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Pentair Water Softener Reviews

Pentair Water

Pentair is one of America’s leading water filtration and softening companies. Their patented  under-sink and whole-house water systems claim to clean, soften, and improve the quality of a household’s water supply. Our experts decided to put it to the test. Find out more by reading our
Pentair water softener reviews.

Pentair Water Softener Reviews

For over 40 years, Pentair has been one of America’s go-to sources for clean, crisp, and pure household water. This is because Pentair specializes in in-home filtration systems that can be installed directly to a household’s water supply or underneath individual sinks. If you are unsatisfied with your local water but don’t want a large and conspicuous water filter in your house, Pentair offers discrete solutions for purifying and softening your water. But, what is the catch? In this article, our experts tested various Pentair systems to determine whether it
lives up to the hype and if you should consider buying one.

What is the Pentair Water Softener and How Does It Work?

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Before getting into the nitty-gritty details, it is important that we first explain what a Pentair water softener is and how it works. To answer is not so simple. This is because there are several kinds of Pentair systems available that vary in function and mechanics. When water is in the ground, it collects particles and other chemicals that naturally get added to it. While these adulterants are usually safe, they can make the water taste unpleasant or feel abrasive on our skin. Two of the most popular chemicals are magnesium and calcium, which turn water “hard” if they are heavily concentrated.

The Pentair water softener system is a mechanical appliance that is part of a home’s plumbing Regardless of the system that Pentair installs, all of them do the same thing—swap out the calcium and magnesium for sodium through a process known as “ion exchange.” Whether it is located underneath your sink or on top of it, a Pentair water softener uses a tank of brine solution and sodium ions and infuses it into your water supply. The positive ions from the sodium mix with the lesser-charged minerals in the water and repel the unwanted minerals intoa separate holding tank. Automatically, the system flushes the used brine and regenerates itself.

Hard Water 101

waterdrop plain

Water softeners take “hard” water (i.e., water having more than 7 GPG or grains per gallon of dissolved minerals in it) and removes some of the excess calcium, manganese, or magnesium carbonate chemicals. Typically, water hardness is measured in parts per million (PPM) or grains per gallon (GPG), with harder water having a high ratio.

Hard water can make soap and laundry detergent ineffective, make our skin itchy and uncomfortable, and even erode the iron in our pipes and faucets. That is why water softener systems are being championed by companies like Pentair and Culligan. Although there are no direct health risks associated with drinking hard water, it is still a good idea to soften your water if your water tests at 7 GPG or above. This is because there is some preliminary research from the National Institute of Health (NIH) that indicates that water hardness may contribute to cardiovascular mortality. Plus, softer water simply tastes better.

What Makes Pentair Water Softener Unique

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While there are many Pentair water softener reviews available online, none seem to articulate what makes Pentair unique. In other words, they fail to explain why Pentair is a better choice than its competitors, such as Culligan, Ecowater, or Kinetico. Luckily for you, we provide our rationale below.

For one, Pentair is a family-owned company that has been in business for over four decades. The water softening industry in America has only caught the eye of the public, for the most part, in the last twenty years. This implies that Pentair was among the first companies to pioneer and perfect the water softening procedure long before other companies followed suit. Pentair also relies on trusted brands and product lines when installing water treatment systems in homes. For example, they use GE, Fleck, Everpure, Wellmate, and Autotrol to operate their systems, which makes them even more reliable since each of these brands is well-respected within the industry.

There are more than a few shady characters in the world of water filtration. Even some of the big-name brands in the industry lack basic certification and safety inspection papers. That is why we trust Pentair because their products are certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) and NSF International standards, which are some of the most stringent in the world.

A Global Enterprise


Currently, Pentair is the only water softening company that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Pentair PLC trades under the symbol PNR and has seen consistent year-over-year growth as of late. This makes us a bit more confident in the longevity and financial security of the company.



Although prices are subject to change, and ultimately vary by location and geographical region,
we have listed their basic Freshpoint Filtration System prices below:

Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener, Black
  • Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered control head
  • 1.5 cu. Ft. Upgraded 10 percent crosslink resin
  • Easy to install with AFW install kit as pictured included, reliable long lasting water treatment
  • Complete system including standard 14x33 brine tank, mineral tank, valve with bypass and adapter
  • 1 Stage Chlorine (No. 158837): $81
  • 1 Stage Cyst and Lead (No. 158838): $85
  • 2 Stage VOC (No. 158839): $160
  • 2 Stage VOC Monitored (No. 158853): $175
  • 3 Stage SED, VOC (No. 158840): $195
  • 3 Stage SED, VOC, Monitored (No. 158854): $220

If you are interested in Pentair’s Freshpoint Reverse Osmosis Systems instead of a basic filtration system, you should expect to pay a bit more. We have listed the prices for their osmosis system below:

  • 3 Stage DF, 50 GPD, GAC (No. 161110): $327.50
  • 4 Stage DF, CMR, 75 GPD, GAC (No. 161111): $437.50
  • 5 Stage DF, VOC, 75 GPD, GAC (No. 161112): $525.00
  • 4 Stage DF, CMR, 75 GPD, GAC, Monitored (No. 161151): $475.00
  • 5 Stage DF, VOC, 75 GPD, GAC, Monitored (No. 161152): $587.50

Lastly, you might want to opt for an inline water filter system. These systems are beneficial because they attach under the sink and effectively become part of your house’s plumbing. We listed the prices for their household inline systems below:

  • Bacteriostatic Carbon B-14” FPT 2” x 6”: $18.46
  • Bacteriostatic Carbon B-14” FPT 2.5” x 11”: $31.38
  • Bacteriostatic Carbon G-14” John Guest 2.5” x 11”: $35.22
  • Bituminous Granular Carbon 2” x 10”: $10.39
  • Chlorine Taste and Odor H-⅜” John Guest 2” x 10”: $24.74
  • Traditional Inline Filter No Fittings: $11.06
  • Lime Scale B-¼” FPT 2” x 10”: $30.56

Our readers should note that the prices above to do include taxes, nor do they include installation fees. Rather, the prices reflected in the lists above are for the Pentair equipment only. For an exhaustive list of Pentair water filter and softener prices, see the official Pentair Filtration & Industrial 2018 Price List.

Coupons and Deals

reading news paper

At the time of writing, there are no coupons or deals for Pentair water softener products or installation services. However, we recommend checking in with the official Pentair website to see if any seasonal deals are in effect before making any purchases.

Should You Treat Your Water?


Hard water is a very common problem in the United States. If you are part of the 85% of the country whose public water supply qualifies as hard (i.e., >7 GPG), then you can benefit from softening your water. We recommend treating your water if your water scores 5 GPG or higher. This is because you will notice an immediate improvement in the taste of your drinking water, and your skin will feel smoother and softer after you get out of the shower.

Although these may seem like superficial reasons to invest in water softening, we think that the investment pays dividends if you consider how inexpensive most inline Pentair water softeners are. If you drink a lot of water, and like your water clean, pure, and great-tasting, we think softening your water is a good idea (especially if your water reaches 8 GPG or higher).

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water


The most accurate way to test your water hardness is to purchase a clear plastic bottle that can hold at least an ounce of liquid. Fill the container with the tap water in your home. Once the bottle is near capacity, add in 12 droplets of liquid soap and shake the bottle (with the cap on). If the water produces lots of suds, chances are the water is soft. However, if there are not very many bubbles, add in more soap. If your bottle requires 20 droplets of liquid soap (i.e., Dawn, Palmolive), then it is likely somewhat hard, and if it needs 40 droplets, then you can guarantee that the water is hard. Sometimes water needs over 50 droplets over soap to produce suds, which indicates very hard water. If you are in doubt about whether your water is hard and do not have the equipment to test it, see if white calcium stains appear on your faucet if left out for several days. If a layer of white build-up appears on the metal, then you can almost guarantee that your water is too hard. If you drink water from a private well, your water is most likely not harder than 7 GPG.

Public Perception (Other Pentair Water Softener Reviews)

public speaking

There is a healthy amount of negative and positive Pentair water softener reviews available online. To provide a summary of both the drawbacks and upside that others are talking about, we wrote a quick rundown below:

The Upside

On the one hand, many customers have praised Pentair for their speedy installation, straightforward billing (with no hidden fees!) and the longevity of their systems. Plus, Pentaircurrently enjoys an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and they only have two
registered complaints against them, which makes them even more trustworthy. Pentair has enjoyed a great deal of praise thanks to their salt-based water softener systems, which double as a filtration system. However, not everyone enjoys the taste of added salt in their water (the difference is negligible, in our opinion), so this must be considered before investing in a salt-based system. We read multiple Pentair water softener reviews online that went on about how great the Pentair is regarding user-friendliness. For example, their latest systems involve an LCD digital display and touchscreen which display water hardness levels and other status updates on a mini screen under your sink—cool, huh?

The Downside

Unfortunately, not everyone feels like they have made a noticeable impact on their water quality after they invest in a Pentair water softener. Rather, we read at least one account where the customer disliked the taste of their new water because it had a “chlorine-like” taste to it.

Another downside to investing in a Pentair water softener system is that the difference between harder and softer water is, for the most part, superficial. This is because there are no scientifically-backed health risks associated with drinking hard water (however, we have heard stories about Pentair salespeople implying that there are some veiled risks).

What We Think

Overall, we think that investing in a Pentair water softener is a good decision if you value the taste of your water and water to ensure that your drinking water is clean and pristine. While there is usually nothing wrong with regular municipal tap water, it is usually a far better option to treat the water to correct any impurities or mineral over-concentrations. To determine whether a Pentair system is right for you, you need first to test if you have hard or soft water. If you find that your water tests above 7 GPG, then we think that investing in a water softener will be a worthwhile choice. However, there is no need to buy a water softener if your water already qualifies as soft.

In summary, Pentair water softeners are some of the world’s most trusted. However, there is no guarantee that your purchase will be worth the money, no matter how inexpensive Pentair equipment might seem. Ultimately, the value one receives from their Pentair inline water system will hinge on how hard their tap water is.

Last update on 2021-01-23 at 08:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Steve - April 25, 2019 Reply

what under sink ro systems work well? I am low usage customer. where can i get? Amazon?

Hitesh - June 5, 2019 Reply

Please stop. Pentair makes defective product and doesn’t stand behind their product! I had two incident that involve Pentair water softner that malfunction and released RESIN in to my water lines and appliances. It cost me $2500 and simply they brushed up the issue as ” installation error” I am filing claim in small court for my damages unless i company covers my damage.

Jonathan - June 22, 2019 Reply

THese softeners are junk. We bought a Fleck 7000 three years ago and have had nothing but problems. Resin in the toilet. No pressure. Constant communication with Pentair. Finally told me to replace the resin at my cost. Did that now shows an additional error code. STAY AWAY!!!

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