Wondering whether an EcoWater softener at Costco is worth your money? We’ve shared what you need to know in this guide.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- Costco currently partners with one water softener brand: EcoWater.
- Many customers are happy with their EcoWater water softeners, purchased at Costco.
- However, we don’t recommend buying a water softener system at Costco because you have more options (and will find better deals) if you don’t limit your options to a single brand.
Table of Contents
🚰 What Are Costco Water Softeners?
Costco currently partners with a single water softener brand: EcoWater.
That means, if you’re looking to buy a water softener system at Costco, you’ll be buying an EcoWater water softener.
We’ve done some research on EcoWater’s products, including the brand’s business model and pricing, to determine whether or not they’re worth your money.
🤔 What Is EcoWater?
EcoWater is a manufacturer of residential water softeners headquartered in Woodbury, MN. The company currently has three manufacturing sites: two in Mississippi and one in Minnesota.
Alongside water softeners, EcoWater also sells whole home water filters, reverse osmosis systems, and under-sink drinking water systems for filtered tap water.
EcoWater has a network of dealers, known as EcoWater pros, who help you with your water softener purchase.
What this means is that you can’t just buy an EcoWater water softener – you have to speak to an EcoWater pro first, who will discuss your needs, help you to find the right product and configurations, and (most likely) attempt to upsell whatever they can to you.
The process is the same when you buy an EcoWater product at Costco. You’ll probably see a stand in your local Costco store manned by an EcoWater representative. You can speak to them to book a free in-home consultation, and a water treatment specialist will test your water and discuss your requirements for a water treatment system.
If you’re happy to go ahead with your purchase, a local technician will install the water softener for you.
🔎 EcoWater Online Reviews
From what we can see online, EcoWater has pretty average customer reviews, ranging from 3 stars to 3.5 stars.
On Trustpilot, EcoWater only has 3 reviews, averaging 3 stars. One customer was pleased with how seamless and professional the purchasing process was, but another experienced poor customer service when their water softener stopped working unexpectedly.
On Yelp, EcoWater has over 30 reviews, averaging 3.5 stars. Happy customers praised EcoWater for their improved water quality, fast service, and customer service that exceeded their expectations. However, numerous customers complained that the systems were overpriced, and they experienced poor customer service and unfriendly technicians.
So, this tells us that the company itself could be better – but it also could be worse. We always take reviews with a grain of salt because we know folks are most likely to review a product or service when they’ve had a particularly negative experience.
With that said, it’s worth keeping these reviews in mind, and also considering that there are many other manufacturers of water treatment systems that have overall more positive customer feedback.
💸 How Much Do EcoWater Water Softeners Cost?
There is no publicly disclosed cost of EcoWater water softeners. Like Culligan and other companies that sell a softener along with add-ons like water testing, installation, maintenance, and servicing, EcoWater keeps its prices under wraps until you’ve arranged for a water treatment specialist to visit your home and help you figure out the water softener you “need”.
There are obvious issues with this: you might end up feeling pressured into buying something expensive, or you might unknowingly spend more than you should.
However, remember that you don’t have to buy the water system at any point, so it doesn’t hurt to get a quote.
We found a Reddit post from 2021 that discusses costs for EcoWater water softeners in a bit more detail. One commenter said they were quoted around $3,000 upfront, while another said they were quoted $4,200 for a water softener for a 3,500 sq ft house.
This is over twice the price of one of the best water softeners available today, the SpringWell SS. Considering you’re only paying extra for the installation, we think the price is a very poor deal.
✅ Advantages Of Buying EcoWater Water Softener System Costco
Buying any kind of whole home water treatment system online usually takes some work. You’ll need to research and compare products, choose the right configurations and add-ons, and purchase additional parts needed for the installation.
You’ll then need to install the system yourself or arrange (and pay) for a local plumber to install the system for you. You’ll have to program the system following the manufacturer’s instructions and stick to a servicing/maintenance schedule to keep the system in good working order.
You can avoid almost all of this if you choose to buy a water softening system from EcoWater at Costco, since EcoWater will test your water and advise you on what you need, install your softener, and provide servicing when you need it.
Over the years, Costco has offered incentives to folks who buy an EcoWater water treatment system at a Costco store.
In the past, Costco members got a $500-$600 Costco cashback gift card with their purchase. The current deal is a 15% Costco shop card that lets you get 15% off all your Costco purchases.
That’s a pretty nice incentive if you do a lot of your shopping at Costco. 15% off could help you save a big chunk of money.
NSF Certified Softeners
A major advantage of buying an EcoWater softening system from Costco is that EcoWater salt-based softeners are NSF certified.
An official NSF certification is an industry stamp of approval for performance – essentially assuring that a softening system can eliminate hard water as advertised. EcoWater’s softeners are also certified for barium reduction.
Of course, EcoWater is far from the only brand to offer NSF certified products – and there are plenty of cheaper softeners with NSF certifications available online. However, that doesn’t take away from the quality performance and reliability you can expect from an EcoWater NSF certified softener.
⛔️ Disadvantages Of Buying EcoWater Softener System Costco
From what we were able to find online, EcoWater water softening systems are unnecessarily expensive.
$4,000-$5,000 upfront for a regular-sized water softener is too steep, considering you can buy a similar water softener online for less than $1,500 – then pay around $200 on top of that for installation.
For most people, even the savings from the 15% Costco shop card wouldn’t balance out the extra few thousand dollars spent on an EcoWater water softener.
Considering that Costco sells its products at wholesale prices, it doesn’t make sense that it partners with a company that sells overpriced water treatment systems.
Another disadvantage of buying an EcoWater softener at Costco is that it limits your options substantially.
When you shop online, you can easily compare tens of products at various price points, so you can make an informed decision based on your findings.
When you shop at Costco, you only get the EcoWater range. That means you have fewer products to choose between, and you don’t really get to see what’s out there, so you might make an uneducated purchase.
You also can’t easily check out customer reviews while you’re making an order at the store, while this is one of the first things that many of us do when shopping online.
Not only that, but you don’t gave a choice whether or not you pay for add-ons like water testing and professional installation – they’re included as part of the purchase package, with no way to add or remove various options.
Inconsistent Service From Local Technicians
When you buy an EcoWater water softener, you’ll probably enjoy great customer service to start with.
Your water treatment rep will be helpful and keen for you to make a purchase.
But in the years after your softener has been installed, you’ll rely on local technicians employed by EcoWater to service and maintain your system.
Many customer complaints about EcoWater are about the poor-quality service they received from these technicians. Problems include unfriendly behavior, a “can’t be bothered” attitude, and poorly-completed jobs.
You’d be less likely to encounter these problems if you hired your own local plumber of your choice for servicing.
📑 Final Word: Are Costco EcoWater Water Softeners Worth It?
We think Costco’s EcoWater water softeners are worth considering – but don’t allow yourself to be pressured into a purchase if the price is too steep or the water treatment system isn’t right for you.
You might enjoy the fact that EcoWater handles everything for you, from testing your water and determining the right softener and configurations for your home, to installing and maintaining the system on your behalf.
But keep in mind that you’ll probably pay more money than necessary for the privilege of this hand-holding, and it looks like the quality of long-term service you’ll receive depends on your local EcoWater technicians.
We don’t think Costco EcoWater softeners are a scam, and there’s nothing wrong with the softeners themselves – just look at their NSF certifications – but you’ll probably find a better deal elsewhere.
You’re not obliged to buy a water softener from EcoWater, even after you’ve had a rep visit your home and conduct a water test. So it’s worth getting a price from your local rep and comparing it to the price of similar water treatment systems online. That should help you to decide whether or not an EcoWater softener is worth it for you. The answer will likely be “no”.