Do NOT Buy Until You Read This RainSoft Water Softener Review

Last Updated on October 25, 2021

Systems that soften and condition water also filter water that your family drinks or use. There are many benefits to installing RainSoft water softener systems, including:

  • Reducing minerals that cause hard water.
  • Extension of the life of kitchen equipment and appliances.
  • Save money in soaps and detergents.
  • Remove contaminants that a faucet-mounted filter can not handle.
  • Convenience of bottled quality water at no additional cost or waste of bottles.
  • Cleaner and softer laundry.

If you are thinking about getting a RainSoft water system, read this article to help you through the decision making process.

About Rainsoft Water Softener

Since 1953, their mission is to eliminate water problems and help customers eliminate air pollutants in their homes. Pelican Standard Softener

They provide home water softening systems, drinking water filtration systems, whole-house air purification systems, water filtration systems and many other premium products.

You can not buy them on places like Amazon.

However, you need to go to the company direct or use an authorized RainSoft dealer.

RainSoft Water Softener Service

Basically, water softeners eliminate the high concentrations of calcium and magnesium ions in hard water.

The softening system removes the “hard” ions and this stops the ugly spots and white scales from the water destroying your kitchen and bathroom appliances.

There are many different types of water softeners and RainSoft is one of them. The following sections will help you decide if RainSoft is worth it.

RainSoft Water Softener Price

It is reported that the EC4 unit costs around $4888. This is according to “Lazy Man And The Money” and probably includes the cost of installation. Pelican WirelessThe lowest price that I’ve ever seen for the EC4 is $2750.

However, the general cost for a generic water softener is typically upwards of $1000. Of course, getting a higher-capacity model or one with more features will cost you a lot more.

In addition to this, you need to consider the potential cost of installation, especially if a professional plumber is not included in the price. It also does not include things like the maintenance and repair costs. For example, there will be extra costs for your water softener salt and on-going machine maintenance.

RainSoft Filters

RainSoft provide a number of products that include; softening systems, whole-house air purification systems, water filtration systems, drinking water filtration systems, and other water treatment products. Here is a list of their most popular products.

Water Conditioner Systems:

  • EC4
  • EC5
  • TC Series

Drinking Water Systems:

  • Ultrefiner II
  • Hydrefiner Water Filtration

Rainsoft Water Softener Manual

Here are links to the most popular RainSoft water softener models. If these manuals are not suitable for your model, you can try calling the RainSoft customer number 1-800-860-7638. If this is not possible, then try sending an e-mail to customer services via

EC4 Water Treatment System

Gold Series Water Conditioning Equipment

Computer “Q2” Valve Water Treatment System

RainSoft Water Softener Maintenance / RrainSoft Problems

RainSoft water softeners are prone to salt problems. This is mainly because they are grouped together in a single container. The result is that the salt and resin containers can be easily stacked.

Pelican Whole House Softener Filter ComboIf you have salt problems, your salt storage tank can absorb all the moisture from both tanks. This leads to something called “salt bridge”.

The end result of salt bridge formation is that it leads to salt accumulation. If the solidified salt does not dissolve properly, it will seriously affect the softening process.

This will not only affect the water quality, but also damage the machine in the long term.

How can one avoid these problems of the RainSoft water softener?

To avoid the problems I just mentioned, you should always check your RainSoft water tank regularly. When checking, you should look for traces of salt formations. Remove them all as soon as you find them. This should prevent larger formations that could damage the system and cause a costly service call or, worse, a damaged machine.

RainSoft vs Culligan

RainSoft and Culligan both provide good water softener systems and are very popular.

They also operate on a similar business model i.e. you need to call out a service person to come to your home to “demonstrate” and sell you the product.

This means that they don’t provide prices upfront.

It’s also a another possible reason why they are both among the most expensive water softener systems available today. Expect to pay thousands of dollars if you use either brand.

However, the biggest difference is that Culligan do not have good customer reviews. I have written about this extensively in my article.

READ: Culligan Water Softener Review: Here is Why People Hate Culligan So Much.

RainSoft Customer ReviewsRainSoft, on the other hand have significantly better reviews. So if my only choice is RainSoft vs Culligan, I would choose RainSoft every time.

But keep reading to the end of this article because Aquasana or Pelican are currently my water softeners of choice. And I will make the case for why this pair should be the basis of your choice too.

RainSoft Water Softener Installation

It is always best to get a professional plumber to install your softener. Installing water softeners can be straightforward and there are lots of good water softener installation guides online.

However, a professional plumber is needed when/if things go wrong with plumbing. Alternatively, you can contact the company directly for RainSoft water softener troubleshooting. You will also need to contact the company direct for a Rainsoft water softener filter replacement.

RainSoft Water Softener Dealers

You can go straight to RainSoft to see if there is an authorized dealer in your location. Alternatively, you can search on places like eBay to see if there is a second hand or refurbished machine available.

However, it is not the easiest water softener to find and there are many other options that you can consider.

Is Rainsoft WORTH It?

Buying a RainSoft home water treatment and purification plant has many advantages.

Green Plus ArrowMany of their products are tested and certified by the Water Quality Association or NSF International for their ability to reduce pollutants. This is a guarantee that their systems will work exactly as you were promised.

Green Plus ArrowSecondly, all RainSoft water softeners, water filters, under-sink drinking water systems, and air purifiers are made in the US with sturdy, high quality, durable components. Aquasana SimplySoft Results

Green Plus ArrowEach authorized RainSoft dealer is able to provide you with installation and on-going customer service.

Green Plus ArrowThe RainSoft in-home demonstration will often be very comprehensive with water tests and a thorough analysis of what is affecting your water. Many people find this knowledge useful.

Green Plus ArrowRainSoft also provide you with limited lifetime warranty, which applies to all products.

Why Rainsoft Might NOT Be Worth It

Red CrossThe biggest issue is the price. RainSoft prices are in the range of thousands of dollars, I’ve seen quotes up to $13K. However, it’s possible to get a good quality basic softener for a couple hundred bucks (e.g. Pelican) and a water softener / filter combination for a fraction of what Rainsoft will quote you. I will talk about this more later in the article.

Red CrossAlso, prices are not shown upfront and you need to schedule a professional (salesperson?) to come and give you a “demonstration”. This might make some people feel uncomfortable and means you can pay more since the prices are not fixed. Meanwhile you can go on Pelican today and pickup a water softener for a fixed price.

Red CrossI have also been contacted my many people who said they felt under pressure to sign up for a contract immediately and they deeply regretted it later.

RainSoft vs Pelican Softener?

The short answer is yes, if you can afford to get it Rainsoft is worth it. But that is if you can find it as it’s not widely available.

Mr Water Geek ThinkingRainSoft water softener systems are not as easy to find when compared to other popular water systems from Aquasana or Pelican.

Although Rainsoft is generally a good water softener, it has better competitors.

Competitors like Pelican, which is top rated because it offers better water softening capacity at a lower cost.

Why is Aquasana Better? (Salt FREE Softener + Whole House Filter Solution)

Green Plus ArrowIt effectively treats hard water up to 24 parts per million (which is very mrwatergeek winner badgehard) WITHOUT needing salt.

Green Plus ArrowComes with a powerful whole house filter that effectively treats herbicides, chlorine, volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s), heavy metals like lead and mercury. Aquasana Whole House UV Filter

Green Plus ArrowMore energy and water efficient which means lower operating costs.

Green Plus ArrowAdding the UV filter will effectively treat chlorine resistant cysts, viruses and bacteria.

Green Plus ArrowComes with a professional self installation kit, this saves you the costs of hiring a plumber.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsGreen Plus ArrowHighest rated products with numerous third party external accreditations including NSF certifications.

Green Plus ArrowBuy direct for a 90-Day “Pure Satisfaction” Guarantee.

Dashed Line

Why Is Pelican Better? (Salt Based Softener Solution)

Customers love the low cost (when compared to RainSoft), low to no maintenance, ease of installation and the fact that it’s very effective at dealing with hard water.

Pelican Whole House Softener Filter ComboUnlike many other water softeners, the Pelican is super easy to install for non-experts. You need to consider this machine because:

Green Plus ArrowComes with traditional salt based softener AND filter.

Green Plus ArrowThe multi-stage filter comes with NSF certifications.

Green Plus ArrowIt can take care of itself – almost no need to configure or maintain it.

Green Plus ArrowHas a apacity that can provide enough soft water for 1 to 3 bathrooms.

Green Plus ArrowThe fact that it’s top rated means that it is much easier to get answers online, manuals, information without needing a specifically trained RainSoft expert that will come at a higher cost.

Check Prices & Read Customer ReviewsGreen Plus Arrow Can effectively treat extremely hard water because it uses salt/sodium unlike some salt free options.

Dashed Line

Aquasana Salt Free Softener and Filter System

Pelican Whole House Filter & Salt Softener

Aquasana Whole House FilterPelican Softener with Filters
Treats hard water UP TO 25 ppm (low to medium low hard water).Treats hard water OVER 25 ppm (medium to extremely hard water).
- 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.
- 90-Day "Pure Satisfaction" Guarantee.
mrwatergeek winner badge
- Powerful salt-based water softener.
- Also includes a multi-stage filter.
- Easy installation (inside or outside)
- No waste water, requires NO electricity or drainage.
- 90-day satisfaction, 5 year performance guarantee and limited lifetime warranty.
- Sufficient for 1-3 bathrooms.
Coupon Offer
Ships to US and CA.
Ships to US, CA and Worldwide.
Check Price Button Check Price Button


  1. Hey Luke,

    Thanks for the information. Your info on water and water systems is REALLY helpful.
    Based your article I looked at Pelican water softeners. Pelican company highly recommended salt free systems as those systems have less maintenance and are very easy to install compared to the one with salt. Also no Reverse Osmosis is required if I go with salt free ones. I heard Reverse Osmosis water can have negative impacts in long run. Please suggest. My house is a 1900 sqft house with 2.5 bath.


    1. Hi Pradeep

      I agree that getting the Pelican whole house filter and salt free softener will mean you won’t have the extra hassle of needing a Reverse Osmosis unit.

      The PSE1800-P is suitable for homes that have 1-3 bathrooms, it treats up to 75 GPG (which is extremely hard water) *without* salt and also includes a powerful multi-level whole house water filter system.

      I also think they are currently on sale.

      Stay hydrated,

  2. It’s obvious you know your stuff as it pertains to all of these water softeners and filtration systems.

    That said, I’m still confused about the Whole House Water Filtration Systems where hard water is NOT an issue.

    We recently had a RainSoft distributer give us his sales pitch, or presentation. This particular gentleman is the “Director of Sales”, but his presentation has to be the absolute worst sales presentation I have personally sat through.

    He tested our water and found we do NOT have a hard water problem, but naturally his other tests found contaminants in our water. His presentation focused a LOT on the cost savings for cleaners, laundry detergent, shampoo, etc. by using the RainSoft whole house filtration system.

    Do you have a post/article on ONLY the comparison of the different Whole House Water Filtration Systems, and without any information on water softeners? There may be others like myself who are looking to tap your expertise on these systems.

    I would greatly appreciate any information you can share!

    1. Hi Jay

      Unfortunately, there isn’t an article like that right now because it’s almost unheard of to not have any hard water issues – in fact, this is the first time I’m encountering this situation. But I will write this article as a result of your question so thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      In the meantime you can check out some stand-alone whole house filters from reputable brands like Pelican or Aquasana.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. Luke, Thank you so much for the reply!

        I believe when the test showed no hard water issue the salesman was taken aback, and from that point forward only talked about the RainSoft whole house filtration.

        I did research the most recent Water Quality Report which found Action Level Exceeded for Lead, which is concerning.

        I am looking forward to reading your article!

        Thank you again!

        Link to that Report:

        1. Hi Jay

          I checked out your report and yes, it seems you definitely need to find something that can treat lead because that can be extremely toxic when consumed over time.

          I believe the Aquasana whole house filter treats lead by over 99%

          Stay hydrated,

    2. Luke,

      I hope you don’t mind, but I have 2 follow-up questions.

      The Home Depot RainSoft Salesman focused on the cost savings of having a Whole House Filtration System, specifically saying that we would spend significantly less money on things like Laundry Detergent, Shampoo, Cleaning Products and bottled water.

      He focused on this to show at the end if we could significantly reduce our purchases for these items, the system in effect pays for itself.

      Is this true with these systems?

      He also briefly mentioned the water we drink and use in our home can cause medical issues, and he specifically, although very briefly, mentioned medical issues involving the pituitary gland.

      I’m not asking for any medical advice or opinions, but you being an expert on this subject I thought you might know about this, or can point me in the right direction so I can obtain more information.

      The reason for asking is due to my struggles with medical issues for several years in which the Doctors have not been able to diagnose. And some are related to my endocrine system, which would possibly involve the pituitary.

      Thank you again!

      1. Hi Jay

        Yes, poor quality contaminated water can cost you more in terms of detergent, shampoo etc and it can also damage your pipes and appliances over a longer period of time. But I wouldn’t buy just for this reason because these savings are not guaranteed.

        I’m so sorry to hear about your medical issues. It makes sense to me that drinking clean filtered water can have health benefits in fact, it may well be worth trying a filter just to see if it helps alleviate some of your symptoms.

        Stay hydrated,

  3. I do own an EC4, going thru the dealer for maintenance has gone from $160 an hour of service to $240. Last issue that required a part under the lifetime warranty required me to pay $30 for shipping/handling for a part that I’m picking up. You could end up tied to a dealer that wants to squeeze $$$ after paying thousands for the equipment. As mentioned in the article parts are rarely available online. Don’t patronize Rainsoft.

  4. Hi
    I want to test our water so I will know what system will I be needing but I dont know where to start? Is there a water lab you can recommend?

  5. You seem to be high on Pelican. The RainSoft price seems way too much. 3 bath room home of 4, Pelican PS48 or PSE1800-PUV-7-P, and why? Thank you.

  6. Hi there! We found a used EC4. Do you think that will take care of all our needs? Or do you see any downsides?

  7. Just had a Rainsoft TCM salt based water conditioner/filter installed today. I thought I had understood what we were getting and what it would do, but now I think we were lied to, though I’m not sure. We have pretty hard well water, with an Aquasana RO system on the kitchen sink. I have a little TDS meter that I tested the water with before and after the installation. Before and after the installation, having run quite a bit of water inside the house to clear the pipes, we are between 390 and 450 ppm before the Aquasana filter. After filtration through the Aquasana RO, it was around 70ppm before installation of the softener, and is now closer to 40, after I drained the bladder and let it fill again.

    I asked the plumber who did the installation, if he was going to test the water after he finished. He said he could, turned on the hose for a minute or so, and then tested with the drops of solution in the water sample, and it only took one drop to turn the water blue, where it took 15 drops when the salesman did it. I have about decided that is a trick 🙁 I’m sure the salesman said that showed the TDS in the water, but my meter didn’t change it’s readings. In fact the readings on my meter are approximately the same when I sample my garden water, which doesn’t go through any filter, and the water in the house, even after the installation. In other words, I don’t see any difference.

    Am I missing something? Have I been railroaded? Since it was just today, I still have time to tell them to take it back, but I want to be sure I understand what to expect. Should my test of TDS have changed? What are they testing for with those drops? I’m so confused!!

    1. Hi Michelle

      TDS means ‘Total Dissolved Solids’ and essentially refers to the amount of “non-water” particles in your water.

      This could be contaminants like dust or it could be healthy minerals that are naturally found in water (e.g. calcium, magnesium, zinc etc). Hence TDS is not always a bad thing so I wouldn’t get too hung up about the number, knowing what the TDS represents is more important.

      Also, it makes sense that the TDS number is always changing because the type of water you receive is not static. Slight changes of your source water, the composition of your pipes and/or changes in your filter (which are typically made up from organic materials) etc will change the TDS reading.

      If you are really concerned about the quality of your water then perhaps try a more comprehensive water test to see what the TDS actually represents? A laboratory water test is more accurate and comprehensive than cheap over the counter water tests.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. Thanks for replying, but that didn’t really answer my questions… What are they testing for with the drops that turn the water blue? Also, shouldn’t my reading for TDS change, be dramatically reduced, after the installation of the rainsoft filter? The point was, my readings didn’t change, except to increase. I left a sample of water to dry on a black plate and it left the mineral deposits that the filter was supposed to address. I thought the whole purpose of the filter was to remove solids from the water. That’s why I’m confused. Are you saying the filter isn’t supposed to change the dissolved solids in the water?

        1. Also, the model they installed is TC-M 50 D. Is that a good one for well water? It is so hard to get information on their models and the degrees of quality, so I’m not even sure they installed what I thought I was buying.

          1. Hi Michelle

            I’m not too familiar with the RainSoft TC-M 50 D.

            However the key thing to look for with a well water filter is if it is capable of treating things that specifically effect well water like iron, manganese and higher levels of hard water.

            Stay hydrated,

        2. Hi Michelle

          Generally speaking yes, a brand new filter should lower the level of TDS in the water.

          However, this might not be the case if the filter re-mineralises (i.e. adds healthy minerals and nutrients into the water).

          Hope this helps,

  8. can I buy parts for the rain soft E C 4 I NEED THE RUBBER SEALS BUT DONT WANT TO PAY $ 600 FOR A SERVICE CALL .

    1. So we had the RainSoft rep today. He spoke of 2 systems: Conditioning (for minerals) and Purification (for Total Dissolved Solids). I understand the first (it addresses hardness of water). I’m not as familiar with the second. My TDS number was high (~800 gr/gal). It was strongly suggested that I install a Commercial RO system that would take my TDS from 800 gr/gal down to <50 gr/gal. So my question is: What is TDS and how worried should I be that my levels are so high.

      1. Hi Nan

        TDS means Total Dissolved Solids.

        This represents the amount of particles in your water. It is not necessarily something you need to worry about by itself because even some healthy minerals are technically “dissolved solids” so will show up on your reading.

        In the end it really depends on what the TDS actually represents (harmful solids or healthy minerals?) Further laboratory water tests (which are more accurate than cheap test kits) might help you decide.

        Stay hydrated,

  9. Hi Luke,
    Your RainSoft WS review is just perfect and up to the point. I agree with all of your observations, conclusions, and remarks. One question I am struggling to find answer for without asking the vendor is “Why do RainSoft reps mention that the refrigerator water filters are not needed when EC5/QRS system is in place while recommending an installation of their Ultrefiner II for additionally treating/cleaning water and make it “drinkable”?”. In my mind, if the water quality that comes to Ultrefiner II from the EC5/QRS system must be “improved” for drinking purposes, same water coming from the same RainSoft EC5/QRS to a filter-less refrigerator do also require additional removal of chlorine, iron, and other contaminants to improve drinkability. Am I missing something?
    Thank you.

  10. Hi Luke,
    We bought a house that already has the RainSoft system in it. The only thing we need to do is have them do the services for it. I’m wondering if it’s worth it, for them to come out and do the services? Everything would cost around $560-$570 (service, filters, center canister and carbon tank) , then every year it would be around $215 for a service charge and to change the filters. Then every 3 – 5 years it would again be around almost $600.
    Do you think it is worth it?
    We live in Southern California and the water is very hard water here from what I heard.
    thank you!

    1. Hi Jenny

      Most of the complaints that people have with RainSoft is regarding the upfront cost and not necessarily the system itself.

      There are lots of people who say it’s a great machine, works very well but they just feel ripped off by the cost and sales process. So if you essentially get it for free it might be worth paying the “small maintenance fee” to keep it going?

      Stay hydrated,

  11. I noticed you blocked my post regarding our rainsoft experience and how satisfied we were. You seem to be very very pro pelican systems and i was absolutely turned off by their product after a true side by side comparison. It seems your being slightly biased. Almost to the point where one would have to wonder if your receiving some form of payment for promoting the Pelican system. I am deeply saddened to see someone like yourself who presents themselves as an industry professional / Advisor would take such an aggressive stance against an established company like Rainsoft. Like i said we love our system and are not at all disappointed with the purchase. we paid $7900 for a (4) piece system, and the results have been noticeably better than the pelican system we had Un-installed. Since you seem to have no interest in letting my pro rainsoft testimonial get through, perhaps we can chat offline from this forum, I welcome your email.

    **email address removed for privacy**

    1. Hi Brian

      Your previous comment might have been blocked by the spam filter.

      If you read the article and my replies to other comments, you will see that I acknowledge that RainSoft systems seem to work pretty well and there are many people, like yourself, who are happy with their machines.

      The issue is and has always been the prices + the in-home under pressure sales process.

      People don’t like being charged up to $13K for a system that retails $2500 online from other brands and a lot of RainSoft customers feel ripped off because of this.

      However, if you are happy with your purchase that’s great!

      Stay hydrated,

  12. hello. Im in the process of looking to get a whole house water filter and R/O sink filter. Have you ever heard of Water Tech. I had a rep quote me for $6995 for a water tech reionator pro ultra with R/O system. My local water has high level of Radium, nitrates, and hexavalent chromium

    1. Hi Barry

      Yes, I have heard of Water Tech but don’t know much about it.

      However, I really don’t understand that high price tag because a standard R/O system will treat everything on your list and more.

      You could also get a whole house system and salt free softener for a third of the cost they quoted if you want further protection from hard water, chlorine, heavy metals like lead etc. But this is not necessary if you are only worried about the things you listed.

      Stay hydrated,

  13. We have well water with a strong sulfur smell, hardness is 16gpg, Iron is 1, Ph 7.8, sediment is problem. W bought a Rain Soft EC4 system fro $6000 installed. They said I needed a sediment filter ahead of the RainSoft, so I installed a 10″ 30micron whole house filter and it was OK, but after installing a 20″ 30 micron filter, and now I replace filter less often. That was the goal, so I’m happy about that. Tighter filters (10 or 20 micron restrict the flow too much. So here we are at 5 years on this system and it pounds like small hammer at the EC4 heads and water flow is pulsating. The dealer tech blamed it on our well, but I had the well guy come out first (I trust him thoroughly) and it’s not a well problem. Three years ago the well pump was replaced along with the pressure tank, check valve, pressure switch, etc. The tech called RainSoft and I overheard them tell him to check the inline check valve that should be within 12″ of the EC4. The dealer had never installed a check valve, so I asked why they didn’t do it at installation if the factory insists on a check valve just before the EC4. He had no reasonable reply. This hammering is not just annoying, it’s frustrating because the dealer tech said we needed to have the 3 valves in the EC4 system rebuilt. They did that for $750 “the cost of the valves” and no extra charge for the check valve that he installed. Of course, it acted fine until the day after he left. It is still exhibiting pulsing water flow and hammering. The tech said it might be the fiberglass liners in the EC4 tanks making the noise. The noise is definitely in the EC4 controls or tanks. Water that doesn’t pass through the EC4 doesn’t hammer or pulsate while the EC4 is acting up. Have you any ideas on this problem?
    Secondly, we are 2 adults who don’t use much water in a 2 /12 bath home. Do you think the AquaSana Rhino EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST would be right for us? I’m tired of hauling slat to the basement.

    1. Hi Ken

      The issue with Aquasana is that it only works with low levels of hard water gpg (25ppm which I calculate to be 1.458gpg).

      So you may want to consider Pelican’s salt free option that treats up to 75 gpg, check out their
      well water combo
      since it has a sediment filter, treats iron, manganese etc.

      Stay hydrated,

  14. I have a rainsoft EC-5 and it has been nothing but trouble. First they put it outside in Florida weather and connected it with a plug strip instead of wiring it or whatever you do. I read the manual and it is suppose to be inside protected from the elements. So they came and moved it. Then the water out of the 100 gallon tank was out so we had to bypass till it was repaired. We have had them out at least 10 times and we have had it almost 2 years. We were told by the last service man that the EC-5 is very sensitive and he had to change the membrane so the system work function. The membrane was $500 so I would suggest not buying this system because it seems to be a money pit. We paid 13 thousand thinking we were getting the best. Needless to say we wouldn’t recommend it. We just moved in and we couldn’t stand the water. I feel we have a product that they have not worked out all the issues it has and service men will tell you they are not sure of what to do and they call in to find out. Sop don’t waste your money, talk to a plumber and take his advice on what works and what doesn’t work.

  15. I have had a Rainsoft system for years and i initially loved it. Wasn’t a fan of carrying large bags of salt. But overall the system worked well. My issue began when the salt tank/ brine tank began to fill up with water. Rainsoft came out and “fixed” the issue. Or so i thought. Months after this “repair” i noticed that the salt level had not changed which was not normal. I had them come back, at an additional cost. This time thet cleared a “salt bridge” issue, reprogrammed the system. At this point i have not had to put salt in this thing for like two years. Obviously, there is a problem. What is my best course of action because i refuse to keepva system that is not working. I need an exit strategy.

  16. I have a few more figures, if that might help anyone.

    98.00 Service Calls
    350.00 Whole-Home Filter (add Service Call of 98.00) – Every 5-7 years
    178.00 Membrane – Every 3-5 years
    89.50 Two Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filters – Every 1-1.5 years
    There is a 1-year service call to check the entire system and add two RO filters which is free.

    I did the calculations for an annual maintenance cost (NOT including paying cash up front or making payments for the system itself) using the lowest number of years listed for each item. It comes to an average of about $235 per year ($20 per month) figured over 15 years (if the costs stay the same for 15 years).

  17. Luke, what a great site you’ve created! Thank you for the info.

    We had the RainSoft three-hour sales pitch just last night. We didn’t buy, in large part because I decided many, many years ago that I would not make any major decision while still in the presence of the salesperson. I told him I would call him today and let him know one way or the other. He was disappointed and tried to “imply” that the price would not be good after he left last night but, when pressed, he admitted it would.

    It was $8,869, then brought down to $7,982 which could be financed with no down payment or installation fee at 10.9 percent interest which meant $120 per month for nine years, simple interest. (The total of those payments would equal $12,960.) Or we could get a four percent discount on the $7,982 if we paid cash.

    Against that he was figuring we would save on bottled water, filters, wear and tear on our appliances and clothes, wasted energy costs plus the soap and cleaning products we could order from them at no additional cost. This amounted to savings of $135 per month, $8,100 over five years, $16,200 over 10 years or $32,400 over 20 years. (We would be able to order soap, detergent, shampoo and cleaning products from their site for up to five years or $6,131 worth, whichever came first; at which time we could pay an additional $495 for another five years or $6,131 worth of their products.)

    I was leaning toward purchasing… then I started reading your information and all the comments on your site. I’m viewing things quite a bit differently now.

    One of the things that bothered me about the sales pitch was some of the claims made. Might you know which, if any, of these things have been proven by any independent sources — or maybe if any of your commenters have testified to their accuracy?
    1. It takes much less soap/detergent to clean things.
    2. Clothes will last longer.
    3. There is more chlorine in tap water than in a swimming pool.
    4. Fluoride is poison.
    5. Allergies can disappear some time after a RainSoft installation.
    6. Untreated tap water contributes to Alzheimer’s/Dementia and Attention Deficit Disorder.
    7. He is convinced he would not have required surgery for prostate cancer if he had been using RainSoft prior to that time.

    I’d love to know if there are studies to back up these claims. And I thank you again for such an informative site.

    1. Hi S Speer

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you found this content useful 🙂

      Some of those claims seem absolutely outlandish to me and I would love to know the validity / credible sources as much as you do!

      The only things that I know to be true are:

      1: Yes, soft water will require less soap/detergent than regular or hard water.
      2: Yes, clothes will last longer with soft water because hard water wrecks havoc with fabric (especially things like silk etc.) The same also applies to hair.

      I’ve seen many claims about fluoride being a poison but I don’t see how we would all happilly consume it everyday in the form of toothpaste if this was the case? Also, many municipal governments routinely add fluoride to tap water. I suspect it could be harmful if consumed in a large concentrated amount but I feel this claim is wildly exaggerated.

      And I’m completely confounded by the rest of his claims! But I’m sure someone else will add to this comment thread and educate us both 🙂

      Stay hydrated,

  18. Great article. Thank you for the insight. I’d appreciate your feedback based on my scenario. We live in Orlando Florida which we have very poor water here. Our water hardness is the 130s which is extremely high I know. My house has 4 bathrooms and we are looking to get our water cleaned and remove that chlorine feeling when you take a shower and the water to taste good. We received a quote from Rainsoft for there smart system EC5 which would be for 2 units and a salt machine for $6,495. They told me it has a lifetime warranty and only every 10 years I would need maintenance for $150. Do you think this is the best system for my family?

    1. Hi Samantha

      If you can afford it and they offer you strong guarantees then I see no reason why you shouldn’t go with RainSoft. All the complaints regarding RainSoft are related to what people see as their inflated prices, there are hardly any complaints when it comes to the quality of their machines.

      However, something like a Pelican softener filter combo for 4-6 bathrooms would meet your requirements at a much lower price so it’s also worth shopping around before you settle with RainSoft.

      Stay hydrated,

  19. Salt or Salt-free…

    Confused on the options. Had Pelican, Culligan and Rainsoft come and give their pitch. Pelican started with no-salt based system and now we are getting a salt based system quoted too. Rainsoft was ofcourse the most expensive. Our hardness is 100ppm or around 8PPG. Thoughts? I don’t want to compromise on water pressure either in the house.

    Thanks in advance and appreciate you maintaining this blog!

    1. Hi Vishal

      I don’t know why companies always try to push their salt free options first because they are not good for most people that have hard water. For example, the Aquasana salt-free option only treats 25ppm (and you have 4x that amount).

      Also, your water might become harder over time so I’d stick to a salt based option. I have researched and written about Culligan in the past and found a lot of issues especially re:customer care/poor online reviews.

      So I would personally go for Pelican’s salt based as it will easily treat your level of hardness, will not affect water presure and will filter at the same time. They have reasonably good customer service and no where near as expensive as RainSoft etc.

      Just my 2 cents 🙂

      Stay hydrated,

  20. Hi Luke,

    We are about to start looking into water system also. First question, Will the Aquasana(or any of them) system work on a mobile home?

    1. Hi Leslie

      Yes, I think this is technically possible if you can directly access the main water supply (into the home) and have enough space to install a whole house water system.

      Stay hydrated,

  21. Hi, Mr WaterGeek,
    I’m one of those who bought into the sales pitch and now deeply regrets it. I’m a 78 yr old senior living alone in a new city and trying to get settled in the midst of a Pandemic. Never in my life have I ever bought into something without thorough research and I could kick myself now for doing so. I just live in a 1500 SF Condo and was originally quoted a total of $7550. Later on I read about the 3 day cancellation and that got me thinking about what would happen if I wanted to cancel later. The next day I called them to ask that question and was told that was not an option but they would lower the price of my unit to $6800, and like a dope I went ahead with it. Later, talking with friends and looking online I realized I could have gotten one for much less. I’m so mad at myself. Have you ever heard of them renegotiating a price after installation or are there any other recourses available to me? Never in my 78 years have I ever done anything so foolish

    1. Hi Beth

      First things first, please try not to beat yourself up about this, you’re not the only person that regrets making an impulse decision – in fact, I’ve made many of those myself! Also, you can see from all the comments from other people who fell into the same trap.

      OK, so your recourse options will depend on how recently you purchased and your method of payment.

      Since it seems you’ve already gone passed the statutory FTC 3 day cooling off period perhaps see if your credit card company can do a charge back?

      This would be if you feel you were mis-sold in any way or if the product is in any way unsatisfactory. If the credit card company is able to help you then go back to RainSoft and re-negotiate letting them know that you will get the credit card company to intervene if they don’t co-operate.

      If you used a third party payment platform like PayPal, they might also be able to help if you open a dispute.

      Other than that simply call them and tell them you feel ripped off and ask them to re-negotiate as they clearly over-charged you.

      Hope this helps.
      Stay hydrated,

    1. Because it doesn’t use salt (so less on-going maintenance) and has very powerful filters that treat everything from bacteria, pharmaceuticals to lead.

      This means you can literally drink the water directly from your faucet without needing extra filters.

  22. Luke
    I purchased RainSoft whole house water treatment /water softener ,TC 50 ct, 12/1/15 and RO system under sink, UF11-FMAG. ( well water to house). They have scheduled regularly system check and filter under sink replacement, however about 1 and half years ago sulfur smell started from the RO system about every 2months after filter replacement smell starts again. I called RainSoft Corp tech service and was told for local service to call , which I did- local rep remove RO to sanitize and installed July 27 , Sept 16 smell started again. As info I questioned the tech on placement of drain line into sink outflow pipe since garbage disposal also is on same pipe. I get no response. I called to speak with local dealer from whom I purchased equipment and was told they are not responsible for my well . They installed a whole house system and there is no problem water anywhere in the house except the RO. What is going on?

    1. Hi Frank

      My guess is that the RO system is failing to treat any sulfur from your water.

      It might be the case that RainSoft RO systems are incapable of treating sulfur so simply replacing the filter will not improve the situation.

      You will most likely have to get a filter system that treats sulfur as this is clearly contaminating your water.

      Stay Hydrated,

  23. Hi Luke,
    This is a great article and thank you so much for responding and educating. I am moving into a large home in NJ. I am concerned about the water. I reviewed EWG’s drinking water quality report and found the water has more than the recommended amount of 31 contaminants including arsenic and bromodichloromethane. What system is best to cover as many contaminants as possible?

    1. Hi Eddie

      It really depends on how serious your arsenic and bromodichloromethane contamination is. If very high then you probably need a dedicated arsenic filter.

      If the levels are low and you have lots of other contaminants then Aquasana is a good all round filter that treats the most common things that effect tap water including hard water up to 25ppm, chlorine, heavy metals like lead and mercury.

      Stay hydrated,

  24. Hi Luke,

    Thank you for the recommendation! I called Aquasana to discuss about their OptimH2O. Since my house is greater than 3500 sq ft, Aquasana recommended that I buy 2 of the OptimH2O systems, plus 2 salt-free conditioners, and one UV filter. The total cost of this setup was quoted to about $4,800. Which is not bad. But then I was told about all of the filter changes that I needed to do on a 6 month, yearly, and every other year basis, and it would come out to spending about $1000-1200 more every 2 years to maintain the system. So over 10 years the cost comes out to roughly be the same as RainSoft’s system with their lifetime warranty. And every 10 years I was told I would need to completely replace the 2 salt-free conditioners, so now the cost is even higher. At this time point, Aquasana is coming out to be even more expensive than RainSoft. Am I missing anything in my calculations?

    1. Hi Sumit

      Wow I didn’t realise your house was so big. A single Aquasana device always beats RainsSoft prices but I had no idea you would need x2.

      OK check with Pelican. I know their machines treat chloramines and I think the have a version that treats homes that have up to 6 bathrooms.

      Salt based softener and filter OR Salt free softener and filter.

      The only issue is that it might not treat heavy metals like lead etc. The OptimH20 is still one of the most powerful home filters I know.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. Hi Luke,

        Again thank you for the recommendation for Pelican. I will definitely check them out. One question I have is the maintenance of water filtration and softener systems. Is it typical for all systems to have some sort of maintenance on a 6 months or 12 months basis? Reason I ask is because I have gotten sales pitches from 2 different brands of whole house water softener and filtration systems (1 of them being Rainsoft) where I was told that there was no maintenance required. The system would automatically clean itself out every week or so depending on our water usage. So when I heard about all of the filter changes and maintenances required for Aquasoft, I was surprised. And when I researched online, it seems like the consensus is that almost all systems need some sort of regular maintenance. So my inquiry is was I being lied to by the other 2 companies I spoke with? Sorry for the many questions, but with so much information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe.

        1. Hi Sumit

          If by maintenance you mean filter changes and checking / adding salt (if it is a salt based system) then yes I can not imagine a completely maintenance free system.

          Thankfully modern softeners are pretty good at taking care of themselves but given how hard they work (and the fact that they typically work non-stop) you will still have to check them from time to time.

          It doesn’t make sense for a company to lie to you about the high level of on-going maintenance (and cost) of maintaining their product.

          So I think you are right to be skeptical about the company claiming you won’t have to lift a finger after you install their device. Especially if your home is very big and therefore you most likely have a very high level of water consumption.

          If after all of this you still decide to use RainSoft please force them to spell out exactly what on-going maintenance their system requires in realistic terms – for the size of your home. Ideally get this in writing.

          Stay hydrated,

  25. Hi Luke,

    I also arrived at your extremely informative website after going through a RainSoft demo setup through Home Depot and being shocked with the $8K sticker price, like so many others. I was expecting to be quoted a higher price than what I could find for other systems online since you know.. Home Depot’s gotta get their cut. But $8K was double of what I was expecting. Anyways, I did not say yes even though I’m sure they have a great product, and I’m glad I found your website.

    My question for you is do the Aquasana systems also eliminate chloramines in addition to chlorines?

    1. Hi Sumit

      The Aquasana EQ-400 is designed to additionally treat both chloramines and chlorine.

      Just make sure you add the “salt-free water conditioner” and “UV filter” options if you want it to also treat hard water, organic chemicals, bacteria, viruses etc.

      Alternatively, the OptimH20 will treat all of the above and heavy metals like lead by over 99%

      Stay hydrated,

  26. Hi Luke!

    I was wondering if you could help me decide between Aquasana Rhino and my plumbers “go-to” Xtreme 89 HTO Twin tank system. I think I don’t want salt but I’m not totally sure about advantages vs disadvantages between these systems. Can you please help?

  27. Hello Luke,

    How does Aquasana Reverse Osmosis compare to Life Ionizer MXL-11 Alkaline water. What’s your opinion of Alkaline water system?

    Thank You.

  28. That’s exactly what I was thinking reading through the comments. I’m sure it’s part of the tactic to wear the buyer down to the point they just want it to be over. I read that people have spent $10k-$13k on these systems, and it blows my mind. Not calling out the buyers at all, I understand everyone is different when it comes to negotiations, and value is different for everybody. I’m more blown away that the company is OK with gouging their customers like that. That markup has to be astronomical.

    In any case, thank you for your feedback. I will most likely go with the Aquasana as my water is under the 25ppm threshold. Everything I’ve read about it seems to be on the up-and-up.

    The final advice I’ll ask you for is this: Rhino or OptimH20? I’m going to add the Salt-free Water Conditioner and the UV filter for either. Just wondering if the $3k OptimH20 system is really worth it over the $2100 Rhino?

    1. Hi Mike

      The reason the OptimH20 is so much more expensive than the Rhino is the filters are able to treat things that other filters simply can’t cope with. The most impressive, in my opinion, is that it effectively removes things like lead (by over 99%), cysts, chlorine etc.

      I personally don’t have heavy metals like lead or mercury in my water but I take the view that if I’m already spending that kind of money then I’d happily spend a little extra to make sure I’m getting the most protection possible as things can change down the line.

      Also, if I’m spending this type of money then I don’t want to have to upgrade later or re-visit this issue – ever!

      If none of this is a concern for you then the Rhino should be sufficient for regular everyday tap water that doesn’t have any serious toxic contaminations.

      Stay hydrated,

  29. Hey there. I’m glad I found your site as its been quite informative. I’d like to share my experience, and get your advice if I could. We had the RainSoft rep do the water test recently. The phone rep said it would take no more than 45 minutes… It ended up taking 2.5 hours! And he arrived late in the evening so he didn’t leave until 10pm. Anyway, the entire presentation was filled with lots of pseudo-science and scare-tactics. I did pay attention to the water tests, and of course being on city water here in Central Florida, the water quality we know isn’t the best.

    My biggest hangup with the whole deal was the price, not the product. I do believe they have a good product, but I can’t get over the pricing. Here’s why: the system started out at over $9k. I told him no, too expensive, and I’m not financing this. He said, I can price it at the lower system level and give you a discount because of cash. That brought it down to $6k. I told him I need to think about it and he said it’s a table offer only. Once he leaves, he can’t honor it. I said go ahead an leave and I’ll just phone the next rep. He said don’t worry, he’d give us 3 days to cancel if we’d sign the contract, no obligation. I signed at $5,995 because I wanted him out by then. I found your website a short while after he left and I began my research. The next morning I canceled everything. I received a call immediately from a RS manager to process my cancelation. He asked why and I said cost. He said he’s got this leftover factory promo that he can apply and save me another $1,500, which brought it down to $4,500. He allowed me a day to think it over.

    Now, I’m at half of the price that they originally offered and something is just not sitting right with me. I feel like I’ve been misled by pricing and that really sets off red flags for the entire experience. In my mind, that’s not just a typical negotiation of price. That’s a complete gouging of the eyes and wallet for someone who doesn’t want to haggle. We went from close to $10k down to $4500 in less than 10 hours. It just presses in the back of my mind – what else are they hiding?

    Now to my question/need advice. I’m seriously considering the Aquasana system. I want a whole-house softener + filtration system. I don’t care if it uses salt (but I’d love your opinion on salt vs no salt). It’s just my wife and I and two toddlers. I want soft water for our skin and clean drinking water from the tap. For half the price at $2200, do you think the Aquasana system trumps the RS system at $4500? Or even the Pelican?

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Mike

      WOW. Reading about your experience makes me wonder about all those people that would have just paid the original asking price at $9K.
      I think you are right about the issue being the price *not* product. I don’t get too many people complaining about the actual product (once they install and use it) the issue people have are the rip off prices.

      Your question about salt vs no salt is down to how hard your water is.

      If it is extremely hard then you should probably go for a salt based system e.g. Pelican. However, salt free systems like Aquasana can effectively cope with hard water that is up to 25 PPM.

      I personally prefer Aquasana because salt free makes life easier and the filters are extremely powerful because they can treat things like lead and mercury so they make water extremely safe to drink and delicious too.

      Hopefully the sales person gave you some water test results that you can use to work out the best machine for your needs.

      Stay hydrated,

  30. I recently installed this rainsoft system he offered me in 10k with soaps and liquids the marketing was so impressive that i signed it in one day and they installed it same day but after have an research online now i am regretting its only one day can i cancel the contract because i have to pay 109 per month for 5 years and then about 65 for next 5 years and than 40 for another 5 years total of 15 years. Please suggest me what can i do on my email thanks

    1. Hi Rahul

      Call and email them immediately to cancel.

      There is something like a 72-hour cooling down period (regulated by the FTC – Federal Trade Commission), which means under the law you are entitled to change your mind about entering into this type of contract.

      So call them AND email as well so that you have a record that you tried to cancel within the correct time frame.

      Stay hydrated,

  31. Hello Luke

    You recommended Aquasana OptimH2O as an alternative to RainSoft, based on my water results. Will i need to buy my own copper pipes or will the Plumber already have what i need? What’s your opinion if i move to another home, regarding taking this whole water system with me?

    Also, should i only choose a Plumber recommended by Aquasana? Thank you

    1. Hi Maryse
      Here is what’s in the professional installation kit.

      I don’t think it includes copper pipes so you may have to purchase them separately if you need them or the plumber tells you he can’t provide them (some plumbers will provide them and others won’t so you should check first). However, copper pipes are very cheap and sold everywhere.

      You do NOT need to follow Aquasana’s plumber recommendation. You can use ANY qualified plumber to install this for you if you feel you can get better value elsewhere.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. P.s.
        You can uninstall the OptimH2O and re-install it if you move home. This will come at a cost if you get a professional to do this for you.

        I understand RainSoft use this as a selling point but look at the small print, other customers have informed me that it’s NOT completely free when you take this option from them.

  32. Thanks for this info,
    Just wanted to share my experience with Rainsoft.
    Do not be deceived by this scam. We thought we could trust Home Depot back in 2015 when they offered us a free water test after we bought our first home. Lo and behold it was a LENGTHY sales pitch using psuedo-science that played upon the vulnerable situation we were in at the time (one of us was having frightening chronic health problems that were getting worse by the day.) We were not allowed to have time to think about our decision and were told our water was bad based on a psuedo-scientific magic trick. Could we get back to them tomorrow? No the decision had to be made that day. To the tune of $7,000. Oh but they were throwing in so many freebies for us! Come to find out this system is only worth a few thousand dollars.
    Fast forward five years and we have to pay HUNDREDS per year to maintain this system. Additionally, all along the customer service of the distributer, Atlantic Water Products (AWP,) has been atrocious. Very unprofessional. We have to call 3 and 4 times to get a call back. We are clearly low priority now that we’ve bought the system.
    We moved recently, to a home that is a 2 minute drive from our previous home. Our first appointment to have the water system removed was canceled only hours beforehand. So we had to leave the system and then arrange with the new residents to have it removed by AWP a month later (which was the soonest we could get.) AWP does not allow same day removal and installation. You have to call them again once the system is removed to schedule installation. BUT they don’t call you back until you’ve called 3-4 times. So we weren’t able to get a re-installation scheduled for another month. When we finally got them on the phone they told us that since our system had been sitting for over 24 hours we now were advised to pay an additional $700 for new filters… keep in mind removal was $300 and installation will be ANOTHER $300. So we have to pay $1,300 to move this system, $700 of which we have to pay only because they don’t allow same day installation!!
    The unprofessional way the company is run as well as the scammy way the sale went down has really made me question whether this product is even legitimate. A few years back I grilled one of the customer service people repeatedly to find out whether the system filters our lead. All I ever eventually got was a one sentence email saying “yes it filters out lead.” No NSF certification, no “this is how it works” etc. Last year when the technician was installing replacement parts I saw that one of the under-sink cartridges had a new label with just SO many psuedo-scientific claims on it- It said it prevents cancer!?
    The only thing I will say is that the technicians have always seemed professional. But no one told us when we moved our system that it couldn’t sit for longer than 24 hours. No one told us about the risk of bacteria.
    When we called to complain Gus Pfaundler, who runs the service department at AWP told us HE was disappointed with US! For not wanting to be scammed I guess?
    Please be aware that multiple lawsuits against Rainsoft and Home Depot for this scam have been filed and won.
    Please be aware there are other products that do the same thing and are cheaper.
    And don’t be naive like we were when we were scared for our health and desperate- if someone tells you you can’t take a day or two to think about whether to buy something you have to stop and ask yourself what they are afraid you will discover in 24-48 hours of research.

  33. I had a Rain Soft demo recently. I live in a hard water area (Hardin Co, KY) now and wasnt used to the water coming from the East coast. That demo made it look like I needed to buy; however I wanted to research and glad I found your page. 7k is a lot of money.
    What do you recommend for a 2 person household who wants the benefit of good tasting, safe water? I read about the salt being not good for you but also about how the salt is needed to do the best job. We only drink bottled water now and it would sure be nice to drink from the fridge filter (Filter doesnt work like the rainsoft one apparently).
    The Rainsoft Rep told me bottled water that used the reverse osmosis process was the best to buy if you have to buy,,,,better than spring water. I wonder how true that is also. Appreciate any advice, just want good water for us and out guests and pets.

    1. Hi Lisa

      It really depends on the type of contaminants that you have in your water. I’m sure they did a water test and gave you the results? Well this water report will help you find what product will be most effective at treating your water.

      I agree with the RainSoft rep that RO (reverse osmosis) is one of the best filter methods for drinking water.

      If you want to treat ALL the water in your home and make the water from your faucet to be drinkable then consider one of the Aquasana devices.

      However, if you ONLY want drinking water from your kitchen faucet than a regular RO system is worth considering.

      Stay hydrated,

  34. Hello Luke,

    I have a newly constructed home of 4 years, and after living here for 1 year my family having a lot of skin related issues.
    Rain Soft rep came days ago, performed their Demo, determined my Hardness was 13. Tap water TDS is 253. My ECOwater reverse osmosis TDS is 25.
    My City’s Annual Water Report 2019, Hardness ppb is 236; Copper ppb 0.350 90th percentile level; Lead 5.4; PCE 0.011; TDS ppb 346.
    Rain Soft 2-1 Whole House Filter system cost for household of 3 without the salt, $4050 for 5 Years; $5040 for 10 Years or $6050 for Lifetime warranty. It includes the laundry/dishwasher/body soap part of the package that would be shipped to my home. Also, special financing options if needed.
    I asked if this filter system was transferrable, in case I move to different home. Rep said yes.

    What do you advise? Concerned about the health of my family’s skin, premature aging which was never an issue before moving to this are.


    1. Hi Maryse

      If you’re happy with the RainSoft offer then it seems like it will treat everything that you mentioned.

      However, if you’re looking for an alternative to compare then I would look at the Aquasana Optimh20. I say this because you have lead in your water (which is extremely dangerous and toxic) and this machine treats lead to something like 99.9%. This along with the UV filter will treat the other things on your list.

      Aquasana’s salt free softener can treat hard water up to 25ppm (parts per million) so I take your reading of 236ppb (parts per billion) and calculate that to be 0.236ppm so you’re covered here too. And yes, it does this WITHOUT salt.

      I don’t know if they have finance options but it is cheaper than the RainSoft prices and the warranty is FREE.

      I’ve also heard from other customers that the “transferable device home move re-installation” is not completely free and you will still need to pay some service charges.

      Anyway, this should at least give you an alternative to compare your RainSoft offer and help you decide.

      Stay hydrated,

  35. Had someone from Rainsoft come out last week. The demo “looked” good but I wasn’t really buying that our water was that contaminated. The entire process didn’t feel authentic. Told the guy I wasn’t going to make an impulse purchase of 9K without doing adequate research. He left the deal hurt, which was strange because he said be got no commission off the sale; I knew it was a lie from the beginning.

    Question: How accurate are the demos that door-to-door sales people demonstrate, or specifically RainSoft?

    Is there a DIY water testing kit you prefer?

    1. Hi Cleveland

      Almost all the feedback and comments seem to tell the same story, well done for not letting the pressure get to you! Most people sign and then immediately regret it.

      There is no way to determine the accuracy of their demonstration so you’re right to do your own test.

      Honestly, there are lots of cheap tests on places like Amazon but I personally prefer to get a lab water test that gives a higher level of accuracy.

      Stay hydrated,

  36. Hi Luke,

    We just met with a salesperson from Rain Soft and we have until June 10th to cancel as we share with the rep we wanted to do research. He was cool and understood and agreed to wait to run our credit until we decided in a couple days. We are now reviewing whole house filtration and softener systems. Hardness was 7.2GPG. You mentioned you have more to share about Pelican. Can you please tell us why you are so impressed with them right now. FYI, we do not need the financing Rain Soft offers through Home Depot, but obviously 1 year interest free is a nice option. Please help guide us. We are only a 2 adult household with family guests once or twice month.


    Cameron and Chris

    1. Hi Cameron and Chris,

      In your situation I would take a look at a whole house filter and salt based softener like Pelican that effectively treats hard water with 10-12 GPM. It also has powerful NSF certified filters so will make your water drinkable too.


      If you prefer a salt free option and would like something with filters that are more powerful then Aquasana Rhino is still my personel favorite. It can treat hard water that’s up to 25 gpm without constantly needing salt and the filters can treat things like chlorine, lead, mercury, organic chemicals, pesticides and more.

      They are also currently on sale and will hook you up with a reliable local plumber in your area.

      Get back to me if neither of this works for you and I’ll try to see what else is out there.

      Stay hydrated,

  37. I just signed with Lifetime Solutions and reading all this information I’m not really sure if I want to continue with this, can I cancel before installing the filters in my House? I have the appointment by tomorrow morning

    1. Hi Edith

      There is usually a cooling off period when you enter into a new contract – so contact them immediately if you want to cancel!

      Stay hydrated,

  38. my daughters bf just gave me a new system… well never used rainsoft ec4. Who can I get to install it?

    1. Hi Anthony

      A qualified plumber.
      However contact Rainsoft directly because companies like this can usually recommend plumbers in your area.

      Stay hydrated,

  39. Luke,

    Would much appreciate any guidance. We are doing a major remodel to a 7000 square ft home on Atlanta City water and are planning to add a whole home softener and filtration system. We are looking to get the water as clean as possible for us and our children. I know I want to silk feel of a salt system and was looking to the RainSoft due to longevity and reputation. Would appreciate any insight. I know we would pay a premium for the RainSoft but just looking to get the best system we can in the home. Thanks!

    1. Hi Kristy

      I’ve just come across Pelican and you should really check it out. They have a salt softener with a whole house filter combination – that treats extremely hard water (up to 48,000-grains) along with multi-stage NSF certified filtration.

      I’m actually going to be updating this article to start recommending this, I’m really impressed with both the product and prices.

      Stay hydrated,

  40. We bought a Rain Soft system 5 years ago. When the salesman came to test out water he asked if we had any animals. We have two cats. He sat a dish of our regular water and a dish of filtered water down and they both went to the filtered water and lapped it up! He also told us not to use any soap in our clothes washer for the first load because you have lots of soap in your clothes already. As soon as the system was installed we put some laundry in and for sure it looked like there was soap in it! Our skin feels better and the water taste fantastic! The controller cracked and started malfunctioning and they came out and changed it to a new unit for free. I like the water and I like the service.

    1. Hi Jerry

      I’m so glad you had a good experience with RainSoft.

      Thanks for sharing and thank you for adding some much needed balance to this post!

      Stay hydrated,

  41. Luke, I apologise for bothering you again. I been looking on Aquasana website and cannot find what level hardness does rhino max out at? Our water is at 117GPG. Do you think Aquasana rhino can handle it?

    Thanks again


    1. Hi Roman

      Wow that’s extremely hard, I don’t think Aquasana will be able to effectively treat that amount although the filters are powerful enough to make it drinkable etc.

      I would give them a quick call to double check if they have any solutions for your specific situation.

      Otherwise you’ll most likely need a regular salt based softener and perhaps get one with filtering capabilities. Though the filters will not be as powerful and comprehensive as the ones from Aquasana.

      Stay hydrated,

      1. Hi again Roman

        I was very curious about this so I checked with Aquasana myself.

        When you say 117GPG, you most likely mean 117ppm (parts per million) which I calculate to be 6.82GPG and this makes more sense because I’ve never heard of 117GPG before, that’s crazy high.

        Aquasana machines like the Rhino can handle up to 25GPG so you’re good.

        Stay hydrated,

  42. Hello Luke, I have been searching for water softener/filtration system for my house and it looks like Aquasana is a good choice and it’s salt free. If I also use their filtration system does it remove calcium and magnesium as well? If it is, maybe a softener with salt would be good also? I noticed you mentioned that Aquasana doesn’t work for water that is too hard? I have not tested my water yet (how do I do that?) But what is the upper limit for Aquasana? Thank you so much for answering everyone’s questions.

    1. Hi Rachel

      Sure, happy to help.

      Yes, you are correct, Aquasana machines are not good for extremely hard water. “Moderately hard water” records at 3.5-7.0 GPG (Grains Per Gallons), so if your water records within this area then I would take a guess that Aquasana should be fine.

      However, if these minerals are a big concern for you then it’s worth getting a hardness test kit speaking to Aquasana before making a purchase. They are open everyday (even at the present time) and I know from experience that their customer service is very good.

      *** Update: I contacted Aquasana myself and can confirm that their machines CAN treat hardness up to 25 GPG ***

      Stay hydrated,

  43. Luke, great article and thank you so much for responding to everybody’s request. After reading everybody’s concerns and your responses, I decided to go with Aquasana rhino since it’s $400 less than OptimH20.
    My question to you is about bacteria growth. Since the system will remove chlorine, this will promote bacteria growth in the PVC pipes. What is your opinion on that?

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Roman
      Sure, happy to help.
      Adding the UV light option will solve this problem for you because it will sterilize 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and chlorine resistant cysts.
      Stay hydrated,

  44. Luke George have a question for you so you say that fleck system does it just like rainsoft but is way cheaper but my question to you is if I spend 500-2000 on a system like that and it breaks does it come with a warranty because rainsoft has a lifetime warranty on every single product piece they have and also does fleck move the system as well or do you have someone move it which would mean if I move then I would pay twice for it to be installed when rainsoft moves it for you for a small fee and at time of purchase they install for free, have a lot more reason why rainsoft is the best we all can find something that is cheaper I get it but a wise man once told me “cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap”.

    1. Hi Gary

      Fleck machines usually come with 5-year warranty on the valves and 10-year warranty on the tanks. But the majority of customers find that they use it without any problems and it lasts much longer than their warranty.

      Most people are happy to spend $500-$1000 on a new softener. Let’s say they have to replace it every 15-20 years, it still works out cheaper (than RainSoft) over a life time. Especially as most people can’t afford to pay what can sometimes be as much as $10K upfront.

      Removal and relocation from RainSoft is not completely free and I don’t think their “small fees” justify their outrageous upfront costs which is x10 the industry average.

      Stay hydrated,

  45. Hey I had a Rainsoft rep test the water in my house yesterday in New Jersey the water was hard and full with a lot of chemicals I’m not going to lie I was very impressed with the results of their sys but the price was a little steep I have a large 2 family home and occupy the whole house there are 9 of us they offered up the the combo package for the home and filtration sys for both units kitchens for 10k but upon reading this article what do you recommend

    1. Hi Jesse

      My issue with RainSoft has never been their products or performance, it’s always been their price.

      How hard is your water? What kind of chemicals did they find in your water and was this in a large quantity?

      If you need softening and filtration in equal measure than you might want to consider something like the Aquasana OptimH20, the water conditioner treats moderately hard water without salt, the UV filter treats bacteria/viruses and the actual filter is so powerful it can remove heavy metals like lead.

      It treats 8 gallons per minute so can cope with a large household of 9 people.

      Stay hydrated,

  46. We recently had a Rainsoft demo and my husband was ready to sign on the dotted line. I asked him to let me do my research and I’m glad I did. Your site and the answers to other questions has saved us thousands of dollars. The quote we were given was $8k (to include something for the washing machine) but still costly. We have a lot of limestone in our area and our hard water was 9gpg (if I remember correctly). What whole home system would you recommend for a family of 3? Thank you

    1. Hi Janel

      I’m so happy this blog has helped you.

      Are you looking for a stand-alone water softener OR do you want a whole house softener + filter combination?

      If you’re just looking for a regular softener with basic filters Pelican is a good option that can treat very hard water for homes between 1-3 bathrooms.

      However, if you want a salt free softener + filter combination then Aquasana have the best rated machines (like the Rhino or OptimH20). Also, I believe their salt free softener add-ons can treat water with up to a 25 GPG hardness level (however, feel free to double check this with them before you purchase).

      Both of these would be suitable for a family of 3 and cost a fraction of what RainSoft are asking for.

      Let me know if you need any further help,

  47. Hello,

    Can we install the Aquasana whole house water filter and install the the fleck? Or is mixing the two a bad idea?

    1. Hi Anna
      I guess it’s technically possible to install both devices at different points of the inflow pipe (assuming it’s long enough and you have enough space) but this is definitely overkill and there has to be a more elegant solution to the problem you’re trying to solve.
      For instance, if you need a salt based softener and filter then check out the Pelican Softener and Filter Combination Machine.
      Stay hydrated,

  48. Hi! I had a Rainsoft rep come to my house and do the whole demo which showed the hardness was like at 135. The water test shows how dirty and contaminated it was. I was given the air filtration and the United for the washing machine plus 10 years of that soap supply. It was financed for $135/mo through YGrene but I wasn’t given the separate options. I just wanted her to leave and bought it for $13k. What would it roughly cost for all 3 products?
    They also said I wouldn’t need to replace the salt until like 8-9 months since there is Only two people living here. Now I can’t sleep feeling ripped off.

    1. Hi Denise

      I know exactly how you feel, it’s so easy to feel under pressure in these situations and sign up to something that you regret later.

      How long ago was this? You might still be able to cancel your agreement using consumer protections legislations like the “cooling off period”.

      You can literally type the different products (and specifications) into Google and see their going rate but I don’t see it costing anywhere close to $13K even when you factor in the additional costs for plumbing.

      Soap is dirt cheap hence why they give it to you for nothing and the cost of salt is hardly an issue, even a large household will spend less than $1/day on salt.

      Let me know if there is anyway that I can help!
      Best wishes,

  49. We just moved to a house with well water and have had the water tested with the nitrates at 14.6 ppm. Also the water is very hard Rainsoft and Culligan said it was 15? Would you recommend us getting a fleck Softener for the hardness and a RO for the nitrates through Amazon? I am not interested in spending 5-7 grand through these other companies. I didn’t know that amazon did installation, hopefully Central California is an area that they service. Thanks great blog we have learned a lot from reading as we are new to this also. Have you ever heard of water tech reionator?

    1. Hi Ted

      Yes, I think a Fleck softener and RO filter combination is a good choice for your situation especially as you now have your water test results so can purchase the right level of water treatment. But this means you will need to buy and install 2 separate products.

      This is why I am no longer recommending Fleck through Amazon because other companies like Pelican offer better all-in-one solutions. This means the softener also has an integrated whole house multi-stage filter which treats lots of contaminants, chemicals and toxins (including nitrates).

      This single product will do everything you need.

      Never heard of Water Tech Reionator but a quick Google search doesn’t reveal much even though it seems to have been around for many years, which isn’t a good sign but I’ll be sure to investigate further.

      Stay hydrated,

  50. Hi,
    I see lots of questions on which systems to purchase and I also have questions but is there any kind of water testing kit sold that could help us determine what equipment we would need?

    1. Hi Michael

      It depends on what your concern is because you can test for lots of different things. I would recommend a water test kit that tests for hard water, iron and general contaminants.

      Once you have your results then you can work out what you need a water system to do.

      For example, water hardness is typically measured in GPG (grains per gallons) so you can seek out softeners that treat your hardness level once you have got your test kit results.

      Hope this makes sense and if not, let me know and I’ll try to clarify further.
      Stay hydrated,

  51. Thank you Luke for responding back!!

    Sorry but I’m am clueless when it comes to water systems as this is the first time I’ve ever needed To purchase one .. What system would you recommend that would be self installed and maintained to remove extremely high levels of iron

    1. Hi Christy

      Yes, so long as you choose one that comes with an iron filter. For instance, if you select a model like “Fleck Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter”

      However, if you don’t like this model then simply make sure whatever softener you buy has an iron filter.

      Best wishes,

  52. Had a consult with a sales rep from Rainsoft this evening. He discussed a whole house system that has 3 pieces who would soften the water, filter the water which he said would bring down my TDS level, and clean the system daily. Quote also include a RO system by my sink for drinking water. And they offered to throw in a ton of cleaning products yearly for 5 years. It seemed like a good deal but the guy was a bit too salesy and I’m not sure if I can find a better system for less. Total price was 7900 which I can pay in monthly installments of 100 per month. And if I can refer 6 people they pay me back the 7900. What do you think?

    1. Hi Jordan

      That seems pretty expensive to me personally because you can probably get all of those things as standalone items much cheaper from Amazon and even get them to install it for you.

      In fact the most expensive whole house filter and softener combination from Aquasana is currently on sale for around $3000 and their filters can treat everything from pesticides to lead.

      However, you may have to pay for everything upfront (instead of the $100/month).

      So it really depends on your circumstances.

      Just know that if you go direct with RainSoft that you are paying almost double the market rate and I’m basing that on what you say the quote includes.

      Best wishes,

  53. I just had a rainsoft sales pitch this evening. I have extremely hard water, high suspended solids, and sulfur water. Is there a cheaper system that will address all of these issues like the rainsoft system promised that also includes the UV filter?

    1. Hi Harmon
      How much was your quote and how hard is your water? Without knowing the answer to these, here are some options that you can consider:

      Aquasana EQ-500 that will treat hard water and filter out things like: iron, suspended solids, manganese, hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals like lead.

      Also, you can add a UV filter to any of their machines.

      Stay hydrated,

  54. Does Fleck remove as small a particle as Rain Soft? Also what about pharmaceuticals that Rain Soft is supposed to remove?

    1. Hi Charles

      The standard water softeners like Fleck and RaindSoft do *NOT* filter anything.

      They only soften (unless RainSoft has offered you a specific filter package).

      If you need something that will both treat hard water AND filter it too then you should check out Aquasana Rhino (salt free) or Pelican (salt based).

      They both remove pharmaceuticals and much more. However, Aquasana has the more powerful filters of the two.

      Stay hydrated.

        1. Hi Ivan

          If you mean the RainSoft undersink RO drinking water system then yes it does filter.

          However, this is an extra (and separate) device that’s in addition to the RainSoft softener unlike something like Pelican which is an all-in-one softener filter machine.

          Stay hydrated,

  55. We have recently got EC5 water softening system and would like to return in but RainSoft made a clever legal contract. We had only 3 days to try it and ran out of the cancellation period.

    Consider these before you purchase it.

    1) Water softeners remove not only bad stuff from a water but also a good stuff such as Magnesium and Calcium, which are crucial for human body. That brings to to the point when you have to buy a drinking water supply from PolandSprings or so. You will not be able to drink it, cook on it, use it for pets, water your plants/garden etc.

    2) If you have ill or pregnant members of the family, the lack of Magnesium will force them to buy additional food supplements, which is another additional cost.

    3) You will not be able to use other water filtration systems with the EC5 processed water. They will not replenish missing ingredients. So you will end up with installing another water line bypassing the EC5 or or other water softeners and this is going to be additional cost.

    The water softeners are needed in the areas with really hard water so if you are in New England you hardly need it. Unless you live on a volcano.

    Think before you get it…

    1. Hi Alex

      Thank you so much for sharing. So sorry about your bad experience.

      I agree with almost everything you said except you can get a decent amount of magnesium and calcium from your diet and don’t need to rely on a (potentially) contaminated water supply full of excessively hard minerals.

      However, like you I think it’s always better to get a whole softener AND water filter combination so that everything gets treated at the same time.

      Aquasana seem to be the best at providing salt free softeners/filter combination machines at the moment while Pelican do the best salt-based softener/filters.

      I also recommend people to purchase their softeners through a credit card. This way you get extra chargeback protection from the credit card company.

      Best wishes,

    2. We have a Rainsoft. There is an included wrench that you stick in the dual inserts and turn to manually shut it off, so you could and full up some water, I’m pretty sure you won’t ever go back. Getting the free cleansers won us over. It took our water 30 drops of soap to 2 drops of soap and our suds still weren’t nearly as sudsy. Shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, dish soap, glass cleaner, kitchen/bath, but best is the dishwashing detergent, no more booster and Jet Dry. One teaspoon gets our dishes squeaky clean. You can get calcium from food and dairy and magnesium from MCT oil or supplements. It’s not worth drinking all the other stuff just to get that. We aren’t ever going back.

  56. Hi there! Do u know if ecowater is good? We found them through Costco n they came out to give us a quote for $5400 for their soft water system and RO system. And then we had Rainsoft come out by Home Depot and gave us a quote for $7300. We are having a hard time deciding because Rainsoft offers lifetime warranty! Which is tempting but do u know if they really stand by their words?

    1. Hi David

      I honestly don’t know if Rainsoft stand by their warranty but the prices from both companies seem incredibly inflated to me.

      Almost all whole house softener / filters now come with extended guarantees and warranties. For instance, Pelican provide Lifetime Warranty and their products are much cheaper than RainSoft.

      Let me know if you have any further questions,

  57. I looked into the fleck systems you mentioned but they don’t have alot of product removal certifications, so how is it better?

    1. Hi Jamie

      Thank you for your question.

      Fleck doesn’t have any removal certifications because it’s not a water filter so it technically doesn’t remove anything.

      You only get Fleck if you have hard water (i.e. water that causes white limescale in your sink/faucets/kettle/shower head etc). It solves these type of hard water issues by regenerating the water to make it “soft” and therefore limescale free.

      If you want a machine that removes hard water AND filters it too check out something like Aquasana that is NSF and IAPMO certified to remove lots of things like mercury, giardia, pharmaceuticals, lead, bacteria, chlorine etc.

      Stay hydrated,

  58. Informative. Can I replace a rainsoft EC4 valve and control assembly with a Fleck 5000 series unit and keep my salt / brine tank and resin tank and bypass valve assemble? We currently have a rainsoft EC4 bought in 2013. It’s been good, but now for the 2nd time the turbine meter flow is seized up (same meter as on Fleck 5000 series so no difference there). The system is also clogged somewhere because water pressure is very low compared to when the system is bypassed. If rs dealer will not replace it under their lifetime warranty, then I’ll look to getting al fleck subsystem to replace the rainsoft valve and control assembly.

    1. Hi Mike

      I don’t know if it’s possible to mix and match different softener systems in that way. I would have recommended you call the manufacturer direct but Rainsoft are unlikely to want to help you buy from a different brand (even if it’s possible). Fleck is usually made by Pentair and ABCwaters.

      As you suggested, you can try checking your warranty to see if the issues can be fixed for free or very cheap. If not Rainsoft may be able to advise on the most cost-effective way to proceed.

      Best wishes,

  59. Such a incredibly informative article thanks so much for putting good content out on the net like this very helpful. I like most people cam because of a rain soft demo the really interesting thing they have done recently to really sweeten the deal is partnered with home depot at least in my area and they pay for 5 years of cleaners along with the life time warranty price is $7k or $8k. Reviews are good too as you say so looks like I don’t have any reason to say no to the wife lol.

  60. We had a water well dug and it’s hardness level is 94 grains. Is there a Fleck water softener that would work for this level of hardness. Rainsoft checked our water, that is how I knew the hardness level. There is just 2 in our household. Any information would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Barbara

      Yes, that is extremely hard water (assuming you mean 94ppm parts per million, which I calculate to be 5.48GPG). Your best bet is to go for a powerful softener like Pelican that can effectively treat that level of hardness). This also comes with a powerful multi-stage whole house filter.

      Stay hydrated

  61. I have had a RainSoft system for several years and, up until recently, it has been working fine. I recently had a new A/C – Heat system installed. The installers disconnected the UV light originally installed by the RainSoft dealer. Now the system won’t go into regeneration on it’s own, I have to manually put it into regeneration. The wires that were disconnected also had a monitor in the line that had indicator lights to let me know if the bulb needed replacement. All that is disconnected and just hanging from the rafter now. Can the computer be re-programmed to operate without the UV device? The new A/C has it’s own U/V device.

    1. Hi James
      I’m really sorry but this is a little complicated for me to respond without actually seeing it in person. If you’ve tried everything and it’s still not working then you may have to get a professional plumber to reconnect the UV light or install new ones and get it back working the way it used to. Sometimes trying to fix things yourself makes it worse and more expensive to fix later on (trust me I learned this the hard way!).
      You can also try getting back into contact with the original RainSoft plumber that connected everything in the first place.
      Best of luck,

  62. You mentioned the ABCwaters Triple combo Whole House for the water softener and reverse osmosis. I looked up the unit on the link you provided, thank you by the way, and it showed one for well water. I live in a rural area with well water. Would I want to purchase the well water unit or stick with the standard ABCwaters triple combo whole house unit. Does not say what the difference is other than the name and no significant price difference.

    1. Hi Sharon

      Yes that seems strange.

      I’ve carefully gone through both the “well water” and “non-well water” options and there doesn’t seem to be any difference between them except from the price and the fact that one says it’s specifically for well water.

      Personally, I would just go with something that is specifically designed for well water with lots of good customer reviews.

      Because it’s for well water it will treat all the common well water related issues like iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide but also things like lead and mercury.

      Stay hydrated,

  63. Hi,
    We had a consultation with RainSoft yesterday. The man who came to our house was great and did an excellent job. We were not going to spend $7 k on a system though. My question is about the Fleck system. From what I understand the RainSoft has 2 parts, the reverse osmosis and the softener. It’s my understanding that the reverse osmosis is what really cleans the water. Does the Fleck system have that part? I don’t have an issue with the taste of my water I just want it to be clean. Thanks for any info you can provide!

    1. Hi Beth

      No, the standard Fleck SXT model does not include reverse osmosis (or any sort of filter).

      Aquasana provide some of the most poplar salt-free softener + filter combinations. Look into the 10 Year Gallon Rhino or OptimH20. They don’t use salt so you don’t get that “slippery” soft water feel and weird taste.

      However, if you want a salt-based softener with a whole house filter then Pelican have this along with a 5 year performance guarantee and limited lifetime warranty.

      Hope this helps,

  64. Thank you so much for all of the info! Purchased a complete house (1850 sq ft; 2 bath) Rainsoft H2O treatment system installed for $5000.00 in 1999. Live just south of Minneapolis, MN.

    Worked great for a number of years but now seems to be limping along and requires a number of service calls.
    Place called me in 2017 offering me a “great deal” on a refurbished model installed for $13,000.00.
    Is this a reasonable cost?
    Your input would be greatly appreciated!



      1. Was just wondering if you happened to reply- Thanks Luke!
        Bit more research required on my part regarding the availability of the products you mentioned.

        This is great- Thanks again!

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