Pelican Whole House Water Softener & Filter Review | Model PSE1800

    Pelican PSE1800

    Softener-Filter Combo: Pelican PSE1800

    •    Price: $$$$$
    •    Flow Rate: 8 gpm
    •    Capacity: Unlimited
    •    No. of People: 1-4+
    •    Tech: Salt-Free Conditioner

    The Pelican PSE1800 combines a whole house water filter with a salt-free softener a.k.a. conditioner.

    The goal: To provide clean and great-tasting drinking water that has all the benefits of properly softened water, such as keeping your hair & skin moisturized and not leaving deposits in your plumbing and household appliances.

    According to Pelican, the system delivers enough water for up to 3 bathrooms, although this might be a bit far-fetched.

    The service flow rate is approx. 8 gallons per minute, so we consider 2 bathrooms to be the maximum.

    Minimum and maximum required working pressure: 25-80 psi.

    What We Like

    Let’s start with the whole house filter unit with the model number PC600, a standalone system that can be purchased as such.

    It features a separate 5-micron sediment pre-filter for the removal of larger particles, followed by 2 stages of catalytic granular activated carbon media and 1 stage with copper and zinc oxidation media (KDF-55).

    The carbon is used to reduce chlorine content (certified up to 96%) thus improving water aesthetics and might even help with other chemicals like pesticides.

    The oxidation media mainly helps to control bacterial growth. It may also further reduce chlorine content and some water-soluble heavy metals.

    Rated capacity: 662,400 gallons.

    The benefit of this whole house filter is not only does it provide cleaner H2O for consumption, it also increases the longevity of the softening stage.

    Speaking of softening, the salt-free conditioner model NS3 – NS stands for NaturSoft – is certified by IAPMO R&T to NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for structural integrity and NSF/ANSI 61 for material safety.

    Pelican says that it’s 99.6% effective in scale reduction preventing and removing hard water deposits from your plumbing system and appliances. A real-world test has shown a reduction of hardness from 11 to 6 grains per gallon.

    Softening capacity: Unlimited.

    Using a salt-free conditioner has the advantage that the “softening” works without adding additional salt to your water, leaving it in its natural state so to speak. Also, all beneficial minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, are left in the water. On top of that, no water is wasted for backwash or regen.

    And finally, we welcome the 1-year manufacturer warranty covering all parts. The “5 year performance guarantee” seems to be rather useless reading the fine print.

    Pelican PSE1800 Review

    Installation + Startup Instructions

    When we get asked, we usually say that a water softener is relatively easy to install. We know, this doesn’t really help much.

    Let’s rephrase that: In our opinion, if you are handy with tools or even have some prior plumbing experience, hooking up the Pelican PSE1800 should not be a problem.

    If you are not a DIY guy, however, it might be better for you to hire a professional, especially because this system comes with 3 different stages.

    As for the general installation process, here is what you need to do:

    If a softener is not equipped with a bypass valve, we recommend you provide for one for ease of maintenance. Also, make sure to comply with local plumbing codes.

     First of all, the activated carbon filter has to saturate (pre-soak) for 48 hours prior to installing.

    1. Turn off the main water supply.
    2. Open all water outlets to drain the remaining water.
    3. Mount the pre-filter housing so it’s level with the much taller carbon filter.
    4. Use the Teflon tape (included) to wrap around the threaded end of the John Guest 1″ male NPT connector (included).
    5. Push the thread fitting into the inlet side of the pre-filter and hand tighten. Use a wrench to tighten 1-2 turns.
    6. Use the Teflon tape to wrap around the threaded end of the John Guest 1″ NPT to Stem (included).
    7. Push the thread fitting into the outlet side of the pre-filter and hand tighten. Use a wrench to tighten 1-2 turns.
    8. Connect the pre-filter to your home’s main water supply line.
    9. Connect the pre-filter to the carbon tank bypass using the John Guest to Clack 1″ stainless flex pipe (included). Hand tighten only.
    10. Connect the carbon filter to the softener tank bypass using the Clack to Clack 1″ stainless flex pipe (included). Hand tighten only.
    11. Connect the softener bypass valve to the outgoing main water supply line using the remaining flex pipe (included).
    12. Turn the main water supply back on.
    13. Check for leaks.


    The good news is that Marty from Awesome WATER WORKS has done an excellent job creating a video that outlines the general setup of the Pelican PSE1800/2000 in great detail:

    The Package (Parts)

    • Sediment pre-filter housing (blue)
    • 5-micron poly-spun sediment pre-filter cartridge
    • Sediment filter wrench
    • 2x bypass valve
    • Carbon filter (PC600)
    • Salt-free water conditioner (NS3)
    • Optional: UV filter stage (PUV-7)
    • John Guest 1″ male NPT connector
    • 3x John Guest 1″ NPT to Stem
    • John Guest to Clack 1″ stainless flex pipe
    • Clack to Clack 1″ stainless flex pipe
    • Clack to John Guest 1″ stainless flex pipe
    • Teflon tape

    Programming, Settings & Maintenance

    Lucky for you, there is no programming involved when setting up the Pelican PSE1800. And apart from the sediment pre-filter that needs to be changed every 6-9 months, the system requires no maintenance at all.

    Granted, about every 5 years or 600,000 gallons – whichever comes first – the carbon filter media has to be renewed. The softener media does not need replacement throughout the whole product cycle.


    You can find a user manual for this water filter-softener combo here.

    What We Don’t Like

    There are a couple of issues that we wanted to talk about in this section:

    • For one, Pelican offers a 90-day money back guarantee if you don’t like their products. How is this a drawback? Well, it seems like the company doesn’t always follow through with this. Sales reps try to talk you into testing their system for another couple of days/weeks and then you might not be able to return it anymore. Also, covering the return shipping fees is upon you.
    • The Pelican customer service isn’t always helpful. We would expect different from a company that sells premium-priced products.
    • Pre-soaking the carbon filter can be a pain in the a**.
    • You have to expect additional costs for installation material. Not all required bits and pieces are included in the package.
    • One customer had issues with a significant drop in water flow rate after installing the PSE1800. Another struggled with leaking plastic connectors.

    Our Verdict

    Water provided by the Pelican PSE1800 tastes great.

    Regarding the softening unit, you have to understand that this is not a softener in the traditional sense. It’s a water conditioner that CAN help with scale reduction. However, it won’t magically solve all your hard water problems like reduced lathering of soaps and detergents.

    In other words, a real salt-based softener will always be more effective. The PSE1800 can be a good alternative, if you don’t want the added sodium in your water for example.

    Our verdict: 3 stars!

    Looking for More Pelican Softener Reviews?

    If you are interested in checking out more Pelican systems, follow this link:

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    This completes our Pelican PSE1800 review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

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