Water softeners have become more expensive and sophisticated in recent years. Finding your ideal fit might be difficult with such a wide variety of options to pick from.
Whirlpool, one of America’s top manufacturers of home appliances, provides a broad range of whole-house water softeners with advanced features that outperform the competition in terms of performance, efficiency, and cost.
I’ve spent weeks researching all Whirlpool water softeners, and in this article, I’ll go through their advantages and disadvantages to help you make the right choice.
Read on to learn more!
Reviews of Whirlpool Whole-House Water Softeners
Whirlpool water softeners, known for their dependability, efficiency, and user-friendliness, come in a variety of models to fulfill the demands of different household sizes.
Here’s an overview of the models you’ll find in Whirlpool’s WHES series:
- WHES18: 18,000 grain capacity, compact, best for households of 1–2 people
- WHES30: 30,000 grain capacity, best for households of 1–4 people
- WHES33: 33,000 grain capacity, best for households of 1–4 people
- WHES40: 40,000 grain capacity, best for households of 1–5 people
- WHES44: 44,000 grain capacity, best for households of 1–5+ people
- WHES3T: 30,000 grain capacity, dual tank, best for households of 1–4 people
- WHES48 PRO: 48,000 grain capacity, best for households of 1–6+ people
- WHESFC Hybrid PRO: 31,000 grain capacity water softener/filter hybrid, best for households of 1–5 people
As you can see, Whirlpool’s model numbers coincide with each one’s grain capacity (in the thousands). This is a nice touch from Whirlpool, considering appliance model numbers are often an alphabet soup of nonsense.
Whirlpool WHES 18–44 series
While similar, each of these models varies in terms of grain capacity (as indicated by the model number) and other features.
- Intelligent Sixth Sense technology
- Third-party inspected
- Protects pipes from iron sediment
- Advanced electronic display
- Compact, space-saving design
- Low salt usage and water waste
- Easy do-it-yourself installation with included guide
- Price range of $400 to $750 can accommodate any budget
- Designed and built in the USA
- Require expensive salt pellets or solar salt crystals
- Dodgy digital control board
- Needs frequent cleaning using Whirlpool’s water softener cleanser
- Automatic regeneration can fail after months of use
- Confusing operation
The Whirlpool WHES18–44 series of water softeners offer a range of features to help users customize their system to their specific needs. For example, some models include a few smart features that make them more efficient compared to other brands on the market. They use Whirlpool’s Sixth Sense and Demand Regeneration technologies to monitor and calculate your water usage needs and adjust themselves appropriately. These units regenerate only when necessary and automatically calculate how much salt they use.
These Whirlpool water softeners also feature a space saving, single-tank design that is encapsulated in a visually appealing cabinet.
At the lower end is the Whirlpool WHES18, which is designed for households with up to one or two people and features an 18,000-grain capacity and can remove a maximum of 65 gpg of hardness minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from your home’s water supply, and 3 ppm (parts per million) of iron sediment. Its compact design makes it ideal for installation in small spaces.
The Whirlpool WHES33 water softener, on the other hand, is the best model in terms of price and performance.
The WHES33 has a 33,000-grain capacity, making it ideal for medium-sized households with one to four people. Apart from the 6th Sense salt-saving technology and the demand-initiated regeneration system, this unit is also equipped with a high-flow valve, which improves water pressure throughout your home.
The WHES33 can also remove 9 ppm of iron sediment. Additionally, it features a low-salt indicator to alert you when it’s time to add more salt, and a bypass valve that allows you to easily bypass the unit for maintenance or other purposes.
Finally, at the very top of the series is the Whirlpool WHES44, which offers all features present in the WHES33 with the added advantage of a 44,000 grain-removal capacity (which makes it ideal for larger households), and the highest flow rate in the series at 12 GPM (gallons per minute).
These models are third party inspected by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) available with a 10 year tank warranty, a 3 year electronics warranty, and a 1 year parts and labor warranty. The 1 year parts and labor warranty can be extended with the continuous purchase of the Whirlpool water softener cleanser.
In summary, these Whirlpool water softeners are a reliable and effective solution for households looking to improve the quality of their water and extend the life of their water-using appliances. With features like demand-initiated regeneration and user-friendly controls, Whirlpool water softeners are a smart choice for homeowners who want a high-quality, customizable water-softening solution.
Visit the Whirlpool website today to find out more.
Whirlpool WHES3T dual-tank water softener
With a 38,000-grain capacity and the ability to accommodate a household of up to one to four people, the WHES3T twin-tank water softener is suited for homes with higher water consumption.
- Dual-tank design
- Optimizes salt usage and water waste
- Easy monitoring of the system’s status
- Installation guide
- Third-party certified by the NSF
- Made in the USA
- Requires more space due to the dual-tank design
- Not suitable for households of more than four people
- Complex installation
- Requires expensive salt pellets or crystals
- Requires frequent maintenance
This water softener has two tanks that alternate cycles, guaranteeing that softened water is always accessible. The unit includes a bypass valve for easy maintenance as well as a demand-initiated regeneration system to optimize salt usage and water waste. The WHES3T is designed to eliminate a high level of hardness, up to 95 gpg, making it an effective system for households in particularly hard water areas.
The WHES3T also has a low-salt indicator and an LCD screen that shows the status of the system, the salt level, and other water usage statistics.
At around $670, this unit is quite affordable, considering that there are other brands that offer products with similar specifications for almost double the price.
As for the warranty, the WHES3T has a 10 year warranty on the salt tank and mineral tank, a 1 year labor and parts warranty, and a 3 year warranty on the electronic control board. You can extend the one year warranty with continuous purchases of the Whirlpool water softener cleanser.
Overall, the WHES3T dual-tank water softener is a reliable and efficient system that can provide softened water consistently for households with high water demands. However, its larger size may not be suitable for some households. Additionally, despite there being a manual, installation may require a bit more effort due to its dual-tank design.
There is also the issue of salt use. Whirlpool recommends the use of high quality evaporated salt pellets or solar salt crystals with less than 1% impurities to ensure the longevity of the system.
You need to keep in mind that both tanks need to be cleaned after 4 months to avoid salt accumulation in the system. Luckily, the cleaning instructions are included in the user’s manual.
This sturdy, two-tank water softener is ideal for homeowners looking for a traditional softener. For more information, click here.
The Whirlpool WHES48 PRO water softener
The main difference between the Whirlpool WHES44 and the WHES48 PRO, besides the slight increase in grain capacity, is the control-head valve.
The WHES48 PRO uses a newer and more advanced control-head valve called the Pro Series Valve, which provides additional features and benefits compared to the standard valve used in the WHES44 model.
- Conserves salt and water
- Superior water flow rate and pressure
- Extended features
- Ideal for small or large households
- More expensive than other models
- Complex installation due to Pro Series Valve
- Expensive replacement parts
- Potential faulty automatic regeneration process
- Circuit board may fail after a few years of use
- Requires expensive salt
The Whirlpool WHES48 PRO is a high-quality and efficient water softener that is suitable for households with up to one to six people.
It features an advanced Pro Series Valve that optimizes water and salt usage, provides superior water flow rate and pressure, and includes expanded features such as a “turbo” mode and vacation mode. The demand initiated regeneration technology monitors how much salt you use and only initiates a regeneration cycle when necessary. This ensures that your water and salt use is minimal.
Apart from the ability to handle 160 gpg of hardness, this Whirlpool product can also remove 12 ppm of clear water iron from your water supply.
While it comes with a higher price tag (around $750) and requires professional installation due to its complexity, the WHES48 PRO is a reliable and efficient water softener that can provide consistent and quality softened water for years to come with proper maintenance.
There are few issues to look out for such as the type of salt to use (Whirlpool does not recommend the use of block salt with this unit), and complex installation due to the Pro series valve. It’s advisable that you seek professional help when installing the unit.
This softener system is available with a two-year parts and labor warranty, a three-year electronics warranty, and a ten-year tank warranty. The installation kit includes a custom fit bypass valve, a drain line, installation fittings, and a detailed user manual
Check out this page for full specifications.
Whirlpool WHESFC Hybrid PRO water softener/filter hybrid
The Whirlpool WHESFC Hybrid PRO is a combination water softener and filtration system designed to remove hard minerals and other impurities from your home’s water supply. This unit also uses a multistage filtration system to remove chlorine, sediment, and other contaminants from the water, as well as a water-softening resin to remove calcium and magnesium.
- Offers both water softening and filtration
- Requires no filter change
- Low-salt indicator
- User-friendly LCD display
- Third-party certified by the NSF
- Advanced Pro Series Valve optimizes water and salt usage
- Removes iron sediment
- May require professional installation
- Large unit that may require a significant amount of space
- Not great for large amounts of sediment
The Whirlpool WHESFC Hybrid PRO is a combination water softener and filtration system that offers comprehensive water treatment in a single unit.
With multistage filtration and efficient water softening, the unit removes impurities such as chlorine, sediment, and other contaminants from the water while optimizing water and salt usage for reliable and efficient performance. The filtration system is self-cleaning, which means it constantly renews both resin and carbon, so no filters need to be changed.
The advanced Pro Series Valve and user-friendly LCD display make it easy to keep track of the unit’s performance and maintenance needs.
Just like the previous unit, the WHESFC Hybrid Pro also has a 2 year parts and labor warranty, a 10 year tank warranty, and a 3 year electronics warranty.
Though it may come with a higher cost and require professional installation, the WHESFC Hybrid PRO is an NSF-certified, reliable, and convenient choice for households looking to improve the quality of their water supply.
It’s worth mentioning that while the WHESFC has a sediment screen to remove large contaminants, it falls well short of the standard 5-micron filters used to remove dirt and silt. If your water supply has a lot of sediment, Installing a separate pre-filter system helps remove small debris and extend the life of your softener.
At around $900 The WHESFC is quite expensive but this is probably due to its dual functionality. This unit is available with a two-year full parts and labor warranty, a three-year electronics warranty, and a ten-year tank warranty.
Check it out here.
The Bottom Line
Whirlpool offers a range of water softeners designed to remove hard minerals from your water supply and improve the quality of your home’s drinking water. No matter your household size, you can find a Whirlpool water softener to suit your needs, from compact to standard-sized models, and even one dual-tank design.
I particularly like the intuitive Sixth Sense technology, which automatically calculates the salt required to clean the resin bed and only uses what’s necessary. The demand initiated regeneration also helps to keep salt use to a minimum by monitoring your water usage and only regenerating when necessary.
They do have drawbacks you should be aware of, like costly replacement parts. Some users have reported that the high-tech features can fail, but these are few and far between.
You also have to be careful about the type of salt you use with Whirlpool softeners. It’s highly advisable that you use high-quality salt with very little impurities to ensure that your system doesn’t break down prematurely.
Luckily, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, you won’t have to worry a lot about maintenance. Whirlpool includes an extensive warranty period with every softener purchase. Most users I interviewed confirmed they were able get replacement parts or softeners covered by the warranty.
Compared to other expensive systems in the market, Whirlpool softeners are fairly priced and are a great appliance for anyone who needs a quality water-softening system made by a reputable manufacturer.
Visit the Whirlpool website today to find out more about its softeners.
Whirlpool Water Softener Review Methodology
This section outlines the process I used to conduct my review of all Whirlpool water softeners.
Step 1: A list of all Whirlpool Water Softeners
I began my research by making a list of all the Whirlpool water softeners. This required hours of scouring Amazon, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s to find which Whirlpool water softeners were best sellers in their respective categories. I selected eight models that looked to be popular among customers. I did not review other models, such as the WHES60 (60,000 grain capacity) softener, that have been discontinued and are not available for sale.
Step 2: Online Reviews
In this step, I analyzed consumer reviews and comments on leading shopping websites. To determine if the manufacturer’s claimed benefits were indeed true, I needed to understand how these softeners were received by individual consumers.
Step 3: Interviews with real customers
I needed to figure out how to reach actual Whirlpool water softener owners. The only viable option was to conduct a questionnaire. As a result, I enlisted the help of a few friends and planned visits to all major home-improvement stores and water treatment companies to find out what customers and water-treatment professionals thought about Whirlpool water softeners. I also conducted online surveys on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter to extend the scope of my research.
Step 4: Getting in touch with Whirlpool
For this step, I had to call Whirlpool and press representatives for answers to some of the negative customer reviews I came across while conducting my research. This allowed me to see how they engaged with customers and how its customer-care professionals handled themselves under duress.
Step 5: Test drives
For this step, I contacted several Whirlpool water-softener dealers and requested units to test. I wasn’t sure how my request would be received, but after two hours of long phone conversations, one dealership eventually consented, provided the tests were conducted in the presence of its in-house plumbers.
So I rented a warehouse from a friend, hired two massive water bowsers, and tested all eight Whirlpool models. I had everything I needed to write this review after five days of rigorous testing.
What Is Grain Capacity?
The grain capacity of a water softener refers to the maximum amount of hardness minerals, typically measured in grains per gallon (GPG), that the softener can remove from your water supply before it needs to be recharged or regenerated.
To put it simply, the higher the grain capacity, the more hard water the softener can treat before it needs to be recharged. For example, a 30,000-grain capacity softener can remove 30,000 grains of hardness minerals from your water supply before needing to regenerate, while a 45,000-grain capacity softener can treat 45,000 grains of hardness minerals.
When selecting a water softener, it’s important to choose one with a grain capacity that matches your household’s water usage and hardness level. A softener that is too small may not effectively remove all the hardness minerals from your water supply, while one that is too large may be unnecessarily expensive and wasteful.
Why Do You Need a Whole-House Water Softener?
A whole-house water softener is a device that removes minerals like calcium and magnesium from hard water. Hard water can cause numerous problems in the home, such as scale buildup in pipes, decreased water pressure, and damage to appliances.
By installing a water softener, homeowners can avoid these issues and benefit from softer, cleaner water.
One of the most significant benefits of having a whole-house water softener is the positive impact it has on household appliances. Appliances that use hard water, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and hot water heaters, are more likely to experience damage and a shorter lifespan. This damage can result in costly repairs or replacements. By installing a water softener, you will notice your appliances will last longer and operate more efficiently.
Additionally, a water softener can also improve the quality of water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Hard water can cause skin irritation and dryness, leading to issues like eczema and acne. With a water softener, homeowners can enjoy softer, cleaner water, leading to healthier skin and hair. Moreover, softer water also requires less soap and detergent, leading to additional cost savings for the household.
Overall, a whole-house water softener is an essential investment for homeowners looking to improve the quality of their water and prolong the lifespan of their household appliances. Not only does it save money in the long run, but it also improves the quality of life for those who use it.
Whirlpool’s line of water softeners offers a range of options to meet the needs of different households. Whether you’re looking for a compact model for a small space or a high-capacity system for a larger home, Whirlpool has a water softener that can fit the bill.
With features such as advanced valve systems, user-friendly digital displays, energy-efficient operation, and automatic regeneration, these water softeners can effectively remove hard minerals from your water supply and improve the overall quality of your home’s water supply.
However, there are a few issues you’ll have to look out for, such as a faulty auto-regeneration process, a malfunctional circuit board, and the lack of replacement parts. To be fair, these problems manifest themselves after years of continuous usage. Whirlpool offers extensive warranty coverage, so in case you encounter an issue, you can contact Whirlpool and it can provide any assistance you need.
Whirlpool is very specific about the type of salt you need to use with its softeners. The use of block salt is highly discouraged. It’s recommended you use high-quality evaporated salt pellets or solar salt crystals with less than 1% impurities. This is to ensure the longevity of your system, but the salt can be expensive.
In addition to traditional water-softening models, Whirlpool also offers combination water softener and filtration systems that provide comprehensive water treatment in a single unit. Whatever your specific water treatment needs may be, there is likely a Whirlpool water softener that can help.
To find out more about its range of water-softening systems and other water-filtering solutions, visit the Whirlpool website today. If you need to know how the competition stacks up, read my review of the best water softeners available on the market.