AO Smith specializes in compact water softeners that are able to fit into a home of any size, including cramped apartments.
Today we’ll take you through everything that you need to know about these models – from the prices to the features. By the end of the article, you would know if there’s an AO Smith water softener model that would be a good fit for your home.
Who Makes AO Smith Water Softeners?
AO Smith water softeners are made by the AO Smith company, which was founded all the way back in 1874 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Charles Jeremiah Smith. The company initially made parts for baby carriages.
Over the next century, the company would open factories in a lot of different locations and dabble in quite a few different fields before opening a commercial water heater and boiler plant in Stratford, Ontario, in 1961.
List of AO Smith Water Softener Systems
The AO-WH-SOFT- 350 model is designed for 2 – 4 people, it doesn’t require a filter change and is very affordable.
The AO-WH-SOFT- 400T model is an all-rounder with great stats in every category. It’s an ideal choice for 3 – 4 person households.
The AO-WH-SOFT- 450T model stands out from the others with its notifications features. It alerts you when the salt levels are low by either sending you a message via wifi or through the built-in alarm. The power loss protection feature is a nice bonus as well.
The AO-WH-SOFT- PRO-300 model has the smallest grain capacity out of the bunch, but it compensates for it by being the most affordable model. Additionally, it comes with the same 10-year warranty on mechanical and electric parts that all of the other models come with.
The AO-WH-SOFT-PRO-500 is the largest model that can handle the most GPG, which makes it ideal for areas with particularly mineral-rich water.
We’ve compiled all of the most important information on AO Smith water softeners to help readers decide which model suits their needs the best.
|Water Softeners||Technology||Grain Capacity||Max. Water Hardness||Warranty||Price|
|AO-WH-SOFT- 350||Ion Exchange||35k||90 GPG||3 and 10-year warranties||$439|
|AO-WH-SOFT- 400T||Ion Exchange||40k||100 GPG||3 and 10-year warranties||$549|
|AO-WH-SOFT- 450T||Ion Exchange||45k||100 GPG||5 and 10-year warranties||$649|
|AO-WH-SOFT- PRO-300||Ion Exchange||30k||90 GPG||5 and 10-year warranties||$849|
|AO-WH-SOFT-PRO-500||Ion Exchange||50k||110 GPG||5 and 10-year warranties||$797|
AO Smith Water Softener Reviews: Users Feedback
There are no aggregate review sites that have compiled user reviews for these water softeners, and the only AO Smith products that are available on Amazon are the water heaters. We’re adding this as a disclaimer so that you’re aware that all of the positive reviews that we’ve read come from the company website itself.
In fairness to AO Smith, there are also a few unsatisfied customers in the review sections as well, so it doesn’t seem like they’re ignoring or censoring their critics, which means that they recognize that fair reviews help a company in the long run.
From all of the user feedback we’ve read, the AO Smith water softeners seem to be pretty reliable products, with the small 35k and 40k grain capacity models being the most popular ones due to how little space they take up.
Users have praised the features, the easy installation, and the fact that these appliances require virtually no maintenance. However, there have also been mentions that some models don’t have a high enough max hardness threshold to be able to handle really minerally rich water, as well as mentions of other issues that we’ll go over in a bit.
Overall, the general consensus on these devices seems to be positive, and most customers who have bought them haven’t regretted their decision.
AO Smith Water Softener Alternatives
Here are 2 high-quality ao smith water softener alternatives you can get instead:
- Springwell SS1 Salt-Based Water Softener (also see Springwell Salt-free Softener)
- Kind Water Systems E-2000 Water Softener
AO Smith Water Softener Prices
- AO-WH-SOFT- 350 – $439
- AO-WH-SOFT- 400T – $549
- AO-WH-SOFT- 450T – $649
- AO-WH-SOFT-PRO-500 – $797
- AO-WH-SOFT- PRO-300 – $849
These water softeners are quite reasonably priced even by portable water softener standards. You can definitely find water softeners for less money than this, but they’ll either have a shorter warranty or they’ll be too small to perform the task you need them for.
Additionally, the simple installation also means that you’ll save quite a bit of money on plumbers since you can easily DIY it.
Pros & Cons of AO Smith Softeners
Next, we’ll take you through the biggest selling points and downsides to these products, so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.
- Price: AO Smith water softeners are reasonably priced even for compact or portable models. While you can easily find water softeners for as little as $200, they won’t be anywhere near as powerful, they won’t have half of the tank capacity, and they probably won’t have nearly as many useful features.
- Features: The self-cleaning feature ensures that the softeners will last you for a long time even if you don’t change the filter. The power loss protection saves your settings in case of a blackout, while the salt-sensing technology adapts to the amount of water you use and adjusts the settings ensuring that you’re not wasting water, power, or salt.
- Compact: Most standard water softeners take up quite a bit of space, so it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to find space for them, even if you have a sizable basement in your home. The AO Smith models are a lot more conservative regarding the amount of room they require, and it’s super easy to find room for them, even in small apartments.
- Easy to Install: You don’t need to pay an exorbitant sum to get a professional to install these models. You just need to place them near the main water pipe of the house, connect the input and output valves, and start the water back up again.
- Easy to Maintain: The AO Smith water softener models don’t require changing the filter like most other models. All you really need to do to maintain these devices is slide out the removable part on the sodium tank, check if the level is getting low, and pour in some salt if necessary.
- Warranty: You get a 10-year warranty on the media tank, the main control valve, and the brine cabinet, as well as either a 3 to 5-year warranty on the mechanical and electronic parts, depending on which model you get. This is more generous than most other small water softeners since they come with a 5-6-year warranty at most, after which most companies recommend you buy a new unit.
- Limited Tank Size: These water softeners all have decent tank capacities; however, they’re still portable models. While they’re great for households with 2-4 people, larger households that use more water or that have more bathrooms might notice that the regeneration process needs to be started a lot more frequently. The reason for this is that the resin won’t be able to keep up with the amount of water that’s being softened.
- Not Ideal for all Areas: The largest AO Smith model has a grain capacity of 50k and can handle hardness levels up to 110 GPG, which isn’t bad at all. However, there are certain parts of the country where you’ll really need a softener that has at least an 80k grain capacity. Smaller models won’t be able to handle the mineral buildup in those areas. So make sure you research the hardness of the water in your area before you purchase a water softener unit.
- Made out of Plastic: To be fair to these water softeners, there are some pretty strong plastics that are quite durable. The problem is that these devices are still undeniably damage-prone if they’re put under any amount of pressure, and they’re very easy to damage if they’re installed in your kitchen, and you bump into them accidentally.
Is AO Smith a Good Water Softener?
The answer to the question is a definite yes.
We’ve already pointed out all of the positives of these devices, so we’ll spare you from repeating the same information. But if you’ve been paying attention, then you’ll know that the AO Smith water softener models would be a great addition to any home, especially apartments, thanks to how compact they are.