RainSoft Water Softener Review
Meta: Are you reading reviews to learn more about RainSoft water softeners? If you’re shopping around, this guide can provide helpful information.
Have you noticed that after bathing or showering your skin and hair feel dry? Do you feel like you need to use a lot of detergent for your clothes to smell clean or you’re quickly using up bottles of dishwashing liquid to wash dishes?
You might be dealing with hard water. Hard water is caused by a buildup of mineral deposits, like calcium and magnesium that make it difficult to clean without using a ton of product. Water hardness causes plumbing issues and over time damages appliances that use water because of the buildup of sedimentation in pipes, valves, and filters.
Hard water could affect your:
Refrigerator ice maker and water dispenser
Hard water can end up costing you more money in electricity because it reduces how efficiently your water heater can heat the water. Because you might be consuming excess calcium or magnesium, drinking hard water from your tap or using it for preparing food can possibly cause health issues including:
If you’re dealing with hard water problems, then you might be considering purchasing a water softener.
Water softeners take out the heavy minerals, cutting down the deposits in your pipes, saving you from potential plumbing costs, and help your appliances last as long as the manufacturer intended. When you’re shopping around, one of the brands you’ll probably come across is RainSoft water softeners.
What is RainSoft Water Softener and How Does It Work?
RainSoft Water Softeners is a brand that might come up often while you’re in your research phase on deciding whether or not to buy one because the company has been in business since 1953. With their long history, it’s no surprise that they are considered one of the top manufacturers.
RainSoft gives you the option of going beyond water softeners and customizing your home with a full package to include water filtration and air purification.
All RainSoft water softeners are made in America, are tested by NSF International or the Water Quality Association. NSF International is an independent organization that tests products to ensure that they meet safety standards. The Water Quality Association (WQA) also examines and certifies that water softener products meet industry standards.
If you’re only interested in water conditioning systems, they have various options that can take into account the quality of your water, the size of your home, and the amount of water you use or consume.
RainSoft’s EC5 Water Softener uses a computer to monitor water usage and notifies you when it’s due for service, if the salt is running low, and if there’s been a power outage. You can receive notifications via an app that they offer, as well as displayed on the actual system’s LCD display.
It removes hard water minerals, can soften the water without compromising on water pressure, and has been designed to use less electricity than other brands. The system has a backup battery that kicks in if the power goes out, so the computer can still track the water data.
Water goes in through the EC5’s control valve and flows down through the resin tank. Inside the resin tank, there are millions of tiny resin beads that attract the hardness present in the water through a procedure called ion exchange. Once conditioned, water rises from the bottom of the tank through a riser pipe, out of the control valve to where the softened water is needed.
When the resin beads are full and can no longer hold any more calcium or magnesium, a saltwater or brine solution from the brine tank fills the resin tank. The brine solution washes away the hardness from the resin beads and flushes it down the drain.
The LCD display allows you to control and adjust the system to your needs so that you can determine salt and water usage. Their app can notify your phone or tablet if salt is running low. The EC5 comes with RainSoft’s lifetime warranty for the tank and specific parts.
Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon, so the grain capacity of a water softener is how many grains of hardness can be removed from the water before the regeneration process kicks in. The EC5 has many different submodels that offer varying grain capacities and tank sizes.
The EC5 also has self-cleaning, so you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time on maintenance.
The EC4 System is similar to the EC5 in how it softens the water, warranty coverage, and that it’s also controlled by a computer that calculates and adjusts itself to your water usage. It self-cleans for less maintenance on your part. However, the EC4 does not have the additional feature of status updates through an app. It also offers many models with various grain capacity levels and tank sizes.
RainSoft’s EC4-CAB System has three alarms that will sound to let you know when the softener is low on salt, has entirely run out of salt or when you need service on the machine. It has a large LCD display that lets you access information about your water quality, usage, and the tank’s remaining capacity.
If the power goes out, this model can retain data about your water data and programmed settings indefinitely, so you don’t have to worry about reprogramming the system after every power outage. The computer is designed so that you never run out of treated water. You also have the option of using potassium chloride in the place of salt.
This model functions similarly to the EC5 and EC4 but also has the option of including a carbon bed in the resin tank to provide an additional layer of filtration and cleaning for the water. The EC4-CAB regenerates at metered cycles.
What Makes Their Product Unique
In addition to 65 years in business, RainSoft has an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau, so you can feel that you are spending your money on a trustworthy company if you choose to buy one of their products.
All of the RainSoft water softeners come with a limited lifetime warranty on the treatment tank, valve, salt container, electrical systems and resins for the original purchaser. So, if you buy the system secondhand through a site like eBay, the warranty does not apply.
Some other major brands that offer water softeners, like GE, have warranties that only provide coverage for a maximum of ten years for the resin tank.
RainSoft is the only water softener with the wifi technology on their EC5 models that syncs to your smartphone or tablet providing you with real-time notifications on the system’s status. Their app, RainSoft Remind, can be used on Apple and Android operating systems and includes the option for scheduling service appointments.
Since RainSoft offers so many different models of water softeners, the prices vary. Depending on how your water tests initially before you even buy a system will play a factor in what level of softener you’ll need. Also, you have to take your tank size requirements into account. A bigger household with more people will require a larger tank.
Pricing information is not readily accessible on the RainSoft web site. However, various tabs can direct you on how to contact a dealer to inquire about what options you might be interested in.
RainSoft is sold directly from the manufacturer and is not found on Amazon or any retail outlets. However, they have been rated with a score of 4.6 out of 5 stars from customer reviews on the Consumer Affairs website based on over 300 reviews from the past year.
Many customers report being highly satisfied with the system and being pleased with spending less money on lotions due to dry skin and cleaning products because the water quality helps a little go a long way. Buyers are also saving time not having to scrub build-up from shower heads and shower stalls or re-washing spotty drinking glasses.
Reviewers also find that the customer service department is caring and helpful. Some people originally posted negative complaints with one-star ratings and then updated them to higher ratings after their positive experience in having their issues addressed by RainSoft’s customer service.
The most common complaint from most reviewers is that, although they like the product, the RainSoft water softeners are on the pricey end of the scale. Some buyers say they paid up to $10,000. However, they did not clarify if this was just for the softener or a whole house system, including filtration and air purification. Other buyers claim they were able to negotiate their price.
The initial purchase of the system, replacement filters, and maintenance visits are expensive. Also, the replacement filters are not available from third-party vendors, so you still have to buy directly from RainSoft.
How It Compares
The Fleck 5600SXT is a very highly-rated water softener available on Amazon. It rates 4.5 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. This model is comparable to the RainSoft EC4 150 CV treatment system. They both have:
Grain capacities in the 48,000 range
LCD digital displays for status information
Regenerate automatically based on water usage
Brine tank safety float to prevent overflowing
Power outage backup measures
If you’re handy, you can install the Fleck 5600SXT yourself, although you can also select the option of paying for installation. However, the RainSoft water softener does not seem to have a DIY option and requires having time set aside for someone to come for the installation.
Unlike the RainSoft EC4, the Fleck does not alert you when you’re running low on salt. Fleck offers warranty coverage for five years on the valve and ten years on the tank versus RainSoft’s limited lifetime warranty.
The Fleck 5600SXT was listed on Amazon for $629.
What We Think
If money is no object and you’re willing to trust in a brand’s long-standing reputation, then a RainSoft water softener could be the right choice for you. They do offer a limited lifetime warranty on certain parts of the water softener that could set your mind at ease.
Also, RainSoft claims they customize your water softener based on your individual needs so if you have a unique situation, then RainSoft might be the company that can provide you with the right solution to handle your water needs.
The only way to find out more about RainSoft water softeners is to submit a contact form on their website, call their 1-800 number, or contact a dealer. A banner on the RainSoft website claims that they are sold in Home Depot stores.
However, a search of the Home Depot website did not return any RainSoft products. If the retail partnership has been terminated, the RainSoft website has not been updated to reflect that.
You might be a shopper that prefers going to a store and seeing the product to compare it to others before you buy it and checking out different retailers to ensure you’re getting the best price. Some people derive satisfaction from shopping around, hunting, and finding low prices. If that’s the case, then you’re probably not going to get that experience with RainSoft.
Price transparency can be a big selling point for some buyers because seeing the price listed somewhere in writing guarantees everyone is paying the same price.
Having a sales person come to your home and quote prices for you based on their presentation and the results of your tested water may feel shady to some, as many RainSoft buyers noted in their reviews. The same can be said for the replacement softener filters that are also sold only by RainSoft and don’t have prices for those listed on their site either.
However, if you’re on a budget and you’re willing to buy a one size fits all system that can do pretty much the same thing as a RainSoft water softener, there are many other whole house water softeners, like the Fleck 5600SXT, with prices way under the $10,000 some RainSoft customers say they paid.