Our SpringWell Futuresoft Review, after 2 Years of Use

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We’ve set up, tested, and reviewed the SpringWell Futuresoft Water Softener in our own home in Arvada, Colorado to produce this guide. We’ve discussed our take on the installation and setup process, how the Futuresoft performed in our testing, and ultimately, whether or not we recommend this salt-free water conditioner (and if so, who for). 

🧾 Overview

The SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-free Water Softener is a whole house water conditioner and descaler. It removes existing scale from pipes and appliances and prevents new scale from forming. What makes it unique is that it’s not your conventional salt-using water softener with a brine tank. Instead, it’s part of a relatively new category of water conditioners that use a salt-free conditioning media to prevent hardness minerals from forming scale deposits, without removing these minerals from the water. 

Like all the salt-free water conditioners we’ve tested, the SpringWell Futuresoft promised to extend the lifespan of our appliances by preventing hard water corrosion. We were keen to test the system ourselves and see if we noticed a difference in our water quality. 

As an environmentally-friendly alternative to many salt-based softeners, the Futuresoft is self-adjusting to water hardness, which essentially means that you should be able to use the system to greatly reduce your limescale issues regardless of how hard your water is. Thanks to its salt-free operation, the system requires no electricity to run, doesn’t need to backwash, and doesn’t waste water in the softening process.

Futuresoft FS1 components with sediment filter

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In our testing, the SpringWell Futuresoft did exactly what we’d expected it to do, preventing most of the limescale formation in our home. We did still notice some hard water spotting on surfaces, but this spotting didn’t have the stickiness of untreated limescale, so we could wipe it away easily. We weren’t able to do a hard water test to determine the effectiveness of the system because it retains hardness minerals in the water. 

👍 What We Like

  • Low-maintenance, salt-free design
  • Doesn’t need electricity or waste water
  • Long media lifespan of 1 million gallons/6 years
  • Made from certified materials
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty and 6-month satisfaction guarantee

👎 What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Installation is complex
  • Doesn’t soften water; no way to prove its performance
  • Well water may foul the media – additional pre-treatment would be required

💡 First Impressions

The SpringWell Futuresoft is currently available in 3 sizes: a 12 GPM 1-3-bathroom unit (the FS1), a 15 GPM 4-6 bathroom unit (the FS4), and a 20 GPM 7+ bathroom unit (the FS+). The only difference in these units is their flow rates and the volume of media in the tank. Regardless of the system you buy, the Futuresoft works best with water that has a pH range of 7.0-9.5, and a temperature of 34-120 degrees Fahrenheit. 

SpringWell Futuresoft ConfigurationsPrice
FS1: 1-3 Bathrooms$1597.31
FS4: 4-6 Bathrooms$1960.43
FS+: 7+ Bathrooms$2657.63

We went for the smallest model for our 2-bathroom home, which, at the time of our review, was around $1,450. It isn’t cheap, but we knew we were paying more to spend less in the long term, which did soften the blow somewhat. The media in the tank lasts up to 6 years, so our only maintenance task was to replace the sediment pre-filter every 9 months or so, at a cost of around $20 per filter replacement. 

Out of the box, the Futuresoft is a tank-based unit that comes pre-loaded with a TAC media (we’ve discussed this in more detail later). We had all the essentials for the installation, including the media-loaded tank, the pre-filter and housing, the spanner wrench, a bypass valve, a mounting bracket, 1-inch MNPT fittings, and hose bib assembly. 

springwell futuresoft fs1 components sitting on floor
Buying Tip: If you’re keen to filter your water as well as eliminating scale, I recommend looking into the SpringWell Whole House Water Filter & Softener Combo System, which offers a two-in-one softening and filtering system at an exceptional value for money.

As we expected from a point-of-entry (POE) system, the installation process for the SpringWell Futuresoft is pretty complex. We’ve shared more on the process later in this guide, but our advice is to check out the user manual before you buy the system – you might decide to pay extra for a professional install, which you’ll need to budget for. 

To summarize our first impressions, the SpringWell Futuresoft is pretty similar, design-wise, to the other tank-based media-using water conditioners we’ve tested. In terms of practicality and functionality, we awarded it top marks, but it’s pretty bulky and takes up a lot of space, and the complex install means it isn’t suitable for most rental situations. 

measuring to install the springwell futuresoft water conditioner

🔎 How It Works

There are a few different types of salt-free water conditioners available today, so before we jump into our performance testing, let’s take a moment to clarify how the SpringWell Futuresoft works. 

As a media-based water conditioner, this SpringWell system uses Template Assisted Crystallization (or TAC for short), a method that converts hardness-causing minerals from their ionic form to a crystalline form. These hardness crystals can no longer stick to surfaces, so they don’t leave limescale deposits. Or, if mineral spotting does occur, the stains don’t anchor themselves to a surface and can be easily wiped away. 

As a salt-free conditioning process, TAC doesn’t need salt or electricity. Water flows through the conditioning tank, which contains the TAC media. When water leaves the tank, the hardness minerals have been crystallized. The system doesn’t need to backwash because it doesn’t have to replenish a resin bed with sodium ions, as is the case with a conventional ion exchange system.

Template assisted crystallization media diagram

🧪 Our Testing

We know that assessing the performance of a salt-free conditioner like the SpringWell Futuresoft is more difficult than with a salt-based water softener. The issue is that salt-free conditioners hinder the scale-forming ability of hardness minerals without actually removing them from water. That means we couldn’t simply do a before-and-after water hardness test because it would show no difference in our water post-treatment. 

Instead, we had to test the SpringWell Futuresoft’s performance in terms of what we actually noticed was different in our water quality, especially when it came to scale formation. We also tested other important performance considerations, including the speed of water treatment and media longevity.

Our Water Quality

As far as water quality is concerned, we weren’t expecting to notice any differences in the taste or feel of our water. As we mentioned, the Futuresoft doesn’t actually remove hardness minerals, and it doesn’t use salt. That meant our water didn’t take on the slippery feel of salt-softened water, which we were pleased about. Additionally, we could still enjoy the taste and health benefits of calcium and magnesium in our water. 

For six weeks after installing the system, we did three daily checks in all the areas where we usually notice limescale: on the underside of our shower head, our bathroom sink drain, and around the base of our kitchen sink. We had cleaned these areas with a commercial-grade cleaner before installing the Futuresoft, so they were as close as possible to being scale-free. This meant that if we noticed any scale formation post-install, we knew for certain that it was new limescale. 

We were generally impressed with our results – without a water conditioner, our limescale usually builds up within a week after cleaning, but post-install, we noticed only a very small amount of scale in these locations. The scale wasn’t sticky or abrasive like we were used to, which meant we could easily wipe it off surfaces. That said, as with all the salt-free water conditioners we’ve tested, the SpringWell Futuresoft wasn’t as comprehensive at preventing scale as the conventional water softeners we’ve used. Our advice is to manage your expectations if you go for a saltless system like the Futuresoft – you may still notice some mineral spotting after installing the unit.  

springwell futuresoft prevents limescale buildup

Water Treatment Speed

We also wanted to test the speed of water treatment with the SpringWell Futuresoft, since in our opinion, this is a pretty essential performance feature. The last thing we wanted was to install a POE system that couldn’t deliver the flow of conditioned water that we needed for our appliances and fixtures at any given time. 

As we mentioned, we went for the SpringWell FS1, which had a 12 GPM flow rate. The average whole-house flow rate is 6-12 GPM, so we knew that the FS1 shouldn’t impact our water flow whatsoever. After installing the system, we saw no difference in the flow of water from our faucets and fixtures, and the performance of our appliances wasn’t affected in any way. That was exactly what we had expected and hoped for in this performance category. 

Our Tip: Make sure to choose the right-sized system for your home size. Most folks will be fine with the FS1, but you’ll need the FS4 if your home has 4 or more bathrooms. In this case, spending more upfront on the upgrade is essential if you want to maintain the same speed of water delivery through your home’s plumbing system. 

Media Longevity

According to SpringWell, the average lifespan for the media in the Futuresoft is 6 years. That’s a pretty standard media life, and the average of all the similar tank-based systems we’ve tested – but can you expect to enjoy a high-quality performance right up to the end of the media’s lifespan?

We know that a couple of factors might affect the media lifespan, including your feed water quality and your water usage. SpringWell calculates its media lifespans based on its assumption of the average customer’s daily water usage with a particular grade of water quality. If you use a lot more water than average or your water has a very high TDS reading (for instance, if you’re on a groundwater well), the media may become fouled at a faster rate. Our advice is to buy a pre-treatment system, like a dedicated sediment filter or an iron filter, if you have a well water supply, depending on the contaminants you’re dealing with. This will protect the conditioning media and prevent damage that could shorten its lifespan. 

We haven’t yet been able to confirm or deny SpringWell’s 6-year media lifespan claims from our own testing perspective because we’ve not tested the system in our home for this period of time. We’ll update this review with our comments once the 6-year testing period has passed.

In all, we were pretty pleased in this performance category – it was good to know that we wouldn’t have to replace the media for a few years. Still, we acknowledge that there are limitations in our testing because we haven’t been able to confirm exactly how long the media lasted with our own long-term use.

our springwell futuresoft saltless water softener and sediment filter

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🔧Installation & Maintenance Considerations

Owing to the more complex installation process at our main water line, we decided to get the SpringWell Futuresoft professionally installed by a plumber, rather than attempting the install ourselves. We read through the install instructions in the user manual, and they’re well-written and include diagrams to help demonstrate what needs to be done. But we personally didn’t want to risk the possible repercussions of doing something wrong, which would affect the flow of water into our home. We recommend spending around $200 extra on a professional installation if your plumbing knowledge is limited. 

Install Tip: Make sure to read the installation instructions carefully, even if you’re hiring a plumber for the job. There are a couple of jobs for you to do prior to the install, including soaking the media for two days, and you don’t want to only learn about these once your plumber arrives on the job. 

As for maintenance, the Futuresoft is pretty hands-off compared to a salt-based softener. The conditioning media lasts up to 1,000,000 gallons, or 6 years, and we didn’t have to top up a salt tank. Our only task was to replace the sediment pre-filter, which lasts up to 9 months on average. This cost us less than $50 per year and was easy – we just unscrewed the filter housing, removed the old filter, and replaced it with the new cartridge. 

We haven’t personally had to replace the conditioning media yet, but we couldn’t find this media on SpringWell’s website. We’ve reached out to SpringWell and will update this section of the review once we hear back on this matter.

springwell sediment filter housing installed in basement

🤔 Is The SpringWell Futuresoft Right for You?

From our own testing experience, we’ve found that SpringWell’s whole home filtration and softener systems are some of the best available on today’s market, and the SpringWell Futuresoft is no exception. While this conditioning system is slightly more expensive than similar models, its quality of performance still makes it a great value for money. 

If you want to avoid the maintenance hassle and possible health implications of adding salt to your water and you’re looking for a salt-free conditioner that will help you save time and money, we think the SpringWell Futuresoft is a solid choice. As a salt-free softener, this system is much better for the environment, and we appreciated not having to factor in the ongoing cost of salt.  

With that said, the Futuresoft obviously isn’t the solution for you if you want to actually remove water hardness, rather than just preventing scale. Don’t go for this system if you specifically want to be able to prove that the system is working by conducting a hard water test. In this case, you’ll need to go for a salt-based system. 

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  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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