
- Fairly costlier than other 8% crosslink resins
This is the second Amanzi Cation resin on the list. So what makes it different from the 100-Box version? Well, this is not the fine mesh type. As such, it’s ideal for water that has high magnesium and calcium content.
On the downside, this version doesn’t do so well in softenering out chlorine and iron. So if your water supply is rich in those two (chlorine and iron) then consider getting the 100-Box instead.
Needless to say, the Amanzi Cation-50-Box is still a standard 8% crosslink that performs extremely well in a water purifier. That goes for a whole house water softener as well as industrial water softener system.
To cut the long story short, this offering from Amanzi is perhaps the best resin for water softener if your water doesn’t have iron and/or chlorine. Get it by all means if your only worries and calcium and magnesium.
- High capacity water softener resin
- Standard 8% crosslink
- Lasts more than 10 years
- Easy to install and use
- Removes calcium and magnesium
- Fairly costly
- Not ideal for removing chlorine and iron
Aquatrol is famous for creating reliable water softener resins for residential use, and this particular product is no different.
Designed in bead form, it earns a spot among the resins for water softener because of its amazing compatibility. The resin works with almost all water softener systems.
However, if you want to get the most out of it consider using with a 32,000-grain residential water softener.
The 8% crosslinked beads of divinylbenzene and polystyrene form an impressively fine mesh. It will remove iron, sulfur calcium and magnesium, leaving you with pure water.
This resin is not the easiest to install. The good news is that you won’t have to change it soon after installation. Its rated for 10 years but can easily do 20 years if your water isn’t that hard.
Considering that longevity, you can see why some people call it the best resin for water softener. It offers good value for money. Plus, it has impressive efficiency.
- Very durable
- perfect for residential use
- Compatible with most water softeners
- Comes with a pouring flap
- Excellent chemical stability
- Not meant for industrial water treatment
- Not the easiest to install
There are two sizes of cation resin, and they include
•8% Crosslink: This is the most commonly used resin; it acts on hard water, which has between 3 P.P.M. to 5 P.P.M. of dissolved iron.
The 8% crosslink resin has a lifespan of ten to fifteen years, depending on the quality of water. It is ideal for well water or any non-chlorinated or iron filled water.
•10% Crosslink: This has greater strength than the 8% crosslink resin. It works best for municipal water which has chlorine in it but no iron; it also lasts longer than 8% crosslink resin.
However, one of the drawbacks of using 10% crosslink resin is that it results in higher pressure drops than is usually recorded for 8% crosslink resin.
How Do Water Softener Resins Work?
Water softeners are systems that are designed to make your water soft by removing unwanted mineral contents such as Magnesium, Chlorine, Iron, etc. The reason for making your water soft is so that it becomes safe for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Soft water also prevents the buildup of lime scale and soap scum. It also prevents your clothes from getting faded and it prolongs the life of your pipes.
Water softeners cannot work without resins. The hard water from the tank flows through the water softener and through the beads that are attached to the resin bed. During this process, the beads replace the unwanted mineral content in the water with potassium or sodium ions. This causes the water to become soft and can be collected through the outlet valve.
How Much Resin Do You Need for Replacement?
You need to know the size of your water tank before purchasing a water softener resin. Some tanks have a sticker placed somewhere around it showing its capacity. Once you know the capacity of your tank, you will know the right quantity of resin to use with it. This is the list of the usual tank sizes and the resins needed:
How to Replace the Resin in the Water Softener
1.Firstly, switch off the water supply and detach the water softener unit from the plumbing system.
2.You would have to remove the clasps that keep the control head in place by unscrewing them carefully. After detaching, place the softener tank somewhere safe.
3.Get a bucket or a self-draining tub if you have one, and put the water, resin beads and gravel from the tank into it.
4.Get your garden hose and use the water to clean out any resin beads remaining.
5.Place the tank in such a way that it stands erect and remove the riser tube.
6.Place the funnel into the opening of the tub and refill the gravel before pouring the new resin through the funnel.
7.There should be a tape on the product tube. Remove it and attach the control head.
8.Attach the unit back to the plumbing and turn the water supply on.
9.Regenerate the unit.
10.Check the taste of the water after a while.
11.Feel free to start using the tank.
How often should I replace my water softener resin?
A resin lifespan depends on the organic coating of the resin and the iron in the water. Excessive amounts of iron or chlorine can destroy your resin bed. Most resins have a lifespan of anywhere between 10 and 15 years. If your water softener regenerates properly and at the right time, then you should have less concerns about replacing your resin. However, if it regenerates but you still quickly run out of soft water, then the resin may need to be replaced.
Which water softener resin is the best?
Choosing the right replacement resin may be a bit difficult because they all have similar features and work in the same way. However, the 10 products we have discussed above are all proven to work perfectly well. Feel free to choose from any of them for your home or commercial water softening needs.
Is it advisable to replace my resins myself?
Yes, it is. As long as you follow the steps to the latter. Replacing resins is a DIY job. However, if you have no technical background, you may as well procure the services of a professional.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Water Softener Resin?
The price for replacement of water softener resin is not fixed but varies depending on several factors.
However, it is possible to replace your resin by yourself; this way, you get to save the money. Generally, the cost of water softener resin will depend on the brand of product chosen.
How Long Does Water Softener Resin Last?
Water softener resins are not meant to last forever and so will need to be replaced from time to time.
Given this, most manufacturers recommend that the resins need replacement after every ten years, but this could be longer depending on how hard the water is.
More often than not, an 8% crosslink makes the best resin for water softener if you use city water. However, if you get your water from a well you may need a 10% crosslink. The latter will purify extremely hard water that’s typically rich in iron, manganese and in some cases chlorine.Don’t stress too much about how the resin works. All you need to do is learn how to replace it and it will do the rest. Just make sure the product you choose is the best rated water softener resin for your house or business.