Clack, or Clack Soft Water, is a manufacturer of commercial and industrial water treatment products, headquartered in Wisconsin. Clack was founded in 1944 by father-and-son duo Willis and Bill Clack.
Alongside its RO systems, filter media, and water treatment system accessories, Clack sells a range of water softeners. The softeners are sometimes sold under the “Clack Aqualux” name or “Clack By Aqualux” because a company called Aqualux sells softeners with Clack control heads.
This Clack water softener review will discuss all the key features of the water softeners currently sold by Clack:
- The Clack Simplex Softener Series
- The Clack Duplex Softener Series
We’ll also be discussing the advantages and setbacks of Clack water softening systems that we discovered in our research, and answering some of the frequently asked questions about Clack Soft Water and its products.
Table of Contents
📊 Clack Water Softeners Comparison Chart
Clack Simplex WS1
Clack Simplex WS2
Clack Duplex Series
|$630 - $1260
|$10,750 - $14,190
|$1,030 - $43,760
|3.5 - 35 GPG
|62 - 114 GPM
|1.7- 28 GPM (WS1TT), 22-34 GPM (WS1.25), 44-62 GPM (WS1.5), 62-114 GPM (WS2), 176-246 GMP (WS3)
|8 x 35 to 14 x 65 in
|24 x 69 to 36 x 72 in
|8 x 17 to 18 x 65 in (WS1TT), 14 x 65 to 21 x 60 (WS1.25), 21 x 60 to 24 x 69 in (WS1.5), 24 x 69 to 36 x 72 in (WS2), 42 x 78 to 55 x 104 in (WS3)
⭐ Reviews of Clack Water Softeners
Clack Simplex Water Softener Series
There are a few different water softeners in the Clack Simplex Water Softener Series:
- The Clack Simplex WS1 Metered Water Softener
- The Clack WS1.25 Simplex Water Softener
- The Clack WS1.5 Simplex Water Softener
- The Clack Simplex WS2 Metered Water Softener
- The Clack WS3 Simplex Water Softener
These softeners have a conventional design, with a single resin tank and a single brine (salt) tank.
Note: Many Simplex water softener systems are no longer sold online. So, in this section, we’ve reviewed the two softeners that we could still find – the Clack Simplex WS1 Metered Water Softener and the Clack Simplex WS2 Metered Water Softener.
Clack Simplex WS1 & WS2 Metered Water Softener
Clack Simplex WS1
Clack Simplex WS2
The Clack Simplex WS1 Metered Water Softener is a conventional ion exchange water softener with 1-inch in-and-out connections.
The only difference between the WS1 and WS2 softeners, as far as we can tell, is that size: the WS2 softener is bigger and has 2-inch in-and-out connections.
The WS1 softener comes in various sizes, from 8 x 35 inches to 14 x 65 inches, with a flow rate ranging from 3.5 to 35 GPG.
The WS2 softener has a size range of 24 x 69 inches to 36 x 72 inches, with a flow rate ranging from 62-114 GPM, so it’s not intended for residential use.
👍 What We Like
- The Simplex range is the most affordable Clack range, and the WS1 softener has a starting cost of around $650. If you have a small home and a limited budget, you can still enjoy the benefit of soft water in your home without spending thousands upfront.
- It’s great to see such a diverse range of sizes, resin capacities, and flow rates. There are softeners in the WS1 range for residential applications and commercial use, while the WS2 range is largely intended for commercial use.
- The resin bed used in these salt-based water softener models is food-grade, and the water softener components are certified to NSF Standard 44.
- The average lifespan of a water softener system in the WS1 and WS2 range is 15 years, so you should get plenty of value from your initial investment.
- From what we understand, all Simplex softeners use metered regeneration, helping to save salt and water per regeneration cycle.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- We’re missing a lot of information about the softener’s features and performance, and we can’t find many stores that sell the WS1 or the WS2 range online anymore.
Our verdict: The Clack Simplex WS1 Metered Water Softener is an affordable water softener range with numerous sizes and flow rates to choose from. It’s good to see that the tanks and valves are NSF certified, and the softening process is efficient thanks to the metered regeneration. However, we struggled to find the WS1 range sold online.
The Clack Simplex WS2 Metered Water Softener is too large for residential use, and it’s also difficult to find online.
Clack Duplex Water Softener Series
The Clack Duplex Water Softener Series also has several different models to choose from:
- The Clack Duplex WS1TT Metered Water Softener
- The Clack WS1.25 Duplex Water Softener
- The Clack WS1.5 Duplex Water Softener
- The Clack Duplex WS2 Metered Water Softener
- The Clack WS3 Duplex Water Softener
These softeners have a single brine tank and two resin tanks, meaning that while one resin tank is regenerating, the other resin tank can be in use – so you have an uninterrupted supply of soft water.
The Duplex models have a larger grain capacity and are more expensive than the Simplex softener series.
If you have a multi-family household or you live in an apartment complex, the Clack Duplex series is a great solution for your entire property.
The larger Duplex models are intended for commercial purposes.
Again, we struggled to find these softeners online, and we’re not going to write a dedicated review for this series because the softeners have the same features as those in the WS1 series – including metered regeneration, ion exchange softening, and varied system sizes and flow rates. The only difference is that they use two resin tanks, not one.
✅ What We Like About Clack Water Softeners
One of the biggest benefits of a Clack water softener is its affordable price.
Different models and sizes are priced accordingly, but the starting price for a Clack softener is generally lower than competing models.
Clack softeners also have lower running costs due to their quality build, so they’re more affordable in the long run – and your purchase is protected by a decent warranty (see below).
Clack water softeners and filter controls all come with a 5-year warranty.
While this isn’t the very best warranty we’ve seen, it’s good for the price point and tells us that Clack is confident in the quality of their products – especially given the complex nature of water softener control valves.
A specific performance benefit of Clack water softeners is their metered regeneration.
Clack softeners use a meter to measure the volume of water that flows through the system, only regenerating when a certain amount of water has been measured.
This is much more efficient than a timer-based softener, which uses timer controls to regenerate after a specific amount of time has passed, regardless of water usage.
Clack water softeners only regenerate when they actually need to, helping you to save money and salt on the regeneration process.
Great Choice Of Models
Clack sells a good range of water softeners, giving you plenty of choice depending on your household size and water usage, your soft water needs, and your preferences in a water softener.
Because there are so many different water softeners to choose from, you should be able to find a softener that’s perfectly tailored to your requirements.
❌ Potential Setbacks of Clack Water Softener Systems
Too Much Choice Can Be Overwhelming
While we think it’s a good thing to have so many different options for a water softener, trying to distinguish between the different models, makes, and sizes can be overwhelming.
You can read guides like these to help you to understand the differences between each model, but we think the manufacturer could be clearer on what they offer and sell their softeners in a way that showcases their unique features and differences.
Difficult To Find Products
Clack’s official website doesn’t sell its soft water systems, and no third-party sellers sell the entire range of Clack softeners, either.
Many of Clack’s products appear to be no longer sold online. Because of the difficulty in tracking down many of the Clack systems, we question whether it’s worth the hassle of finding a water softener from the manufacturer when there are so many other options on the market.
No Techy Features
Considering the Clack water softener price, we wouldn’t expect these softeners to have some of the high-tech features of the newer models on the water softener market.
Still, we wish Clack’s softening systems had a bit more going for them aside from their efficient regeneration.
You’d expect at least a few additional features, like low-salt brine tank alarms and battery backup, especially in the more expensive water softeners sold by Clack.
📝 Clack Water Softeners Review: Our Verdict & The Best Water Softener Alternatives
In our opinion, If you just want a basic, no-frills water softener that does what it says on the tin at an affordable upfront cost, a Clack water softener is a good choice – once you’ve figured out which of the numerous different models is right for your softening needs and managed to find this model online, that is.
However, the dual-tank softeners are too big and powerful for most homes – not to mention expensive. Plus, even the conventional single-tank softeners are lacking in features compared to many of the models on the water softening market today, and these softeners appear not to be widely sold anymore.
There are tens of other water softener models that have more advanced features and perform more capably than Clack water softening systems.
🧠 Clack Water Softeners FAQ
Who makes Clack water softeners?
Clack water softeners are made by Clack Soft Water, a father-and-son business founded around 80 years ago in Madison, Wisconsin. The company opened as a water softener exchange business and quickly evolved to manufacture and distribute tanks, control valves, and parts for a variety of water treatment systems.
How much does a Clack water softener cost?
The cost of a Clack water softener depends on the size and model of softener you buy, and from what seller. The average price range for softeners in the Clack Simplex Water Softener Series is $650-$11,500, while the average price range for softeners in the Clack Duplex Softener Series is $1,000-$44,000. If you live in a residential property, you’ll be paying closer to the lower end of the price range for small-scale softeners.
Are Clack water softeners worth the money?
We think the smaller softeners in the Clack Simplex Water Softener Series are worth the money because they’re sold at an affordable upfront price and have good flow rates and resin capacities, making them suitable for households with up to 4-8 people. The dual-tank softeners in the Clack Duplex Softener Series are only worth it if you split the cost with other people, such as if you want a water softener for an apartment complex, but they’re too big and expensive for use in normal-sized homes.
How long does a Clack water softener last?
The average life expectancy of a Clack water softener is 10-15 years. Clack water softeners are generally well-made and use durable parts, and they have a good warranty – a reassuring sign from the manufacturer.
Is Clack water softener NSF certified?
Yes, Clack’s cation exchange water softeners are certified to NSF Standard 44 for conforming to requirements for material and structural integrity and for lead-free design. You can view the Clack components that have an NSF 44 certification in the NSF product and service listings catalog.
How long does it take for a Clack water softener to regenerate?
Like most water softeners, a Clack ion exchange system takes between 60 and 90 minutes on average to regenerate, depending on the system size and your water hardness. You’ll hear whirring and rushing water when the softener is performing a regeneration cycle.
How often should my Clack water softener regenerate?
If you’ve bought the right size Clack softener for your home, the system should regenerate around every three to five days. Remember, Clack systems regenerate based on water flow through the tank, so the frequency of regeneration will depend on your water usage.
What kind of salt do you use in a Clack water softener?
You can use any kind of water softener salt in a Clack brine tank. We recommend using a high-purity salt, like evaporated salt, which will dissolve best in water to form brine and should leave minimal debris and impurities in the salt tank.
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