Whirlpool WHES33 33,000-Grain Water Softener Review 2021

Please note: This page may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product or service through such a link we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more about our product review process or check our FTC affiliate disclosure.


With the WHES water softener series, Whirlpool tries to provide the perfect solution for any home with hard water problems – whether that’s well or municipal tap water.

The WHES33 model which we are going to review today has been rated “Best Buy” by a leading consumer magazine and comes with a capacity of 33,000 grains (.88 cubic feet).

Whirlpool WHES33

Whirlpool WHES33

Flow Rate:8 gpm
Capacity:33,000 Grains
# of People:1-4
Metered Regen:

Our Rating

Whirlpool WHES33 33,000-Grain Water Softener – Key Features

33,000 grains means that the system is suited for small to medium-sized families with up to 4 people and a maximum water hardness of 105 grains per gallon (gpg).

Now 105 gpg is extremely high and luckily the exception rather than the rule. The majority of people struggling with hard water usually face between 7 and 14 gpg.

Back to the WHES33.

It’s built in the U.S., it’s a single-tank system so it takes up less space in your garage or basement, and it’s WQA tested and certified to guarantee optimum performance and water safety.

  • Minimum required water pressure: 20 psi.
  • Service flow rate: 8 gpm.

WHES33 Pros

The Whirlpool WHES33 provides all the benefits of soft water:

  • Your clothes will be brighter and feel softer.
  • Your dishes will be cleaner without spots.
  • And your general household cleaning will be much easier.

You should also be aware of the fact that hard water can cause scaling in your plumbing and water using appliances, such as your dish washer and water heater. More often than not, this forces them to work harder and thus consume more energy (up to 30 percent).

Another advantage is that a softener can increase the lifespan on these appliances by as much as 50 percent.

Apart from softening, the Whirlpool WHES33 can also be used to reduce iron content in water – up to 9 ppm of ferrous a.k.a. clear-water iron is feasible. Iron bacteria, organic iron and ferric (red-water iron) won’t be affected.

We also wanted to mention Whirlpool’s 6th Sense Technology here. We know, 6th Sense Technology – what does that even mean?

Basically, it allows the softener to “learn and predict your water usage“, according to Whirlpool. (Source) The system then automatically calculates when regen is most effective, how much salt is required and only uses what is necessary.

All in all, you can find similar features also in other water softeners, such as Fleck. Which does not mean that we think this technology is not good – it sure is! It helps you to save money by saving salt and water and therefore also benefits the environment.

Did we mention the full 1-year warranty covering all parts? You also get 3 years (limited) on electronics and 10 years (limited) on the tank.

Installation + Startup Instructions

First or all, the WHES33 comes with detailed instructions and everything else that’s needed to hook it up, so even if you are not a DIY guy, you can install it yourself.

Is prior plumbing experience necessary? Definitely not. How much time is required: One afternoon is usually enough.

If you are unsure about your next step(s), remember that you can always get in contact with Whirlpool’s water treatment professionals at (866) 986-3223.

Here are some step-by-step instructions:

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.

1. Finding the Best Location

Your first task is to find a suitable location where it doesn’t freeze and without direct sunlight.

Also, there has to be a power supply plus a drain nearby.

It also makes sense to go with a place in front of the water heater close to where the feed water enters your home, so all of it gets softened before being distributed.

2. Setup

  1. Close the main water supply valve.
  2. Drain the remaining water by opening one or more outlets.
  3. Install the brine tank overflow grommet and elbow in the diameter hole at the back of the salt storage tank sidewall.
  4. Place the softener tank on level ground.
  5. After greasing the O-rings with silicone, push the bypass valve into the softener valve until it stops.
  6. Snap the holding clips to secure.
  7. Make a connection from the main supply line to the softener’s inlet and outlet ports. Which is which is marked on the valve.
  8. Install the drain hose. Connect the provided drain line to the valve drain fitting. Use the provided clamps to fix the hose. Route the drain hose to the drain and secure it.
  9. Install the brine tank overflow hose by connecting the provided drain line to the overflow elbow. Secure with a hose clamp. Next, route the overflow hose to the drain.
  10. Check for leaks.

This is how you startup the softener:

  1. Fill approximately 3 gallons of water into the brine tank.
  2. Add salt.
  3. Plug in the power supply.
  4. Fully sanitize the softener before using the water for the first time (see manual).

3. Video

The following video is the only valuable one we could find on YouTube that explains how to install a Whirlpool softener. It’s not perfect, but it’ll help you to get a basic idea of how the setup works:

The Package (Parts)

  • All-in-one resin + brine tank, 43″x18″x19″ (HxWxD), can hold about 175 lbs of salt
  • 33,000 grain (0.88 cubic feet) resin
  • Bypass valve
  • Drain hose
  • Hose clamps
  • Clips
  • Installation adaptors
  • Adaptor elbows
  • Grommet
  • Hardness test strip

All parts required to assemble and install this unit are included in the package.

Programming, Settings & Maintenance

All Whirlpool water softeners feature an easy to use digital display that allows for quick programming without the need for professional assistance.

Simply make your preferred settings according to the manual and never touch the console again:

  • Set the current time
  • Set your water hardness number
  • Set regeneration time
  • Set salt level
  • Start a recharge

For maintenance, remember to always have a sufficient amount of salt in the brine tank. An indicator light will start flashing whenever you are running low. Also, make sure to break any salt bridges.


You can find a user manual for the Whirlpool WHES33 here: Manual

WHES33 Cons

What we don’t like? Nothing except the ordinary. Some users struggled with leaks, others with a broken display.

It might be worth considering extending your warranty – you know, just in case…

Whirlpool WHES33 Review: Our Verdict

A low price tag meets quality built. If it was not for the issues that some customers had, we would have rated this water softener with 5 stars instead of 3.5!

More Reviews:

comment banner blue

This completes our Whirlpool WHES33 review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald has been with BOS since the very beginning. She is head of content creation and has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
Learn more about .


Leave a Comment: