Last Updated on December 30, 2023 by Richard
If you can’t afford to waste any water, or can’t lift 40 pound bags of salt, you need the Aquasana water softener.
Maybe you just want to help save the planet by not dumping salt into our rivers and lakes (thank you).
Or maybe you just don’t want the extra salt in your diet, or don’t like the slippery feeling from (salt) water softeners.
You probably already know that hard water can cost you money by making your hot water heater, dishwasher, and coffee machine getting caked with “scale”.
Hard water scale is sometimes called Lime Scale. That’s because it comes from the water passing through limestone rock.
The limestone rock is mostly composed of calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate. It’s these “rock” minerals that are dissolved in the the water that make water “hard”.
The calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate minerals are good for your health. However, they will plug up your water pipes, reduce water pressure, damage dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers, and “on demand” water heaters.
The Aquasana water softener is actually a water conditioner that they call the Aquasana Simplysoft salt free water softener/conditioner.
What’s The Difference Between The Aquasana Water Softener and The SimplySoftWater Conditioner?
None. There is no difference. It’s just that most people don’t even know that water conditioners are different from water softeners.
The Aquasana Simplysoft is a conditioner, because it doesn’t use salt to soften the water. The water isn’t softened, because the calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate are not removed from the water.
Instead the Simplysoft water conditioner changes the ionic charges of the calcium and magnesium carbonates so that they don’t bind together and create scale deposits.
Whereas, the typical water softener actually ionically replaces the calcium and magnesium carbonate with salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride).
The Aquasana SimplySoft conditioning method is called Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC). Which they also refer to as SLOW PHOS or Scale Control Media (SCM) to accomplish the crystallization.
This crystallization changes the physical structure of the calcium and magnesium carbonate minerals. Which prevents up to 99.6% of the normal scale deposits.
Note: The Aquasana website has a number of products that look similar, but that have different functions. Or they do the same thing, but are part of different systems. All of which can be confusing.
However, I will make this easy for you to find what you need and where to get it.
- Salt-Free Water Conditioner Replacement Tank – Replacement conditioner tank for the Rhino 1,000,000 Gallons, Rhino 600,000 Gallons, and OptimH2O systems to protect from scale buildup. For use with the following filtration systems: WH-1000, EQ-1000, EQ-600, and EQ-OPTM.
- SCM Technology – Scale Control Media uses water flow to prevent hard water minerals from binding and forming scale — without the use of salt.
- Extend Appliance Life – Shield your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, and other appliances from harsh water.
- Easy Filter Replacements – Unlike other water filters that require bulky replacements, Aquasana’s whole house tanks are engineered and designed for a quick, simple change.
- Long-Lasting Conditioning – Genuine Aquasana replacements provide high-performance whole home water descaling for 10 years.
Pro Tips To Selecting The Best Aquasana Water Softener/Conditioner
- Water conditioners do not raise or lower Ph levels or remove any other problems you may have with your water. They are designed to prevent scale build-up only.
- If all you want to do is to prevent hard water scale, any of the Aquasana water softener/conditioners will work. However, if your water hardness is above 25 GPG (grains per gallon) you will still get some scale build-up. In which case add another filter to the system. The Aquasana conditioners work best at 15 GPG or less.
- A water conditioner will take a big load off of a standard (salt using) water softener. Which will save you money, time and effort. If you bought a salt based water softener that isn’t quite doing the job, consider getting a water conditioner.
- For best results: Use a sediment prefilter to prevent sediment from clogging up the rest of the system. If you have a lot of sediment you may want a 20 micron prefilter and then a 5 micron prefilter, before the water conditioner filter.
- Add carbon filters to remove chlorine, which will improve the taste and smell of your water, and will remove various other chemicals.
- To remove iron and manganese, and prevent the stains they create, you should also get a specialized filter for that purpose.
- To kill bacteria, get a UV light placed at the end of your filtering system.
Fortunately there are Aquasana water systems that can take care of all of those problems. So, keep reading.
We will start with the simplest and add more features to increase the performance of the systems.
The Original SimplySoft Conditioner Is Called The Aquasana EQ-SS20
The EQ-SS20 has a clear “see through” housing and uses what Aquasana calls SLOW PHOS technology.
Which I believe to be the same as the Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC), and Scale Control Media (SCM) technology already mentioned above.
Because it doesn’t remove the calcium and magnesium minerals, it doesn’t change the pH level of the water either.
This filter system will filter 50,000 gallons of water at 7 GPM (gallons per minute). Which is adequate for running three water consuming devices at the same time.
Check Out The Aquasana EQ-SS20 See it at Amazon
Since it is able to operate at 20 psi – 100 psi it should be compatible for nearly every household. Also, this filter only needs to be changed about every six months.
Next, and this is just a guess on my part. I have seen a few manufacturers switch from the clear housings to the solid blue housings. Two possible reasons come to mind.
First, the clear housing might not last as long as the blue ones for some reason. Second, the clear housings are going to be more expensive. My bet is that they don’t last as long and therefore cause more warranty problems. As I said, that is just a guess on my part.
However, that brings us to the next Aquasana water conditioner.
This is the upgraded product compared to the EQ-SS20 shown above.
This Aquasana water conditioner also uses the SLOW PHOS technology.
Essentially, it uses high quality food grade beads of polyphosphate. The polyphosphate beads slowly dissolve and create the Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC) that prevents scale build up.
This is absolutely necessary to prevent the early death of your on demand water heater.
The Aquasana EQ-AS20 water conditioner will supply 7 gallons of water per minute at normal water pressures and water purity.
Note: not everyone uses this just for their on demand water heaters. This could be used for any home that has the space for it to be installed.
Installation Tips For The Aquasana Water Softener/Conditioner EQ-AS20
First, Aquasana will void the warranty if this water conditioner isn’t installed by a licensed plumber. Aquasana provides a limited two year warranty that covers defects only. So, if you know what you are doing, and don’t care about the warranty, you could save some money.
The Aquasana 90 day (no questions asked) guarantee might also be voided if you self-installed this conditioner. You need to call and get a Return Authorization Code. Put the code on the outside of the box so it can’t be missed. Then send it back at your expense. Also, the guarantee is only if you buy directly from Aquasana.
Second, this is designed for cold water use only (40° – 90°F). So, it must be placed before your on demand water heater.
It’s designed to work with low water pressure – down to just 20 psi. However, at that low pressure, I would suggest getting a booster pump to increase your water flow rate.
Also, you may need a water pressure control valve if your normal water pressure is 90 psi or higher. That’s to prevent the water pressure from surging past the 100 psi maximum this water conditioner is rated for.
Invariably, someone wants to put these outside. So, it can be done IF you protect it from freezing, wide temperature swings, and sunlight.
The plastic is not designed to withstand ultraviolet light.
Also, if your temperature varies quite a bit during the day, the plastic will expand and contract. Which is bound to cause a water leak sooner or later.
Another thing, the filter system must be installed vertically to prevent leaks, and provide proper water conditioning.
There is a bracket that gets attached to the wall, and the ports are 3/4 inches NPT.
Finally, make sure you have enough space to install this Aquasana water softener/conditioner. It is 23 inches tall and has a diameter of 5 inches.
Also, you need 14 inches from side to side (including the 5 inch diameter) for the pipe fittings
The replacement filter is the EQ-AS20R shown on the right.
Get The EQ-AS20R Aquasana Water Softener Replacement Filter For Tankless Water Heaters Click Here
Aquasana Water Softener/Conditioner and Prefilter System EQ-AST-WH
Now we are starting to talk about the Aquasana Rhino series of whole house filtration systems.
This is where Aquasana stops talking about the SLOW PHOS softening technology, and starts calling it Scale Control Media (SCM) technology. This is also what Aquasana calls the SimplySoft water conditioner.
As I said earlier, the water isn’t softened, because the minerals stay in the water. However, the minerals are no longer able to bind together with each other and form scale deposits.
The main tanks are actually one unit and the whole thing is replaced after six years. Which is supposed to be after treating 600,000 gallons of water, at 7 gallons per minute.
If your house has 3-1/2 bathrooms (or less) you should not have any reduced water flow rates or decreased pressure.
This system occupies 27 inches from left to right, is 46 inches tall and the big tank is 9 inches in diameter.
This can be used on its own or be combined with any filters you are already using.
The 5-micron sediment prefilter EQ-PRE10WA (on the left side) will trap anything that could prematurely plug up the system. It is supposed to last for 1-3 months of use.
Change it when your water pressure drops. Which should be when you can no longer see any white areas on the filter. This should be every two months.
The replacement filter is sold as 3-PACK 10″ WHOLE HOUSE PRE-FILTER CARTRIDGES EQ-304
The replacement tanks are known as EQ-AST-WH-R with the “R” meaning “replacement”.
Get The Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner Replacement Tank From Aquasana – Click Here
Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner Replacement Tank From Aquasana – Click HereAlso available at Amazon
Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner And Rhino® 600,000 Gallons Whole House Water Filter System EQ-600-AST
This is the same 6 year 600,000 gallon SimplySoft water conditioner as above, plus whole house filtration.
The filtration tank is part of the Aquasana Rhino water filter systems. This one is also rated for 6 years and 600,000 gallons of water at 7 GPM.
This combined system is known as EQ-600-AST. It requires 37 inches of space (left to right) to install.
The EQ-600 Rhino filter that has been added to the SimplySoft system is NSF certified to remove 97% of chlorine.
It also removes many volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that you would be breathing when showering.
Check The Price Of This Salt-Free Water Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System From Aquasana – Click Here Now
Just like the other Aquasana water softener filters already mentioned, this system is designed to work at less than 100 psi and water temperatures of 40-90 F.
What Else Does The EQ-600-AST Rhino System Remove?
Inside of the top tank is the KDF-55 filter media beads containing 55% copper and 45% zinc. These beads remove heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, copper), herbicides, and pesticides.
Also, the top tank has some crushed mineral rock that improves the water’s pH level. The crushed mineral also reduces scale deposits inside your water pipes.
Additionally, the KDF filter media and the crushed rock helps to prevent algae and even bacteria growth inside the filter system.
Inside of the bottom tank is a carbonized coconut shell filter media which gets rid of industrial chemicals and VOCs.
Who Should Buy This Aquasana Water Softener and Filtration System?
This system is good for just about anyone on city provided tap water. Some tap water may have additional pollutants that need to be removed. Also, well water will need additional systems.
Aquasana Salt-Free Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System with Pro Installation Package EQ-600-PRO-AST
This is the improved version of the above mentioned EQ-600-AST, because it has the PRO GRADE INSTALL KIT included.
That means that the 10 inch prefilter is now a 20 inch prefilter.
The 20 inch filter will last from 2-3 months of use. It is made of polypropylene and is a 20 micron filter. Whereas the 10 inch filter is a 5 micron filter.
Also, a post-filter has been added. This system requires 54 inches of space (from left side to right side).
Additionally there are brass fittings and two metal supports to help position the PEX tubing (PEX tubing not included).
These help you to install a bypass loop so that you still have water available while replacing filters. Personally, I think the the bypass loop is a necessity.
The pleated fabric post-filter on the EQ-600-PRO-AST system is designed to catch anything that might have gotten trough the system.
Pro Installation Version Salt-Free Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System (EQ-600-PRO-AST) Click Here Now
Aquasana Salt-Free Conditioner And Rhino Whole House Water Filter System With UV Filter and Pro Installation Package EQ-600-PRO-AST-UV
Now we have added the UV to kill chlorine resistant cysts, various kinds of bacteria, and even viruses.
This is about as good as it gets for almost everyone. Even most homes with well water will be happy with this system.
However, some well water may still need a 50 micron prefilter and a specialized iron and manganese filter.
Also, if your water has more than 25 GPG (grains per gallon) hardness. You should consider a second Aquasana water softener/conditioner or a salt based water softener.
The space needed to stall this is 69 inches from side to side.
Get The Best Aquasana Salt-Free Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System With UV Filter EQ-600-PRO-AST-UV – Click Here Now
Get The UV Replacement Bulb – Click Here
Salt-Free Water Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System With UV Filter, 10 Year 1,000,000 Gallon (EQ-1000-AST-UV)
This Rhino EQ-1000-AST-UV system is the same as the EQ-600-PRO-AST-UV shown above except that it will last a lot longer.
That’s 10 years instead of 6 years. If you know that you will stay in the house for 10 years – then go for it.
However, if you plan on moving in 5 or 6 years then the the other system.
Up-Grade To The Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner And Whole House Water Filter System With UV Filter, 10 Years 1,000,000 Gallons EQ-1000-AST-UV Click Here Now
Some Final Thoughts
You should have found what you need and want by now. However, what might not have been obvious, is that you can mix and match all of the various filter pieces.
For example if you just wanted the Aquasana water softener/conditioner and the UV light, you can do that. Just go to the Aquasana page and click to activate or deactivate any of the parts.