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Rheem Water Softener Reviews & Price Guide

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

Rheem is a manufacturing company that’s known for water heaters and AC units, but a lot of people don’t know that they also sell water softeners, which is a real shame considering that they have high-quality products.

Their water softeners are known for their affordable prices, their slim construction, their decent grain capacity, and the surprisingly high max water hardness that they can process.

To find out more about these devices, keep reading as we’ll do a detailed breakdown of Rheem water softener systems.

Rheem Water Softener
Rheem Water Softener

Who Makes Rheem Water Softeners?

The company, Rheem, was founded by Richard and Donald Rheem back in 1925. Interestingly enough, the company initially started in the petroleum industry instead of the water purification field.

From producing galvanized steel drums, the company went on to acquire the Republic Steel package company, which made boilers and water tanks. With this acquisition, Rheem officially entered the water industry in 1930.

Rheem has been in the water industry for close to a century now, and while it wasn’t producing water softeners right from the start, the decades it did spend producing water heaters and other similar products have given the company a good reputation in the field.

The company is still most well-known for its water heaters, as well as its cooling systems, but most importantly for this article, they released 3 models of water softeners that we believe are worth reading about.

List of Rheem Water Softener Systems

Rheem only makes 3 water softener models, so we’ll give you an overview of each of them and share what we like about them best.

The RHW42 water softener comes with a phone app called the iQua™, which allows you to monitor all of the analytics from anywhere as long as you have wifi. You can also adjust all of the settings remotely, get notifications when the salt level is low, and even turn the device off if a warning pops up on your phone but you’re not home.

RHW42
RHW42

The RHS42 model comes with a sediment filter to help keep out any dirt that might also be present in the water before it enters the tank. On top of that, the device comes with adjustable water hardness settings that you can tweak and a pretty impressive max hardness rating of 140 GPG.

RHS42
RHS42

The RHS32 water softener is the smallest model of the three, but it’s still big enough for a 4-person household. It’s also the most affordable option. It has a hinged door at the top so that you can easily load in the salt and an accompanying blue light that flashes to let you know when you need to replenish the sodium tank.

RHS32
RHS32

Comparison Table

In the following table, you can see the most relevant specifications for each model. All of these characteristics are important when deciding which of the three water softeners is the best option for your needs.

SoftenerRHW42RHS42RHS32
Flow Rate9.9 GPM9.9 GPM7.9 GPM
Grain Capacity42k42k32k
Max Hardness140 GPG140 GPG105 GPG
TechnologyIon ExchangeIon Exchange and Sediment FilterIon Exchange
Warranty1 – 10 years1 – 10 years1 – 10 years
Price$609$529$419

Rheem Water Softener Reviews: Users Feedback

Rheem water softeners are sold on Home Depot, where they receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers. The RHS32 is rated 4.5/5 stars, while both the RHW42, and the RHS42 models have a 4.2/5.

These ratings are supported with overwhelmingly positive comments, as many customers seem to really appreciate the affordable prices, the sizable tanks, and the ease of installation of these softeners.

On the other hand, some reviewers seem to have an issue with the body being made out of plastic due to how fragile plastic can be if you’re not careful. There are also quite a few people that are not happy with Rheem’s warranty extension policy.

The standard Rheem warranty only lasts a single year, so most people will naturally want to extend it to the 5-year option. However, with this particular brand, in order to extend your warranty, you’ll need to buy the patented Rheem cleaner every four months. This effectively turns the warranty into a subscription service, while most customers would prefer if the warranty extension was a one-time payment.

Every device has its own advantages and shortcomings, but luckily, despite a few hangups here and there, the consensus on these water softeners seems to be very positive.

Rheem Water Softener Prices

The prices for the three Rheem water softener system models are:

  • RHW42 – $609
  • RHS42 – $529
  • RHS32 – $419

Portable water softeners generally start at around $200 and go up to $800, whereas middle-of-the-road standard-sized models start at around the $800 mark and go up to around $2,500 or $3,000.

Of course, this is only to give you a rough idea of the range you can expect. Certain models that come with more features will obviously cost more, whereas more basic models won’t set you back as much.

Rheem water softeners all fall within the portable water softener price range, even though they have a significantly higher flow rate, grain capacity, and max hardness threshold than most portable models you can find on the market.

It also helps that the tanks are pretty large for appliances that cost this little, and while the plastic construction might not strike confidence in a lot of people, the affordable price makes them easy to replace if they get damaged.

Pros & Cons of Rheem Systems

Rheem water softeners definitely have many selling points, but no appliance is perfect, so there are a few issues as well. Let’s summarize their pros and cons.

Pros
  • Price: All three of the Rheem water softeners come at bargain prices. Not only does this mean that you don’t have to break the bank to get one, but it also means that you can afford to replace it if it gets damaged after a while and the warranty can’t cover it.
  • App: Only the RHW42 model comes with the app, but it’s such a useful feature that we couldn’t not include it in the list. Salt tank notifications, analytic reports, remote shut-off features, and several other options make this feature good enough for people to consider spending the extra few hundred dollars that this model will cost them.
  • Salt Monitor: The Rheem water softeners all come with a salt monitor in the form of a light signal in the front of the device. This light starts flashing once the salt drops below a certain level, saving you from having to constantly open the lid to check if the sodium tank needs to be refilled.
Cons
  • Warranty Extension Requirements: The 1-year warranty of the device can be upgraded into a 5-year warranty as long as you use the Rheem Cleaner. This is a blatant way to sell more cleaning products, and it’s a lot less convenient than the standard warranty upgrade method of just paying a bit more for the product upfront.
  • 3-year Warranty: The upgraded 5-year warranty on the parts and the 10-year warranty on the tanks are both fine, but the electronic components only have a 3-year warranty, which is substandard for water softeners. Electric components often get damaged, and having a short warranty on them only ensures that you’ll need to pay more in the future to fix any issue that the softener might develop.
  • Easy to Damage: The plastic construction of the devices definitely helps keep their price low; however, it comes at the cost of overall durability. It’s not like the water softeners are going to break in two if you breathe on them, but you’ll need to be a lot more careful when trying to fix or maintain these devices than most water softener models with fiberglass tanks.

Are Rheem Water Softeners Good?

When you buy appliances, you need to know what sort of requirements you have to be able to pick something that would be a good fit. Water softeners are no different, and Rheem has some great models that would be ideal for a large number of homes.

That being said, there are definitely bigger models on the market, and there are some areas of the US that definitely need a system with a better GPG and grain capacity due to the abnormally large amount of hard minerals in the tap water.

However, if you’re looking for something that’s incredibly affordable, simple to maintain, and even easy to install, then it’s hard to find better water softeners on the market.

The simplicity, the affordable price, and all of the additional features that we’ve mentioned up until now make these models a great choice for anyone that’s buying their first water softener and doesn’t know how to maintain them yet.


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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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