Watts RV PRO Review - 10,000 Grains Portable Water Softener

Intro

So you’ve finally taken that well-deserved break and you’re off with your family in the RV. Found a nice remote campsite and hooked up to the water supply, had a great barbecue and now it’s time to wash the dishes, clean up and relax. But the dishwater won’t foam and the teenager is screaming from the shower that the shampoo won’t lather! What you need right now is a portable water softener.


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Flow-Pur’s RV-PRO 10,000 (also known as the Watts M7002) is a user friendly water softener popular in the RV and leisure boating market. It removes hardness-causing calcium and magnesium from the water, thus reducing scale build-up in the pipes and tanks onboard your RV or boat, and extending the life of kettles and other water-heating appliances. Softer water will make daily chores like washing and laundering easier, and will cut down drastically on the amount of soap and shampoo needed when showering.

The Flow-Pur RV-PRO 10,000 sits outside your RV and treats the water before it enters your vehicles pipework. Easy to attach and use, the RV PRO 10,000 will remove 10,000 grains of water hardening chemicals and its lightweight construction makes it easy to set out and store away again. The design of its base keeps it stable whether in use or in storage.

Who is Watts Water

The company is named after its founder, Joseph E Watts, who established the Watts Regulator Company in 1874. The company manufactured pressure reducing and relief valves and later, in the 1920’s, patented the combination temperature and pressure (T&P) valve. In the 1970’s, the company entered the water purification industry and it was incorporated in 1985 under the name Watts Industries, Inc. In 2003 the company’s name was again changed, to Watts Water Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Watts Water. Today the company has its corporate headquarters in North Andover, MA, and is a global provider of plumbing, heating and water quality solutions. 

Flow-Pur, the supplier, is located in North Lima, Ohio, and is owned by a family of campers that are committed to supplying quality products.

Important Features

Compact and Portable

Because it is compact, the water softener can easily be positioned either inside or outside your RV without taking up much space, and it is easy to handle when regeneration is required.

Full Cradle Base

The full cradle base on the tank keeps the system secure.

Custom Designed Flow Valve

The valve used on the Watts RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener has a custom design that allows the output line to be isolated from the drain line, so that it is not necessary to disconnect the system during regeneration (although this is still advisable until you are familiar with the operation).

Built-in Drain Line Flow Restrictor

The flow restrictor in the drain line of the Watts RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener maintains better pressure in the tank during regeneration, increasing the mixing effect of the salt with the resin and improving its regeneration capacity by up to 55%.

Premium Grade Resin Supplied

The RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener is supplied with long-lasting superior gold resin which, so long as the system is used correctly, will last for many years before needing replacement. The resin binds water-hardening chemicals such as sodium and calcium, as well as trace elements of dissolved iron (3-5ppm). The resin will last up to 10 or more years, dependent on the input water quality.

Hardness Test Strips

The RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener is supplied with a set of accurate but inexpensive hardness test strips that allow you to monitor the output water of your softener so you will know when to regenerate it (when the hardness exceeds 3gpg).

Made in the USA

All components of the system are manufactured and assembled in the USA.

Water Capacity, Pressure and Temperature Range

The RV-PRO 10,000 can handle a flow rate of up to 4 GPM (15.1l/min), although the flow rate at any faucet in an RV usually about 1 gallon per minute (3.79l/min).

The system uses 1/3 cu. ft. (9.43dm³) high capacity premium grade resin which needs only be replaced after several years, and it has a large 10,000 grain capacity.

Water and Salt Consumption

The RV-PRO 10,000 uses common table salt. Approximately 2 lbs (0.9kg) of salt is required per regeneration, which may be needed every one to two weeks or less frequently, depending on the hardness of the water being treated, and the amount of water treated.

The system should be regenerated when the water hardness exceeds 3 grains per gallon on the hardness test strip.

Power Rating Consumption

The RV-PRO 1000 portable water softener does not have any electrical or electronic parts, so a power rating is not relevant.

Size, Dimensions and Shipping Weight

The RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener is 20.5” high and 8.5” in diameter and it weighs 26lbs when loaded with resin.

The resin is pre-treated so there is no need to add salt before using the system the first time.

PROS

  • The system is compact and portable.
  • The system is simple and easy to use.
  • The valve design promotes efficient regeneration.
  • It uses ordinary table salt for regeneration so is very economical to operate.

CONS

  • The stationary inlet hose connector is difficult to attach a feed hose to.
  • The y-valve is made of plastic and can break if not used correctly (never lift the system by the valve).

Price Range

The RV-PRO 10,000 Portable Water Softener is available in the price range US$200 - US$250.


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Watts RV PRO Setup and Regenaration

Warranty

There is a 5-year limited warranty on the Tank and a 1-year limited warranty on the Head component.

Reviews

The RV-PRO (Watts M7002) 10,000 Portable Water Softener has received largely positive reviews on Amazon, with some of the negative reviews arising from misunderstanding of how to use the system (e.g. inserting the salt). However, there are some valid concerns linked to difficulty with attaching the input hose to the stationary input nozzle. This can be overcome by using a short (4’ or 1.2m) section of hose with a static connector on the water softener side and a swivel connector on the input hose side. There were also several complaints about the y-valve being made of plastic and not being sturdy enough, but it must be noted that the water softener should always be lifted by its body and the valve should never be used as a handle for lifting or moving the system.

Other complaints referred to the system not performing well after regenerating, but there are several solutions here. Firstly it would be wise to place a water filter ‘upstream’ of the water softener if there is a high sediment or iron level in the water source. Secondly, dissolving the salt in warm water before pouring it into the tank (after removing sufficient water to make space for it) will assist in the regeneration process. Lastly, if the y-valve is replaced for any reason with a non-compliant part, the white reducer orifice from the original y-valve must be inserted to retain pressure during regeneration.

On the whole, people who used the system according to the instructions were more than satisfied with the performance of the RV-PRO (Watts M7002) 10,000 Portable Water Softener.

Conclusion

The RV-PRO (Watts M7002) 10,000 Portable Water Softener is a sturdy, simple and effective water softener that will give you many years of faithful service if well looked after. Its custom designed flow valve and built-in drain line flow restrictor enhance its regeneration efficiency and make it simple to operate. The high quality resin will last for years and it uses ordinary table salt so only costs pennies per gallon to use.

It is the ideal companion for the RV enthusiasts that likes to explore out of the way places, as well as the regular camper who frequents sites that have hard water.


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