In this article, we review the following Whirlpool water softener systems.
Whirlpool WHES33 (33000 Grain Water Softener)
44000 Grain Water Softener
Essentially, Whirlpool water softeners are reliable units with pretty good reviews. We will note, however, that their most popular systems are ion exchange, salt-based softeners, which might not be right for your home (or even legal in your municipality). But more on that later.
Whirlpool Brand: How They Got Their Start
The Whirlpool brand actually has a very interesting start. In the early 20th century, one of its founders used his savings to build a company that manufactured home appliances. The company failed.
Upon selling the company, the founder, Loe Upton, was allowed to select one item of value. He chose a blueprint for an electric washing machine.
In the coming years, Lou teamed up with his uncle to give his business a second shot, and this time it succeeded, becoming one of the most popular home appliance brands in the USA.
How do their water softeners stack up? Let’s find out.
Whirlpool WHES33 (Whirlpool 33000 Grain Water Softener)
The Whirlpool WHES33 water softener is a 33,000 grain capacity softener designed for studio apartments and small families. It has a great hardness rating at 105 grains per gallon, a 1-year parts and labor warranty, and an NSF certification.
Not only does it boast some impressive features, but reviewers are pretty happy with it as well. It has a 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and 70% of those reviews are 5 stars.
Should I Buy the Whirlpool WHES33? Is There Anything Wrong With It?
Well, let’s look at what the critical reviews say. From a customer in Arizona: “Does not feel well built. May not last.” He claims support was less than helpful in figuring out why the WHES33 wasn’t functioning.
So, as far as ion exchange salt-based softeners go, this one isn’t too bad. However, the problem is with ion exchange, salt-based softeners. Because they discharge wastewater into the environment, many cities across the United States are banning their use. When your city is struggling with a draught, it just doesn’t make sense to throw away so much water every other night for the regeneration process.
If you live in one of those areas, you should seriously rethink purchasing this type of softener. Furthermore, if you’re environmentally friendly, you should know that there are alternatives to salt-based softening.
Whirlpool 44000 Grain Water Softener
The Whirlpool 44,000 Grain Water Softener, true to its name, is Whirlpool’s water softener designed with larger families in mind. A 44,000 grain capacity means that the system only regenerates after it has removed 44,000 grains of hardness -- which means less flow restriction.
While the Whirlpool WHES33 is designed for 1-4 people, the Whirlpool 44,000 can handle much more, as many as 5-7 people in the household.
They also claim to take the WHES33 and one-up some of its features. While the WHES33 can filter up to 105 grains per gallon, the WHES44 can filter a whopping 125 grains per gallon (or 140 grains per gallon; varying claims on their page). This is more than you’ll ever need, but it’s still an interesting feature.
What Are People Saying About the Whirlpool 44000 Grain Water Softener?
Unfortunately, the reviews for Whirlpool’s heavy-duty water softener aren’t quite as good as the ones for the WHES33. On Lowe’s, only 79% of people would recommend the system. It has a 4 star average, with 42 one-star reviews.
The most popular critical review, with over 20 thumbs up, complains about resin beads showing up in the customer’s water:
“Four weeks later, after thousands of gallons have run through the unit, we still find tiny orange resin beads in the bottom of our cups and glasses, clogging our aerators on sinks and pooling at the bottom of commode bowls. Perhaps some would be expected initially as the unit settled in, but not now.”
Other customers have part defects and general malfunctions that support was less than helpful in trying to fix. For example, take this review, titled “Failed in 30 days:”
“Unit was installed by professional plumber. Within 30 days, the bypass valve failed - it locked in the bypass position and could not be moved. When Whirlpool was contacted, they referred us to a plumber company located 120 miles away. “
Considering Price and Cost Should I Buy the Whirlpool 44000 Grain Water Softener?
Every appliance and company should expectsomepoor reviews. Whenever you’re designing an appliance, there are bound to be some parts and pieces that slip under the radar of quality testing but nevertheless cause issues in the person’s home. How you deal with those problems becomes the most important factor.
According to a handful of reviews, Whirlpool’s support isn’t exactly very helpful, and they likely work off of a script. Whether or not that’s a dealbreaker -- that’s up to you.
The Whirlpool 44000 grain water softener suffers from the same issue as the WHES33, in our book: it’s still a salt-based softener that discharges a lot of waste into the environment.
Conclusion: Whirlpool Water Softener Worth the Money?
The Whirlpool WHES33, their 33,000 grain water softener, is designed for households of 1-4 people. It boasts an impressive ability to filter hard water up to 105 grains per gallon. Most of the reviews on Amazon are positive, with only a couple complaining about customer service.
The Whirlpool 44,000 grain capacity water softener builds on the WHES33. It’s a larger capacity softener with an even greater ability to filter hard water (anywhere from 120 to 140 grains per gallon according to their page).
However, both softeners are still salt-based ion exchange systems. Even theLos Angeles Times has written about the widespread and growing ban on salt-based softeners. The fact is that they aren’t good for the environment, and there are alternatives that work just as effectively with half the hassle.
If you’re interested in protecting the environment (and not investing in a home appliance that might soon be illegal in your city or state), check outFilterSmart’s template assisted crystallization systems today.
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