The WaterBoss 700 is a softener/filter combo that can look after itself. Compact, quiet and efficient, is it the right water softener for you? Find out in our detailed review.
WaterBoss 700 (or WaterBoss 220)
Capacity: 22,000 grains
Suitable Size Home: 4 people
Suitable Water: Medium to very hard
Water Flow Rate: 12-15 gallons per minute
Regeneration: Meter based
Water Filter: Yes, 20 microns
Warranty: Yes, 3 years with 10-years on tanks and valve assemblies
Size: 18.8×14.8×25.8 inches
The WaterBoss 700 (also known as the WaterBoss 220) is a salt-based water softener. It’s suitable for a medium sized household or family of four. This model has the added extra of actually being a water filter too. This fact makes the price quite appealing if you consider the cost of buying a separate whole house water filter and water softener for your home. This model will soften up to 70 grains per gallon and can also reduce up to 10 ppm( parts per million) of iron, sediment and dirt. The filter is effective to 20 microns (read more about microns here) which puts it on a par with an average whole house water filter, but means its not as effective as a reverse osmosis system. The filter is actually self cleaning too, which means there are no messy filter changes to be made. The water softener is able to regenerate (cleanse itself) in just 18 minutes, which means it is rarely offline and it uses less water too.
Let’s take a look at what it does in a bit more detail.
The WaterBoss 700 can soften water of up to 70 gpg (grains per gallon) of hardness. To put that into perspective, the Water Quality Association regard soft water to be 0-3.5 gpg and very hard water as anything over over 10.5 gpg (Source). This suggests that this water softener can handle even the hardest of water. In fact, WaterBoss state on their website that it “is the solution for over 95% of all hard water conditions”. For those of you needing more softening ability, WaterBoss have the bigger 900 model.
The 12-15 gallon flow rate should function at around 15 psi and has been designed to provide as little pressure drop to appliances as possible. Of course installing a water softener or filter with no pressure drop would be next to impossible so WaterBoss have done well here.
It has a single-canister design which means it is quite compact and less bulky than some systems. The softener resin and brine tank come as one unit and can easily squeeze into the corner of most rooms. The brine tank holds up to 120 pounds of salt. This would need to be refilled probably every 2 months according to the average water usage of a family of four. Though much would depend on your settings and water hardness.
This model is especially useful for water that has a high content of ferrous iron, dirt or sediment. The unit includes a 20 micron filter which serves to protect you, and also the softener. This will help to prolong the life of the water softener and also your household appliances .This filter will reduce iron content down to 10 parts per million (ppm). It is not the most refined of filters, and if you were seeking a remedy to other water contaminants like pesticides and lead, then a further filter might be necessary. The filter comes with a bypass that helps to extend its life. This is water softener first and foremost and not a specialist water filter.
The WaterBoss 700 regenerates (the self cleaning process) after a set number of gallons have passed through it. It monitors the amount of water that it has softened and will automatically regenerate when this threshold has been reached. It is also smart enough to know exactly how much salt and water are needed to complete the task. This means that no resources will be wasted during the process. Regeneration can also be set according to the time and day. I think this method is probably the most convenient. Once you have had the machine installed for a few weeks and know how long it takes to reach capacity in your household, then an optimum time can be chosen. The middle of the night would be most convenient for many as the water softener cannot be used while it regenerates, and this means no soft water! Regenerating based on water usage is great for the environment, but there is no way to predict when it will regenerate. If your WaterBoss 700 reaches the threshold at 7pm just as you return home from work and decide to have a relaxing bath, then you will have to wait. However, the process can take as little as 18 minutes and on average probably lasts about 30 minutes so it’s not that huge of an inconvenience really.
The regeneration process is designed to be as efficient as possible. Besides not taking much time, it may also use only 2.5lbs of salt and use only 12 gallons of water each time (depending on settings).
The system is controlled digitally with the aid of four buttons and an LCD screen. You have control over when the system regenerates and when the water filter cleans itself. You are able to do an immediate regeneration or filter cleaning cycle too. The display shows important information such as how much soft water remains, the regeneration status, and the water flow status. The interface is very simple and looks a bit dated really, but there really aren’t that many options for you to navigate through so it doesn’t need a touchscreen or any fancy gimmicks.
Installation & Maintenance
Installation is relatively straightforward and can be done without paying for the help of a plumber. The bypass valve (which is often overlooked by water filter and softener companies) allows you to easily “switch off” the unit and easily service it. It is important to allow the water and salt to mix first and form the brine before using it.
The unit comes with an instructional DVD to guide you through the process, but we’ve included an installation video below in case you’re curious.
This model really is a low maintenance solution to hard, contaminated water. With the softener able to regenerate automatically and the filter able to clean itself too, really the only work you need to do is fill it with salt every few months.
The installation manual is available here.
Pros & Cons
|Built in water filter||3 year warranty short by water softener standards|
|Fast & efficient regeneration|