Research suggests that around 90% of American households have hard water. Hard-water minerals encourage the growth of scale in pipes and appliances and damage skin, hair, and clothing. Due to its mineral rich concentration, hard water also promotes the growth of dangerous microorganisms.
The best way to eliminate the scourge of water hardness is to install a water-softening system in your home. Enter the WaterBoss 900, 950, and 700 series of domestic water softeners.
In this WaterBoss water softener review, I’ll review and compare these popular models to help you decide if a WaterBoss device is the water softener for your home.
Let’s get started.
Do You Really Need a Water Softener?
Virtually every American home has hard water, or water with significant quantities of calcium and magnesium. These minerals produce a buildup, called scale, that clogs your home’s plumbing system, causing appliances to work harder and less effectively. In fact, just 18 months of scale buildup can cause your showerhead’s flow rate to decrease by up to 75%.
This hard water then causes dry, itchy skin. It also prevents adequate sudsing of your detergents, leading to splotchy dishes and drab clothing.
Scale can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can end up in your bath and drinking water. If you have hard water, you may be washing your fresh fruits and vegetables with water that contains bacteria.
And this issue isn’t limited to the kitchen. When you take a hot shower, the steam you inhale may have the same microbial contaminants as the rest of your plumbing, potentially exposing you to pathogens such as Legionella, which can cause Legionnaires disease.
Only a whole-house water softener can effectively remove hardness-causing minerals from domestic water systems. Softened water eliminates the problems associated with hard water.
According to the Water Quality Research Foundation, soft water is the best way to ensure efficient stain removal from clothes. In fact, soft water is 12 times more efficient than just using more detergent, and can even cut soap use by as much as half. Additionally, soft water can improve the efficiency of water heaters and lower your electricity costs.
A salt-based water softener is the most efficient and cost-effective way to remove hardness minerals from water. Installing a water softener can improve your overall health and lower the cost of household appliance maintenance, such as dishwashers and washing machines. It also minimizes the demand for detergents and hot water, resulting in a lower personal carbon footprint.
How a Salt-Based Water Softener Works
A salt-based water softener works by removing hard water minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, from water through a process called ion exchange.
Hard water flows through a resin tank filled with small resin beads that are coated with sodium ions. As water flows through the resin beads, calcium and magnesium ions in the water are attracted to the resin beads and stick to them, displacing the sodium ions. The sodium ions are then released into the water, resulting in softened water.
Over time, the resin beads become saturated with calcium and magnesium ions and need to be regenerated. This is done by flushing the resin with a strong brine solution (water and salt), which displaces the calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium ions. The brine solution and the displaced minerals are then flushed out of the system.
Water softeners aren’t without their downsides. The salt used in the water softener needs to be refilled periodically, which can be costly depending on the model and type of salt, and the regeneration process needs water and salt (or potassium chloride), which can increase water usage and salt consumption.
WaterBoss water softeners only perform regeneration when necessary. You will have access to soft water with minimal water waste. This lowers your operational costs while also reducing your environmental impact.
Who Is WaterBoss?
Waterboss has over 30 years of expertise in water filtration and treatment and manufactures its salt-based water softeners in Groveport, Ohio, in the US. In addition to producing excellent water softeners, the company also makes high-quality water filters.
Waterboss prioritizes water conservation in all of its designs, producing cost-effective devices that utilize as little water and salt as possible, making them inexpensive to operate and safe for users with low-sodium diets.
What sets WaterBoss apart from other water-softener manufacturers is its resin material. Most use polystyrene, but WaterBoss uses a cost-effective fine mesh resin. This fine mesh, present in all WaterBoss models, reduces water and salt consumption by covering more surface material and trapping more additives than other leading models.
WaterBoss Water Softener Reviews
The best WaterBoss water softener model for you will depend on your specific water hardness, the size of your household, and your individual needs and preferences. WaterBoss has five water softeners, but two are only available through purchase from one specific home improvement store, so I’ll be reviewing the ones you can buy anywhere:
- WaterBoss 900
- WaterBoss 950
- WaterBoss 700
Before choosing a water softener, keep track of how much water you use at home to figure out the best solution for your needs and budget.
Additionally, you might want to talk to a professional in water treatment to help you choose the right model and make sure the installation goes well.
Let’s take a closer look at these models.
WaterBoss 900 Water Softener
The WaterBoss 900 is the company’s flagship model, intended primarily for heavy consumption, with a 36,400-grain capacity and the ability to soften up to 90 grains per gallon, making it perfect for big homes.
|Unit size||14.75” x 18.75” x 25.75”|
|Water type||City and well water|
|Gallons of water (per regeneration)||14 gallons|
|Regeneration time||26 min.|
|Salt amount (per regeneration)||3 lbs|
The high-efficiency design of the salt-based Waterboss 900 softener not only saves electricity, salt, and water but also the user’s time and money. The 36,400-grain capacity also means a longer resin-treatment cycle has to be longer, translating to fewer regeneration cycles than other models.
One of the best things about this WaterBoss 900 softener is its unique brine tank. Due to its efficient design, the brine tank will conserve water and salt, ensuring that each regeneration cycle requires the smallest amount possible.
Before beginning the water-softening process, the softener’s built-in sediment filter also removes excess compounds (such as chlorine), and iron from the water supply. This means that you don’t need a separate water filtration system to remove sediment. If you have other contaminant concerns, of course, a whole-house or point-of-use water filtration system is a good idea.
In terms of water pressure range, this WaterBoss water softener has a 15 PSI (pound per square inch) rate, ensuring a virtually unnoticeable pressure reduction. This is particularly important when you consider that many water softeners produce an intolerable reduction in water pressure, which is not only inconvenient but also consumes resources.
This whole-house water softening unit has the following advantages:
- NSF Standard 44 certification for barium and radium 226/228 reduction
- Large grain capacity ideal for large households with more than four occupants
- 20-micron sediment filter stage that removes sediment, silt, and sand to prolong the life of the system
- Pre-filter eliminates cartridge replacement
- Reduces iron concentration (less than 10 ppm) in private wells
- Uses as little as 14 gallons every 26-minute regeneration
- Single-tank design and built-in bypass valve for easy installation
- LCD panel and programmable digital control panel
- Adjustable to your water’s hardness and your chosen regeneration settings
- Service-maintenance system called PowerClean that eliminates iron buildup in the water softener’s resin bed, extending the water softener’s service life
- Affordable compared to other systems on the market, at $650
- 10-year warranty on the outer cabinet and resin tank and a 3-year limited warranty on mechanical and electrical parts
- Safety shutoff to avoid brine tank overflow
Obviously, there’s no such thing as a perfect water softener, and this is true of the WaterBoss 900. A considerable number of customers had problems with their water softener. The issues were largely connected to system faults, which, according to customers, occurred rather often.
These issues include corroded screws that lead to water leaks, instances where chlorinated water is not filtered properly, discolored water after every regeneration, and electronic malfunctions.
However, one issue crept up in almost every customer complaint I came across, and that’s WaterBoss’s underperforming customer support. Some reports that personnel were rude, argumentative, and unhelpful to customers. Others, on the other hand, report that customer service was quite helpful, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Despite some negative customer feedback, the WaterBoss 900 is really a good water-softening system. Some of the system features that impressed me include the built in filter that removes sediment from your water, protecting your device from blockages. I also liked the smart regeneration, self-cleaning filtration system, compact and stylish design, low cost, and the extended warranty.
Considering the affordable purchase price, you really are getting good value for money compared to other expensive brands on the market.
If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced, all-in-one water softener that is ideal for a family of four or more, the WaterBoss 900 water softener is worth your consideration.
WaterBoss 950 Water Softener
The WaterBoss 950 water softener is rated as the optimal model for city dwellers since it cannot soften water that is very mineral-rich. Well water is likely to be harder than city water because it comes from the ground, where minerals dwell, rather than municipal reservoirs.
|Unit size||14.75” x 18.75” x 30.75”|
|Water type||City water|
|Gallons of water (per regeneration)||14 gallons|
|Regeneration time||20 min.|
|Salt amount (per regeneration)||2.5 lbs|
This model has a capacity of 22,000 grains and can soften and remove up to 35 grains per gallon. In addition to softening water, this unit eliminates the taste and odor of chlorine. This is largely facilitated by a bed of mixed media that works as an efficient chlorine filter.
The following is a list of advantages you’ll find in the WaterBoss 950:
- Perfect for municipal water, with a built-in chlorine filter removes up to 3 PPM of chlorine taste and odor
- Regenerates in just 20 minutes and utilizes only 15 gallons of water and 2.5 pounds of salt
- NSF Standard 44 certified for the removal of barium and radium 226/228
- Easy installation
- Digital control panel with an LCD screen for configuring the system’s functionality
- LCD digital programmable control unit that lets you input your water’s hardness level and choose between regeneration options and cycle durations
- Ideal for mild hardness and chlorine issues
- Low-maintenance, built-in sediment filter that removes larger particles like sand, silt, and rust from your water before it enters the softening chamber
- Ideal for a medium-sized home with an 8 GPM flow rate
- Affordable at $550
- A10-year warranty on the resin tank and a 3-year limited warranty on mechanical and electronic parts
Despite all the benefits associated with the purchase of the WaterBoss 950 water softener, I came across a couple of disadvantages.
For starters, although the overall softening rate and grain capacity of this model aren’t terrible, they aren’t suited for places with extremely high calcium and magnesium concentrations. It has a lower softening capability (35 GPG) than the 900 and 700 and does not remove iron.
Also, apart from the self-cleaning function, this water softener does not offer any standout features. You’ll notice an absence of any form of alert system that notifies you when your salt levels are low. This means you’ll have to manually open the top regularly to see whether it needs to be filled.
Some users reported total system failures, causing the softener to be stuck on an endless regeneration cycle. As a consequence, it fills the septic tanks of rural users and floods their drain fields. Other issues include missing shipment parts, broken circuit boards, and cracked resin tanks.
And again, you’ll have to manage WaterBoss’s customer care service, which is reportedly worse than the industry standard.
Although some users claim that the WaterBoss 950 water softener is ideal for city dwellers, you should be sure this model meets your specific needs before purchasing, as well as carefully exploring reviews.
The odds are that you will not be eager to play Russian roulette and risk having to buy pricey replacement components for your brand-new but broken water softener.
If you’re determined to try the WaterBoss 950, it is best suited for small- to medium-sized households with city water supply.
WaterBoss 700 Water Softener
Just like the 950, the WaterBoss 700 is designed for municipal water supplies, and is effective in removing hardness minerals from the water. It is particularly suited for areas with moderate to hard water, which is common across the US, even in big cities.
|Unit size||14.75” x 18.75” x 25.75”|
|Water type||City and well water|
|Gallons of water (per regeneration)||12 gallons|
|Regeneration time||20 min.|
|Salt amount (per regeneration)||2 lbs|
The WaterBoss 700 is a compact water softener suitable for households with up to four people, depending on overall water usage.
This unit treats water with a hardness level of up to 70 GPG (grains per gallon), which is classified as moderately hard to hard, and eliminates up to 10 parts per million of iron sediment. It can hold up to 22,000 grains of hardness before needing to regenerate.
Here are some key advantages of the WaterBoss 700:
- Relatively compact and can fit in tight spaces
- Simple to operate, with a user-friendly control panel and automatic regeneration settings that take the guesswork out of maintenance
- Effective at removing hardness minerals from the water
- Generally requires less maintenance than other types of water softeners
- More affordable than other WaterBoss models at $400
- Comes with a 3-year limited warranty on parts and a 10-year warranty on salt and softener media tanks
- Easily customizable settings and LCD screen
- Programmable regeneration and diagnostics
The WaterBoss 700 water softener also has its fair share of drawbacks.
While the WaterBoss 700 has a capacity of 22,000 grains, which is suitable for a small- to medium-sized household, it may not be enough for larger households with high water usage.
As with any ion-exchange system, the WaterBoss 700 requires some minor regular maintenance, including the addition of salt to the brine tank and periodic cleaning of the resin bed, which can be time consuming and costly.
Some customers I interviewed reported discolored water flowing out of faucets even after regeneration and system failures after just a few months of ownership. The softener may get stuck in a constant regeneration loop, and rusty cabinet screws may cause leaks, which in turn damage the control unit, rendering the whole system useless.
Again, reports abound of rude and ineffective customer service.
The WaterBoss 700 22,000-grain capacity water softener is a small water softener that handles very hard water. It features a quick regeneration process and a self-cleaning sediment filter, and it eliminates iron from your water supply.
Despite its flaws, this is a decent water softener for small houses and apartments that need to remove hard water and scale efficiently. Ultimately, you’ll get your money’s worth by lowering installation and maintenance costs over time.
The Bottom Line
WaterBoss water softeners are generally considered to be a reliable and effective choice for homeowners looking to improve the quality of their water. Here are some of the reasons why:
- These softeners are designed to effectively remove hardness minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the water, which can help prevent scale buildup on fixtures and appliances, and improve the taste and quality of your drinking water.
- WaterBoss water softeners are designed to be efficient in their use of water and salt, which can help reduce operating costs and minimize the environmental impact of the system.
- WaterBoss water softeners have a compact design and can fit in tight spaces, making them ideal for homes with limited space for a water softener.
- They are designed with user-friendly controls that are easy to understand and adjust, which can make maintenance and operation simpler and more efficient.
- WaterBoss water softeners generally require less maintenance than other types of water softeners, which can help save time and money on upkeep and repair.
- They are available with a 3-year warranty on mechanical and electrical parts and a 10-year warranty on the resin tank and brine cabinet.
Even though WaterBoss water softeners have some problems, like bad customer service and the need to clean the resin bed every so often, they are generally liked by both consumers and professionals in the water treatment industry for being reliable, effective, and a good value for the price.
If you have a large home or your water is very hard, the WaterBoss 900 is the best softener for you. But if you live in an urban setting with a municipal water supply, you can choose between the 950 and 700 models.
Visit the WaterBoss website today to learn more about these water softeners.
WaterBoss Water Softener Review Methodology
In case you’re curious, here are the steps I followed to complete my WaterBoss water softener review.
Step 1: A list of all WaterBoss Water Softeners
I started my review by compiling a list of all the WaterBoss water softeners available from a wide variety of retailers. This involved hours of browsing through stores like Amazon, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s to determine which WaterBoss water softeners were top sellers in their respective categories. I identified three models that appeared to be popular among consumers.
Step 2: Online Reviews
In this step, I looked at ratings and comments left on popular retail sites by actual customers. In order to determine whether the manufacturer’s purported advantages were really being realized, I needed to get a sense of how the products were received by their end users.
Step 3: Interviews with customers
Next, I had to find a way to contact real WaterBoss water softener users. The only effective way was to conduct a questionnaire survey.
Therefore, I recruited a few buddies and scheduled trips to all the main department and hardware shops (including water treatment dealers) in my city to see what consumers and water treatment specialists thought about WaterBoss water softeners.
To broaden the scope of my study, I also conducted online polls on Facebook and Twitter.
Step 4: Getting in touch with WaterBoss
For this step, I had to call WaterBoss and push them for answers to some of the unfavorable customer reviews I encountered while doing my research. This enabled me to see how they interacted with customers and how their customer service representatives acted under pressure.
Step 5: Test drives
During my chat with WaterBoss customer support, I asked if they could send me a couple of units to test. I wasn’t sure how they’d react to this request, especially after the horror stories, but after 30 minutes on hold, they agreed.
So I hired a warehouse from a close friend, leased two enormous water bowsers, and tested all WaterBoss models. After two days of rigorous testing, I had everything I needed to write this review.
WaterBoss is a brand of water softeners that is well-regarded in the water treatment industry. Many users report that these systems effectively reduce hard water issues, such as scale buildup and mineral deposits, and improve the overall quality of their water.
In general, WaterBoss water softeners are considered to be good value for money, as they offer a range of features and capabilities that are comparable to more expensive systems. Some of the key advantages of these systems include compact size, integrated sediment filters, easy installation, easy configuration, reasonable warranty, and low maintenance requirements.
However, like any water softening system, the effectiveness of a WaterBoss system will depend on several factors, including the specific model, the hardness of your water, and the specific needs and preferences of your household. To find out more about these systems, visit the WaterBoss website today.
If you’d like to look into what other brands have to offer, check out my best water softener review to find the best brand on the market.