We had a home on well water which was somewhat hard. It left spots on glasses, cars after washing, etc. We decided to purchase a water softener to improve our water's quality. The Whirlpool seemed to be the best quality for the money. We have lots of other Whirlpool appliances and trust their products, we we purchased this softener. Our well is pretty close the middle of our property and we do not have a well house for it which means the softener would be out in the open. Due to all of this we did hire someone to install the unit, so I cannot comment on the ease of installation. We used the system saver salt pellets. At times the pellets would clump causing a "salt bridge" which would lead to us having harder water again. We only discovered this issue after reading through the booklet that came with the softener. I am not sure if this is due to the unit being outdoors or just something that happens. Other than that, the softener worked great. We did have problems if it ran out of salt, so don't allow that to happen. The panel started to peel off from being outdoors, so that is why I would recommend keeping it indoors or under a cover.