Water softener systems vary greatly in cost. A system designed for a smaller home will have a smaller overall softening capacity and will need more maintenance than models that are high-end. The difference is normally the amount of water that can be softened at a given time, but it’s important to know what your options are at this time.
Most systems will cost $300 – $700, but others can cost $2,000+.
Single Stage Water Softener
The lowest priced models are the single tank models. These systems have two tanks: 1 resin and 1 brine tank. In terms of production, these systems need more regeneration and will perform their own cleaning with hard water, which isn’t ideal.
Considered on-demand water softeners, these models count your gallon usage and will regenerate water when you’ve exceeded the water limit.
A major issue with the single tank water softeners is that they’ll need to regenerate faster. When the system determines that you need to regenerate, it will often wait until the middle of the night to do so. During this time, you will not have your water softened and will experience the white residue left behind by hard water.
Prices for a single stage water softener vary, but you can expect to pay $300 – $700 on average.
Multistage systems are more expensive. These models often come in dual tank or twin tank models consisting of 2 resin tanks and still just one brine or salt tank to actually soften the water.
A massive increase in capacity is the biggest benefit of a multistage system.
When you’re using water, the system will drain one tank before using any of the water available in tank two. There is no need to worry about delayed regeneration causing you to suffer from hard water or worrying about a reserve capacity being met.
Utilizing both water tanks, these models will clean themselves using soft water, which ensures no residue is left inside of the tank and makes it into your water supply.
Regeneration is handled on a one-tank basis. When one tank empties, the system will immediately engage tank two to provide you with soft water while regenerating the empty tank, leaving no gap in your soft water supply.
Most models using a dual stage process will cost: $1,000 – $2,000+, depending on the overall water capacity.
These are the best water softener systems in terms of reliability and processing calcium and magnesium, but they do come at a very high cost.
Professional Installation Costs
Homeowners that don’t want to tackle installation on their own can choose to have their water softener installed by a professional plumber. Depending on where you live, these prices may be drastically different, but the typical prices are:
- Around $200 for an easy installation where accessing the home’s water pipe is simple. This will include access to the sewer pipe drain and an electricity outlet nearby.
- Rerouting of water can tack on $100 – $200, making the total installation cost $400+. But, rerouting isn’t always a necessity.
- New pipe drains are very costly. Again, these don’t need to be installed in most cases, but if they do, they can cost $500 or more to install, bringing the total up to $700+.
Keeping installation costs down requires the softener system to be installed close to the main piping to allow for an easy installation.
You can install units on your own if you have experience or extra time. The process will take the average, non-professional 3+ hours to complete when all of the piping is fairly easy to access. Rerouting or adding a new drain pipe adds a significant amount of time to the installation process.