In this Morton water softener review, we’re going to look at two units in particular: the Morton 45,000 grain water softener, and the Morton System Saver water conditioner.
We’ll also compile a number of real customer reviews so that you can decide for yourself if you want to buy a Morton water softener.
But, first, let’s learn a little bit about the company.
About Morton Water Softeners
Morton Salt was founded all the way back in 1848. Today, you might recognize them by their iconic “Morton Salt Girl,” who appears on every box of salt that they sell.
On their website, they call themselves “the quintessential American brand.” However, in 2009, they were bought by the German chemical company K+S for a value of roughly $1.7 billion, and they’re still a K+S company to this day. So, if it’s a 100% USA-based company you’re looking for, Morton is not it.
Still, they have over 20 production facilities across the US, Canada, and the Bahamas. In fact, Morton is the leading producer and marketer of salt in North America, even if they’re technically owned by a German chemical company.
But, if Morton sells salt, why did they branch out into water softening as well? Why would a salt company have any interest in selling water softeners?
That’s a question we’ll answer below, in the section titled with that same question.
For now, let’s look at the specific systems that Morton is offering. We’ll look at what features they have and how much they cost so that you can make the best decision for your household.
Morton 45,000 Grain Water Softener
This Morton water softener model is designed with the large household in mind. A 45,000 grain capacity softener can easily supply families of up to 6 with constantly flowing water, but what else does the 45,000 grain water softener offer?
Iron removal up to 12 parts per million
Self-cleaning sediment filter
Intelligent and programmable regeneration schedule
The Morton 45,000 grain water softener is able to estimate how much water and salt you’re using and adjust its schedule based on those factors -- as well as your own desires, of course. This is so that you never have the softener regenerating during a time when everyone needs flowing water. For example, you can set the softener to regenerate at any point once the resin has reached 97% capacity. That way, you’re never caught off guard.
It can also store up to 200lbs of salt, so you’re not going to have to replace the salt very often (and Morton will be happy that you can buy it in bulk).
Some websites have this softener listed for anywhere from $600-800, which is pretty affordable. We’ll look at why it’s so inexpensive soon.
Morton System Saver Water Conditioner
What about the Morton System Saver Water Conditioner?
The Morton System Saver has a very compact design that’s only 17” wide, 21” deep, and 43” tall. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it only costs about $350-$500, depending on where you buy it.
For a water softener, that’s on theextremelylow end. Of course, this price isn’t factoring in a professional installation, but if you’re looking for cheap, the Morton System Saver might just be a good option. It’s as basic and simple as an ion-exchange water softener gets.
What are people saying about it online, though? Unfortunately, for this unit, there are a number of mixed reviews. On Amazon, for instance, about36% of the reviews are one-star, indicating quite a few problems with it. However, on the Sam’s Club website, only about12% of the reviews are one-star.
If this is a representative sample of prospective System Saver users, that would suggest you still have, at best, a 1-in-10 chance of a one-star outcome. Depending on your budget, though, that might be worth it. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to spend quite a bit more on salt than you would if you went with a TAC unit, though.
Why Would a Salt Company Sell Water Softeners?
The short answer is this: because the more waterion-exchange water softeners people buy, the more salt that they need. The more salt that they need, the more salt Morton sells.
You see, ion exchange water softening works by having the positively-charged magnesium and calcium ions present in hard water bind with a negatively charged resin. Then, in order to regenerate that resin, a brine solution (water and salt) is rinsed around the resin. The salt binds to the resin, knocking the magnesium and calcium off into a discharge valve. The problem is that means salt -- and lots of it -- gets filtered into your main water line. We’ve written about this beforein past articles, but the amount of salt you’re drinking every day is about 300mg or higher, on average.
That salt, over time, is likely going to have a devastating effect on your blood pressure, but that’s kind of beside the point for now. Over the lifespan of your ion-exchange water softener, you’ll buy thousands of pounds worth of salt.
So, if it increases demand, why not?
(If you’re interested in ion exchange alternatives, check out ourtemplate assisted crystallization systems).
Are There Any Alternatives to Using this Much Salt?
As we covered above, the only reason a salt company would sell water softeners -- and especially water softeners as inexpensive as the System Saver -- is so that they can sell more salt.
A few years ago, though, a third-party study by Arizona State University looked at domestic alternatives to ion exchange water softeners and found that template assisted crystallization performed just as well, if not better, at preventing limescale buildup than ion exchange.
So, template assisted crystallization is a good option if you want a softener that isn’t so hard on your wallet -- or the environment.
Morton Water Softener Reviews- Is It Worth The Money?
In this article, we reviewed both the Morton 45,000 grain water softener and the Morton System Saver. Both of them are on the lower end in terms of cost. Most water softeners go for $400-$4000 (roughly). These systems go for about $600 for the 45,000 grain water softener and $350 for the Morton System Saver, which was even listed at only $70 on Walmart once.
But why so cheap? What’s the catch? Because ion exchange systems depend heavily on salt refills. Morton knows that if they sell you a water softener, they’ll also sell you plenty of salt. If you have extremely hard water and you don’t live in an area that has banned ion exchange softeners, then these might be an inexpensive option for you.
However, if you want to look into something that can be just as inexpensive but better for the environment, we recommend taking a look at FilterSmart’s line of water conditioners, which use thelatest technology in domestic water softening.