Water Softener System Installation Cost And Factors To Consider

Water softener systems can be a cost-effective way to improve the quality of your water. These systems make it more comfortable to drink and easier to clean. Moreover, water softeners can help to reduce the level of hardness in your water, making it more gentle on your plumbing system. But how much does it really cost to fully integrate one into your home?

The overall cost of purchasing and installing a water softener system is about $2,000. Prices vary depending on your location, the system type, and the complexity of the installation. Additionally, you can expect to pay about $30 a month in maintenance fees. You can reduce these costs by renting a water softener until you are sure you want to buy one.

In this blog, we’ll go over different factors that affect the cost of installing a water softener system. As well as how much water softener system costs vary depending on your specific location and brand. Finally, we’ll outline some ways homeowners can reduce the cost of installing a water softener system in their homes.

How Much Does a Water Softener cost?

When it comes to water softener systems, there is a lot of cost and installation variety involved. The price involves much more than the softener itself. There are delivery, installment, and maintenance costs that factor into owning a water softener. On top of this, your location and the needs of your family will determine the type of water softener you need. Leading to a large variety of prices to expect.

The cost of the system itself can range from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the type and brand. Installation fees can also vary greatly, but you can expect to pay another $500 for the plumbers’ labor. Furthermore, water softener systems need to be maintained on a regular basis. These general maintenance fees can range from $10 to $50 a month.

Generally, you can expect to pay about $2,000 for the system and installation itself. The maintenance costs are low, but if you want to be precise it will be about $360 a year.  So, if you’re looking to invest in one, it’s important to select the one that works best for your household, so you do not waste money! 

There are many different water softener systems on the market to choose from. So here is a basic chart that can tell you the average prices of different water softeners you can choose from!

Type of SystemCost
Ion exchange (single tank)$400–$1,700
Ion exchange (double tank)$1,000–$2,500
Reverse osmosis (point-of-use)$100–$500
Reverse osmosis (whole house)$4,000–$11,000
Salt-free conditioner$500–$3,000
Water distiller$1,200–$4,000

Factors that affect the installation price of water softener

When it comes to water softener installation, there are a number of factors that affect the cost. Some of the main ones include the type of water softener system, number of softeners, size of the system, and location. It’s also important to consider your home’s appliances and plumbing system, as well as age and condition. Generally speaking, larger systems cost more than smaller ones. And, of course, installation costs vary depending on the type of water softener system you choose.

Home size

The size of a home is one of the first determinations of the installation price of a water softener. The larger the home, the more expensive it will be to install a water softener. This is because the size of the home determines the requirements of a water softener. Such as filtration, capacity, and power. If there are more areas within the home where dirty water can accumulate, it becomes necessary to use more powerful filters and treatment systems. 

It is also important to first understand your home’s size and how much water usage it typically has. Taking into account the number of people in the household and the appliances used will help you determine the size of the water softener required to meet your needs. For most people in the United States, a water softener system with a capacity of around 24,000 grains will be sufficient.

For most people in the United States, a water softener system with a capacity of around 24,000 grains will be sufficient.

You want a water softener that is set to your home’s needs, so you are not left with too little water. On the other side, a softener that is too large or powerful will unnecessarily waste your money! So it can be helpful to do some calculations to see how much water your home uses, in order to appropriately estimate what you need in a water softener. 

Regional cost 

Where you live can determine the cost of the water softener, its installation, and its maintenance fees. This is because of two main reasons. First, your location determines the hardness of your water which sets the amount of power your water softener needs. Secondly, plumbing and installation labor costs vary by state. So a water softener and its installation will cost less in Kansas City than it will in New York City. 

The main objective of water softeners is to take ‘hardness’ out of the water, making it easier to clean and drink! Some areas have mineral-rich (also known as ‘hard’) water, making the water softener work harder to clear out the impurities. Your water’s hardness will determine the complexity and strength of the softener you need, which can cause prices to vary.

You will also see a difference in installation costs between rural and urban areas. Generally, rural areas tend to be more expensive than urban areas. Depending on the demand and supply of plumbers in your area, you may pay more to get someone to come to you

Brand Cost

The brand of the water softener system is one of the main factors that affect installation cost. Higher quality brands will come with a higher installation price as these tend to be more reliable and last longer. Selecting the right brand can change the overall price of your water softener and its maintenance.

The type of water softener is also associated with its brand price. Mechanical water softener systems are usually more expensive than electronic ones, although this depends on the type of water softener and other specifications such as capacity and longevity. In general, smaller systems cost less than larger ones, especially when it comes to installation costs since they occupy less space in your home.

Finally, it’s important to take into account any warranty or insurance offers that may be available for your specific model. These features can also increase the overall price tag, but you will get a good sense of the brands’ commitment to the longevity of their product. Here is a quick table to give you some insight into the price tags of different water softener brands.


Labor cost

Labor costs are another unfortunate but necessary element to getting a water softener in your home. Of course, the labor costs vary largely based on demand and region. But most licensed plumbers typically charge between $50 and $200 an hour for this service. Most installations take about two hours.

The more complex the installation of your water softener, the longer it will take to install and the more you will pay to do so. Simple point-of-use water softeners can attach to a single appliance or faucet, and may only cost $100 to $300 to install. Whereas whole-home systems usually start at $300 and can cost more than $1,000.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to pricing for point-of-use water softeners, as the prices will vary depending on the model and installation location. However, the average labor cost to install a water softener is typically around $300. This number heavily depends on the type of system, accessibility, and installation complexity.

Water softener capacity

When it comes to water softener capacity, three main factors need to be considered – the size of the system, the type of softener, and whether reverse osmosis is required. These capacities should be aligned properly with your home’s needs so that your water is properly serviced. Much like with the size of the home, larger houses will need more capacity in their water softener.

All other features such as backup filters, performance enhancers etcetera can also cost extra depending on your specific needs. All of these change the overall price of the water softener, so it is hard to estimate. The overall capacity of a water softener can make it more expensive in materials and installment costs as well.

Hence, before making a final decision on what water softener capacity you require, you may consider consulting with an installer or manufacturer. They will be able to help you a lot in determining your needs and can provide you with accurate figures. It is not necessary but might save you some headaches in determining what you need.

Water testing

It is important to test the hardness of your water to see what kind of water softener you will need. A simple water hardness test costs about $50 and can be found at your local hardware store. It will give you a mostly accurate measure of the hardness of your water, so you know which type of system you need.

However, if you are on a well or worried about your water quality, you may need to get more advanced water testing. Water treatment specialists usually charge between $500 and $1000 for an in-depth water testing process that covers all aspects of the water supply system. This will of course add a few hundred dollars to the overall cost.

This chart will help you understand what requirements are needed for water softeners to treat water of different hardness levels!

Hardness LevelMilligrams per LiterParts per MillionGrains per Gallon
Moderately hard61–12061–1203.5–7
Very hard180+180+10.5+


Everyone knows hard water is bad for appliances and plumbing. It can cause minerals to build up in the pipes and appliances, making it difficult to clean and running the risk that things can break easily. This is the main reason people get water softeners, but your plumbing set up can affect how expensive it is to install the systems.

Extra costs are involved if you want to direct softened water to specific areas in the home. This is done by installing a new plumbing loop. This of course will increase the overall cost of your water softener but can be helpful if you want to limit your water softener use. However, if you do not need or want a new plumbing loop your costs will be a little cheaper in labor and materials!

How to reduce installation cost of water softener

Water softener installation can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce the cost. For example, look for a water softener system that works precisely for your home’s needs and is easy to install. There are also other options to consider than full-sized water softeners, so here are a few tips to help you save money with your water softener!

Do your research

When it comes to water softener systems, always do your research first. Compare quotes from different companies and choose the one that best suits your needs and budget. Make sure to consider the size of your home, the number of people living there, the type of water supply it has, etc.

Having information is your best tool for saving money when looking for large appliances such as water softeners. Knowing exactly what your house needs, its water quality, and what you want from a water softener will help you make the best choice. Which will save you time and money looking at softeners you know nothing about!

Consider renting

If you’re on the hunt for a water softener system, renting might just be the better option for you. Not only is it initially cheaper, but there’s also no need to waste time and money installation-wise. Plus, with so many water softener rental companies available online, you will have plenty of options to choose from. It is the perfect way to try out a water softener before investing completely in the machine!

Renting water softeners is very practical in urban areas, only costing about $30 a month to rent a whole unit. If you rent for too long, the price will eventually reach the cost of a new water softener. But it is a great way to see if you actually notice a difference in your water, that way you truly know if a water softener is right for you!

Choose a metered control valve softener

An alternative to a large water softener tank is a metered control valve softener, which can help soften your water but save you a lot of money. This type of water softener is easy to install and does not require much maintenance. This type of water softener system features fewer pipes and valves, making installation much easier and cheaper.

If you would like to soften your water, but do not have the need for a large system, then a metered control valve softener might be the right choice for you. On top of being a cheaper unit, labor costs are significantly reduced as compared to full-sized water softeners. Plus, this type of system tends to be more reliable in terms of its performance and lifespan.

Know your home needs

It is essential to know your home water needs in order to choose the right water softener system. This means you should know how much water your household uses, the type of water treatment you need, and the hardness of your water. This will help you determine how much water your system should use and what type of softener would be best for your property.

Before getting a water softener it is important to test the hardness of your water. Harder waters are more corrosive and can damage appliances, plumbing systems, and even stone foundations over time. But having a water softener without having hard water is a huge waste of money.

So softening it can be great for your home, but only if you have hard water. Testing this before anything else will help you possibly save money on something you do not need. Or giving you a good estimation of what type of softener would work best for you. But having a good sense of your home’s needs is essential to saving money as you go through this process.


It may be daunting, but water softeners can be a great addition to your home! They make the tap water taste better and prevent your plumbing from becoming blocked up with mineral deposits. However, for their high price they only make sense for people living in areas with hard water.

Luckily, there are some ways to reduce the cost of a water softener. The best way to do this is to understand the needs of your home to determine exactly what you need so that no money is wasted! It is also a great idea to rent a water softener for a few months to be sure you want to invest in it. This is a much cheaper option and can safe you a lot of money and hassle in the future.