There are many reasons to consider a water softener. Water softeners minimize hard water spots on dishes, boost the efficiency of household appliances and hydrate your skin, nails and hair. However, these systems can be significant investments.

The cost of a water softener differs according to the manufacturer and your plumbing system requirements. Here's what you need to know about water softeners and how much money you can expect to spend.

About Water Softeners

Water softeners are designed to remove calcium and magnesium minerals from your water supply. Specifically, water softeners target minerals contributing to hardness. Water containing hard water minerals takes a toll on appliances like washing machines, coffee makers and water heaters. Water softeners act like a filter that can save you from scale buildups and inconsistent pressure.

Like other equipment, not all water softeners are made the same. You can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to upwards of $5,000 based on the size of your home, the number of appliances you use, the results of a water test and your expectations for performance.

Factors Impacting the Cost of a Water Softener

Seeing the benefits of a whole-house water softener calls for you to make the right equipment selection. When you're deciding whether or not a water softener is worth it, keep the following factors in mind.

1. Water Softener Type

It's important to work with an experienced professional when choosing a water softener. There are two main types of water softeners on the market — each removes minerals from your home's water supply differently:

  • Ion exchange softeners: Water runs through a resin inside the softener, where sodium ions are released. The ion exchange process occurs when calcium and magnesium are pulled from the water. After the detected ions are exchanged completely, an ion exchange softener completes a regeneration procedure to clean the system and create more sodium ions to work with.
  • Dual-tank softeners: This water softener uses two separate tanks for efficiency. Dual-tank softeners are necessary when you require 24-hour softener operation. When one tank is regenerating, the opposite tank goes live. These softeners are also useful for plumbing systems subject to strenuous use and water supplies with very high hardness levels. 

2. Water Capacity and Size of Your Home

Water softeners differ in how much water they can treat at a given time. Expect whole-home systems to cost more than something installed underneath a sink or directly to a shower head.

Picking out a water softener involves reading capacity ratings, which are measured in grains. It's common for whole-home water softeners to carry a 20,000 to 80,000 grain capacity rating. Generally, the higher the grains of capacity rating, the more money it will cost.

3. Location of Water Softener

The scope of your water softener project will dictate how much you'll need to spend on the system. Think about where you want your water softener to fit within your plumbing network. If your main goal for a water softener is improving water quality for showers and cooking, a point-of-use softener could be a practical approach to saving money. These systems install quickly and can be removed in minutes.

4. Installation Costs

Installation services are recommended anytime you'll be integrating new technology within your plumbing network. A whole-house water softener installation should be left to a professional.

These services normally cost around $200 to $700, depending on if any plumbing connections need to be updated to integrate the softener.

Are Water Softeners Worth It?

Deciding whether or not soft water is worth it for your home requires you to observe your lifestyle. When soap scum, streaks on drinkware, noisy appliances and dry skin bother you, incorporating a water softener in your home can give you the results you want.

In many cases, a water softener will save you time, effort and frustration during your daily routine. Hard water often results in you having to wash dishes more than once because smears and mineral deposits leave surfaces looking dirty. You might also have a difficult time lathering soap while washing your hands or bathing because this is easier to do without dense minerals in your water supply.

Advantages of Water Softeners

Other benefits of adding a water softener to your home include:

  • Decreasing the potential for plumbing clogs.
  • Maximizing the life of plumbing connections and appliances.
  • Potentially improving the taste of drinking water.
  • Using less soap and detergent to bathe and wash clothes.
  • Eliminating streaks on dishware after running the dishwasher.
  • Limiting the need for maintenance on plumbing systems.

Will a Water Softener Save Me Money?

A water softener may be worth it to you from a cost-saving perspective. These systems cost money upfront. However, the outcomes can potentially save money in the near future. Since your plumbing system has a reduced chance of generating mineral buildups, the need for appliance repairs or replacement parts is lower than hard water households that do not have softeners.

Soft water heats up more efficiently compared to hard water, too. You might notice savings on energy bills, as your water heater has an easier time keeping up with demands. Water bills could lower as well since hard water spots and smears should be gone after one dishwasher cycle.

Rely on Culligan Water for Water Softeners and Installation Services

Culligan Water has more than 80 years of knowledge and expertise in water treatment services. We serve counties close to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, for your convenience. Whether you're noticing signs of hard water in the house or you've been thinking about adding a water softener to your home for some time, we're here to help you make the right decision according to your budget and plumbing setup.

Talk to us today about water softener technology that's appropriate for your home. We'll perform a free water analysis to see how our offerings can help.