As you continue looking for a good quality water softener for your home, you may have come across the brand name 3M.
3M does not have flashy water softener models, but they work well and are well-built. That alone makes it worth reviewing them.
After reading our 3M water softeners review, you should be able to determine if one of the company’s water softening models is the right one for your soft water needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 About 3M
- 2 3M Water Softeners Reviewed
- 3 3MWTS Water Softener System Review (1” Valve Piping Models)
- 4 3MWTS 1.25” Valve Piping Models
- 5 3M ESP Series Water Softener
- 6 3M Aqua Pure Water Softener
- 7 3M Customer Service and Guarantees
- 8 3M Water Softener Problems
- 9 How Does 3M Compare to Competitors
- 10 Conclusion
Without a doubt, 3M is one of the most recognized names of any manufacturer in America. That’s what being in business for over a hundred years will do for you. This St. Paul, Minnesota headquartered company does much more than just make water filtration equipment too.
It manufactures all types of goods, and you cannot walk into a grocery store, hardware store, home improvement center, or even a convenience mart without finding at least one product that has the 3M brand name on it. You simply must be impressed with the size and scope of a company that caters to industrial, commercial, and residential customers in almost 200 countries.
Despite what you just read and although this company is big into water filtration equipment in general, I would not say salt-based water softening systems are a big focus of theirs.
They essentially have only one basic model water softener of this type and they offer six variations of that system. 3M specializes much more in industrial, whole-house water filters, water conditioners, and under-sink water filtration systems such as those that use reverse osmosis.
Any 3M water softener system that’s made is not widely available, and they tend to run to the expensive side. The latter is a little concerning for softener models that have just basic controls with no Wi-Fi connectivity.
3M Water Softeners Reviewed
Here is a chart so you can do some quick comparisons between the water softener systems that 3M makes:
|Best Used For
3MWTS100: Homes with up to 2 occupants and 1 bathroom
3MWTS150: Homes with up to 3 occupants and up to 2 bathrooms
3MWTS200: Homes with up to 4 occupants and up to 3 bathrooms
|3MWTS with 1” Valve
3MWTS150-125: Homes with up to 3 occupants and up to 3 bathrooms
3MWTS200-125: Homes with up to 4 occupants and up to 4 bathrooms
3MWTS300-125: Homes with 5-7 occupants and up to 5 bathrooms
|3MWTS with 1.25” Valve
|$1800 - $3400
|Best used in the foodservice industry on the water lines that feed beverage machines
|3M ESP Series Water Softener
|Used on the incoming water lines in all-sized homes
|3M™ Aqua-Pure™ Water Treatment Backwashing 3MCBF Series
3MWTS Water Softener System Review (1” Valve Piping Models)
Here I will talk about the 3M water softening systems that have 1” piping on their inlets and outlets.
These are quality whole house softeners that as previously mentioned come without many frills, but don’t mistake that for meaning they don’t work well. These salt-based dual-tank softeners will do as good or a better job of removing hard water minerals as just about any brand of water softener that is out there in the marketplace. That’s exactly what you would expect from a company with as much water filtration experience as 3M has and that’s what you get. They will do such things as help you cut down on shampoo consumption and use less detergent, stop scale formation, protect pipes and keep spots from appearing on dishes.
Here are some highlight features:
- Durability – 3M has taken the time to design water-softening models that feature superior construction in every way. This includes everything from their sturdy Polyethylene resin tanks to their smooth working control heads. That helps 3M softeners last as long as any that are made.
- 3rd Party Certified – I always like a product that has been tested by independent experts and then certified by them. Such is the case with 3M softeners as they come with both NSF/ANSI Standard 44 and WQA certifications.
- Very Functional Control Heads – While 3M’s control heads cannot connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, they will let you control much of your home water softening process. They can be adjusted to match your household water’s hardness level, you can preset their regeneration cycles, and they even keep a valve history of the water flow gallonage and flow rates through them. These control heads also help to ensure low salt consumption and are easy to attach to plumbing fixtures.
Here are the generally accepted uses for 3M’s 1” valve softeners:
- 3MWTS100: Homes with up to 2 occupants and 1 bathroom
- 3MWTS150: Homes with up to 3 occupants and up to 2 bathrooms
- 3MWTS200: Homes with up to 4 occupants and up to 3 bathrooms
3MWTS 1.25” Valve Piping Models
If you are looking for a big difference between a 1” 3MWTS water softener system and those here with 1.25” valves, you are not going to find that. That’s because, besides the larger size valve piping and some models with bigger grain capacities, all of 3M’s salt-based water softening systems are identical in almost every aspect.
Does that mean you shouldn’t take the time to decide between a 3M water softener system with a 1” valve and a 1.25” valve? The answer is no because these do offer some advantages over the 1” valve models. This includes allowing for impressive flow rates through them which also means they can handle having slightly more occupants and one more bathroom in a home than comparable size 1” valve models.
So, if you love the feeling of a high-pressure hot shower in the morning or have several people in your home that get ready for school or work at the same time, then you would want to go with these water softener models that have bigger valves.
Here are the generally accepted uses for 3M’s 1.25” valve softeners:
- 3MWTS150-125: Homes with up to 3 occupants and up to 3 bathrooms
- 3MWTS200-125: Homes with up to 4 occupants and up to 4 bathrooms
- 3MWTS300-125: Homes with 5-7 occupants and up to 5 bathrooms
3M ESP Series Water Softener
This is a very interesting water softener system that 3M makes. More appropriately it should be called a small-sized water conditioner. That’s because, unlike salt-based softeners that use an ion exchange process to effectively remove hard water minerals, this just decreases scale build up. Interestingly enough, it also contains carbon filtration and a sediment filter. That’s so it can remove chlorine from drinking water and make sure no small grains of sand, dirt or other particles cause problems.
So, what’s this 3M model water softener’s purpose? The company says that they designed it to be placed on the water lines that feed an espresso machine. That’s done to make sure the true taste of the expresso comes through without being tainted. It really can be used to make any drinking water line in a home produce water that has reduced hardness minerals, has no odor and has no taste. This makes the 3M ESP Series Water Softener very popular with food service-related businesses.
3M Aqua Pure Water Softener
The 3M Aqua Pure water softener system has hardness minerals conditioned as opposed to removing hard water minerals such as the 3MWTS Water Softener models do. It can be used on the incoming water lines of any size home to prevent problematic scale build up that can impact plumbing fixtures and to lessen things such as shampoo consumption. It cannot be used on water lines that have a high temperature range.
The 3M Aqua Pure water softener model proved to be very hard to research because there are very few if any places that sell it now. So, although it’s still listed on the 3M website, I would not be surprised if the company announced very soon it was discontinuing this model water softening device that decreases scale build up. It should also be used in conjunction with a sediment filter.
3M Customer Service and Guarantees
As you can imagine, it is very difficult for a huge company the size of 3M to always display excellent customer service. They just have so many people that need to be served each day. The company was smart and took the step to break up its customer service into divisions such as water treatment, but that still does not prevent long wait times to talk to a rep in many instances. Reviews show that once a rep does get on the phone, they are knowledgeable and courteous.
The warranties that come with 3M water hardness reducing softeners are very standard with nothing that stands out about them. With that being said, standard water softener warranties are more than acceptable and it’s the same with 3M models too. You will get ten (10) years on the resin tank and brine tank (salt tank) and five (5) years on the valve body, electronics, and resin media.
3M Water Softener Problems
One thing that you will not find if you search through reviews on 3M softeners is purchasers that claim these whole house softeners do not work well. As you would expect from a company that has as much water filtration experience as 3M, its water softener models experience very few problems and last as long as any that are available in the marketplace.
It must be mentioned that the two water conditioners mentioned here are not made to work with well water. That’s because well water usually contains high iron and mineral levels that these types of softeners cannot handle.
How Does 3M Compare to Competitors
3M vs Pentair Pelican
Other than Pelican softeners have tan colored tank bodies and 3M’s are black, you would not be wrong if you mistake these softeners for being twins. They are very similar in every way except for Pelican’s higher-end Wi-Fi-capable models. Each works well, is at the higher end of the price scale, and is backed up by very acceptable warranties.
3M vs Aquasana
While these are both top-of-the-line pieces of water-softening equipment, it’s not fair to compare them. The reason for this is Aquasana makes quality salt-free water softeners, but they do not work nearly as well at removing hard water minerals as salt-based softeners like these 3M models do.
3M vs Aquasure
Aquasure water softening models are another salt-based system that is very comparable to 3M softeners. They both are dual-tank waters softeners that work well, have decent control heads, and are backed up by acceptable warranties. You will find that Aquasure softeners are priced less and have lower flow rates through them than 3M’s 1.25” valved models.
3M vs Springwell
There is a lot to like about both water softener brands but Springwell’s unit is among the best we have reviewed here at Water Tech Advice when it comes to softening water. What sets these two brands apart? The controls on the Springwell units are very advanced and include Bluetooth technology so they can be remotely controlled. You also have to like the fact that Springwell’s model has lifetime warranties attached to it. 3M models do not.
If you want to set your water softener search at its highest level, then be sure to take a look at Springwell’s salt-based water softening system.
I don’t see any reason not to include 3M softeners on the list of the best water-softening products that are made.
Does that mean you should run out and buy one?
No, because they do come with some drawbacks. You can probably find comparable models’ performance-wise at a lower price and those that are priced similarly usually have Wi-Fi-enabled controls which 3M models do not. So, while being a water softener purchase that you can’t really go wrong with, you may be able to get more bang for your buck on another water softener brand or spend less money for the same bang.