Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max Review 2023

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Wondering whether the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max water softener is worth your money? You’ve come to the right place.

In this Genesis water softener review, we’ve looked in detail at all the most important features, specifications, pros, and cons of Genesis’ answer to a combined water softener and iron filter.

🧾 Overview

There are six sizes (in grains) and flow rates (in gallons per minute/ GPM) available for the Iron Pro Max Series:

  • 32,000 grains – 14 GPM
  • 40,000 grains – 16 GPM
  • 48,000 grains – 16 GPM
  • 64,000 grains – 19 GPM
  • 80,000 grains – 23 GPM
  • 96,000 grains – 25 GPM

Essentially, by buying the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max, you get the same benefits of the Genesis Premier water softener, but with the added perk of iron reduction – ideal if you get your water supply from a private well.

πŸ“Œ What else should you know upfront about this system? It has large 1-inch ports to maintain high flow rates, an extended backwash time that thoroughly cleans the resin, and an on-demand control valve that improves efficiency by only programming regeneration cycles when necessary.

πŸ“ System Specifications

Softener TypeSalt-based/ ion exchange
Iron RemovalUp to 7 PPM
Regeneration TypeMeter initiated
Flow TypeUpflow
Resin Crosslink Percentage10% crosslink
Brine Tank Capacity200+ pounds
Power Requirements120v/60hz
Internal Port Size1 inch
Country of ManufactureUSA
WarrantyLifetime warranty on control head/valve, resin tank, and brine tank

πŸ’‘ Features

Ion Exchange Softening & Iron Removal

The Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max uses a special resin that both softens water and removes up to 7 PPM iron.

NSF Certified Components

The components in this system have been certified by the WQA to NSF Standards for design quality.

Upflow Regeneration

Water flows upwards through the resin during softening with the Iron Pro Max’s upflow design, minimizing water and salt usage.

Lifetime Warranty on Control Head & Tanks

The tanks and control head are all covered by a lifetime warranty – the best warranty currently available for a water softener.

🚦 Performance

We measure the performance of an iron removal water softener by judging the following performance factors:

  1. How the water softener is programmed to regenerate (on-demand, timed, etc.)
  2. Whether the softener uses upflow or downflow regeneration, and its flow rate
  3. The maximum hardness minerals removed by the system
  4. Whether or not the softener has test results or certifications to NSF Standards for performance
  5. Any other performance features of note

Once we know these factors, we can have a clear idea of the effectiveness and efficiency of a softener’s performance based on its softening abilities, and how much water and salt is used during soft water production.

Let’s start by looking at how the Iron Pro Max water softener is programmed to regenerate.

The system uses an on-demand metered control head, which allows it to smartly regenerate based on the volume of water flowing into the system. After so much water is used, based on the initial programmed settings for water hardness, the softener will, automatically perform a regeneration cycle. This is more efficient than time-based regeneration because it only regenerates when necessary, minimizing salt and water waste.

Moving on to regeneration type and flow rate.

Like most Genesis water softeners, the Iron Pro Max is an upflow water softener – which means it sends water up through the resin tank during regeneration, which supposedly allows for more accurate replenishing of sodium in the used resin. You should save some water and salt as a result of this regeneraiton process, but based on what we’ve read about upflow versus downflow systems, we don’t think there are huge benefits to upflow regeneration (despite what manufacturers want you to believe).

As for flow rate, this ranges from 14 GPM for the 32,000-grain capacity system to 25 GPM for the 96,000-grain system – excellent flow rates that shouldn’t reduce your water pressure once you install this whole house water filter and softener.

Upflow vs downflow water softener process

Next, the maximum hardness minerals removed by the Iron Pro Max.

Some manufacturers of water softener systems share the maximum hardness that their systems can treat, in grains per gallon (GPG). Unfortunately, Discount Water Softeners doesn’t share this information, so we can only assume. Because the Iron Pro Max uses ion exchange – the most effective method of producing soft water – we’d be confident that it can treat even very hard water supplies with no problem.

Gensis 2 iron pro max performance

Is the Iron Pro Max water softener tested or certified to any NSF Standards for performance?

No. We reached out to the manufacturer due to some confusing information regarding NSF certifications online, but the Iron Pro Max – and all other Genesis water softeners – doesn’t have an official NSF 44 certification for soft water production. Its components are certified by the WQA to NSF Standards for material quality, which is promising.

Finally, let’s look at the additional features that are worth mentioning for this system.

Like most Genesis softeners, the Iron Pro Max uses automatic system refresh, which flushes stagnant water out of the system after 7 days of no use, preventing issues with bacteria buildup.

This digital water softener also offers quick recharge, a feature that activates when the unit’s softening capacity drops below 3% – something only a few other water softener brands offer at the moment.

In all, we think the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max is well worth considering if you have hard water with a dissolved iron issue. Although it isn’t certified for performance, it offers effective water softening at a fair price.

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πŸ”§ Installation & Maintenance

Installing the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max is the same as installing a standard Genesis water softener since the only difference is the type of resin used (which is pre-loaded in the tank).

While you can install this system yourself, if you’re not a fan of DIY, you might want to pay (about $200) for a plumber to install the unit for you. Not everyone feels comfortable cutting into their water line, installing drain lines, and the other complicated stuff involved in the installation process.

We recommend watching this video to get an idea of the steps needed to install the Iron Pro Max, and decide whether or not you’re up for the challenge.

If you’re short on time, you can scan the installation steps we’ve shared below:

  1. Pick a spot to install the system. This should be as close as possible to your main water line’s entry into your home, upstream of your water heater, near a floor drain and power outlet. If you use well water, install the system close to the well pressure tank.
  2. Cut off the flow of water to your home and switch off your hot water heater (if it uses electricity). Well owners should also switch off their well pump and supply valve. Relieve pressure and drain water in the line by opening a nearby faucet.
  3. Unbox the resin and brine tanks. Set them aside for now.
  4. Unbox the control valve and screen cone. Clip the two together, making sure to lubricate the o-rings, then screw the control valve onto the top of the resin tank.
  5. Connect the system’s inlet and outlet valves, then attach them to your water line.
  6. Put the softener in bypass, then attach and route the drain valve,
  7. Switch your water back on (slowly). Gradually open a nearby faucet.
  8. Add salt and water to the brine tank, then plug the system in.
  9. Program a manual regeneration cycle. Once the system counts down to begin a brine cycle, press “skip”.
  10. Wait for backwashing to begin, then open the bypass inlet valve.
  11. Allow water to finish flowing into the brine tank, then open the bypass outlet valve and continue programming the softener.

Maintenance is much quicker and easier than installation – you just top up the brine tank to make sure there’s always salt available for softening.

The user manual has all the information you need to know about how to install and maintain the Iron Pro Max.

πŸ“ Resin Info

The Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max uses a different resin from the majority of Genesis water softeners (check out our complete Genesis water softener reviews guide if you want to know what resin a standard softener contains).

The resin is manufactured by ResinTech and is called CG8-F Short Path Resin. What makes it different from standard resins used in salt-based water softeners is its design – it’s specially formulated for treating feedwater with high iron concentrations (it reduces up to 7 PPM dissolved iron), and also offers the benefit of faster kinetics and improved regeneration efficiency.

Genesis doesn’t share whether or not the resin is 10% or 8% crosslink, which is pretty unhelpful. ResinTech does share this information, though: the resin is 8% crosslink. That’s a shame, since all other Genesis softeners use a 10% crosslink resin, which lasts twice as long (about 20 years versus 10 years) and is more resistant to chlorine and chloramine than 8% resin. That’s probably the sacrifice Genesis had to make for a resin that could remove iron.

πŸ“Œ What else do we know about the resin? It’s tested and certified by the WQA to NSF Standards for material safety, so you have the reassurance of knowing that it’s safe to use and won’t add anything to your water.

πŸ”” Pros & Cons

πŸ‘ What We Like

  • The fact that this water softener reduces both water hardness and up to 7 PPM of iron is a huge benefit, especially for well owners. Most water softeners can only reduce up to 3 PPM of iron, max.
  • Another great feature of this system is that the resin itself reduces iron, so you don’t have to buy a separate iron filter (which costs about twice as much).
  • We love that you can choose from 6 different softener sizes, so there should be one that’s perfect for your water usage and household size.
  • This system gives you all the benefits of a Genesis water softener, including efficient performance and fast flow rates.
  • The lifetime warranty on the salt tank, resin tank, and control valve is all the reassurance you need if you’re hesitant to spend a lot of money on a softener.

πŸ‘Ž What We Don’t Like

  • If your iron levels are exceptionally high, or you have ferric iron (or precipitated iron, which is present in particles and gives water a reddy-orange color), the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max won’t solve your problems.
  • It’s a shame that the resin’s crosslink percentage is only 8%, meaning you’ll need to replace it more frequently than you would a 10% resin.
  • Some customers said their water’s iron levels weren’t altered after using the system.
Gensis 2 iron pro max control valve

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max remove ferric iron?

Yes. The Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max is designed to remove up to 7 PPM ferric (dissolved or clear water) iron in water. This water softener CAN’T effectively remove ferrous iron (iron particles). You’ll need a separate iron filter, such as an oxidation filter, to remove ferrous iron.

What’s the difference between the Genesis Premier softener and the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max system?

The Genesis Premier softener is a traditional salt-based water softener that uses ion exchange to soft well and city water supplies. The Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max uses a different type of resin, which is capable of softening water and removing up to 7 PPM of dissolved iron.

How long does the resin last in the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max softener?

The resin in the Genesis 2 Iron Pro Max lasts about 8-10 years. The exact lifespan of the resin depends on your water usage, your water hardness, iron levels, and other contaminants, and how often you clean the resin.

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  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

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