Whirlpool WHES44 44,000-Grain Water Softener Review 2021

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This is the last in our Whirlpool water softener review series.

It features the Whirlpool WHES44 44,000 grain softener for residential hard water treatment for both wells and municipal supplies.

Whirlpool WHES44

Whirlpool WHES44

Flow Rate:9 gpm
Capacity:44,000 Grains
# of People:1-5
Metered Regen:

Our Rating

Whirlpool WHES44 44,000-Grain Water Softener – Key Features

The WHES44 is not the largest water softening system that Whirlpool offers by the way. There also is the WHESCS with 46,000 grains, the WHES48 with 48,000 grains, and the PRO Series with up to 60,000 grains.

44,000 grains equals 1.23 cu. ft. for a maximum level of water hardness of 140 gpg (grains per gallon).

Whirlpool recommends this model for medium to large-sized homes with up to 5 people.

Just note that the service flow rate is 9 gallons per minute. If you continuously go above that threshold, softening capacity and efficiency can be affected.

FYI: Shower heads use up to 2.5 (3) gpm, sink faucets between 2.2 and 2.5 gpm, and a toilet drains up to 1.6 gallons per flush.

Like all other Whirlpool softeners, the WHES44 is built in the USA. It’s a single-tank unit meaning that it requires less space and – in our humble opinion – it’s nowhere near as ugly as many other systems.

Lastly, WQA certifications guarantee optimum performance and water safety.

Water pressure limits: 20 – 125 psi.

WHES44 Pros

What we like about the WHES44 is that because of the softened water it provides

  • Your skin and hair will feel and look less dry.
  • The same applies to your clothes. They will feel softer.
  • Your dishes, shower, fixtures and toilets will be cleaner and without ugly stains.
  • Your water heater, dish washer, washing machine and other appliances that use water work more energy-efficient due to reduced scaling.
  • The longevity of these appliances and your plumbing system increases for the same reason.

On a side note: This softener can not only be used for softening water. It also does a great job at removing ferrous iron of up to 12 ppm, says Whirlpool. Unfortunately, the ion exchange process does not have any effect on organic iron, iron bacteria and ferric iron.

What’s more, the softener allows you to trigger an additional backwash cycle in order to get rid of any excess iron that might have accumulated in the resin tank.

Speaking of backwashing, the WHES44 works with metered regeneration and a feature Whirlpool calls “6th Sense Technology“. Simply put, based on the hardness level and how much water you’ve used, the unit calculates the best time and the exact amount of salt that is required for a full resin recharge.

This way, no salt and more importantly water is being wasted during a regen cycle. The benefits of this are obvious: You can reduce your water bill and help the environment.

How much salt can be saved? Up to 25% compared to older timer-based Whirlpool softeners.

Whirlpool WHES44

The Whirlpool WHES44 – learn more on amazon.com

Installation + Startup Instructions

You don’t need to be a professional plumber in order to hook up this baby by yourself. Just make sure to follow the installation instructions provided by your water softener dealer or Whirlpool precisely.

If you don’t know what to do next, reach out to the Whirlpool cs team at (866) 986-3223.

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

This softener has to be located in a place where temperatures don’t drop below zero and out of direct sunlight. A solid and level ground somewhere in your garage or basement would be ideal.

A power supply and a drain have to be nearby. And, of course, you have to have access to the main water line, so you have access to soft water at all outlets in your home.

2. Setup

  1. Make sure to close the main water supply valve to prevent major leaks.
  2. Drain all the remaining water by opening at least one outlet.
  3. Install the brine tank overflow grommet and elbow in the diameter hole at the back of the salt storage tank sidewall.
  4. Put the tank in place.
  5. Next you have to attach the bypass valve onto the softener valve. But before you do that, grease the O-rings with silicone.
  6. Snap the holding clips to secure.
  7. Connect the main water supply line to the softener’s inlet and outlet ports as marked on the valve.
  8. Now it’s time to install the drain hose. Connect the drain line (provided) to the valve drain fitting. Use the clamps to secure the hose. Route the drain hose to the drain and also secure it.
  9. Install the brine tank overflow hose by connecting the provided drain line to the overflow elbow. Secure with hose clamp. Route the overflow hose to the drain.
  10. Check for leaks.

In order to 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 (see manual).

3. Video

The following is the only valuable YouTube video we were able to find on how to install a Whirlpool softener. We know, it’s not perfect, but it gives you a basic idea of the process:

The Package (Parts)

  • All-in-one resin + brine tank, 48″x18″x19″ (HxWxD), can hold about 200 lbs of salt
  • 44,000 grain (1.23 cubic feet) resin
  • Bypass valve
  • Drain hose
  • Hose clamps
  • Clips
  • Installation adaptors
  • Adaptor elbows
  • Grommet
  • Water hardness test strip

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

Programming, Settings & Maintenance

Once installed, the last step is to program the WHES44 softener using the digital display. Don’t worry, it will guide you through the process and helps you set:

  • The current time
  • Your water hardness level
  • The regeneration time
  • The salt level

To allow you to check the salt level inside the tank, Whirlpool has added a nice little tank light. This way you don’t have to open the whole thing.

In addition, a low salt indicator lets you know whenever you are about to run out of salt.


You can find a user manual for the Whirlpool water softener model WHES44 here: Manual

WHES44 Cons

As for the cons, we can’t say much here quite frankly. We know that some users had issues with leaking units and broken displays with similar models of the same softener series.

Whirlpool WHES44 Review: Our Verdict

The Whirlpool WHES44 is a high-quality water softener system built in the U.S. that comes at a fair price. Its most important feature is the metered, resource-saving regeneration. Our verdict: 4 out of 5 stars!

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This completes our Whirlpool WHES44 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.
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