Looking to get rid of the hard water flowing into your home? If yes, you should invest in a good quality water softener. But for many people, the cost of having a softener installed in their homes can be a bit daunting.
The first step to tackle this situation is to know how much it costs to install a water softener, and then analyze your budget to see if it’s feasible for you. Read on to know all about these costs below!
Water Softener Installation Costs in 2022
The costs of installing a water softener can range anywhere from $800-$2500. This wide range can be attributed to a variety of factors.
The dimensions, type, and manufacturing company of the water softener matter a lot when it comes to prices. Moreover, the labor charges and installation difficulty will also factor in the overall costs. Some of the best water softeners today can range between $600-$2000 depending on their type, while labor rates can be anywhere between $200-$500.
If you are not looking to extend your budget above $1000, you should keep in mind that you can get a decent water softener for small houses at this price. Suppose your building is big and your water quality is very hard. In that case, you should invest in a better water softener that might cost much more than a thousand dollars.
If you’re looking for a hi-tech option or a luxury water softener, be prepared to spend $5000. These systems do an excellent job of softening the hard water in your home, but they also have features like wi-fi control.
Labor Costs to Install Water Softener
We have mentioned above the average labor costs for getting a water softener installed. You should be aware of the extra charges you might incur depending on your specific requirements.
The average of $200-500 includes the most basic services like site prep, equipment prep, installation, cleanup, finishing, and final testing. This cost is also broadly applicable to only salt-based systems.
Here are the labor costs you can expect for other types of water softeners:
- Dual-Tank System $300 – $1,000
- Reverse Osmosis System $150 – $500
- No-Salt Conditioner $150 – $250
Any additional plumbing or electrical accommodations your plumber makes will cost you extra. The rate will depend on the plumber. Typically, their charge is about $50-100/hr for such work.
Moreover, that’ll cost you extra if you ask your plumber or installation technician to fetch any special permits/licenses for you.
Water Softener Price Comparison for Different Types
Now that you have an idea regarding the labor costs, you should know the unit price for your water softener. Here are the numbers classified according to the type of softener, along with details regarding what softeners work best for which environments:
#1. Standard Ion Exchange Water Conditioners
Unit Cost: $600-3200
These are the commonest water softener systems out there. They are fit for most domestic environments where hard water is a concern. As the name would tell you, these are salt-based water softeners.
#2. Dual Tank Ion Exchange Water Softeners
Unit Cost: $1100-2500
Dual tank systems are better for a large household where the hardness of water is far too much to be handled by standard systems. Because of the added tank and the installation complication, these will cost you significantly more than a simple ion exchange water softener.
#3. Commercial Water Softeners
Unit Cost: $2000-$20000 (often including labor costs)
Commercial water softeners are suitable for dealing with large quantities of water. These types of water softeners are the best fit for industrial settings. While they’re upfront expensive, they also last long and work the most effectively.
#4. Reverse-Osmosis Water Softener/ Water Filter
Unit Cost: $150-500 (below-counter) and $4,000-11,500 (whole-house)
The Reverse Osmosis systems act not just as water softeners but also water filters. These are the best for places where water is severely contaminated and extremely hard. RO systems remove many impurities from water and also any unpleasant odors. Whether you have a borewell at home or draw public water supply, you can get these.
RO water softeners are available in two variants: below-counter and whole-house. Below counter systems are installed right below your kitchen sink and provide filtered water through just one tap or water outlet.
On the other hand, whole-house systems are installed near the water inlet of your house and provide clean water through all the outlet taps. The labor costs for whole-house systems are significantly higher than the below-counter systems.
How Much Does a Water Softener Cost Per Month?
Once installed, water softeners aren’t that expensive to run. Typically, a salt-based system will cost you around $10-20 monthly. Most of these costs can be accounted for salt replacement.
In the case of electrical systems, you should factor in a small amount of $10/year.
To give you a more comprehensive idea of the monthly costs of a water softener, here’s a detailed table:
|Salt for Salt Based systems||$6-25|
|Citric Acid (For some types of salt-based systems)||$8-17|
|Siliphos (used by some types of water conditioning systems)||$10-23|
Water Softener Maintenance Costs
Keeping your water softener in top-notch condition requires regular maintenance. You can expect a bill of $100-250/year for such care. This amount will include cleaning and small repairs, refills, water testing, and thorough inspection.
In case of more complicated repair, the costs can go as high as $600. Also, repair for advanced RO systems or electrical systems can often be costlier than simple salt-based systems.
Can I install a water softener myself?
Yes, you can easily install the water softener by yourself. The equipment packaging will also have an installation manual with a step-by-step process to install the water softener in your home. But if you are someone who doesn’t have any machine knowledge, then we will always recommend you hire professional help.
How long do water softeners last?
The filter in the water softener requires replacement every 6 to 7 months, whereas the whole water softener equipment replacement in 8-10 years, only if it has several developed several defects over time. That’s why we recommend you check the material of the equipment before buying or purchasing.
Should I replace my 20-year-old water softener?
We will recommend you change it, as its body would have gone extremely weak. But, if you believe that the whole water softener is in good condition and can fulfill its means, it will be useless to change the equipment. If you feel there are any defects in the equipment that can influence the water quality, like leakage, rust, corrosion, and so forth, then you should change your water softener.
What happens if salt runs out of water softener?
Salt plays a significant role in Salt-based systems. These water softeners work on the Ion exchange process, so it is essential to have a suitable quantity of salt in the tank to continue the process. In short, if there is no salt in the water softener, it is useless because water will still be hard.
How do you know when your water softener needs to be replaced?
The filter needs periodic replacement, like 6 to 7 months. This life span will be mentioned in the booklet, or the manufacturer will let you know about it. Still, you need a filter replacement if you notice rust in your shower head, brittle nails or hair, skin-related issues (very often), stains in utensils, etc.
These are all the costs you can expect when installing a water softener in your home or office. Also, going for an expensive and high-quality model instead of a cheap but ineffective one is always better in the long run.
So go ahead and draw up your budget, and then start shopping for the best water softeners. If you’re still unsure or have any questions, contact Waterseer.org experts or drop your questions in the comments below.