Softening the water has been a universal requirement for every house. We were surprised by looking at the numbers on how many people try to ignore the hard water problem. While in day-to-day use, hard water does not seem to be that big of a problem, as big as lead or chlorine in the water. Hard water brings a host of problems that are not that severe to warrant a quick response, but these are problems nonetheless. Hard water forms deposits of calcium and magnesium salts in the plumbing, make the dishes look spotty, clothes and laundry dull and faded, and even affects your skin and hair health.
It is where water softeners come into play. These filters are highly capable of removing the toughest salts from the water. One of these filters is the Tier1 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital whole house water softener, and by looking at what it is offering, we decided to give it a try. The Tier1 offers impressive features at an interesting price. So it is the perfect water softener for your house? We tested the filter to its full potential. Here’s the complete and detailed review of the Tier1 48,000 Grains water softener.
What’s In The Box?
The unboxing experience was decent, not great. The quality of the box that the filter came in could have been much better. It felt cheap and poorly made. The packaging was decently done, with the proper amount of padding and wrapping. So if you are getting this filter shipped to far-off places, you can be assured that the filter will get to you in a single piece, without any scratches or dents.
While we did not like the quality of the box or the unboxing experience, we are glad to say that the quality and looks of the filter were great. This was something we did not expect. The build quality was solid, and the filter has a good heft to it, which gives it a very premium feel. You get one large tank (with 48,000 grains), a brine tank to keep the saltwater, an LCD unit, and some other smaller components such as hoses, etc. All the components are of good quality. The metal tank feels premium, while the plastic used in the brine tank and other components feels solid, dense, and durable. So overall, we are very satisfied with the looks and quality of the product.
But looks and quality are only a minor part of the whole thing. What makes the most difference is whether the filter can work what it’s intended to. Let’s look at what the Tier1 water softener can offer on paper, and then we’ll put it to the test and see if “on paper” reflects in real-life.
The filtration here refers to the removal of calcium and magnesium salts that make the water hard. The process is done by using charged particles. The name of this filter has “48,000” in it. But what does that mean? The Tier1 comes with 48,000 grains of negatively charged particles that are stored in the main filtration tank. Here’s how the filtration works:
Hard water enters the filter through the inlet pipe. The water mixes with the grains carrying the negative charge. Now the calcium and magnesium salts carry a positive charge. And since negative and positive charges attract, the grains can hold the positively charged salts. The water is then moved towards the outlet pipe to your house’s supply. The process sounds simple, but a lot goes into it.
The grains or beads which hold the calcium and magnesium salts have to be separated and reused. This is where the brine solution comes to play. Brine solution is nothing but water with a high quantity of salt in it. The grains are then washed with brine solution. It helps in the removal of the salts from the grains, and then the salts are drained out of the system through the drain pipe. The beads are now ready to be used again to filter hard water. It is how the filter works.
The company claims that the filter can easily treat 6,000 grains of hardness per day, keeping the hardness of water at 20 GPG. We considered the daily use of water per person for a family of 4 to be around 300 gallons (which we think is way too high). And taking this amount, the filter can filter enough water to last for more than a week. It is more than enough filtration, which makes using the filter very convenient. Of course, if the water’s hardness is more than 20 GPG, then more grains would be utilized. But it is hard to find any place in the US where the GPG exceeds 20.
Water hardness is the highest in central states where the GPG goes till 15-16. The East and West coast enjoy the least amount of calcium and magnesium salts in the water. So if you live in New York or San Francisco, then the Tier1 would use even fewer grains per gallon of water.
The claims were big, and so were our plans to test the claims. So we began the tests to see if the Tier1 water softener works as it claims.
Since this is a whole house water softener, we had to keep the test a tough one. We wanted to push the filter to its limits and see how well the filter can manage challenging tasks. The water sample we prepared was spiked with large amounts of calcium and magnesium salts.
We tested the sample, and the hardness came to be around 34 GPG. To give you some context about how “hard” this sample of water was, we tried a very foamy hand wash with this water sample, and there was no froth to be seen. In layman’s terms, this kind of water would be unusable for cleaning clothes and very damaging to your skin and body.
We put the water sample into the filter and waited for the filtration to happen. It took around 15 minutes for the filter to clean the 8 gallons of water. After the process was done, we got the sample out and checked it.
The first test was the foam wash test, and we were happy to see that the foam from our bottle of Soft-soap was more than enough. The water had been “softened.” But the test was pending.
After checking the sample for hardness, the GPG level of the water came out to be 3 GPG. From 34 GPG to 3 GPG is more than impressive. The Tier1 works wonderfully to soften the water, and if it can handle our harsh water sample, it will handle water from any water supply in the US. Top marks for filtration.
What We Loved About This Filter?
- Great Water Flow Rate
- LCD Screen
- Compact Design
- Not Made In The US
Apart from the brilliant filtration and capacity, there are many things that we love about this filter. Here are the best benefits of getting the Tier1 water softener:
1. Great Water Flow Rate
The one gripe that we have with many filters, even basic drinking water filters, is the effect they have on the water flow rate. Many great filters have suffered from a poor water flow rate. Thankfully, that is not the case with the Tier1. It offers a wonderful water flow rate of almost 11 gallons per minute. It is not something mind-blowing, but considering the cost of this filter, this flow rate at this price is wonderful, to say the least.
2. LCD Screen
The filter comes with an LCD screen that shows a lot of useful information about the filtration status and the water being filtered. Although we have never found these features too useful in any filter, and the same is true for this one, many people would appreciate this, and for them, this comes under a benefit.
Tier1 offers you the option to add on more units to make it a complete water filtration system. You can get a reverse osmosis unit or an under sink water filtration system to work along with this filter and make it a truly entire house water filter system.
We love that the Tier1 48,000 Grain water softener comes at just around $520. It is certainly one of the lowest-priced water softeners in the market without any major compromises. Now, if you add the fact that the resins (grains) need replacement every 10-15 years, it makes the deal even sweeter. There are other water softeners with similar features, but they cost around $200 more than this one.
5. Compact Design
The Tier1 water filter is one of the most compact and easy to handle water softeners in the market. The small size, well-distributed weight, and ergonomic shape make handling the filter very easy and convenient. Due to its compact design, installing this filter in tight spaces is also very easy. So props to the filter for that.
What We Did Not Like About This Filter?
There’s just one thing that we did not like and strictly speaking, we can’t say that it is a con. It is not a major problem for us, but our readers and buyers might find this information necessary.
1. Not Made In The US
The Tier1 water softener is completely made in China; however, we did not see that as reflected in the build quality of the product. And this might be a major reason for many people backing out. Everything in this water filter is Chinese-made, from the resin to the tank and even the brine. So if you are one of those star-spangled caped crusaders who just want to use products made in the US, then this is not the one for you.
The Tier 1 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Whole House Water Softener System is a high-capacity filtering system equipped with WQA certified Ion Exchange Resin for maximum performance. Tier1 comes at a decent price, Interactive LCD Screen, and is compact in size. The water flow rate is 11 gallons per minute which is quite impressive.
The Tier1 48,000 water softener is a wonderful piece of machine that works just as it claims. It offers excellent levels of water softening, managing even some of the hardest water. While there are a few compromises that come with this, we think that the overall value you get out from it negates that. There are only a few compromises and a lot of benefits, making Tier1 a wonderful option for you. Perfect for a family of four or even more, this filter will be worth every dollar you pay—a sure recommendation from us.
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