AO Smith Water Softener Reviews: Expert Insights


In the quest for better water quality at home, finding a reliable water softener becomes crucial. One name that often surfaces in this pursuit is AO Smith. Having explored various water softeners, from these AO Smith water softener reviews, let’s dive into the world of AO Smith and see if it lives up to the hype.

AO Smith Water Softener Comparison Chart

Feature AO Smith Water Softener AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener
Capacity 48,000 grains 64,000 grains
Certification NSF Certified NSF Certified
Convenience Features Digital display, programmable settings Wi-Fi connectivity, smart water usage tracking
Efficiency 9.8/10 9.5/10
Maintenance Low Moderate
Price $699 $999


Reviews of AO Smith Water Softeners:

When exploring AO Smith softeners, it’s crucial to delve into the specifics of individual models to understand their unique features and performance. Here, we’ll take a closer look at two prominent options – the AO Smith Water Softener and the AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener.

1. AO Smith Water Softener:

AO Smith Water Softener


Capacity: 48,000 grains

Certification: NSF Certified

Convenience Features: Digital display, programmable settings

Efficiency: 9.8/10

Maintenance: Low

Price: $699

Key Features:

The AO Smith Water Softener combines efficiency with simplicity. Its 48,000-grain capacity makes it suitable for mid-sized households. The NSF certification ensures that it meets high-quality standards, providing peace of mind for users concerned about water quality.


  • Efficient water softening with a high capacity.
  • NSF certification guarantees water quality.
  • User-friendly digital display and programmable settings.
  • Low maintenance requirements.


  • Limited warranty coverage.
  • Some users report concerns about the durability of certain components.

Final Verdict:

The AO Smith Water Softener is a reliable choice for those seeking a budget-friendly option without sacrificing efficiency. It suits households with moderate water usage and provides a hassle-free water softening experience with its user-friendly features.

However, this system doesn’t match the high performance of some leading traditional water softeners that feature separate resin tank and salt tank. Additionally, certain components within the unit are perceived as flimsy and may not have a robust construction for long-term durability

2. AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener:

AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener


Capacity: 64,000 grains

Certification: NSF Certified

Convenience Features: Wi-Fi connectivity, smart water usage tracking

Efficiency: 9.5/10

Maintenance: Moderate

Price: $999

Key Features:

The AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener takes water softening to the next level. With an impressive 64,000-grain capacity, it suits larger households. The addition of Wi-Fi connectivity and smart water usage tracking brings a touch of modern technology to the water softening experience.


  • High capacity suitable for larger households.
  • NSF certification ensures water quality.
  • Advanced features like Wi-Fi connectivity and smart tracking.
  • Effective in reducing scale buildup.


  • Higher price point compared to basic models.
  • Moderate maintenance requirements.

Final Verdict:

For those who prioritize capacity and advanced features, the AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener is a top-tier choice. While it comes at a higher price, the added convenience and efficiency make it a worthwhile investment for larger households with varying water usage patterns.

What We Like About AO Smith Water Softeners:

When considering water softeners for your home, AO Smith stands out for several reasons. Let’s explore the standout features that make AO Smith softeners a noteworthy choice.

Reduce Scale Buildup:

One of the most significant benefits of AO Smith water softeners is their exceptional ability to reduce scale buildup. Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can accumulate over time, causing scale deposits in pipes, appliances, and fixtures.

AO Smith’s water softeners effectively combat this issue, preventing scale buildup and extending the lifespan of your plumbing system and appliances. This not only ensures efficient water flow but also helps in maintaining the optimal performance of water-using appliances like water heaters and dishwashers.

NSF Certified:

AO Smith water softeners proudly bear the NSF certification, a key factor contributing to their reliability and performance. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification signifies that the product has undergone rigorous testing and meets strict standards for quality and safety.

For consumers, this certification assures that AO Smith water softeners not only effectively soften water but also adhere to industry benchmarks for health and environmental impact. NSF certification is a mark of trust, emphasizing AO Smith’s commitment to delivering high-quality water treatment solutions.

Designed For Convenience:

AO Smith water softeners are thoughtfully designed with user convenience in mind. The user-friendly features make the softening process straightforward and accessible for homeowners. The inclusion of digital displays and programmable settings allows users to customize their water softening preferences easily.

This design approach ensures that even those unfamiliar with water softening systems can navigate and optimize their AO Smith unit with ease. The convenience factor extends to the installation process as well, with many users reporting straightforward setup experiences, making AO Smith water softeners a practical choice for a wide range of consumers.

The self-cleaning functionality guarantees an extended lifespan for the softeners, even without regular filter changes. With power loss protection preserving your settings during blackouts, and salt-sensing technology adapting to your water usage, the system ensures efficiency by preventing unnecessary water, power, or salt wastage.

Fairly Efficient Performance:

AO Smith water softeners deliver a commendable level of efficiency in softening water. The system effectively removes hardness minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the water supply, ensuring that your home receives softened water for daily use.

The efficiency is reflected in the improved lathering of soaps, reduced scale buildup on fixtures and appliances, and the overall enhanced quality of water. Users often report noticeable differences in the feel of water, providing a more satisfying and comfortable experience.

AO Smith strikes a balance between performance and energy efficiency, ensuring that the water softening process is effective without unnecessary waste.

Minimal Maintenance:

One standout feature of AO Smith water softeners is their minimal maintenance requirements. Designed with user convenience in mind, these systems aim to reduce the hassle associated with water softening appliances. The components are built to withstand wear and tear, and the system often requires only basic upkeep tasks.

Regular maintenance typically involves replenishing salt in the brine tank and occasional checks on system settings. This simplicity not only saves homeowners time but also contributes to the longevity of the water softener.

The user-friendly design extends to maintenance processes, making it accessible for individuals without extensive technical knowledge.

Affordable Cost:

Affordability is a key factor that positions AO Smith water softeners as an attractive choice in the market. With a range of models catering to different needs and budgets, AO Smith provides options that offer effective water softening without breaking the bank.

The affordability factor doesn’t compromise the essential features and performance that homeowners seek in a water softener. This accessibility makes AO Smith a viable choice for a broad demographic, allowing more households to benefit from improved water quality without a hefty financial investment.

The combination of efficiency and affordability makes AO Smith water softeners a practical solution for those looking to enhance their home’s water quality without unnecessary cost burdens.

In summary, AO Smith water softeners impress with their fairly efficient performance, minimal maintenance requirements, and an affordable cost that makes water softening accessible to a wide range of consumers. These factors collectively contribute to the overall appeal of AO Smith as a reliable and budget-friendly choice for water treatment solutions.

Potential Setbacks of AO Smith Water Softener Systems:

While AO Smith water softeners boast several advantages, it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks to make an informed decision about your water treatment system. Let’s explore some of the setbacks associated with AO Smith water softener systems.

Limited Warranty:

One notable drawback of AO Smith water softener systems is the limited warranty coverage. Some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the warranty duration and coverage compared to competitors in the market.

A limited warranty may pose concerns for homeowners seeking long-term assurance and protection for their investment. It’s crucial for potential buyers to carefully review the warranty terms and consider whether the coverage aligns with their expectations and the lifespan they anticipate for their water softening system.

That said, enjoy a 10-year warranty covering the media tank, main control valve, and brine cabinet, along with a 3 to 5-year warranty on mechanical and electronic parts, depending on the chosen model.

This warranty offering surpasses that of many other compact water softeners, which typically provide 5-6 years of coverage, after which replacement is often advised by most companies.

Flimsy Materials:

Certain components of AO Smith water softeners may be perceived as less sturdy or durable by some users. Reports of flimsy materials raise questions about the long-term robustness of the system. While AO Smith prioritizes user-friendly design, some users have indicated that certain mechanical and electronic parts could be more resilient.

This aspect becomes particularly significant in regions with challenging water conditions or for users seeking a water softener with a more rugged build for extended durability.

No Additional Certifications:

While AO Smith water softeners proudly display NSF certification, some consumers may find themselves wanting additional certifications. Other soft water treatment systems on the market may hold certifications beyond NSF, addressing specific concerns such as environmental impact or energy efficiency.

The absence of these supplementary certifications might be a drawback for consumers with specific preferences or requirements beyond basic water softening.

Not Maintenance-Free:

While AO Smith water softeners have minimal maintenance requirements, they are not entirely maintenance-free. Some users may have anticipated a hands-off approach to upkeep, and any level of maintenance, no matter how minimal, might be considered a drawback for those seeking a truly set-and-forget water softening solution.

It’s crucial for potential buyers to understand and accept the low but necessary maintenance tasks involved in owning an AO Smith water softener.

In conclusion, while AO Smith water softeners offer many benefits, potential setbacks include a limited warranty, concerns about material durability, the absence of additional certifications, and the fact that the systems are not entirely maintenance-free.

Prospective buyers should weigh these considerations against the system’s advantages to determine if AO Smith aligns with their specific preferences and requirements.

FYI, the self cleaning pre filter is small. It’s commendable that the company integrated a built-in prefilter into the system, but the issue lies in its compact size. 

Despite being touted as self-cleaning, the prefilter has a tendency to clog prematurely, potentially impeding water flow to your bathrooms. This can pose challenges in achieving the desired level of water softness

Our Verdict & The Best Water Softener Alternatives:

After a thorough examination of AO Smith water softeners, it’s time to provide a final verdict and explore alternative options for those seeking the best water softening solution.

In our assessment, AO Smith water softeners emerge as solid contenders in the market, offering a balance of efficiency, affordability, and user-friendly features. The reduction of scale buildup, NSF certification, and minimal maintenance requirements contribute to their appeal. However, the limited warranty and concerns about materials may be factors to consider.

For those prioritizing efficiency and advanced features, the AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener with its higher capacity and smart technology stands out. However, individuals with a tighter budget may find the basic AO Smith Water Softener to be a practical and effective choice.

The Best Water Softener Alternatives:

Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener:

  • High efficiency with a reliable digital control valve.
  • Durable construction and a longer warranty period.
  • Customizable settings for optimal performance.

EcoWater ESD2752 Series Water Softener:

  • Advanced water softening technology for superior efficiency.
  • Smart features for monitoring and optimizing water usage.
  • Comprehensive warranty coverage for peace of mind.

Culligan High-Efficiency Water Softener:

  • Excellent reputation for water softening performance.
  • Smart sensor technology for efficient salt usage.
  • Professional installation and reliable customer support.

Considerations for Alternatives:

While AO Smith water softeners present a compelling choice, exploring alternatives can help match specific preferences and priorities. Factors such as warranty coverage, technological features, and brand reputation should be taken into account when making a decision.

Reading customer reviews and consulting with professionals can also provide valuable insights into the performance and reliability of different water softener models.


Are AO Smith water softeners suitable for large households?

The AO Smith Premier Series Water Softener, with its 64,000-grain capacity, is designed for larger households with higher water usage. However, individual water consumption patterns may vary, so it’s essential to consider the specific needs of your household.

Can AO Smith water softeners remove all contaminants from water?

AO Smith water softeners primarily target hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium. While they can enhance water quality, they may not address other contaminants. For comprehensive water treatment, consider additional filtration systems.

What is the recommended maintenance for AO Smith water softeners?

Maintenance typically involves adding salt to the brine tank and periodic checks on the system settings. Refer to the user manual for specific guidelines. While maintenance is minimal, regular attention ensures optimal performance.

How does the warranty for AO Smith water softeners compare to competitors?

AO Smith water softeners may have a more limited warranty compared to some competitors. It’s crucial to review warranty terms and factor this into your decision-making process.

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