A water softener costs between $700 to $5,000, depending on which system you buy and whether you install it yourself or hire a contractor.
Several factors influence what you pay for a system, so it's important to compare your options carefully. Understanding the things that affect water softener cost is critical to determining the right investment for your needs and budget.
Here's what you need to know.
Factors That Influence Water Softener Cost 💰
☝️ Manufacturer / Brand
Why does one water softener cost $900, while another system with nearly identical specs costs $1,300?
Often, it just comes down to the brand.
Well-known brands can get away with charging more, because they know people will pay more for names they recognize and trust. That applies to manufacturers of nearly any product, including water softeners.
So just because one water softener costs more than another does NOT always mean that it's a better system.
You can significantly slash your water softener cost by installing it yourself. Water softeners are easy to install, even for those who have little plumbing experience. And, typically manufacturers and their dealers provide clear installation manuals and support when needed.
Hiring a plumber can double the cost of your water softener, especially if they purchase the system for you. Plumbers will typically mark up the cost of the system, and you'll of course be paying for the labor too, which is where the costs can really rise.
The size of your water softener is one of the biggest factors that influences the cost. Size is measured in grain capacity, which indicates how much hardness can be removed in between each regeneration.
Harder water and higher water usage will require a higher grain capacity. The higher the grain capacity, the more expensive your water softener will be.
High-efficiency features will typically increase the water softener cost, but often these features pay for themselves in the long term.
High-efficiency water softeners use salt and water more economically. This can significantly reduce your maintenance expenses. You'll likely pay more up front, but again, the savings add up over time.
☝️ Age of tech
Older, mechanical-style water softener valves are quickly becoming a thing of the past. As such, those types are dropping in price as manufacturers and dealers try to get rid of old inventory.
On the flipside, the newest technologies will typically increase the water softener cost. High-tech control valves with state-of-the-art displays and smartphone apps are becoming the new norm, but you'll typically pay more for the added innovation and convenience.
Manufacturers of nearly any high-ticket product use warranties as a way to increase value to the customer. This applies to water softeners too.
A water softener with a longer warranty will typically cost more, because you're paying for peace of mind (much like an insurance policy).
🤑 How to Get the Lowest Possible Water Softener Cost
You can absolutely get a good deal on a water softener. But it's important to remember that going cheaper isn't always a smart decision in the long run.
That said, here are some ways to save money:
- Evaluate systems carefully to find the best value for your budget
- Make sure you choose the right size for your home (Sizing calculator)
- Install the system yourself, instead of paying a contractor
- Stick to reputable brands – SoftPro and Fleck, for example, are both great options that are also very affordable
- Consider the long-term costs as well! Spending a little more on a higher-efficiency water softener can save you a lot in the long run.
Compare Prices 🎁
✨ Use this calculator ✨ to identify which water softeners are right for your needs, so you can begin comparing prices and specs.