Genesis Select Water Softener Review 2023

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Thinking about buying the Genesis Select Water Softener? Before you spend your money, read this review.

We’ve shared everything important about the Genesis Select Water Softener, including its specs, features, installation and maintenance requirements, resin info, pros and cons, and more.

🧾 Overview

These are 7 softeners of different sizes (in grain capacity) and flow rates (measured in gallons per minute/ GPM) in the Select Series:

  • 24,000 grains – 12 GPM
  • 32,000 grains – 16 GPM
  • 40,000 grains – 18 GPM
  • 48,000 grains – 19 GPM
  • 64,000 grains – 20 GPM
  • 80,000 grains – 21 GPM
  • 96,000 grains – 22 GPM

Because the Select Series softeners are downflow systems, they’re about $100-$200 more affordable than the Genesis Premier upflow softeners, with prices starting at around $750 for the smallest 24,000-grain model.

Regeneration differences aside, the Select Genesis water softener offers the same performance features as the Premier softener, including a 10% crosslink resin and on-demand metered control valve (although this is slightly smaller than the Premier softener’s 1.25 inch control, at just 1 inch).

πŸ“ System Specifications

Softener TypeSalt-based/ ion exchange
Regeneration TypeMeter initiated
Flow TypeDownflow
Resin Crosslink Percentage10% crosslink
Brine Tank Capacity200+ pounds
Electrical 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

The Genesis Select is a traditional salt-based ion exchange softener. The system exchanges hardness minerals with harmless sodium ions, eliminating scale and preventing damage to your plumbing and appliances.

NSF Certified Components

The components in this Genesis water softener are all NSF certified – although sadly, there’s no official NSF 44 certification for performance.

10% Crosslink Resin

The resin used in this system is 10% crosslink resin – the superior resin available today, with a longer lifespan and better chlorine resistance than 8% crosslink resin.

Downflow Regeneration

As a downflow model, the Genesis Select sends water down through the resin during regeneration, making it slightly less efficient than upflow water softeners.

Lifetime Warranty on Tanks & Valves

The brine tank, resin tank, and control valve are all backed by a lifetime warranty that Discount Water Softeners should honor on the occasion of a faulty unit.

🚦 Performance

We measure the performance of all the water softeners we review by considering the following 5 factors:

  1. The type of regeneration (such as metered or time-based), and its efficiency
  2. The flow type (upflow vs downflow) and flow rate
  3. The softener’s maximum water hardness treated
  4. Potential NSF certifications or testing to NSF Standards
  5. Any additional features that affect performance

Let’s start by looking at the type of regeneration.

The Genesis uses digital metered on-demand regeneration, which means that the system regenerates based on how much water has flowed through the resin tank, rather than regenerating at a set time every week. Most modern softeners use this type of regeneration because it reduces the salt and water waste associated with unnecessary regeneration cycles.

What about flow type and flow rate?

As we mentioned earlier, the Genesis Select is Genesis’ only downflow water softener. In a downflow softener, water flows down through the tank rather than up during regeneration, which is supposedly less efficient because the resin isn’t regenerated as precisely.

We’ve read mixed expert opinions about upflow versus downflow softeners. We think you’ll probably end up with a slightly higher water usage and salt usage when using this system compared to one of the Genesis upflow systems, but probably not enough for any noticeable long-term savings.

As for the system flow rate, it’s the same as you’d get with the Genesis Premier upflow softener, starting at 12 GPM for the smallest 24,000-grain softener. This is a great flow rate, and slightly better than average (most whole house systems have a starting flow rate of 9-10 GPM, and the average family needs a whole-house flow of 6-12 GPM).

Uplow and downflow water softening up-close

Moving on to the maximum water hardness treated by this system.

Unfortunately, Genesis doesn’t disclose its water softeners’ maximum hardness removal capabilities, so we can only speculate here. We think that the Genesis Select should be designed to turn even very hard water into soft water (with the right programming of the control head, of course), because of its ion exchange performance, which is the best available for effective water softening today.

Next, NSF certifications and/or testing.

The Genesis Select has an IAPMO Water Quality Platinum Seal, which means that its components have been tested and found to meet or exceed industry standards for quality. Plus, we reached out to Discount Water Softeners, who told us that the components in Genesis water softeners are NSF-certified. But, the Genesis Select isn’t officially NSF certified for its performance, unfortunately.

Are there any additional features that affect this system’s performance?

Not that we can see. The Genesis Premier uses automatic refresh (to prevent bacteria buildup by flushing stagnant water after a week of no use) and quick recharge (to partially regenerate when the softening capacity drops below 3%). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Select Series softeners offer any of these additional performance benefits.

πŸ“Œ In all, we think the Genesis Select is a great value for money, considering its effective softening performance, on-demand regeneration, and durability. It might not have the additional water and salt efficiency features offered by a Genesis upflow regeneration softener, but you’ll still get guaranteed soft water from a reliable system with a great service flow rate and NSF-certified parts.

Genesis Select installed in home

πŸ”§ Installation & Maintenance

The Genesis Select Water Softener has a DIY-friendly design, but not everyone will want to install this system themselves.

You’ll need to cut into your main water line and install a drain line, which you might not feel confident in doing.

The package includes the following:

  • Resin tank
  • 10% crosslink resin
  • Brine tank (holds up to 200 pounds of salt)
  • Control head
  • 1β€³ bypass & integrated turbine meter
  • Neoprene tank jacket

We recommend watching this video (which applies to the Genesis Premier and Select softeners) or reading the user manual if you want to get a gauge of the installation process and decide whether or not you can handle it yourself.

Below, we’ve shared a short overview of the steps involved in setting up and installing this system.

  1. Choose a spot to install the softener, upstream of your water heater. The install location should be as close as possible to the water’s point of entry into your home, and close to a floor drain and power outlet.
  2. Shut off the supply of water into your home. If you have an electrical hot water heater, shut that off too. To drain the water from the line, open a cold water faucet.
  3. Unpackage the brine and resin tank from the box.
  4. Attach the control head to the screen cone, then twist it in place on top of the resin tank.
  5. Connect the inlet and outlet valves, then hook the system up to your water line.
  6. Set the softener to bypass mode.
  7. Attach and route the drain valve.
  8. Slowly turn on your water supply, then slowly open a nearby faucet.
  9. Add salt and water to the brine tank, then plug the system into a power outlet.
  10. Program the control valve for a manual regeneration. Wait until the system counts down to begin the brine cycle, then skip the cycle.
  11. Once backwashing begins, open the bypass inlet valve.
  12. The refill cycle will begin, sending water into the brine tank. Wait until this has finished, then open the bypass outlet valve and finish setting up the softener.

πŸ“Œ As for maintenance, it’s a lot easier than the install. You just need to make sure the salt tank is constantly topped up (it can hold more than 200 lbs of salt) and use a resin cleaner once in a while.

You can learn more about how to install and maintain the Genesis Select Series in the user manual.

πŸ“ Resin Info

Like all the best water softener brands, Genesis uses a 10% resin in its systems, including in the Select Series softeners.

10% resin is an upgrade from 8% resin, which is still used by many manufacturers today. 10% resin is usually more expensive because it has twice the lifespan of 8% resin (about 20 years versus 10 years) and it’s more resistant to chlorine and chloramine, which are commonly found in city water. It’s great to see this resin included in an affordable softener, and not offered as a costly add-on.

πŸ”” Pros & Cons

πŸ‘ What We Like

  • Like all Genesis on-demand systems, the Genesis Select softener is designed to only regenerate when necessary, with adjustable cycles to help you reduce salt and water waste.
  • The system is designed for easy installation, and it’s super helpful that the Discount Water Softener website has video guides to make installation easier for visual learners.
  • Because of its downflow design, the Genesis Select is a bit cheaper than other Genesis softeners.
  • It’s good to see so many size options for this system. You’ll find a water softener in the Select Series that’s perfect for you, regardless of how much water you use.
  • The 10% crosslink resin is an ideal low-maintenance resin, with a minimum life expectancy of 15 years.

πŸ‘Ž What We Don’t Like

  • The Genesis Select softener doesn’t offer the same high-efficiency performance as the Genesis upflow systems, due to its downflow regeneration.
  • The unit’s 1-inch metered control is slightly smaller than the Premier softener’s 1.25-inch control.
Genesis select control valve

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Genesis Select water softener remove iron?

No, as far as we can tell, the Genesis Select can’t remove iron. You’ll need to install a whole home iron water filter alongside your water softener if iron is a problem in your well water supply.

What’s the Genesis Select flow rate?

The Genesis Select’s flow rate starts at 12 GPM, which means the system can treat 12 gallons of water per minute. The bigger the softener, the more gallons of water it can treat per minute. The 40,000-grain softener has a service flow rate of 18 GPM, making it ideal for large families of 4-6.

What’s the difference between the Genesis Select and the Genesis Premier softener?

The Genesis Select softener has a downflow design, while the Genesis Premier softener has upflow regeneration. This means the Select is slightly less efficient because the resin isn’t regenerated as thoroughly in a downflow system.

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  • Brian Campbell
    Founder, Water Treatment Specialist

    Brian Campbell is a water treatment specialist and water expert based in Denver, Colorado. He's always been obsessed with water quality, and has spent years testing all kinds of treatment devices from simple pitchers and portable devices to complex whole home systems.

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