Hard water is a nuisance that can lead to tons of problems in your daily life. For example, washing your car with hard water makes it vulnerable to rust, but how can you ensure that you always have access to soft water?
Simple – you get a water softener.
However, water softeners made for homes are not portable, and once fitted, they remain in their place until disassembled. This makes it difficult for homeowners to ensure they have access to soft water outdoors for a car wash or in the RV.
That is where the Clack water softener comes in.
It is designed specifically to be used as a portable softener that gives you access to soft water everywhere you need it. Our review dissects the product in far more depth than the other Clack water softener reviews out there, making this one the only one you’ll need to make a decision.
What You Need to Know About Water Softeners
If this is your first time purchasing a water softener, there are certain things you should know before you make a purchase. A water softener changes hard water to soft, typically using the ion exchange process.
We don’t want to bore you with the science, but in the process, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron are changed into sodium. Yes, all water contains these minerals, but hard water has a higher content of these.
Salt-based softeners use salt to change the hardness-causing minerals to sodium.
Why You Should Convert Hard Water to Soft
Hard water causes numerous problems around the house. It is damaging to your appliances, can clog up your water pipes, can lead to dry hair and skin, amongst other things.
Think of your water softener purchase as an investment. You actually end up saving some money in terms of plumbing costs, appliance repair, and so on – all of which would be a direct result of hard water.
How to Know if You Need a Water Softener
It is difficult to determine the hardness of water by looking at it with the naked eye. But, there are certain ways to determine if your home, RV, or car is exposed to hard water. You should be on the lookout for:
- Lime deposits and limescale: If you see lime deposits or limescale forming in your sink, showerheads, faucets, or anywhere else, it is likely because of hard water.
- Check your home appliances: Appliances that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines tend to be less effective. This is because soap and detergent aren’t as effective when mixed with hard water.
If you still aren’t sure, you can purchase a water tester kit. These measure the content of your water, showing you the concentration of minerals present. Ideally, you want water that is less than 20 mg/l or ppm.
Now that we have the basics of water softener and soft water covered, let’s get into reviewing the Clack water softener.
Clack is a well-known name in the water industry. The Wisconsin-based company started in 1946 and released its first water softener. Through the years, Clack has studied the market and innovated its product to match the needs of its clients.
It has one of the most extensive lines of water products including water softeners for industrial, commercial, and residential on the market. The company ensures that all its products provide users with great water flow, an automated softening process, and are fairly easy to install and use.
We really loved the fact that the softener was portable, so much so that you can use it in an RV or for a car wash. In fact, Clack has specifically designed this model for use with RVs. So, you no longer have to expose yourself and your RV to hard water. As someone who loves to camp, this was definitely a plus point.
The design of the water softener is nothing to rave about. It looks like your average softener that comes with a portable tank. But to be honest, who cares about the design, as long as the product softens the water well.
- Size: XXL size, the tank has a 32,000-grain capacity.
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Softening process: Salt-based softener which uses ion exchange to soften water
- Water flow rate: 8 to 9 gallons per minute
Top 3 Features We Loved
Before we get into our in-depth Clack water softener review, we’ll highlight 3 features we loved about it.
Gold Feature – Softening Process
The only reason you buy a water softener is so that it converts hard water into soft. If the softener doesn’t do that well, then what is the point? With the Clack water softener, you can be assured of quality, and won’t have to worry about poor performance.
The salt-based softener employs the ion exchange process to convert minerals into sodium. You can test your water before and after you install the softener, and you will see a noticeable difference in quality.
Another reason we liked the salt-based process is that it actually softens the water. You will find tons of salt-free softeners in the market that claim to soften water but have no results to back up their claims. Instead, they condition the water and chemically transform the minerals that cause hardness, making them ineffective, but the minerals are still present in the water.
Silver Feature – Ease of Use
We will get more into the ease of use a little later, but this is a feature we loved. All you need to do is install the water softener in your RV or boat and turn it on. You will need to regenerate the softener by adding salt around every 2,000 gallons, but that is all the work you need to do once you have it setup.
This makes it easy to use – a feature you will love, just as much as we did.
Bronze Feature – Portability
The Clack tank design is portable, at least enough so you can easily fit it in most RVs and boats. It is heavy, weighing around 60 pounds, but you probably won’t move it around much after you’ve set it up.
How Long It Takes to Assemble
You can either fit the softener yourself or opt to call in a professional. Since it is portable, we decided to fit the softener ourselves. Because it weighs around 60 pounds, we recommend that you have a second hand to help you through the installation process.
If installing the Clack water softener yourself, the process should take a few hours. One thing you have to love about Clack is that they understand their customers and design their products so that they are easy to install.
If you’ve never installed a water softener before and aren’t too great with tools, then you are better off calling in a professional. It should take them about 2-3 hours to have the softener up and running. Don’t risk doing it on your own, if you don’t know how to. The last thing you want is to fiddle too much with the softener and break it.
Product’s Ease of Use
Once fitted, the softening process is pretty much automated. It works on its own to regulate, filter, and soften the water. It provides a decent flow rate of water at 8 to 9 gallons per minute. This might affect water pressure a little, but you won’t feel too much of a difference.
There is a need to regenerate the water softener by introducing either table or rock salt. Being a salt-based softener, it uses the salt to turn the minerals leading to the water’s hardness into sodium. Sodium doesn’t have as strong of a positive charge as calcium, iron, or magnesium which leads to lowering the overall content of minerals in the water to below 20 mg/l.
It’s recommended that you regenerate the softener after about 2,000 gallons to ensure that it functions well and for longer before needing to be replaced.
We found the Clack water softener to be an efficient softener. The fact that it softens 2,000 gallons of water before the need to add more salt proves its efficiency. A household with about 2-3 individuals utilizes around 200 gallons a day.
Remember, this particular softener is specifically made for use in RVs, boats, and car washing. So, you can easily go months without the need to regenerate it.
Clack is a well-known brand and produces quality water softeners. Therefore, their products tend to be slightly higher priced. When it comes to this particular water softener, you get what you pay for. Pricing wise, the water softener falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to portable options. It is worth it because of the quality and longevity of the product.
You know when it comes to Clack, that you get a product that will last you years. If anything does happen, you always have the 5-year warranty provided by the manufacturer to fall back on. Just make sure you purchase it from a reliable Clack distributor.
Common Questions Related to the Clack Water Softener
Q: Will it Make My Water Safe to Drink?
A: The success of the Clack Water Softener depends on the pollution content in your water. Remember that the softener will soften your water through the process of ion exchange which changes the calcium, magnesium, and iron ions to sodium.
It doesn’t remove bacteria, microbes, or viruses present in the water. Ultimately, it doesn’t make contaminated water drinkable, just softens it.
Q: Does it Work Better Than a Salt-Free Softener?
A: The Clack water softener softens water by changing minerals that cause hardness in the water to sodium. It uses salt for the ion exchange process. Salt-free softeners don’t soften water, they condition it.
Salt-free softeners use a catalyzation process that ensures that calcium, magnesium, and iron don’t stick to pipes and other surfaces they come into contact with. So, it negates any negative impact of the minerals.
Salt water softeners tend to be more reliable and backed by evidence compared to the salt-free options.
Q: How Much Salt Do I Need to Add to Regenerate the Softener?
A: You typically need to add around 6-8 pounds of salt to the softener. This should easily allow you to soften 2,000 gallons of water.
Q: What do I do if the Water Flow Rate Drastically Decreases After I Install the Water Softener?
A: It is probably best to have a professional come look at your setup. Rather than taking the softener apart or uninstalling it, have them take a look to determine why there has been a drastic decrease in the water flow rate.
Installing a water softener does lower the rate slightly, but it should still be enough for you to shower and use water regularly. If you can’t, then that means you did something wrong in the installation process and only an expert can determine the problem and fix it.
As we end our review, there isn’t much we have to complain about (other than its weight). The product is easy to use, portable in the sense that the tank isn’t huge, and works well for softening water.
That’s all you need when it comes to getting a water softener for a boat or RV. You can even install it in a small house if that’s all you need. At its price, it will be one of the best options on the market.
The best part is, you get a 5-year warranty with it, and Clack has exceptional customer service. So, if you have any problems, Clack will be there to help you out, making this softener a smart choice.
We hope you found this post the most helpful of all the Clack water softener reviews out there. Be sure to check out our other reviews and guides!