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The Best Non Electric Water Softeners for Well Water

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

Water softeners are an essential part of a residential water system. These systems help remove certain minerals in water to minimize the formation of limescale. It can prolong the service life of water appliances and fixtures. Unfortunately, conventional water softeners typically come with electric controls, which can increase your power consumption.

best non electric water softener

Buying a non-electric water softener is not that different from picking an electric version. You can bring home a top-tier product if you consider these three factors.

  • Capacity: The number of grains of hard water minerals the softener can remove between regenerations remains the most significant factor when picking the top-rated product. You might want to choose a non-electric water softener with a high grain rating. For instance, a 48,000-grain water softener is better and should last longer between recharges than a 30,000-grain unit.
  • Material: Stainless steel is the top-quality material for a non-electric water softener. This material does not rust or leach chemicals into the water. Although stainless steel is more expensive than other materials, you will get your money’s worth by extending the water softener’s durability.
  • Installation: Some non-electric water softeners are more straightforward to set up than others. And although some brands include installation instructions in their kits, the guide could be confusing. Hence, you might want to check the water softener’s ease of installation. Otherwise, you will end up hiring a professional.

If you are concerned about your succeeding electricity bills, then you might want to get a non-electric water softener. These systems provide the same results as conventional systems without relying on electricity to run. If you want the best non electric water softener for your home, you’d better read on.

Top-Rated Products

Best Overall

Hansing Water Softener System


Premium Choice



Honorable Mention

Aquios AQFS220


Table of Contents

Top 4 Non Electric Water Softener Reviews

1. Hansing Whole House Water Softener

The Hansing model is a salt-free water softener and filtration system that promises to kill two birds with a single stone.

Marketing flyers show this non-electric water conditioner has a maximum effectiveness of 98%, although most users should report a 95% improvement in their hard water experiences. Families should have no problems with unpleasant showers, using too much detergent during laundry, and chalky substances around pipes and plumbing connections.

Surprisingly, this water treatment system can also improve the water’s aesthetics. Households will have a grand time making coffee, tea, juices, and other beverages because their water will never have the odd chlorine taste and smell.

This technology reduces chlorine levels and its associated cosmetic effects by 95%. Folks with hypersensitive noses might still sniff the chlorine from the water, but most will be ecstatic.

Its 0.2-micron pleated filter can trap sediments and particulates, while the system’s coconut shell-activated carbon and polysaccharides filter other contaminants. This mechanism also traps hard water minerals while retaining calcium and magnesium. I often do not see this setup in the non-electric water softeners I know.

I am also astonished to learn this product’s proprietary filter can accommodate 280,000 grains of minerals before requiring a replacement. Suppose a household has 10 grains per gallon and uses 100 gallons daily. In that case, they remove 1,000 grains daily, and this filter should last 280 days or about nine months.

The stainless steel housing also offers peace of mind to families wary of rust or chemicals leaching into their water.

On the downside, there’s no shutoff valve on the unit, so users will need to acquire one by themselves.

Regardless, this product is commendable for its water conditioning and filtration capabilities.

What We Like
  • 95% to 98% water-softening effectiveness, retains calcium and magnesium
  • 2-micron pleated filter with 280,000-grain capacity
  • Food-safe coconut activated carbon with polysaccharides
  • Removes 95% chlorine and its taste and odor
  • High-quality stainless steel housing
What We Don’t Like
  • No shutoff valve

2. APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15

Most of us are wary of inexpensive products. We always assume that a product with a low price tag will have mediocre quality. However, there are instances when you still get a reasonable price without ever sacrificing the quality and performance of the product. One such item is the APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15. It is a premium-quality water conditioner at a fraction of other systems’ prices.

Do not ever think that the FUTURA-15 is a cheap water softener because the only thing ‘cheap’ here is its price tag. Everything else is a wonder.

First, APEC Water Systems never hides the fact that its system is not an actual water softener. It puts the phrase ‘water conditioner’ to accurately describe its product. We have seen a lot of so-called water softeners that are nothing more than water conditioners.

There is an excellent side to using a water conditioner instead of a softener. You’ll get to keep the integrity of your plumbing and water fixtures and appliances. Your washing machine, water heater, and even dishwasher will last a long time because of the more efficient way of managing the hardness minerals in the water.

The FUTURA-15 uses an advanced ceramic media that changes the structure of hardness minerals. It robs the minerals of their ability to stick to the walls of water fixtures. Since these minerals don’t stick to the walls, they will not be able to form limescale.

Of course, the downside to such a method is that you still have magnesium and calcium in the water. On the bright side, you will get to consume these minerals and help improve the health of your bones and teeth.

One thing we liked about the FUTURA-15 is that it is perfect for homes with up to 6 bathrooms. It will not affect your water flow rate either. And you would be glad to know that APEC Water Systems is also providing a prefilter with your purchase.

The whole setup is friendlier to the ecosystem, too. There is no need to use salt to regenerate the media. On that note, we could say you have a system that you will never bother maintaining. We do recommend periodic checks of the integrity of the plumbing.

The downside? Well, the FUTURA-15 can be a bit tricky to install. But overall, if you are indeed looking for a reliable system that will soften your water without having to spend on electricity, then the APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 is an excellent choice. It is affordable and does what it is designed to do.
What We Like
  • Suitable for a large house
  • Does not negatively affect water flow
  • Protects and prolongs the lifespan of water fixtures
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Great value
What We Don’t Like
  • Tricky to install

3. Aquios AQFS220 Water Softener

The Aquios AQFS220 is a sound system for conditioning and filtering water without relying on electricity for its operation. As a non electric water softener, the AQFS220 offers optimum convenience for small residential homes.

This non-electric water softener features a technology that sequesters calcium and magnesium in water. This action prevents the minerals from adhering to the inside surfaces of water fixtures. Such an action can lead to a host of benefits. Shower time will be more enjoyable because you will not have that slimy feel on your skin. Washing clothes and dishes will also be a lot easier.

One beautiful thing about the AQFS220 is that it already comes with a 5-micron sediment filter. We tested the unit and found out that it does reduce the amount of chlorine in the water. It also reduced total dissolved solids, although not as efficient as those dedicated filters with smaller pores. On the bright side, you no longer need to worry about having to purchase a separate sediment filter.

The beauty of using AQFS220 is its near-zero maintenance requirements. There is no backwashing and no regeneration of the unit. You do not have to plug this in an outlet. You can go on an extended holiday and return with softened water readily available to you.

You will not have to buy bags of salt now and then. There is no worrying about contaminating the environment every time you regenerate the system, simply because there is no need to regenerate.

The installation of the system is easy enough. It does not even take up too much space in your home. However, it is essential to install the system properly. It will help eliminate leaks, especially from the connections.

If you are looking for a method to treat well water, the AQFS220 may not be a wise choice. This is because well water typically has a higher concentration of hardness minerals. The high level of hardness of well water can easily overwhelm the system. Another issue is that this system is a bit more expensive than other similar products.

Regardless, we still recommend the Aquios AQFS220 for small homes and for those whose water hardness levels do not exceed 10 grains per gallon. The system does a fantastic job of providing you with water that has a much higher quality. At the same time, there is no need to worry about harming the environment and jacking up your power consumption.

What We Like
  • Reliable corrosion inhibition and scale prevention capabilities
  • Can remove chlorine and sediments
  • Conditions water for improved quality
  • Good for small homes
  • Easy to install
What We Don’t Like
  • Not for water with high water hardness levels
  • A bit expensive

4. Tier1 Essential Water Softener

People who are looking for a suitable non electric water softener should consider Tier1’s Essential Certified Series. It is a salt-free system that never relies on brine solutions for regeneration. And since the tank does not require regeneration or recharging, there is no need for electricity.

The Essential Certified Series is not only a water softener. It is a kit that already includes a prefilter to take care of the large sediments in the water and reduce the amount of chlorine in the water. It gives you drinking water that is fresher and smells nice, too.

Tier1 can be an excellent system to help improve the overall quality of your water. It is a point-of-entry system that you can install in the main water line before the water gets distributed to the different appliances and fixtures in your house. There is no worrying about the installation, either. Tier1 designed the product to be a breeze to set up.

Tier1 also designed the Essential Certified Series for homes with 4 to 6 bathrooms. The capacity is large enough to provide you with many benefits. You’ll get to reduce water stains on your dishes, other kitchen items, and water appliances and fixtures. Washing your clothes is never an issue as you will have less of that gritty feel. Even bathing will be a joy. You will have none of that slimy feel of many salt-based, electric water softeners.

The only problem with the Tier1 Essential is that it is not an actual water softener. Softening water means removing magnesium, calcium, and other minerals that can harden water. Unfortunately, the Essential does not remove these hardness minerals. What it does is that it alters the chemical behavior of these minerals to prevent them from sticking to the surface of pipes and water fixtures. As such, do not be alarmed if your water hardness level remains the same.

The bright side of this is that you will never have to worry about backwashing your system. The unit is also constructed of durable materials that can last anywhere between 4 and 5 years. There is no maintenance required until this time, except for routine checks of the valves and connections.

You may be disheartened about the fact that the Essential is not an actual water softener. However, its performance mimics that of a real water softener because it prevents the adhesion of hardness minerals in water appliances and fixtures. It still makes the Tier1 Essential Certified Series a great buy.
What We Like
  • Suitable for medium-sized to large homes
  • Eco-friendly solution
  • Conditions and filters water
  • Comes with third-party quality certifications
  • Easy to install and maintain
What We Don’t Like
  • Not a real water softener

What Is A Non Electric Water Softener/ Who Is This For


Water softeners are devices that ‘soften’ water by replacing chemicals that can ‘harden’ water. These elements can form limescale on the inner surface of pipes and other water fixtures.

There are also water softeners that do not remove hardness elements. Instead, these products alter the capabilities of the compounds to surfaces. These products are not actual water softeners. They are water conditioners.

Traditional water softeners rely on an ion exchange resin to replace magnesium and calcium with either potassium or sodium. These devices require regeneration of the resin bed, so some people regard salt-based water softeners as electric.

It leaves systems that do not use salt as non-electric water softeners. These can include devices that use electromagnetism and particular substrates to alter the chemical composition of magnesium and calcium. It prevents these minerals from adhering to surfaces and forming limescale.

However, there are salt-based systems that are also non-electric. These systems have mechanical controls, complete with gears and cogs. The whole setup monitors the number of hard minerals in water passing through the system. It allows the system to perform its water-softening action.

It is also for this reason that some people like to call a non-electric water softener as an on demand water softener. The system monitors water usage and kicks in only as needed.

A non-electric water softener is best for people who would like a more cost-effective solution to reducing the hardness of the water. It is also ideal for those who go on extended travels.

How Does It Work

Non electric water softener systems work in the same way as electric water softeners. The only difference is how the ion exchange resin gets activated. Electrical devices have advanced electronic controls that allow them to monitor the flow of water through the resin. In most cases, these technologies come with a timer that will enable the unit to recharge itself within a predetermined time.

Mechanical water softeners have cogs and gears that turn with the flow of water. It works on an on-demand basis. It starts replenishing the ion exchange resin once it detects that the resin is already loaded with water-hardness minerals.

Some people also refer to a non-electric water softeners as those that do not use either sodium chloride or potassium chloride. These compounds are necessary for knocking off magnesium and calcium in the water. The presence of these minerals allows the formation of limescale and can produce the soap scum often observed during bathing.

It is for this reason that salt-free water softeners can also be considered as non-electric water softeners. Salt-free systems have a component that alters the composition of hardness minerals. This change in the mineral’s characteristics prevents them from adhering to the surfaces of water fixtures and appliances. Since the crystals do not stick to the surface, they do not form limescale and produce the other unwanted effects of hard water.

These systems do not require recharging or regeneration with a brine solution composed of either potassium chloride or sodium chloride. Since the system does not require regeneration, there is no need for electricity.

Some devices use electromagnetic technology to alter the behavior of hardness minerals. Magnesium and calcium get attracted to other hardness minerals. This attraction prevents these molecules from adhering to the walls of water pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

Buying Guide


What makes buying a non-power water softener difficult is that there can be hundreds of brands, models, and variants from which to choose. It will be effortless to miss an excellent product if you are not familiar with the things to check. We simplified the process of selecting an excellent non electric water softener by focusing on the essential aspects of a product.

  • Capacity

The first thing you must consider when picking the best non electric water softeners for well water is the amount of softening that you will need. It will be ideal if you know your average daily water consumption. You can check your water bill and divide this number by 30 to get your daily average. Also, it is crucial to check the hardness level of your water. An average home has a water hardness level of about 2.5 grains per gallon. Use this information to determine the water softening capacity of the device that you need to buy. If you purchase a salt-free, non-electric water softener, then you only need to check the specified size of the system. Manufacturers often express this as the number of bathrooms with which the water softener can work.

  • Type of Water Softening

Non electric water softeners typically come as salt-free systems. You can pick a system that uses a phosphate bed to neutralize the adhesive capabilities of calcium and magnesium. You can also choose an electromagnetic type of water softener. These devices also prevent the sticking of hardness minerals in pipes. There are other technologies that you can pick. Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of these technologies before you buy them.

  • Installation and Operation

A non-electric water softener should not only be easy to operate. It should also be easy to install. When we say ‘easy’, we mean you should have a basic understanding of how to connect water pipes and fixtures. If this is not your thing, then you should prepare yourself to hire a plumber.

  • Reviews

The thing about water softeners is that you do not get to try them before purchasing it. You will have to buy it first before you can take it home, install it, and try it. Unfortunately, if you bought a dud, then you will have to go back to the store and ask for a replacement or a refund. If you purchased it online, you would still have to return it to the manufacturer. That is why it is important to read different non-electric water softener reviews. Keep in mind that some reviews can be biased. Also, it is worth remembering that most reviews are based on the personal experiences of customers. One customer may praise a particular product, yet another person may despise it.

  • Certifications

While not absolute, knowing that a product has received an appropriate certification from a reputable organization can give you the peace of mind you need. Such a third-party certification can speak of the quality of the non-electric water softener.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Electric vs. Non-electric water softener: which one is better

It is not unusual to meet people who ask, “Is electric or non-electric water softener better?” The answer depends on your understanding of the word ‘better’.

If by ‘better’ you mean zero electric consumption from your water softener, then a non-electronic device is better. If your concept of ‘better’ is the ability of the machine to soften water, then either type of water softener will suffice.

Electric water softeners often have a timer that allows it to regenerate the ion exchange resin at a predetermined time. For example, the unit can regenerate itself at 2 a.m. every four days. You do not need to renew the resin yourself because the system automatically kicks in as soon as it reaches its assigned time.

The problem with this kind of control is that we do not use the same amount of water every day. There are days when the amount of water we use is worth several days. There are also instances when we do not use water that often.

It can be problematic in a timed electric water softener. There will be instances when you have to use hard water because the system has not reached its assigned regeneration yet.

A water softener that works on-demand prevents such pitfalls. It will only regenerate the resin bed once the resin has reached its hard mineral threshold. You get a continuous supply of soft water.

Now, if your idea of a non-electric water softener is one that does not use the brine for regeneration, then you will get a different answer. Such devices are water conditioners since they only prevent the adhesion of calcium and magnesium on the inner surface of water fixtures. This prevents limescale formation.

One good thing about using such a device is that they tend to be friendlier to the environment. There is no backwashing to worry. You also get better quality water. Cleaning your different items will also be a lot easier because of the reduced sliminess of water. You will still prevent limescale formation and improve the service life of your appliances and fixtures that depend and run on water.

The downside to this, of course, is that you still have magnesium, calcium, and other hardness elements in the water. In other words, you do not have ‘soft water’. You still have ‘hard water’, except that you will not have issues of limescale formation.

How many years does non electric water softener last?

A non-electric low maintenance water softener should last as long as conventional electric-powered water softeners, which is about one to two decades.

However, it is worth noting that non-electric water softener longevity varies across brands, water hardness levels, impurities, and water consumption. For example, high-performance Kinetico non-electric water softeners can last as long as 20 years.

The only difference between a non-electric model and an electric unit is the regeneration system controller. Non-electric units feature mechanical components to “measure” how much water passes through the system. They activate the regeneration when the cog is in its predetermined trigger position, like clockwork.

Some say non salt water softeners also do not use electricity. While that may be true, these devices are not “water softeners” but “water conditioners.” They do not remove the hard minerals from the water.

Does non electric water softener ruin pipes?

No, non-electric water softeners do not ruin pipes. They reduce sediment buildup in plumbing fixtures, which prevents clogs. An examination of their pros and cons reveals that one advantage of non-electric versions is their economy. After all, they do not require electricity.

Where to buy the top-rated non-electric water softener?

You can buy top-rated non-electric water softeners from leading online commerce platforms, including Amazon, eBay, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

This method is the easiest and most convenient, allowing you to learn more about the product before buying. Reading customer reviews about a non-electric water softener for sale should help you arrive at a well-informed buying decision.


Choosing the best non electric water softener for well water as well as other types of water can be tricky because there are many products to choose from. These products can also have different mechanisms for softening or conditioning water. What is clear is that the capacity of the non-electric water softener should be enough for your household. Maintenance should never be an issue since a non-electric water softener does not require regeneration. It would also be wise to choose a product with quality certification. Pick from any of the three non-electric water softeners we reviewed or use our simple buying guide and non electric water softeners reviews to help you choose the most suitable one for your home.

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