RainSoft Self Regenerating Water Softener Conditioner Water Treatment System Review: Cost, Parts, Performance and Setup

On 8-13-2008, two weeks prior to buying a Kirby Sentria described in my review, The Kirby Sentria Vacuum Series Review: 2 salesmen from RainSoft of Pure Water Technologies, Inc., Knoxville, TN stopped by my home to show off the latest in water softening and purification systems. I was determined that this, though interesting, would not be an investment I would make. After lengthy conversation about water hardness and determining it was the cause of every item in my kitchen being replaced, I decided this was an item I not only wanted, but needed.

Unfortunately, like the Kirby, I’d never shopped RainSoft water filters online or elsewhere. (I’d never shopped for any water softener). We installed a whole house filter from Lowe’s and a spin down sediment filter two weeks earlier, but couldn’t tell a difference. When the tech from RainSoft tested the hardness of our water I was upset to see it had no effect. RainSoft then filtered the water through their filter which came out crystal clear with no hardness. Rainsoft determined my well water hardness was 36 GPG (Grains Per Gallon). It’s hard to explain how bad water like this is. I couldn’t use my water in coffee makers (break every few days) and we replaced everything that used water at least once including our water heater that was half full of sediment. I couldn’t drag it out of the closet and the heater elements where encased with calcium all around.

Here is my list of pros and cons on the RainSoft Water Treatment Systems

Sale and Service (Cost for RainSoft)

Rainsoft did an extensive demonstration on the many things they sold. I mentioned I only wanted the Rainsoft Softener, but they proceeded to show me the air purifier and osmosis filter, etc. All nice, but the Rainsoft filter with one full cube of resin was starting at $4600. That was costly enough. I bargained for $4000 cash and a year of salt. They also gave me a year supply of soap, bath, dish, laundry, etc. I would have bargained for all laundry soap if done again, as we still have a bunch of certain items left.

After purchasing the RainSoft filter we researched reviews online to find out any information. Like Kirby, we found a ton of negative reviews, but not about the RainSoft system, rather the service and sale. We called customer care and spoke about this with the rep that came to the house. He promised that their company had been in business for years and never had these problems. He even told us after installing, if not happy in a month he would come and remove the system. We took him up on his offer.

Major Difference in Taste and Clarity

I hate paying a huge price tag on a simple machine, but if it gets the job done I won’t complain. Within hours of install, we were so impressed I only wished we knew of it 10 years earlier. We had clean dishes in the dishwasher, without white residue, coffee and tea was clear and didn’t have sludge in the bottom after a couple of hours of settling. Water from the fridge tasted better, clear ice cubes and bath water used less soap without leaving a scum. Everything using water became amazing machines overnight.

Computerized Display and Low Power Consumption

One thing that distinguishes RainSoft systems from the competitors is the computer on top of the filter that constantly monitors the system while using little power. The large display is easy to read and use, but you probably need to call a service rep to come and change settings. We adjusted how often and when the machine regenerates two weeks in, because we could tell it was getting to dirty before self regenerating. On this display you can see the average water used in a week and day, and how much salt is being used as well as set a timer to refill salt.

Setup and Maintenance

We have a small doublewide with limited space. In my article Best House Cleaning Tips: How to Keep a Smaller Home Clean I describe my challenges and I was happy to learn that the RainSoft water treatment system could be placed under the house. Before installing, I prepped a 5×5 area with a ½ ft gravel to set the machine and then built a large would box to surround it. In addition I wrapped all the water lines with foam and ran heat tape for the cold part of year.

The system has been in use four years and works fine, but I think the extreme temperatures affect the regeneration process. The only major problem I’ve had is replacing the gallon counter twice which caused it to stop regenerating until I noticed bad water again. RainSoft has a lifetime warranty on some items, but don’t supply the parts. RainSoft replaced the gallon counter the first time free, but not the next. I think the problem is due to a design flaw, but nonetheless had to buy another sediment whole house water filter to go before the RainSoft.

Final Thought

My understanding from RainSoft is other water softeners will not guarantee machines for hard water over 10 GPG and mine being 36 GPG would not be cleaned with any of the non regenerating systems I reviewed. We are extremely pleased with the system and bought the largest resin cube they had. The year of salt was almost unimportant as the machine doesn’t use much. I have taken pictures to show my setup under the house and have a You Tube video to show the setting and design better.

You Tube Link: RainSoft whole house self regenerating water filter setup under house

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