GE Water Softener for Your Home – A Full Review

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This GE water softener review is going to look into General Electric’s product line for homes. We considered four products here. Although they are all very similar, each has its own advantages. The applications are slightly different, as are the resource requirements.

After our reviews, we will also look at what water softeners do. If you are new to the softener market, or even if you have purchased one of these units for your home in the past, it might be a good idea to review the explanations to get familiar with the topics and terminology we use here in our roundup of GE softeners.

A Word About Grains

Even if you don’t know anything else about water softeners before you make your purchase, you should know about grain measurements. This is the scale used to determine the power of a water-softening unit. If you get a machine with higher grains, that means that you’ll be able to process more water before the system needs to refresh.

Household Water Usage

The grain specification is the most important technical information to know about any prospective unit, but it’s just as important to match it against your household grain usage. To obtain this personalized figure, multiply the number of people in your house by the number of gallons of water that each person uses each day. Check your meter if you need to know your water consumption. Otherwise, you could make a reasonable estimate using the national average: around 80 gallons per person per month.

Mineral Content

After you have the total water usage for your home, multiply the result by the grain content of your water. You can probably easily obtain the grain content of your water by contacting your local water authority, or else you could measure it yourself with a home test kit — if your kit delivers a reading in parts per million, simply divide the figure by 17.1 to get your grains per gallon amount. Multiplying the number of people in your house by the average usage per person and the grain content per gallon gives you the total grain rating. That number is the size of the water softener you probably need for your house..

GE Water Softener Products

General Electric was founded by Thomas Edison. Since the late 1800s, the company has maintained its momentum of innovation and product development by offering quality designs on various types of electric products.

It’s a highly diversified company, designing everything from light bulbs to washing machines. While it is not always the best in the business at everything, its softeners do live up to the company’s good reputation.

Overall Category Review

These products scored well from reviews on the company’s website and also from third-party retailers’ sites. In fact, the only common complaints are that the product gets damaged during shipping.

From an objective point of view, most people who have functional problems with the unit seem to be using their device in an area with very hard or high-iron water. That means that, if the softener you choose is designed to work for your water mineral profile, you should enjoy many years of reliable function with a GE product.

In general, customers liked the efficiency and smooth operations of these softeners. They also appreciated how easy the installation instructions were to understand. Read on for a more in-depth analysis of the currently popular models.

[6 products]

45,100-Grain Water Softener

Product Specifications

  • 45,100-grain capacity
  • 230-pound salt storage maximum
  • Fits water connections up to a 1.25-inch size
  • 5,120 efficiency rating
  • Treats water up to 160 GPG and 12 PPM iron
  • Self-programming water control
  • Salt level indicators and reminder
  • Easier on plumbing with automatic sediment filter cleaning
  • Valve for water softness control
  • Salt- and water-saving enhancements

GE’s larger consumer water softeners are great for big families. They also provide some wiggle room if you’re worried about exceeding your capacity during high-volume periods. It might pay to get a larger unit if you like to take baths, if you frequently host guests, or if you’re expecting to expand your family.



  • Large enough to handle many household applications
  • Inexpensive for this size of a unit
  • Plenty of convenient upgrades



  • Designed for city water, not as effective for well water
  • High-iron contents might exceed the capacity of this unit

40,000-Grain Water Softener

Product Specifications

  • 40,000-grain capacity
  • 230-pound salt storage maximum
  • Fits water connections up to a 1.25-inch size
  • 5,100 efficiency rating
  • Treats water up to 125 GPG and 10 PPM iron
  • Self-programming usage learning
  • Salt refill alerts
  • Self-cleaning sediment collection
  • Blending valve to allow softness control
  • Salt- and water-saving enhancements

If you have a 4-person family and you’ve calculated the total grain content of your water, you’ve probably come up with a figure of about 35,000. Unless you plan on altering your consumption habits, you’ll want to overshoot your average monthly grain. That makes this unit the best choice out of the GE line for most families. It bears mentioning that other brands have cheaper units that come closer to the national averages. However, if your household uses lots of water, or if you live in an area with high mineral content in the supply lines, this unit might be an ideal choice.



  • Big enough for many families
  • Simple softening solution for an entire home
  • Compatible with many GE enhancements and appliances



  • May not work well with high-iron water

31,100-Grain Water Softener and Filter in One

Product Specifications

  • 31,100-grain capacity
  • 230-pound salt storage maximum
  • GE blending valve for soft water control
  • Adaptable to standard plumbing connections up to 1.25-inch sizes
  • 4,230 efficiency rating
  • Treats water up to 120 GPG and 3 PPM iron
  • Self-programming automatic functions and salt refill alerts
  • In-line filtration to reduce chlorine taste and smell

This medium-to-low capacity fixture is one of the more interesting units in the GE water softener line. It has a dual filtration and softening function, hence the higher price. Of course, if you live in an area with heavily chlorinated water, you will probably install a filter anyway.



  • In-line filter saves money and space
  • Recent water and salt efficiency upgrades over older models



  • More expensive than single-purpose water softeners

30,000-Grain Water Softener

Product Specifications

  • 30,000-grain capacity
  • 200-pound salt storage maximum
  • Fits connections up to a 1-inch size
  • 5,100 efficiency rating
  • Treats water up to 95 GPG and 7 PPM iron
  • Self-programming usage learning and salt refill alerts

This option is the smallest water softener from GE that we’re reviewing. It could work well for water-hungry couples or a very efficient family of four. It’s not the smallest softener on the market, so it probably won’t be the first choice for many.

However, it is perfect for some special applications. For example, this might be exactly what you’re looking for if you have a big family and need a dedicated water softener for your laundry.



  • Lower price and size make it a good choice for a dedicated laundry softener
  • Same premium perks as larger units



  • Probably not big enough for an entire home

What Is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

One of the first questions people have on the subject of water softeners is what exactly softer or hard water is.

These terms refer to the mineral content. While they’re not scientific definitions, hard water usually refers to a water source that is plentiful in magnesium, calcium or iron ions. These ionic substances can cause a number of problems, including scale build-up on household appliances, increased plumbing costs and even frizzy hair. Soft water is water that has been treated, replacing the other mineral particles with sodium ions.

What Does a Water Softener Do?

A water softener uses salt to treat hard water. Doing so adds a little bit of sodium to the water content. Some people have started investigating whether or not this has health ramifications.

Generally speaking, you might want to avoid water softening if you have a high sensitivity to sodium. However, there are ways to install these plumbing fixtures, so they do not affect your drinking water supply, such as between your supply line and your laundry appliances.

You can also drink filtered water if you do not want to control the water at the source.

What’s the Point of Water Softeners?

The point of water softeners is that they extend the life of appliances and make it more comfortable to shower. They can also lead to cleaner clothes in some instances, and almost always allow you to use less soap and water doing the laundry. There are many benefits, so the ones that are most important to you would depend on the type of hard water you have and your own usage patterns.

Who Needs a Water Softener?

In some places, such as in cities with high calcium and magnesium levels in the tap water, it makes more sense to install a water softener than it does for you to clean out clogged appliances constantly.

Certain home amenities, such as coffee machines, are extremely susceptible to hard water. Sometimes mineral buildup after consistent exposure to hard water gets so extreme that you have to use harsh chemicals to clean your device or the appliance is completely irretrievable.

Options with Higher Capacity and Specialty Applications

The GE appliances we reviewed here are all geared towards an average- to medium-sized family. If your family has extremely high water usage, or if you have more than five or six people in your household, then you might need a larger water softener. If this sounds like it applies to you, you might want to check out some of the larger Pelican Water units discussed a little later in this review.

Why You Might Need This

Keeping a lot of water treated for a big family isn’t the only reason you might need to have some serious water softening capacity installed. For example, if you ran a small coffee shop, you might require one of these devices to reduce expensive specialist calls and reduce regular maintenance costs for your brewing equipment. Similarly, a multi-family building might be better served by one large water softener at the source than multiple machines for each unit.

Commercial Softeners for Higher Volume

If it turns out that the tank water softeners do not have the capacity you need, then you might investigate a commercial unit. These are often measured by GPM rather than a monthly total capacity.

These are most common in industrial applications, but you might want to install one for a multi-unit apartment building or for heavy commercial use. However, even a relatively large coffee shop might still use a tank unit efficiently rather than a major industrial piece of equipment.

Competitors for GE Water Softener

GE is far from the only player in this market. In fact, several brands focus exclusively on water treatment solutions. Some of these specialty brands are more expensive, but they tend to come with special functions that the everyday GE units don’t have.

Here are two of the most popular brands in the industry.

Waterboss Softeners

Product Specifications

  • Name: Waterboss
  • Ease of use: 4/5 stars
  • Assembly time: Professional installation recommended
  • Build quality: 3.5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 5/5 stars

Waterboss is probably GE’s biggest competitor in the water softener market. Its products have high ratings for both quality and value. While GE offers a number of perks, not the least of which is a higher overall quality, it’s tough to compete with the accessible prices and reliability of the Waterboss brand.

Pelican Water Softeners

Product Specifications

  • Name: Pelican Water
  • Ease of use: 4/5 stars
  • Assembly time: Professional installation recommended
  • Build quality: 5/5 stars
  • Warranty: 5/5 stars

Pelican Water makes water softeners that go above and beyond, in more ways than one. These units will probably be outside your budget, and they’ll probably far exceed your requirements if you live in an average-sized household. Even if they aren’t the cheapest, these are probably some of the best water softeners that you can get in terms of capacity and manufacturing quality.

Conclusion: GE Water Softener

To sum up, your best choice for average use and average-sized households is probably the 40,200-grain water softener from GE, if you decide to go with this brand. You’d be in good company: there are plenty of good reviews for that product online.

Waterboss is also a nice option, but you sacrifice some of the functionality of GE for the lower price of Waterboss. All in all, it seems like you get what you pay for when you buy from this current line of GE products.


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