WaterBoss Water Softener How-to and Troubleshooting Guide

WaterBoss specializes in manufacturing water filtration products of high-quality standards, such as faucet filters and water softener systems. WaterBoss water softeners can not only soften your water but also filter out iron, chlorine, and sediments from your water supply.

Like other water softeners, WaterBoss can develop common problems such as clogging, leaking, breaking down parts, and low water pressure. Fortunately, we have provided you with basic troubleshooting tips to help you fix the most common WaterBoss water softener problems.

How to install the WaterBoss water softener

The WaterBoss water softener is easy to install yourself if you have some basic plumbing skills and with the help of our step-by-step guide.

Things you need

  1. Flexible hoses (not included)
  2. Half inch tubing
  3. Wrench
  4. Hose clamp


1. Prepping for installation

  • Before installing the water softener, there is a checklist that you need to confirm to ensure your water softener will work correctly.
    • Water pressure: It should be more than 20 psi.
    • Water hardness: Test with the water hardness strips provided with the packing or get one here.
    • Model 550 is for up to 25 grains of hardness per gallon.
    • Model 700 is for up to 70 grains of hardness per gallon.
    • Model 900 is for up to 90 grains of hardness per gallon.
    • Water supply flow rate: It should be a minimum of 5 gallons per minute.
    • Drain: There should be a drain appliance to the floor drain or washer drain. You should also provide an adequate air gap or a siphon break to prevent back-siphoning.
    • Electricity: The transformer supplied is a standard 120 volt, 60 cycle A.C. for the USA or 220 volts, 50 cycle A.C. for outside the USA.
    • Water quality: You should install a water filter before the water softener system if your water supply contains contaminants such as sulfur, bacteria, iron, and others.
  • Unbox all the equipment from the package, making sure not to tip the water softener system on its side. Make sure all the items are there, and they are undamaged.
  • Choose the installation location. Make sure there is a power outlet, floor drain, and main water line near.

2. Shut off the main water supply valve.

  • Turn off the incoming water to your home.
  • Turn on the faucet in your sink, bathroom, shower, or bathtub and allow the water to empty the lines and release the pressure inside the water lines.

3. Position the water softener unit.

  • Remove the water softener’s lid and position it into place about 8 inches from the wall to provide enough room for the hoses to protrude from the back.
  • Connect the piping provided from the main water line and another to the pipe coming from the house. Extend the water pipes all the way to the water softener’s location.

4. Connect the flexible hoses.

  • Attach the incoming water to the inlet port on the left side of the bypass valve. Then attach the outgoing water pipe to the port on the right side of the bypass valve.
  • Attach the flexible hoses to the hard pipes but do not tighten them right now in case you need to make adjustments. The flexible hose should gradually bend as any kinks or tight corners will restrict water flow.
  • Attach a flexible hose to the outgoing pipe, making sure it has no sharp bends.

5. Connect the drain line.

  • Wrap plumber’s tape onto the threads on the drain line fitting to prevent leaks.
  • Screw the drain line fitting into the port on the side of the bypass valve head and tighten it.
  • Connect the half-inch tubing provided to the drain line fitting. Attach the hose clamp over the tubing to ensure the drain line stays in place. Route the rest of the drain line to the floor drain or waste receptor, ensuring it doesn’t make any sharp bends that might restrict water draining.

6. Connect the Gravity Overflow Connection elbow.

  • Screw in the elbow to the hole at the back of the WaterBoss tank.
  • Attach one end of the half-inch tubing to the end of the elbow and direct the line to the nearest floor drain.

7. Tighten all the fittings.

  • After positioning all the plumbing, make the necessary adjustments and tighten all the connections with a wrench to prevent leaking. Do not over-tighten as the plastic parts my break.

8. Flush the water lines.

  • Before operating the water softening system, flush the water lines a couple of times. Then, turn the knob on the bypass fitting counterclockwise to put your system into bypass and flush the water lines.
  • Turn on the main water supply valve and the cold water faucet in the sink, shower, or bathtub to release excess air. Allow the water to run until the flow becomes steady and has a full stream.
  • Check all the connections and ensure there is no leaking.

9. Add water and salt to the brine cabinet.

  • Empty the brine tank.
  • Pour in clean pellet salt of between 6 to 8 pounds, depending on the size of your model. The salt level should not go higher than the two-thirds mark.
  • Add not more than 2 gallons of water into the brine cabinet. Always keep the salt above water level.
  • Check the salt level at least once a month to refill it and ensure it works efficiently.

10. Connect the WaterBoss water softener system

  • If everything is running okay, turn the bypass knob clockwise to switch on the service position.
  • Plug the transformer into a power outlet and connect the power cord to the appropriate port on the back of the system’s control panel. The first regeneration cycle will take about 26 minutes, and your system will automatically start regeneration on demand.

How to program a WaterBoss water softener

The WaterBoss water softener has a control panel with an LCD that allows you to change the settings, view its status, and perform regeneration.

Demand regeneration

  1. The WaterBoss water softener will regenerate automatically depending on the demand of your household; therefore, you won’t need to set a timer. However, you have to program the control panel for the water softener to operate correctly.
  2. Determine the hardness level of your water supply in Grains per Gallon using the test strips provided.
  3. If your water is positive for hardness and iron, add both figures to get your Compensated Hardness.
  4. Adjust the hardness number if your water has excess iron and a pH of seven or above. If your water meets those conditions, add 15 points to the hardness number to get your hardness setting. These adjustments ensure your systems runs effectively.
  5. Press and hold the SET button for approximately 5 seconds until the hardness number you got in the previous step shows on display.
  6. Press the CHANGE button until the screen shows your total Compensated Hardness level.
  7. Press SET to save the number into the settings. You have now programmed the softener to your specific water needs.

Time-initiated regeneration

The WaterBoss water softener also allows you to set your regeneration time.

  1. Enter the hardness setting number by pressing the SET button.
  2. Set the current time in military-style to the nearest hour. (Some models use the 12-hour clock system)
    • Press SET.
    • Press the Immediate Recharge button, and the status indicator will turn on.
    • Press the SET button until the current time of day appears on the screen.
    • When “Gallons Remaining” appears on the display screen, continue to the next step.
  3. Set your desired regeneration time in military time.
    • Press SET.
    • Press the Immediate Recharge button twice, and the status indicator light will turn off.
    • Press the SET button until your desired time for regeneration appears.
    • When the controller saves the settings, “Gallons Remaining” will appear on the display screen.

If the status indicator light blinks, it means you held the Immediate Recharge button for more than five seconds and put the unit into immediate regeneration. Then, let the water softener finish the regeneration cycle and start programming again.

How do I reset a WaterBoss water softener?

Resetting the WaterBoss water softener will return all the settings to default. To reset your WaterBoss water softener, remove the transformer from the power outlet and let the system rest for about 30 seconds. Then plug the transformer back into the power outlet.

How long should a WaterBoss softener last?

The WaterBoss water softeners last between 10 to 20 years, depending on the model you have. The water softener will deteriorate naturally due to constant use, electrical problems, and component breakdowns like other home appliances. Also, maintenance is vital. They tend to last longer if they are well-maintained. Your water quality can also affect how long your WaterBoss water softener lasts. If your water supply has a high concentration of hard water minerals or iron, your water softener will likely break down sooner.

How do I know if my WaterBoss water softener is working?

After installing your WaterBoss water softener, it’s essential to know if it’s doing its job. There are several ways you can test your water softener.

Check your water softener.

  • Ensure the transformer has plugged into a working power outlet.
  • Make sure the bypass knob is in the service position.
  • Maintaining an optimal salt level ensures your unit works well. If the brine tank runs out of salt, the system cannot regenerate to produce soft water. Also, check for bridging at the bottom of the brine tank.

Check for regeneration.

The WaterBoss water softener uses a demand regeneration where the controller measures the water usage and regenerates according to need. The water softener regenerates using only the required amount of water and salt. The more water your household uses, the more often the system will regenerate and vice versa. So to determine if the appliance is working, you can check the salt level in the brine tank. If the water softener is not using up the salt and you are hardly refilling it with salt as before, your water softener is likely not working. On the other hand, your system works fine if you replenish the salt at least once a month.

Check for hard water signs.

Since the work of a water softener is to remove the calcium and magnesium ions from hard water to turn it into soft water, the most obvious way to tell if your system is working is the absence of hard water signs. So here are the signs to look out for:

  • Scale and mineral build-up. Hard water evaporates and leaves mineral residue. So look for white powdery spots on the shower walls, faucet handles, utensils, and sink.
  • Change in water taste. Hard water tastes saltier than usual.
  • Dry and ashy hands. Hard water will leave your skin feeling dry, itchy, and ashy when the water dries.
  • Squeaky hands. On the other hand, when your hands are wet with hard water, they will feel sticky.
  • Water lathering. Soap lathers easily in with soft water. Hard water causes reduced lathering or no lathering at all.
  • Water pressure. If your water pressure reduces, there might be clogging in your water softener that may prevent it from working efficiently.

Perform a water hardness test

Get a water hardness test kit from your local hardware store and determine if the water from your faucet is hard water or soft water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and compare the results with the chart on the test kit.

How long does it take for a WaterBoss water softener to regenerate?

The regeneration cycle in a WaterBoss water softener takes about 15 minutes to complete which is much shortener than that of other water softeners.

Can I use water while the WaterBoss water softener is regenerating?

Yes, you can use water while your water softener regenerates, but we do not recommend it. The water softener will bypass itself, so any water you draw during regeneration will be hard. Also, if you open the faucet during regeneration, you will draw hard water into the pipes and can potentially stay in the system for a long time, increasing the build-up of limescale. The best thing to do is avoid using water during regeneration to ensure your water softener lasts longer.

If your water softener starts to regenerate while using the water, the water heater will begin to fill up with hard water. Consequentially, your plumbing will develop hard water problems like scaling and clogging and low water pressure.

Does a water softener drain during regeneration?

Yes, the water softener has to drain the water it uses to clean the resin beads. The hard water flows through the resin beads, and the resin attracts the hard water minerals and holds onto the minerals. The water then becomes soft water and flows into the home. Over time the resin beads accumulate too many hard water minerals they start to become ineffective and need cleaning. So the system goes through regeneration or backwashing.

The water softener draws brine water from the brine tank, which takes away the hard water minerals from the resin beads, and the wastewater goes down the drain leaving the resin beads clean. The cleaning cycle happens at least once a week or depending on the demand of your household.

WaterBoss water softener is not regenerating.

When your water softener does not regenerate, it means there will be no water softener. There are several reasons that can stop your unit from regeneration, so here are the troubleshooting tips to get your appliance working again.

The unit’s power is off.

The WaterBoss water softener’s motor runs on electricity, so it will not regenerate if the unit is not receiving power. Ensure your water softener has plugged in and that the power outlet is functioning. If it is not working, check the circuit breaker and reset it if it has tripped.

Press and hold the “Regenerate” button for three seconds to reset hardness after a power outage has occurred.

The system is in bypass mode.

Find the bypass fitting and locate the bypass valve or knob. Turn the bypass handle clockwise to place it in the service position.

Too much or too little salt in the brine tank

The salt in the tank should be at most two-thirds full and about 3 to 4 inches above the water level. Your water softener requires salt to work because it cleans the hard water minerals from the resin beads. But if the salt is too much in the tank, your water will start to taste salty. If the salt level is too low, the unit won’t work correctly. To fix this:

  • Open the lid of the brine cabinet and check the level.
  • If the salt is too much, scoop out some of the salt.
  • If the salt is too little, refill it, and the water level should be higher than the salt.
  • Wait about two hours, then press and hold the “Regenerate” button for three seconds.

A blocked nozzle

The injector nozzle is the part that draws brine solution out of the brine tank. When dirt or sediment clogs the nozzle, the brine solution will not reach the resin beads for cleaning. Here is how you can unblock the nozzle to get your unit working.

  • Put the system on bypass.
  • Locate the injector assembly at the top of the unit. Remove the cap while being careful with the o-ring seal.
  • Remove the screen and take out the nozzle.
  • Wash all the parts in clean, warm water.
  • Use a toothpick to remove the dirt from the small crevices, then reassemble the parts in reverse order.
  • Before installing the O-ring, apply a thin film of petroleum jelly around the ring, then screw the cap back into place.

The drain line is blocked or kinked.

After regeneration, the wastewater flows down the drain. If the drain line has blockages or kinks, the water will not drain, thus preventing regeneration. Locate the drain line at the back of the brine cabinet and disconnect it from the brine tank. Straighten the hose to remove kinks and flush water through it to remove any blockage. Sometimes the hose can freeze up during the winter months. If it is frozen, thaw the line by pouring warm water over the hose.

A faulty motor

The WaterBoss water softener runs on electricity and needs a motor to function. If the motor becomes defective, the water softener cannot work correctly. If you suspect motor failure, first check the cables to make sure they are not damaged. If they are, you can replace the cables. If the cables are in working condition, you can either replace the motor or buy a new water softener.

The resin has depleted.

Over time, the resin beads become depleted, which reduces their effectiveness in removing the hard water minerals from the water. Regeneration cleans and recharges the resin beads to continue softening the water, but they are not indestructible. The durability of the resin beads depends on the quality of the water passing through them. Factors like iron damage, hydraulic shock, and flooring damage will break down the resin. After ten years, you need to replace the resin beads. Resin exposed to excessive amounts of iron, chlorine, and hard water minerals will last five years.

WaterBoss water softener not using salt

If the salt stays on the same level over time, the softener is not using the salt; therefore, it’s not regeneration. Check for bridging at the bottom of the brine tank. Sometimes salt can solidify at the bottom and block water from flowing out to the rest of the system. To remove the salt bridge from your water softener:

  • Set the softener in the bypass position.
  • Unplug the transformer from power to avoid electrocution.
  • Use a wooden broomstick to gently crush the salt rock at the bottom of the tank.
  • Remove the water from the brine tank.
  • Add hot water into the brine tank to further break down and loosen the salt bridge. Let the hot water sit in the brine tank for about four to six hours.
  • Once the salt dissolves in the water, turn the bypass to service and press “Regenerate” to manually run the water through.
  • If the salt at the bottom is dirty, do not regenerate since the dirt may clog other system parts. Instead, empty the salt and water and refill with pure salt.

To prevent salt bridging in the future:

  • Use good quality salt.
  • Do not overfill the brine tank with salt. The salt level should not go beyond the two-thirds mark.
  • If your unit is in a basement with high humidity, add a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity or add ventilation.
  • Every time you refill the salt, push the wooden broomstick down into the brine tank to ensure a salt bridge is not forming/

WaterBoss water softener is constantly draining.

Your water softener should not drain continuously. The unit is having trouble drawing brine from the salt tank if it is stuck in regeneration and is constantly running or draining. Here is how to troubleshoot this issue.

  • If the softener stops draining after a while, try resetting the timer. If the problem persists, continue with troubleshooting.
  • Another probable cause for this problem could be a clogged drain line, injector, or brine line. Again, inspect the water softener and remove any blockages.
  • The control switch or timer could be broken or shorted if the softener is not switching automatically to the conditioned phase. You will have to either replace the timer, switch, or the entire control panel to fix this.

WaterBoss water softener is not draining.

The brine tank will overflow when the system is not draining, or the float shut-off assembly does not close the water feed.  An overflowing water softener could be clogging or a malfunctioning drain line, a damaged valve, or a stuck float. Follow the instructions below to help you identify the issue and fix it.

  • Check the drain line and valves and look for any blockages or crimping. Then, unplug the unit from power. Straighten it out if it is bent and thaw it if it is frozen.
  • Check the brine line and first ensure that it has securely attached to the brine tank. If the brine line is not well secured, the water will flow in continuously. Also, inspect the brine line for any blockages. Then, disconnect it from the system and flush it with clean water to unblock it.
  • Clean the injector assembly. Unscrew the cap, clean all the parts with warm water and reassemble them.
  • Check the safety float. The float monitors the water level and shuts off the water feed when it reaches the appropriate height to prevent more water from flowing into the brine tank. If the safety float is faulty, the tank will overflow. To fix this:
    • Gently remove the float from the brine tank.
    • Run the float under hot water for about 10 minutes while carefully moving it up and down to ensure it moves freely.
    • Check the small ball at the float’s bottom and ensure it is also moving freely.
    • The hot water will help remove any substance causing the float to stick.
    • Carefully return the float into place.

WaterBoss water softener causing low water pressure

Your water softener may cause low water pressure due to some of the following reasons:

The unit is too small

The wrong side of the water softener for your household can lead to low water pressure or will lead to hard water sometimes. The capacity of the water softener should be able to cater to the home’s demand. Always consult a professional to advise of the size most suitable. If the unit is too small for your home, you may have to replace the entire system.

Sediment and dirt build-up

Your incoming water will always have some sediment that can accumulate and clog the system, reducing water pressure over time. The dirt could also come from using low-quality salt. One sign of blocked pipes is water overflowing in the brine tank. If you suspect a blockage, inspect the piping and the system and unblock it.

Resin clogs

Chlorine from the water can break down the resin beads into smaller particles that easily clog the system and causing low pressure. The resin beads can also wash out and block the faucet plumbing. Fix the issue by first flushing the system to remove the stuck resin beads then refill the resin beads:

  • Open the bypass valve.
  • Open all the hot and cold water faucets to drain and flush your water heater. Flush the toilet and other cold-water lines in the house.
  • Run all water appliances and check them for clogged resin beads. If one seems clogged, turn it off, disconnect it and remove the blockage. Then reattach the water lines and rerun the appliances.
  • Refill the resin beads in your water softener to ensure it starts working well.

An iron build-up in the resin tank

If your water has high iron content, the iron will accumulate in the resin tank over time and reduce water pressure. To eliminate iron build-up, add a mineral cleaner such as Iron OUT® to your water softener and set more frequent regeneration cycles.

For the first application:

  • Dissolve one cup of the product in half a gallon of clean cold water.
  • Pour the mixture directly into the brine tank.
  • Press “Regenerate” to manually run the softener. Run it a couple of times if the build-up or smell is severe.

For regular use;

  • Pour a quarter cup per every 40 lbs of salt.
  • Repeat it regularly for continuous cleaning.

How to clean a WaterBoss water softener

We recommend cleaning your water softener annually to maximize its performance, reduce component breakdowns and prolong its lifespan. There are other factors that may influence how frequently you need to clean your water softener, such as if there is low output pressure, the water is discolored, the output water is hard water, or foul odor. Follow the steps below to clean your WaterBoss unit.

  • Turn the bypass knob counterclockwise to put the system into bypass mode.
  • Unplug the system from power.
  • You can disconnect the brine tank from the plumbing to clean it elsewhere or clean it as it is.
  • Empty the brine tank using a wet/dry vac or scooping everything out with a cup or bowl.
  • Remove the brine grid at the bottom of the brine tank and set it aside.
  • Pour a bucket of warm water into the brine tank.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to wash the sides and base of the brine tank, then drain out the water.
  • Pour another bucket of warm, clean water into the brine tank and add a generous amount of dish soap.
  • Use the soft bristle brush to clean the brine tank’s interior.
  • Drain out the soapy water and then thoroughly rinse the tank with clean water using a garden hose.
  • Fill the brine tank with about two to three gallons of water and add a quarter cup of household bleach.
  • Stir this mixture around the tank’s interior and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. The bleach will disinfect the tank and kill any bacteria or mold that might be growing.
  • Remove the bleach mixture and dispose of it safely.
  • Take a garden hose and rinse the tank thoroughly.
  • Use some soapy water to clean the grid, then rinse it well before returning it into the brine tank.
  • Turn the bypass back into service and plug the unit into power.
  • Refill the brine tank with a new bag of salt and clean water.
  • Wait about 4 hours, then run a manual regeneration by pressing “Regenerate” on the control panel.

Check this too: Pelican Water Softener How to & Troubleshooting Guide


From the article above, you can see most WaterBoss water softener problems are relatively easy to fix yourself with minimal skill and effort. Proper unit maintenance will also reduce the occurrence of the issues and prolong the lifespan of your water softener. Remember to always call in a professional plumber in case the problem becomes too complex.