You’ve heard that the Waterboss water softeners are cheap and cheerful, costing half the price of most water softeners on the market. But are these water softeners a worthy spend? Is the value for money there, or will you end up wishing you’d spent that extra $500 on one of the other “traditional” water softeners available?
We’ve tested the Waterboss whole house water softening unit ourselves, and we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about the three Waterboss systems in this Waterboss water softener review. By the end, you’ll be able to confidently decide whether a Waterboss system is worth your hard-earned cash.
Table of Contents
The Waterboss water softener is a whole house water softener and filter that softens water, and reduces contaminants like iron, dirt, and sediment. The Waterboss is a low-cost water softener consisting of a single unit, and has mixed customer reviews.
💲 Models & Upfront Cost
There are three Waterboss water softener models:
- The Waterboss 700 Water Softener: Around $500, which has a 22,000 grain capacity and softens up to 70 GPG hardness, filters 10 PPM iron, and removes dirt and sediment
- The Waterboss 900 Water Softener: Around $650, which has a 36,400 grain capacity and softens up to 90 GPG hardness, filters 10 PPM iron, and removes dirt and sediment
- The Waterboss 950 Water Softener: Around $530, which has a 22,000 grain capacity and is designed for city water, reducing chlorine and softening up to 35 GPG hardness
The Waterboss 700 and 900 offer iron removal and soften a high water hardness, making them better suited to well water. The Waterboss 950 tackles lower water hardness levels and doesn’t remove iron. It removes chlorine instead, making it a better choice for city water.
📝 System Specifications
|Capacity||22,000 Grain||36,500 Grain||22,000 Grain|
|Salt Capacity||120 Lb.||160 Lb.||160 Lb.|
|Dimensions||14.75″ W x 25.75″ H x 18.75″ D||14.75″ W x 30.75″ H x 18.75″ D||14.75″ W x 30.75″ H x 18.75″ D|
|Regeneration Control||Demand Regeneration||Demand Regeneration||Demand Regeneration|
|Regeneration Water Usage||12-16 Gallons||15-27 Gallons||12-16 Gallons|
|Regeneration Time||17-19 Minutes||21-38 Minutes||17-19 Minutes|
|Iron Reduction||10 PPM||10 PPM||0 PPM|
|Warranty||10 Years||10 Years||10 Years|
- Softens very hard water: All three Waterboss water softener systems can soften between 35 and 90 grains per gallon (GPG) of water hardness.
- Targeted iron removal: The Waterboss 700 and Waterboss 900 Water Softener can remove up to 10 PPM iron.
- Single-tank design: The Waterboss systems are all single-tank systems, saving space and simplifying installation.
- On-demand regeneration: All the Waterboss softeners regenerate on-demand, meaning they calculate how much water you’ve used and only perform the regeneration process when absolutely necessary. This prevents water waste.
- Salt-saving design: The Waterboss 900 and 700 use up to 75% less salt during regeneration when they’re used with water with a pH of 7 or higher and high-quality, highly pure salt.
- Good warranty: We were impressed with the Waterboss’ warranty of 10 years on the resin tank and outer cabinet and 3 years on the electronic and mechanical components.
Waterboss 700 & Waterboss 900
The Waterboss 700 and the Waterboss 900 offer virtually the same performance – the only difference is that the Waterboss 900 is designed for bigger families with slightly harder water.
Here are a few performance notes to be aware of:
- Both the 700 and the 900 come with a built-in whole house drinking water filter, which is self-cleaning. This is a pretty unique performance feature. Most filters would need to be replaced eventually.
- The Waterboss 700 softens up to 70 grains per gallon of hardness, while the 900 can soften up to 90 grains of hardness. This is ideal for homes with very hard water.
- The Waterboss 700 and 900 are highly efficient water softener systems, using up to 80% less water and up to 50% less salt than the traditional water softener. The systems reduce your salt consumption, too, only using 5 pounds of salt every couple of days during the regeneration process.
- Both Waterboss systems have an official NSF Standard 44 certification for removing barium and radium 226/228.
Page 5 of the user manual has more information about how to get maximum efficiency out of all three Waterboss water softener systems.
Let’s take a look at the performance notes for the Waterboss 950:
- The Waterboss 950 is designed for city water only. It has a smaller softening capacity (35 GPG) than the 900 and 700, and doesn’t handle iron. It does remove up to 3 PPM of chlorine taste and odor with its built-in chlorine filter.
- The system has a peak flow rate of 8 GPM, which is ideal for homes with up to four people.
- Waterboss says you should use a high purity, high-quality salt to maintain a good performance in this whole house filter and softener. That means no rock salt.
- The system takes under 20 minutes to regenerate, and only uses 15 gallons of your water supply and 2.5 pounds of salt. The 950 was designed to use less water than any other softener on the market.
- The WaterBoss 950 is also certified to NSF Standard 44 certification for barium and radium 226/228 removal.
🔧 Installation & Maintenance
Waterboss 700 & Waterboss 900
The single-tank design of the Waterboss 700 and the Waterboss 900 makes these softeners relatively easy to install. While most water softeners have at least two separate tanks, the Waterboss water softener systems contain everything they need within a single square unit.
Installation takes about 2-4 hours, depending on how familiar with DIY you are. You’ll probably need to make a trip to your local hardware store for equipment that isn’t provided with the product. The Waterboss systems do come with installation kits, but don’t assume that you’ll have everything you need.
The Waterboss 700 and the Waterboss 900 have a digital control head that takes about 5 minutes to set up initially. You just need to enter your water hardness, then choose between regeneration modes and the time between cycles.
Installing the Waterboss 950 is a similar story. The system has a single-tank design with a built-in bypass valve, so that’s one less thing to worry about installing. The 950 also has a digital control panel with an LCD display to set the system features.
If you’re handy around the house, you’ll find it easy enough to install this system in one afternoon. Otherwise, consider calling a plumber.
🔔 Pros & Cons
Waterboss 700 & Waterboss 900
👍 What We Like
- Both the Waterboss 700 and the Waterboss 900 are quiet. In our testing, we barely even knew that the systems were running, and they certainly didn’t keep us awake at night.
- If you’re looking for a highly efficient water softener, you should consider Waterboss. The systems only perform a regeneration cycle when necessary, so you’ll get access to soft water with minimal water waste. This’ll reduce your operating cost and minimize environmental impact.
- Being able to choose between the Waterboss 700 and the 900, depending on the size of your home, is useful. Most people will be good with the 700.
- You can’t fault the price of any of the Waterboss water softener systems. Most water softeners are at least double the price.
- It’s definitely a bonus that the Waterboss 900 and 700 offer iron filtration too.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- We know that amongst all products from even the best of brands, there are likely to be some defective products in the mix. But the Waterboss 900 and 700 have a lot of customer complaints about their quality. People have received damaged water softeners, or have been unimpressed with malfunctioning control heads and flimsy connections.
- If you do need replacement parts for any Waterboss system, prepare to pay a hefty amount for them – and Waterboss’ customer service isn’t great.
- The Waterboss 900 and 700 can only treat ferrous iron. Ferrous iron is dissolved iron – if you have any ferric iron (floating particles of rust), this will foul the resin bed.
👍 What We Like
- If you have moderate hardness and chlorine problems, the 950 is ideal for you. Its all-in-one, low-maintenance filter and softener design is undeniably convenient.
- Not only do you save money on the initial purchase of the Waterboss 950, but you save money while you use the system thanks to its water- and salt-saving design.
- Unlike some softeners, the 950 is quick and quiet to regenerate.
- With its sturdy, compact design, the 950 is a no-nonsense water softener for the average-sized household.
👎 What We Don’t Like
- Again, some customers had issues with broken, leaking, and malfunctioning parts. Read all customer reviews – positive and negative – when considering this system.
- Also again, Waterboss support isn’t great.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Are the Waterboss water softener systems best for city or well water?
The Waterboss 900 and 700 are best for well water because they remove up to 10 PPM iron. The Waterboss 950 doesn’t remove iron – it removes chlorine instead, so it’s best for city water.
How does a Waterboss water softener work?
Waterboss produces soft water like any other salt-based water softening system. The only differences are that the system has a built-in filter, and the brine tank isn’t a separate unit from the resin tank. After you set the system using the digital programmable control unit, it’ll soften your water supply as long as the salt level in the brine tank is at least 1/3 full.
Are the Waterboss softener systems safe?
Yes. All Waterboss ion exchange systems have safety features, including a pressure regulator and a safety shut-off, to prevent leaking or major malfunctions.
Can I use potassium chloride in the Water boss softeners?
Yes, but you should increase your hardness setting by 12% if you plan to use potassium chloride instead of salt in the brine cabinet.
Are sediment filters included with the Waterboss systems?
Yes, all three Waterboss systems have a built-in sediment filter. The sediment filter can’t protect against ferric iron, though.
Would you recommend the Waterboss water softeners?
Yes – but none of them would make our “best water softener” shortlists. The Waterboss systems are ideal for people with small budgets who want to improve their water quality and reduce mineral deposits without wasting excessive salt and water. However, it’s clear that Waterboss still has a few issues with design quality that need resolving to boost customer confidence.
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