Water Softener System Cost: How Much Does It Cost?

A water softener system effectively removes elements that cause hardness of water like calcium and magnesium so you’re left with safer water.

While some people water softener a myth, it is true that about 85% of American households have access to hard water with alarming levels of magnesium and calcium which causes cleaning and plumbing issues.

Why should you consider a water softener system? Well, for starters, they:

  • Remove the minerals from hard water.
  • Offers more lather from using less soap. Better for your hair and skin (they feel softer and cleaner).
  • Prevents clogged pipes, soap-scum stains, faded or stiff laundry, and damaged to water heaters.
  • Decreased plumbing repairs, energy bills, and conserves money.
  • Lasts for 10-15 years.

Convinced about getting a water softener system? Now we can take a look at the actual costs involved.

Water Softener System Cost

On average, with installation costs, a water softener system costs $1,500 with the common range being between a thousand dollars to $2,800. If you’re making it a DIY project, the costs could go down to as low as $500.

However, expect to spend quite a hefty amount on large homes with more demand and need for a smart filtration system – those can go up to $6,000, if not more. The primary concern for most users is the type of system. Labor costs will fall between $150 to $600 regardless of type.

By rule of thumb, a better system comes pricier.

Experts will generally recommend or sell particular brands that they have positive experience with or notice fewer problems in the overall system. But you’re always free to buy according to personal preference and requirements. Check out types of water softeners to decide which is the one for you.

The concept of the system is to either neutralize or remove mineral causing hard water. As you’re working with delicate plumbing, it’s best to get a professional to do the installation.

Prices of Water Softeners

TypePrice Range (Only Unit)Key Features
Standard Ion Exchange$400 – $2,700Installation costs between $200 to $500.Salt – Sodium or Potassium.Conventional water softener unit.
Dual Tank Ion Exchange$1,100 to $2,500Installation costs between $300 to $1,000.Perfect for large homes.Salt –Sodium or Potassium.
No-salt Conditioner$300 to $4,000Installation costs between $150 to $250.Low maintenance.Doesn’t run on electricity.Salt-free conditioner.No drain needed.
Magnetic / Electronic$160 to $600Simple DIY installation.Budge-friendly.Salt-free conditioner.No drain needed.
Reverse Osmosis (Below Counter)$150 to $500Installation costs between $150 to $400.Budget friendly and quick installation.
Reverse Osmosis (Whole House)$4,000 to $11,500Installation costs $200 to $500.Uncommon and expensive.Complicated installation process.
Portable / RV$150 to $300Easy to set up and lightweight.Regeneration is easier, few units use table salt.
Commercial$1,500 to $15,000Bigger and costlier. Handles many gallons every minute.

Factors That Determine Water Softener System Cost 

As mentioned before, water softener system costs largely depend on some factors. Sometimes, buying the installation service with the softener gives you a discount.

Apart from that, here are some thing that determine total costs:

  • System brand and size.
  • Types of water softeners
  • Need of modification to existing plumbing or electrical system.
  • Installation labor and accessibility.
  • Any required permit and inspection fee.
  • On-demand vs. timer-based regeneration system.
  • Upflow vs. downflow regeneration system.
  • Upgrades, like iron filtration and UV-light disinfection.

Water Softener Cost Comparison

1. Labor Cost to Install 

Labor costs for installation of a water softener can average between $200-$500 depending on the type and size of the system.

The plumber will provide an estimate containing amounts related to transportation of personnel and equipment, materials, site prep, installation labor, finishing, and cleanup.

2. Water Softener Cost Per Month

On average, you can expect to spend $10 to $20 every month to run a water softener, including the yearly maintenance and cleaning as well as the monthly salt refills.

The largest expense is the salt refills; the electricity and additional wastewater for regeneration fees aren’t that significant.

3. Water Softener Salt Prices

Salt prices for water softeners range from – Standard sodium chloride: $5-$10 every 40-lb. bag, and Potassium chloride: $25-$35 every 40-lb. bag.

Most households need one or two bags per month, but this depends on the level of hard water, size of household, type of salt, and tank capacity.

4. Loop Installation Cost

On average, installing a water softener loop will cost between $600-$2,000. Where the loop has to be and the location of the existing plumbing decides the costs of the soft water loops. A loop isn’t always needed, and there are some softeners equipped with an in-built bypass and softener loop.

The main work of a soft water loop lies is keeping the house’s indoor and outdoor water line separated, as trees, plants, and grass don’t necessarily need soft water to thrive.

Installing a loop gives increase lifetime to the softener by reducing the amount of water that it has to soften. The filter of the unit lasts more, saving money and energy.

5. Service and Maintenance Cost

Without contact, water softener repair costs average between $150 to $600. You could get an inclusive water softener service costing from $100 to $250 a year. This may include cleaning, all repairs, salt refills, water testing, and yearly system check.

6. Replacement Cost

When you need to replace a water softener system, the costs can average from $700 to $3,000 for purchasing a new system plus the installation labor.

Filter tank or water softener resin replacement costs about $200-$500 on average. Majority of these softener last for 15 years before there’s a need for replacement, and resin has a lasting age of 10 to 20 years.

Bottom Line

Buying a water softener is a big investment decision, but isn’t it for the best when you’re ensuring better water for your home?

Soft water is better for the skin, makes washing easier, and doesn’t leave annoying stains in your sink and bathroom. You’ll realize you’ll be saving more in the long run by getting a water softener system.

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