How Much Does a Whole House Water Softener System Cost?
What should the price of a water softener be? The answer is, as always, it depends. Whole house water softener prices can range from $300 to $4000, depending on the kind and quality of the unit as well as installation fees.
Finally, the cost of a whole house water softener should be determined by the hardness of the water in your home. The sort of system you pick, for example, will have an impact on the ultimate cost.
A basic water purifier for a single faucet in a house, for example, will be less expensive than a whole-house water treatment system. The more effective a system is at purifying water, the more expensive it is.
Another water softeners’ cost to consider is installation, which varies based on the contractor, the softener being installed, and the state and accessibility of your property. Homeowners may expect to pay anything from $400 to $4,000 for a professional installation.
Home Water Softener System Cost Factors
A whole house water softener cost will set you back approximately $1,000 on average. And that’s just the upfront cost; there will be ongoing monthly or annual fees to consider during the life of your system.
Aside from the above listed criteria, there are a few other water softeners cost factors to consider when choosing a water softener.
Size of water softener
What is the size of the water softener you require? Consider how much water needs to be softened (depending on the size of your family), the size of your home, and the amount of water you use. You’ll notice that the capacity of the softener is expressed in grains per gallon (GPG).
The next step is to determine the maximum amount of water hardness that a softener can remove, again, measured in grains per gallon (GPG). Then multiply the number of persons in your household by the amount of gallons of water you consume each day.
This should be in the range of 80 gallons per person. Finally, add up the individual gallons per person figures and multiply by the grains of hardness in your water (which you can find out by using a water hardness testing kit or contacting your local water department), to get a final figure: how many grains of hardness you need a system to remove per day.
Condition of water
The higher the expense of water softening, the harder the water is. This is because softening the water will necessitate a more powerful system. It’s as simple as purchasing a DIY test kit for rural homes, and following this link to find what your municipal water hardness level is for urban residents.
What’s in the water
If your water contains additional minerals like iron or chlorine, pre- and/or post-filtration or treatment may be necessary to effectively treat it. A pre-filter for chlorine or chloramine issues is typically included in a water softener installation, as is a reverse osmosis filter beneath the kitchen sink that offers clean water for drinking and cooking.
Quality of softener components
The quality of the components utilised to make a water softener system varies greatly. This is why it’s critical to conduct your homework before making a purchase.
Type of valve
A softener’s valve is in charge of the entire system. A good valve will guarantee that you always have soft water when you need it. Timed and metered valves are the two types of valves.
A simple Timed valve is controlled by a timer, which is inefficient and wastes water. A programmed Metered valve is more efficient and ecologically beneficial since it functions based on water use.
Types of water softeners
There are four different types of water softeners: ion-exchangers (salt-based), salt-free, dual tank and magnetic.
Salt-based ion exchange water softening systems are the most dependable, popular, and cost-effective water softening systems on the market. While it may appear that avoiding the use of salt is preferable, salt-free systems can only cover up the harm that hard water eventually causes. Water softening systems based on salt will pay for themselves many times over.
A salt-based water softener uses a process called “ion exchange” to remove excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium from water. The hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium) are replaced with sodium chloride in this procedure, which “softens” hard water (salt).
Always keep in mind that the cost of installation and transportation must be included in. Additionally, replacing the brine tank’s salt will entail additional expenditures. A normal 40 pound (18 kg) bag of salt, which is required for the proper operation of the brine tank, costs between $5 and $25. Depending on the size of your home, the gadget may cost anywhere from $400 to $3000.
A salt-free conditioner uses a resin that adheres to hard water minerals and converts them into a crystalline state, preventing them from causing scale. This process is known as template-assisted crystallization, or TAC.
While salt-free conditioners aren’t as powerful as salt-based softeners and don’t eliminate hard water minerals from the water, they do successfully deal with the most serious hard water problem of all: scale.
People on low-sodium diets prefer salt-free water conditioners because they utilise a medium other than sodium (usually potassium). It’s worth noting that, while potassium is better for the environment and particular dietary requirements, it’s also more expensive than sodium.
The processes of a salt-free softener operate by suspending calcium and magnesium ions and preventing them from forming in the first place, rather than by eliminating them. When water remains motionless, such as in your hot water tank, this does not prevent the ions from settling.
This salt-free softener system is available in a variety of configurations, with prices ranging from $400 to $4000. Again, prices vary widely depending on the manufacturer, softening capacity required, water hardness level, and other factors.
However, one of the advantages is that there is no additional charge for additional bags of salt! You’ll just have to pay for the system, delivery, and installation, as well as the occasional filter replacement.
A dual tank water softener contains two mineral tanks and is suitable for hard water in household applications. It’s especially helpful in households with big families or if regenerative downtime is a concern. While one tank is being cleaned, the second tank is turned on to guarantee that softened water is accessible at all times.
Softeners with two tanks range in price from $1000 to $2,000. As you may imagine, this water softening system will have a little higher beginning price. The cheapest one available on the market will set you back at least $1000.
It operates on the same concept as an ion exchange water softener. The only difference is that there are two tanks of filtered water, guaranteeing that your family has access to soft water at all times. If you have a large family, you should consider installing this system.
Electronic or Magnetic
The magnetic, or electronic, water softener is the newest form of water softener on the market. This is a plug-in device that connects to your current plumbing. The magnetic field created by the gadget, according to the company, reverses the charge of the ions, enabling them to resist adhering to the pipe and each other, avoiding build-up.
Magnetic/electronic water softeners are approximately $200, however they have a mixed reputation. Water-testing groups have conducted research to establish its ineffectiveness, which has sparked debate. If you do decide to buy a magnetic water softener, do your homework on the device and the manufacturer before making a purchase.
The cost will be determined by the manufacturer, unit size, and materials utilised. Before you go out and buy one, figure out how much water you consume each month in gallons (litres). That way, you’ll be able to choose the finest solution for your family.
Magnetic softeners are considered pseudoscientific by most specialists, but many consumers like their simplicity. The technology’s premise is not difficult to understand. Two magnets are attached on opposite sides of the water pipe, changing the ionic composition of the minerals in the water.
Although the calcium and magnesium will remain in the water after the procedure, the water deposits will not adhere to the surface. The benefit of this gadget is that it eliminates harmful substances from the water your family consumes. Furthermore, the system is simple to set up on your own.
Water distillers aren’t often classified as “water softeners,” because they’re primarily used to remove impurities from drinking water. But what people forget is that because distillers are so thorough – they can remove over 100 percent of pollutants from water – they can easily remove hard minerals as well.
A distiller will cost you between $75 and $600, making it one of the most affordable water softening solutions. They don’t require much in the way of upkeep, and they don’t need to be regenerated.
To avoid a build-up of pollutants inside the boiling tank, most distillers only need to be washed out on a regular basis. Some models additionally include a tiny carbon filter for eliminating any remaining pollutants, which should be replaced every 6 weeks or so and costs approximately $10 for a pack of ten. Distillers are also free to instal because they only need to be plugged into your power.
The pollutants that can’t convert into a gaseous state (which is the majority of them) are left behind in the boiling chamber when distillers heat water until it evaporates. This contains hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium
The nice thing about water distillers is that they provide excellent value since they soften hard water while also removing the majority of pollutants, including chlorine, lead, bacteria, and viruses. Some individuals, however, believe that distillers make their water taste “flat” because they remove all of the minerals.
Reverse osmosis filters for the whole home aren’t typically classified as water softeners, but if you want to soften and filter your water at the same time, reverse osmosis is the best option. Water is filtered via many stages in RO filters, including the reverse osmosis medium that gives the system its name.
Only the tiniest water particles pass through this thin screen, while the remainder of the pollutants, including magnesium and calcium hard water minerals, are flushed down the drain.
Because reverse osmosis systems are so successful, they may be rather costly to purchase. However, a decent system, which ranges from $150 to $800, is still less expensive than most water softeners.
You’ll only have to include in the additional expenditures associated with a reverse osmosis system, such as the cost of replacing various filters on a 6-monthly schedule and the cost of replacing the RO screen every 2 years or so. While RO systems do not require regeneration, they do waste water and require electricity to operate, which will add to your energy costs.
Factors That Influence The Average Home Water Softener Cost
Water softener cost or price by capacity
The more expensive a water softener is, the more money it will cost. That doesn’t always mean in terms of size; rather, it refers to a system’s capacity.
The more media a whole home water softener has, the more capacity it has. A larger volume of media can provide soft water to your house for a longer duration, which is tempting if you want to get the most out of your system. When a system has more capacity, it can provide softened water to bigger houses without compromising water pressure or flow rate.
Water softeners are typically available in two sizes: those suited for households with 1-3 bathrooms and those suitable for homes with 4-6 bathrooms.
The price difference between the smaller and bigger systems is generally $200-$300. Fortunately, you won’t profit from a bigger capacity system until your home truly requires it – in fact, buying a system intended for homes with more bathrooms than you have is a terrible idea – so there’s no need to overpay.
Water softener installation cost
The cost to install a water softener is something that’s easy to overlook when purchasing a system.
If you have the plumbing and DIY abilities to instal a softener yourself, install a water softener might be free. However, it’s not a good idea to try to save money by installing a water softener yourself if you have no clue what you’re doing, because you may wind up causing so much damage that you’ll have to pay much more than the cost to install a water softener in order to have your plumbing restored.
It generally costs between $200 and $300 to hire a professional for water softener installation, depending on the specific rates of the plumber or handyman service you select, the intricacy of the installation, and the time it takes.
Some specialists will bill by the hour, while others will charge a flat fee for the task. It’s better to seek out specialists that charge a set fee and obtain quotations. You’ll have more alternatives – and a better sense of the labour cost you’re looking at – if you seek quotations from multiple plumbing companies.
Even if you’re installing a water softener on your own, you could come into some minor expenses. Because not all water softeners come with everything you’ll need to instal them, you might have to go out and get some extras.
Upgraded water softening installation kits, which contain brass fittings and ensure system durability, are available from some softener manufacturers. These, unsurprisingly, come at an additional expense.
Water softener maintenance costs
After you’ve figured out how much it will cost to instal a water softener, you’ll need to think about upkeep. Installing a water softener does not necessarily imply that you can leave it alone for the rest of your life, saving money after the installation fees. The majority of whole-house water softeners on the market today, like other water treatment systems, involve ongoing maintenance expenses.
An ion exchange water softening system is generally more expensive to maintain than a salt-free water softener system. Salt-based water softeners are more expensive because you must consider the brine tank and the mineral tank – you must ensure that the system can continue to remove hard minerals, which requires salt.
Softening salt (sodium) for water softeners may be purchased in bags for approximately $30 per 50 pounds, but because salt for water softeners is so readily available, there are lots of opportunities for a good price. For softening, some ion exchangers employ potassium in the brine tank. Potassium chloride costs approximately $200 to $300 more each year, so bear that in mind if you’re going to go with potassium.
Because salt-free water conditioners do not utilise salt for softening, there isn’t much else to consider in terms of water softener cost after the initial installation fee. Just bear in mind that the filter that sits before the water softening tank will need to be replaced once or twice a year. Resin beads, on the other hand, should last at least 6 years before needing to be replaced.
What is the average water softener cost per year?
After installation expenses, an ion exchange water softener should cost about 25 to 40 cents per day to operate, however this does not include the cost of salt. You’ll pay much more for salt if you have a dual-tank water softener than if you have a single tank.
Because a twin tank softener contains two brine tanks, your house will always have softened water because the water softener may easily switch from one tank to the other during regeneration.
Does a well water softener system cost more?
If you’re looking for whole-house water conditioners or softeners for well water, you may have noticed that some systems are promoted specifically for this purpose.
You’ll be relieved to learn that the pricing of well water softening systems aren’t too dissimilar from those of ordinary water softeners on the market. A water softener may cost a little extra if it also removes iron, bacteria, and other typical well pollutants in addition to softening the water.
How long is a water softener system expected to last?
Regardless of the sort of water softener you choose, whether it’s a salt-free or salt-based system, the actual system should last at least 7 to 10 years. Most softeners will soften the water in your house for much longer than this if you take care of them and conduct system maintenance as needed.
However, some of the components, such as the control valve, may need to be replaced, which would incur a cost.