Do NOT Buy! Here Are All The Problems With Costco’s Softener

Read this Costco Water Softener review before making that purchase!

Using your Costco membership to get a softener means you only have 1 softener option: EcoWater. EcoWater softeners are not bad products but it is always worth looking at other options before you commit to one.

Water softeners are not easy to return (once installed) and it is something that you will own for a very long time. They are very expensive so you really want to get this purchase right the first time.

Costco Water Softener Review

Problems with Costco Water Softeners

Red CrossNo upfront prices. Costco will simply give you a referral to contact an EcoWater sales consultant.Standard Softener

Red CrossBecause you are dealing with EcoWater (and not Costco), you don’t benefit from Costco’s legendary customer service.

Red CrossEcoWater sales consultants are notorious for up-selling and over charging.

Red CrossCostco only have 1 softener option, which makes it hard to compare and see if there are better options.

Red CrossEcoWater do not have the best customer service reputation.

Costco Water Softener Positives

Green Plus Arrow

Owning a Costco Shop Card usually provides you with special offers or a discount on your EcoWater purchase.

Green Plus ArrowNo guess work required. A sales person will visit your home, test your water and let you know which machine option is best for your needs.

Green Plus ArrowEven though you might over-pay for them, Costco (EcoWater) softeners are generally good products.

Why Does Costco Only Have One Water Softener Choice?

Costco is essentially a wholesale retailer. They are able to offer very cheap prices because they focus on providing a small number of brands (usually own brands) in bulk.

Costco Water Softener ReviewThis means that they can save money on things like transport and extra warehouse space. The focus on selling in bulk allows them to sell their products at prices that are much lower than your local big-box grocery store.

These prices are often so low that it is still worth it after you consider the annual Costco membership fee.

Costco prices are reliably low for almost all their products and they have a reputation for amazing customer services and a legendary refund policy.

Unfortunately, not everything sold at Costco is a great deal especially when it comes to water softeners.

The Costco Water Softener Sales Process

Asking Costco about a water softener will result in them sending an EcoWater sales person to your home for a free in-home consultation.

This in-home consultation will basically involve a test on your water in order to determine which whole house system you need.MyTapScore Home Water Test

Then you get a quote.

This is usually followed by some sort of discount or special offer but you need to sign the contract straight away to secure the deal.

Most people buckle under the pressure and sign immediately.

But then they go online later, see much better products at much cheaper prices and regret everything.

MyTapScore Inforgraphic | Costco Water Softener Review

Why Is The Costco Water Softener (EcoWater) Sales Process a Problem?

Here is why Costco (via EcoWater) would send a representative to your home:

Red CrossThey can make more money by upselling you and adding on extra items that you might not really need.

Red CrossApp Controlled SoftenerIn home consultations give you no time to do your research and see what you can get for a similar price online.

Red CrossThey can entice you to sign the contract on the spot with a limited special offer that expires as soon as the sales visit is over.

Red Cross Most people don’t know much about water softeners and whole house systems so a “specialist” in your home will have a lot of authority and will be able to say almost anything completely unchallenged. A “specialist” will be viewed in the same way one views an engineer or mechanic so people are more inclined to buy what they are selling.

How Much Does a Costco Water Softener Cost?

Many people report ridiculous quotes from EcoWater softener. For instance, one lady was quoted $8,000 for a system that she was able to find online for $3,000.

Read the comments below my main EcoWater article to see more examples like this.

The Biggest Problem with Costco

Overall Costco water softeners from EcoWater are generally good products that work as intended and produce the outcome that you pay for. Most people complain about the prices, the sales process and NOT the products themselves.

Is Costco Water Softener Worth It?

In simple terms Costco water softener is not worth it.

You can get similar or better quality machines online for a fraction of the cost. People complain about lack of brand variety, pushy sales reps, pressure sales tactics and ultimately feeling ripped off.

Mr Water Geek ThinkingThis is surprising because Costco is known for always having the lowest prices but, sadly, not when it comes to water softeners.

Even after you account for a $500 Costco cash card discount, their basic systems will still cost several thousand dollars more than comparable machines online.

Whole House Softener Filter ComboThis is completely unnecessary when you consider all the options available from other brands. Most of which are easy to install with their own self installation DIY kits.

They also come with up front prices, products that you can buy direct online, recommendations of plumbers in your area if you need help with installation, genuine positive customer reviews, product guarantee and lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

Aquasana Salt Free Softener and Filter System

(Conditioner & Filter)

SpringWell Whole House Filter & Salt Softener

(Traditional Salt Water Softener & Filter)
Aquasana Whole House Filter
Pelican Softener with Filters
- Powerful salt-FREE water softener.
- 1,000,000 one million gallon capacity.
- Aquasana Rhino exceeds NSF standards.
- Treats hard water WITHOUT salt.
- Removes chlorine, bacteria, iron, sulfide, manganese, mercury, lead etc.
- Includes pre-filter, copper-zinc and carbon filtration stages with standard fittings.
- Treats hard water up to 25 ppm WITHOUT needing salt.
- 90-Day Pure Satisfaction Guarantee.
- Powerful salt-BASED water softener.
- Also includes a multi-stage filter.
- Easy installation (inside or outside)
- 6 month satisfaction guarantee and limited lifetime warranty.
- Sufficient for 1-3 bathrooms (options for more bathrooms available).
Does NOT require electricity or back-flushing.Requires electricity if using the electronic head monitor.
N/AEffectively treats: calcium and magnesium.
Control Your System With An App:? NOControl Your System With An App:? YES
Treats hard water UP TO 25 ppm (low to medium low hard water).Treats hard water OVER 25 ppm (medium to extremely hard water).
Sale prices automatically applied by clicking this link.
If there is *no* sale try coupon code:
Coupon Code:
Coupon Offer Coupon Offer
Ships to US and CA.
Ships to US, CA and Puerto Rico.
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  1. I am a Canadian, I find it so confusing with water softeners, osmosis system, alkaline water, I am a Costco member, Im looking for a home system most importantly for drinking purposes, I think, I would really appreciate a multi purpose system, one machine to be recommended and I am on a budget – hope im not asking for a lot. Please recommened

    1. Hi Lily

      Sorry it is all so confusing 🙁 Here is an over simplified breakdown:

      Water softeners – treat hard water so you won’t have limescale.
      Alkaline water – is water with a higher pH than regular water, many people claim health benefits.
      Reverse osmosis – the only system that treats every possible water issue.

      The best multi purpose systems are whole house filters and softener machines that treat your water for almost everything, like this one.

      However, if you are on a budget you might want to consider a reverse osmosis machine that sits under your kitchen sink. It treats everything and most people prioritize their kitchen water (cooking, drinking etc) if they can’t afford a whole house device. You might find this article helpful.

      Stay hydrated,

  2. As a frequent shopper at Costco, I can understand the frustration that some customers may feel when they notice that the warehouse giant offers only one water softener choice. However, there are a few key reasons behind Costco’s decision to limit their selection in this particular category.

    Streamlined Inventory Management:
    Costco follows a unique business model focused on providing its members with quality products at competitive prices. By offering a limited number of options in each category, the company can streamline its inventory management process. This allows them to negotiate better deals with suppliers, maintain efficient logistics, and offer more attractive pricing to their customers.

    Product Quality Assurance:
    Costco places a strong emphasis on ensuring the quality of the products it sells. By carefully selecting a single water softener model, the company can thoroughly evaluate its performance, durability, and customer satisfaction ratings. This rigorous quality assurance process ensures that the product meets Costco’s high standards and provides value to its members.

    Volume Purchasing Power:
    Due to its large customer base and substantial purchasing power, Costco is often able to negotiate exclusive deals with manufacturers. By offering a single water softener choice, Costco can leverage its volume purchasing power to secure competitive pricing and pass those savings on to its members.

    Consumer Research and Feedback:
    Costco prides itself on being responsive to its members’ needs and preferences. The decision to offer a particular product is often based on extensive market research and customer feedback. While it may seem that having only one water softener choice limits options, it’s possible that the selected model has proven to be the most popular and reliable option among the majority of Costco members.

    Collaboration with Trusted Brands:
    Costco has a long-standing reputation for collaborating with trusted brands and manufacturers. By partnering with reputable companies, Costco ensures that the products it offers align with its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. The singular water softener choice available at Costco may reflect a partnership with a brand that is widely recognized and trusted in the industry.

    In conclusion, while it’s understandable that some shoppers may desire a broader selection of water softeners at Costco, the company’s decision to offer only one choice is based on a combination of factors, including streamlined inventory management, product quality assurance, volume purchasing power, consumer research and feedback, and collaborations with trusted brands. By focusing on these aspects, Costco aims to provide its members with a reliable and cost-effective solution that meets their needs and expectations.

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