Interested in the GE Smart Water Softener? Wondering whether this softening system is right for you? Learn more about the system, including its key features, performance highlights, pros, and cons, in this review of the GE Smart Water Softener.
Table of Contents
The GE Smart Water Softener is a smart, single-tank, salt-based water softener manufactured by GE Appliances.
This system is available in a single grain capacity:
- GE Smart 40,000 Grain Water Softener
This softener is a slightly upgraded version of the GE Water Softener. It’s more expensive than GE’s standard softener and has one notable smart feature: you can connect the system to your phone with WiFi water flow and salt level alerts, system monitoring, and unit shutoff, allowing you to remotely control the softener at any time.
📝 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||110 GPG|
|Max. clear water iron reduction||8 PPM|
|Plumbing connection||Up to 1 1/4|
|Regeneration time||94-134 mins|
|Service flow rate||9.5 GPM|
|Electronic rating||24V; 60Hz|
|Warranty||Limited 1-year (entire appliance) |
Limited 10-year (resin/brine tank)
Limited 3-year (electronic monitor)
The GE Smart Water Softener combines brine and resin tanks in a single unit. This space-saving feature makes it easier to install and maintain the system.
Traditional Salt Softening
This salt softener uses ion exchange to produce soft water by exchanging calcium and magnesium minerals with sodium ions.
Custom Select Valve
You can use the custom select valve to input your water’s hardness in GPG and customize your water softness.
Leak or Running Faucet Alerts
If you connect the system to your smartphone, you’ll receive alerts if any unusual water use is detected that may be caused by a leak or a running faucet.
You can use your phone to shut off your water from anywhere, as long as your filter location has WiFi.
The GE Smart Water Softener is designed to minimize salt use with the Salt Saver feature, reducing the maintenance required.
Low Salt Reminder
You shouldn’t ever forget to add salt to the sodium tank as the system will alert you when salt levels are low.
1-Year Entire Appliance Warranty
This water softener comes with a limited 1-year warranty for entire the appliance. The tank comes with a limited 10-year warranty, and the electronic monitor comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
We judge the performance of all water softeners we look into by their softening ability, their efficiency, their regeneration time and effectiveness, their flow rate, and any additional features they offer that benefit their performance.
The GE Smart Water Softener is one of the best-performing water softeners available within the $700-$800 price range. The softener can tackle up to 110 grains per gallon of hardness (the majority of water supplies aren’t this hard); and, as an added bonus for well water containing iron, the system also removes up to 8 PPM of clear water iron. The system is NSF certified, too – a mark of reassurance that it performs as advertised.
The system shouldn’t reduce the flow of water from faucets or showerheads, with a service flow of around 9.5 GPM. This is pretty standard for a water softener, and since the average household needs a flow rate of 6 to 12 gallons per minute, you shouldn’t notice a drop in pressure during peak water usage periods.
There are plenty of less obvious (but still important) performance features of this softener, too, including:
- A decent efficiency rating – the system tackles 5,100 grains of hardness per pound of salt, reducing the need for frequent salt top-ups.
- A Salt Saver feature, which further cuts back on salt consumption.
As for regeneration, the GE Smart Water Softener takes between 94 and 134 minutes to regenerate. The average water softener takes up to 90 minutes to regenerate, so this is slightly longer than average. Regeneration is programmed to take place at 2 AM, however, so you shouldn’t go without water regardless.
Because the GE Smart Water Softener connects via WiFi to your phone, you have remote control over the system’s performance at any time (as long as you have WiFi signal). We find that being able to monitor things like water flow and salt levels was useful, but eventually unnecessary – the system is designed to be set-and-forget, so there’s no need to keep adjusting settings once the softener is performing optimally.
🧰 What’s Included (Parts)
The GE Smart Water Softener includes everything needed to install the system and access softened water immediately, including:
- Installation instructions
- Installation kit
- Pre-loaded brine tank
- Resin tank
- 3/4″ quick connect fittings
- Water shutoff valve
🔧 Installation, Programming & Settings
The GE Smart Water Softener is easier to install than standard softeners with two separate tanks. To install the system, you:
- Shut off your main water supply and open all faucets to drain the water from your pipes
- Install the drain line to the salt storage tank
- Install the bypass valve and water shutoff valve
- Adjust the water softener’s level by turning the custom select valve
- Open the bypass valve
- Connect the plumbing fittings with Teflon tape
- Plug in and switch on the softener
You can find more detailed instructions for installing and programming the system in the user manual, or, if you’re a visual learner, this video should be helpful.
The unit is designed for DIY installation, and there’s not much that can go wrong if you choose to install it yourself. However, if you’re not a fan of DIY or you’re not a handy person, you may need to pay for a plumber to install the system for you.
You can review the owner’s manual for the GE Smart Water Softener here: Installation
There are a few basic maintenance tasks involved in owning the GE Smart Water Softener:
- Top up the sodium tank with salt (use less salt than the maximum allowed if you’re storing the softener in a humid location to prevent a salt bridge). The low salt reminder should prevent you from forgetting about salt top-ups.
- Clean the unit’s nozzle and venturi valve assembly and clean the resin with a commercial resin cleaner about once a month.
- If your water has a high ferric iron content, add an iron cleaner to the resin with every 40-pound bag of salt.
The system comes with a self-cleaning sediment filter that shouldn’t need to be replaced throughout the lifespan of the softener.
🔔 Pros & Cons
👍 What We Like
- The GE Smart Water Softener lets you program and monitor your water softener from your phone. You can review and adjust water usage, flow rate and salt levels, and receive low-salt notifications and alerts about leaks or running faucets.
- This system is NSF certified for its performance – a promising sign.
- The softener offers an efficient performance, reducing salt consumption during soft water production and minimizing your annual spend.
- The days to “empty” salt tank reading should be a useful feature to remember to top up the salt tank
- It’s fairly simple to DIY install this system thanks to its pre-assembled, all-in-one design.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- This system only comes in a single grain capacity. The flow rate may be too slow for large households of more than four.
- This “smart” softener costs more money than GE’s standard softener, but the only difference is that this system has a mobile connection.
- A 1-year warranty for the entire appliance isn’t very promising.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Are GE water softeners reliable?
Yes, GE softener systems are reliable. The average customer ratings for GE products are around 4.5 stars, and the systems are NSF certified for ion exchange water softening, structure, material safety, and water pressure. However, these soft water systems aren’t as durable as other softeners due to their plastic components.
How long does GE water softener last?
We can deduce from the warranty that the GE water softener unit should last for at least 10 years, but you might need to replace parts like the electric monitor within this time. GE softeners aren’t as durable as some of the best softeners on the market today, which last 20+ years.
Who makes GE water softeners?
GE softeners are made by GE Appliances, based in Kentucky, which is now owned by home appliances company Haier.
Should I buy the GE Smart Water Softener?
You should consider buying the GE Smart Water Softener if one of your priorities is being able to remotely monitor and control your water softener from your phone. If this feature isn’t important to you, the GE Water Softener is a cheaper alternative that offers essentially the same features without the smart device connection.
Of course, if you do want to remotely control your softener, the GE Smart Softener is far from the only choice – this feature is offered by many of the biggest softener brands today.
What are some good alternatives to the GE Smart Water Softener?
If you’re looking for the best water softener (and not just the most affordable system), GE water softeners aren’t the top choice. We recommend the SpringWell Salt Based Water Softener System if you’re looking for the overall best-value softening system, or the Fleck 5600SXT if you’re keen to find the best-value budget water softening system.
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