How Much Does It Cost to Install a Water Softener?

The water softener installation cost is an important factor to know because you cannot get a water softener installed without knowing the budget you will require for it.

This article is the perfect stop for people like you because here, we discuss the various questions related to water softener system costs.

Water softener installation in the faucet

Factors That Affect the Cost of Your Water Softener

There are a number of factors that can increase or decrease your water softener system cost, let’s take a deep dive into them:

Water hardness level

The intensity of your hard water will affect the water softener installation cost. The harder your water is, the more it will cost to install a water softener.

This is because when you have a high level of water hardness, you need a stronger and larger system to provide you with soft water, which raises the water softener cost.

You can buy a testing device from your local hardware store to determine the level of water hardness in your house.

Size of the house

A big house has a bigger plumbing system, and that affects the cost of the water softener system. You will have to install a bigger softener for bigger homes, which raises the water softener installation costs.

Often, in big, vintage houses, the plumbing might also be damaged and broken. Damage to the plumbing determines how much mineral content it can handle.

Broken pipes will not be able to sustain higher levels of minerals from your water supply, and hence you will need to invest more in buying a better water softener system.

The amount of water usage in your house also determines water softener prices.

A bigger water softener will cost more. Hence, a bigger house will impact the cost of the water softener.

Hard tap water

The complexity of the job

There are some water softeners that you can either install on your own or get a basic DIY installation kit to install with the help of.

Yet, there are other water softeners, which have a much more complicated system and require professional help.

If you have a water softener system like that, hiring professional help will incur more total cost. Since labor costs are pretty high, this can quickly turn into a very expensive task.

If you try doing it yourself, you might end up damaging the water softening appliance and then needing to pay other material costs.

Water softener by type

Different kinds of water softeners exist, and they all require different amounts of money. So, for example, a dual tank water softener might have higher installation costs as compared to others.

Let’s look at the installation cost of different water softeners based on type:

Ion exchange system (salt and brine tank)

These ion exchangers are one of the easiest systems to install. The cost to install an ion exchange water softener is somewhere between $400 to $2500.

That is a vast range because of factors like size, capacity, and efficiency.

You should also factor in maintenance costs for every product, so for example, for an ion exchange water softener, you will incur the cost for the regular salt refills.

Keeping these things in mind helps you make a more informed decision.

All in all, you can install ion exchangers at a good deal.

Magnetic water softeners

If you find a salt water softener system that is magnetic, the average cost to install will be somewhere between $200 to $550, which is one of the cheaper ranges.

It is also easy to install a water softening appliance that is magnetic, and you can even DIY.

The magnetic water softener is great for making sure that softened water does not cause mineral buildup on your faucets and appliances.

Salt-free water softeners

A salt-free water softening system is a little more on the expensive side when it comes to the cost of installation. They usually can be installed in the range of $650 to $3500.

The working of this is very different than a salt-based water softener. This salt-free water softener system works by turning hard particles into crystals that then stick to the inside of the water softener.

Dual tank water softener

These are some of the most expensive water softeners to install. That is because they are bigger in size and also a lot more reliable.

Of course, when you get a higher-quality product, it will definitely cost more.

Reverse osmosis system

A reverse osmosis water softener does not use any chemicals and goes through multiple cycles to make sure you get clean, safe, and pure water.

It is one of the most efficient water systems and hence also costs more to install, somewhere between $1000-$2500.

You can, however, buy a smaller reverse osmosis water softener for a cheaper price, but you can also find them for as much as $18,000 (for more advanced units).

Taking all these different factors into consideration is what is eventually going to decide the final cost to install a water softener.

Water installation pipes

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Water Softener?

It depends on all these various factors mentioned above. There are so many different things to consider when determining how much it would cost to install water softeners.

The cost will be more for damaged plumbing systems, and less for newer ones. A whole house water softener will cost higher for water softener installation.

A DIY installation can be as cheap as $400, and then a professional softener installation can be as much as $4000.

In short, the cost for the water softener installation is determined by multiple factors. All of them play a role in deciding the final cost for installing most water softener systems.

The conditions of your house, the accessibility of it, and the size: all are important factors to consider before any water softener installation.

What Is a Dual Tank Water Softener, and How Much Does It Cost?

Some might get confused why a water softening appliance would need two tanks. This water softening unit comes with two mineral tanks.

During the frequent regeneration cycles, the water supply has to be broken off. But with these whole house water softeners, it will become easier to consume water even when the cycle is going on because it will be stored in the other mineral tank.

The costs of this water softener system are usually between $1000 to $2000, and the more expensive price does make sense because of the efficiency of this device.

How Long Does It Take to Install a Water Softener?

There are a few things that affect the time to install a water softener system. They are discussed in the following parts:

The person responsible for the installation

Complex water softener systems are harder to install on your own, and hence, you will require a professional plumber, which will definitely increase the costs.

Then why should one do it? Because it saves a lot of hassle and hard work, as well as time.

Complex system

Getting soft water can sometimes become a very complex issue. The more complex your system is, the harder it will take to install the water softener systems on your water supply.


You might live in an area that has specific rules and regulations that you will need to cater to before installing the whole house system.

If the requirements say that you will need to install additional equipment with your water softening system, that will be a problem that enhances your cost for the softener system greatly.

A professional will also take more money to install such a water softening system, based on how much capacity it has.

Water softener installation expert

FAQ on Water Softener Installation Cost

Is a permit needed to install a water softener?

You will not need this unless you are settled in Illinois; they still have some of these rules and regulations in place.
Before you spend any money and get in trouble with the water company, it is important to ensure that your local area has nothing against this water softener system.

Who can install a water softener?

Professional plumbers are the key to go, you still might be able to do this without them but it will be a pointless effort.
The person who has expertise in this portfolio will be able to do it quicker and more efficiently.

How do I hire a contractor to install a water softener?

The first step is to check the company you got your softener from, they might have the capacity to install the appliance as well because many people need this help.
Before you finalize with the contractor, it is important to look at their usual costs and how much they charge for what purpose.

Does Installing a Water Softener Reduce Water Pressure?

It usually does affect a portion of your softener installation price. The good part about that is that you can find multiple water softeners, each with its own different capacity to soften water.
The ones that can soften more water are also the ones that will keep the water pressure up and normal.


Installing a softener in your house gets affected by many factors: sometimes it’s your existing plumbing, and sometimes it’s your past plumbing projects on your existing pipes.

It is always important to do full research before you purchase any softener system, just to make sure that you know all the required information and can utilize it per se.