Read this review before you buy the GE GXSH40V 40,000 Grain Water Softener. We’ve shared all the information you need to know about the softener’s key features, performance, installation and maintenance, and more.
Table of Contents
The GE 40,000 Grain Water Softener is a mid-sized water softener manufactured by GE Appliances, which can tackle water hardness up to 110 grains per gallon (GPG). This system uses ion exchange to swap calcium and magnesium ions for soft water sodium ions.
With a flow rate of 9.5 gallons per minute (GPG), this GE model is ideal for households with four or five people and an average to high water usage.
📝 System Specifications
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||14.4 x 47.6 x 22.4 inches|
|Unit color||Light gray|
|Salt storage capacity||230 pounds|
|Max. hardness removal||125 GPG|
|Max. clear water iron reduction||8 PPM|
|Plumbing connection||Up to 1 1/4|
|Regeneration time||123 mins|
|Service flow rate||7.5 GPM|
|Electronic rating||24V; 60Hz|
|Warranty||Limited 1-year (entire appliance)|
Limited 10-year (resin/brine tank)
Limited 3-year (electronic monitor)
Ion Exchange Water Softening
The GE GXSH40V is a traditional salt-based water softener that uses ion exchange to eliminate calcium and magnesium hardness minerals from water. The system can tackle a water hardness level of up to 110 GPG.
This water softener combines both tanks (brine and resin) in one unit, saving space and reducing the number of connections and outlets required.
40,200 Grain Capacity
The GXSH40V is the mid-sized GE water softener model, with a grain capacity of just over 40,000 and a flow rate of 9.5 gallons per minute.
Custom Select Blending Valve
You can use the custom select blending valve to set the system’s level of water softening – just input your water hardness. The more accurate your data, the better the system can perform.
Salt Status Light Indicator
The GE GXSH40V has electronic controls with status light indicator that keeps you aware of the salt capacity and lets you know if the salt levels have dropped too low.
The salt saver feature improves the system’s efficiency by minimizing the salt required for a regeneration cycle. This reduces the frequency of salt top-ups required.
1-Year Entire Appliance Warranty
Like all GE softeners, this model has a limited 10-year tank warranty, a limited 3-year electronic monitor warranty, and a limited 1-year warranty for the entire appliance.
System performance is one of our most important review points for any water treatment system. The performance features we look for in a water softener are its water softening ability, its efficiency (including water and salt use), its flow rate, and any unique features that further boost performance in any way.
A big standout performance feature of the GE GXSH40V is its salt- and water-saving design. According to GE, this model saves 34% to 35% of both salt and water compared to an older model. Plus, the system uses SmartSoft technology, which predicts future demand based on your water usage, so it can regenerate when needed, ensuring you always have access to soft water.
The GE GXSH40V is better performing than most other water softeners in the $600-$700 price range. This system isn’t one of our overall top-pick water softeners, but you won’t find a better softener for $650. This 40,200 grain water softener tackles up to 110 grains per gallon of hardness (so it should completely soften even the hardest water supply) and up to 8 PPM of clear water iron.
You don’t have to take GE’s word for it when it comes to performance, either. The GXSH40V is certified to NSF standards for ion exchange softening, hardness reduction, and system design.
We monitored our appliances and fixtures after installing the GE GXSH40V, and noticed a reduction in scale within a week. The system’s 9.5 GPG flow rate maintained a steady flow of water from our faucets and showerheads, even during peak times of water usage.
The regeneration time for the GE GXSH40V is around 123 minutes – about 30 minutes longer than the average water softener regeneration time of 90 minutes. This could result in slightly more water waste than average, but your water usage shouldn’t be interrupted as regeneration typically takes place overnight.
🧰 What’s Included (Parts)
The GE GXSH40V comes with the following parts and accessories:
- Installation kit
- Installation instructions
- 230-pound salt storage tank
- Resin tank (preloaded with standard mesh resin)
- 3/4″ quick connect fittings
- Drain hose
- Water shutoff valve
🔧 Installation, Programming & Settings
The GE GXSH40V has a single unit containing both the brine and resin tank, which cuts the installation process in half – and makes it much easier.
Here’s an overview of the installation steps:
- Shut off your home’s water supply and turn on your faucets to drain the water
- Connect the drain line to the salt storage tank
- Install the bypass valve and water shutoff valve
- Adjust the custom select valve based on your water hardness to program the system’s softening level
- Open the bypass valve
- Connect the plumbing fittings and secure them with Teflon tape
- Plug in and switch on the softener
You can find more detailed information on how to install the GE GXSH40V Water Softener in the user manual (linked below). If you prefer to learn visually, watch this video below.
After installing the system, you’ll need to program it for your water hardness and regeneration requirements. You’ll also need to adjust the clock setting to display the current time, and (optionally) adjust the sale efficiency setting to boost the softener’s performance.
We installed and programmed the GE GXSH40V in less than an hour. You should be able to easily install this system yourself, and there aren’t many opportunities to make a major mistake. If you’re not handy at all, however, you might want to hire a plumber to do the job for you.
Find the user manual for the GE GXSH40V below:
Like all water softeners, the GE GXSH40V needs regular maintenance to operate. The three basic maintenance tasks, in order of importance, are:
- Top up the brine tank with salt (don’t fill the salt all the way up to the maximum fill level if you live in a humid region to prevent salt bridges).
- Once a month, clean the softener’s venturi valve assembly and nozzle, and clean the resin with a resin cleaner.
- For water with a high ferric iron content, use an iron cleaning product alongside every 40-pound bag of salt added to the salt tank.
The system has a self-cleaning sediment filter that shouldn’t need to be manually cleaned or replaced throughout the lifespan of the softener. High-sediment well water may still damage the resin, so consider installing an additional sediment filter if your water quality is particularly poor.
You can check the brine tank’s salt level on the display screen so you know when to add more salt. An empty indicator (with an audible alarm) will let you know if the system has very low salt.
🔔 Pros & Cons
👍 What We Like
- We love the helpful features offered by the GE GXSH40V water softener, including the salt saver button light, the empty low salt status light, and the custom select blending valve. These features make it easy to monitor and maintain the softener.
- This 40,200 grain water softener uses the most reliable form of water treatment for soft water production: ion exchange. If you test your water before and after using this softener, you’ll see a noticeable difference between the two.
- The GE GXSH40V tackles more hardness than you’ll ever find in your water supply (its maximum hardness removal is 110 GPG). The unit also has a maximum iron removal of 8 PPM – ideal for well water.
- The efficient performance of this GE model helps cut back on salt and water, so you can get more out of the money you spend to maintain the system.
- We found it quick and easy to program the softener using the up-front electronic controls.
- Aside from salt top-ups and occasional cleaning, the GE GXSH40V is low-maintenance. There are no filters to change – just salt to add.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- The entire appliance only has a 1-year written warranty, which is poor compared to some of the warranties of the best water softeners on today’s market.
- Some customers experienced issues with their softener that they couldn’t get resolved with GE Appliances due to the short warranty. Some of the issues were an overflowing brine tank, leaks, and a unit that stopped working completely.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Is the GE GXSH40V 40,000 Grain Water Softener suitable for well water?
Yes, you can use GE GXSH40V to treat well water. This system can remove up to 8 PPM of clear water iron, which is commonly found in well water. If your water contains ferric iron or has a high sediment concentration, you may need to install a pre-filter upstream of the softener to prevent the resin.
Does GE make a good water softener?
Yes, GE’s water softeners are good. The GE GXSH40V can treat extremely high water hardness of 110 GPG, so it’s guaranteed to soften your water. However, due to their plastic components, GE softeners aren’t as durable as their top competitors (which typically cost at least $1,000 upfront).
How long does a GE water softener last?
All GE water softeners have the same warranty: 10 years for the tanks, 3 years for the electronic monitor, and 1 year for the entire appliance. This suggests that the tank lasts for at least 10 years, but you may need to replace the other components within this time. Your own care and maintenance habits will also dictate how long the softener lasts.
Is it better to get a higher grain water softener?
Not necessarily. For instance, GE’s 40,000 grain softener is a good option for you if you have a family of four or five people and your water usage is higher than average. But you might only need GE’s 30,000 grain water softener if you have a family of one to three. An oversized softener might not operate properly if your home’s water pressure and flow is too low. Save your money and buy the system that’s right for your own water usage.
Where should you install the GE GXSH40V?
You should install the GE GXSH40V as close as possible to the water entry point into your home, upstream of your water heater. This means you can enjoy hot and cold softened water and protect your entire plumbing system from scale.
What are some good alternatives to the GE GXSH40V Water Softener?
There are plenty of water softeners that are more sturdily built and durable than the GE GXSH40V water softener – as long as you’re willing to spend more money. We recommend the SpringWell Salt Based Water Softener System as our top-pick water softening system, or the Fleck 5600SXT as the best budget softener (which costs about $400 more than the GE GXSH40V).
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