How Much Does Water Softeners Cost?

Unsure of your decision to get a water softener? We wholeheartedly recommend you opt for one as soon as possible. Water softeners are efficient in removing any hard minerals present in the water supply of your house.

Hard water contains minerals that adversely affect your skin, pipes, and appliances, consequently reducing their working life.

There’s no fixed price for a water softener system. The cost of a water softener system varies on the type of water system purchased.

How Much Does A Water Softener System Cost?

What Does A Water Softener Cost?

A water softener can be estimated between a variety of ranges. You can acquire a water softener for a low price of $450 from Amazon easily. If you have the resources to venture towards a pricier option, there’s plenty of those available too!

The highest water system unit can go up to approximately $10,000. With all the information we’ve gathered, on average a water softener costs between $600 to $2500.

Water softeners don’t only have an initial price but have additional costs in the form of maintenance and installation. Maintenance and installation costs vary according to the type of water softener unit purchased.

 Type of Water SoftenerAverage Price
Salt-Based Water Softener$800 to $1500
Salt-free Water Softener$500 to $2800
Electronic Descalers$75 to $300
Reverse Osmosis Filters$150 to $800
Shower Water Filter$22 to $150
A hand with bills that costs water softeners

Price Of Water Softeners By Type

Ion Exchange Water Softener (Salt-Based)

Salt-based water softeners are used for public water system supplies primarily. This is because public water contains a considerable amount of hard minerals present in your water supply.

This is an ion exchange water softener since it swaps hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium for sodium.

On average the initial cost of this type of water softener is between $800 to $1500, but that’s not the only cost you need to be aware of! The process of ion exchange in this type of water softener requires consistent maintenance too.

For salt-based water softeners, the mineral tank doesn’t require added maintenance costs. However, the use of sodium for the swapping process needs regular changing.

An ion exchange water softener requires the salt in the brine tank to be topped up every 6 to 8 weeks to ensure the ion exchange is successful. This is necessary because without salt an ion exchange system can’t work efficiently.

Salt is not that expensive overall, but this is still a consistent cost you need to keep in mind.

With an ion exchange water softener, the regeneration process will also garner an increase in electricity bills as well as wastewater.

Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative

These water softener alternative systems don’t use an ion exchange process but instead, use a template-assisted crystallization technology.

Template-assisted crystallization allows salt-free softeners to use resin beads that make hard water minerals cling to it and crystallize it. These water softeners don’t remove hard water minerals, but transform them to a crystallized version that prevents scaling!

Since there’s no use of salt, salt-free water softeners are popular for the minimal costs they have. Additionally, this water softener allows calcium and magnesium to stay in the water system in a manner that’s safe and healthy to consume.

The initial price of a template-assisted crystallization technology softener can venture between $500 to $2800. In addition, you incur no wastages since there’s no regeneration process.

Only the media requires upkeep every 6 to 9 years! The only cost you’ll incur is while changing the pre-sediment filter. Costs for the pre-sediment filters can start from $10 and go to $100. The filter’s cost will be dependent on the type and brand of filter you go for!

Electronic Descalers

Electronic descalers work like salt-free water softeners. They neutralize the effect of hard water minerals, therefore preventing any scale buildup. However, electronic descalers need only electricity to crystallize hard water minerals to soften your water.

Electronic descalers create electromagnetic fields using electricity which alters the nature of hard water particles thus neutralizing them so they stop scaling.

This kind of water softener is the least expensive out of all five since there’s no resin, media, or regeneration involved. This is why these water softeners have almost no cost after the initial price.

The initial cost for electronic descalers can start from $75 and go up to $300. Essentially the only money you spend is during the purchase with no additional annual maintenance costs.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis filters are a great option to go for if you’re looking for a water softening and water filter system. Reverse osmosis systems have multiple filters and filtering stages to treat water thoroughly.

The media in reverse osmosis systems allows fine particles and contaminants to pass through these filters and drains them away alongside hard water.

The average price of this water treatment system ranges between $150 to $800. In hindsight, this still makes your average cost compared to other water softeners relatively expensive.

This is because the water treatment and water softener consist of multiple filters and screening components you need to spend on consistent maintenance.

You need to be aware of the replacement costs of various filters, and the reverse osmosis screening that needs to be done every 6 months. Other cost factors also include the increased cost of electricity bills as well as water usage.

Shower Water Filter

Shower water filters are essential to combat the dryness on your skin and hair caused by hard water. Shower filters don’t use an ion exchange process to turn hard water into soft water.

These shower water filters start from $22 going up to $150+ depending on the brand of shower filter you’re opting for.

Shower water filters can last up to 6 months to 1 year depending on the gallons of water it filters. Some shower water filters can filter 10,000 to 25,000 gallons of water depending on water capacity.

How Much Does The Installation Cost?

On average water softener installation costs range between $400 to $3000. These are just average prices and the installation costs differ based on water softener brand and type.

The differences in installation costs vary depending on the budget you have and the average amount you can spend on installing a water softener.

Water softener installation system on a picture

Installation Costs By Type

Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softeners

A standard ion-based softener costs between $200 and $500 to install. However, the installation process for a dual tank ion-based softener can cost between $300-$1000.

If you decide to try the DIY process, we would suggest only go for that route if you’re well versed in the installation process. We fully concur, although that it would be best if you hire a professional for a salt-based softener.

Salt-Free Water Softeners

Installations for salt-free water conditioners range between $150 to $250. With salt-free water conditioners, you can either opt for a professional installation or a DIY installation.

If you have the resources to spend, a professional installation would be the safer bet!

Electronic Descaler

Electronic descalers are the least expensive in terms of the unit price range as well as the installation.

You can perform a DIY installation for electronic descalers quickly and save money when it comes to the installation since they’re the easiest to install yourself.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis filters require a professional due to the complex components involved in the water treatment system.

The installation costs for a whole house reverse osmosis system costs between $200-$500. The reverse osmosis costs for a single part of the house ranges between $150-$400.

Shower Water Filter

Shower water filters are generally inexpensive, therefore their installations are also inexpensive.

If you want to install a shower water filter for your whole house, it automatically increases labor costs coupled with the total cost into thousands in dollars.

However, the total cost of installation of an inexpensive shower filter for a single part of your house system can cost up to $200.

What is the Yearly Maintenance Cost of a Water Softener?

ExpensesAverage Yearly Cost
Water Usage$12-$24
Service and Maintenance$100-$250
Filter Replacements$70-$1800

Water Softeners Maintenance and Service Costs

Salt-based water softeners have average annual costs of $120-$240. Additional maintenance costs vary between $20-$76 depending on the brand of the water softener.

Repair costs of water softeners may be expensive costing up to $600 if you don’t have a contract. On contract, however, annual repairs and services cost between $100-$150.These contractual costs consist of repairs, cleaning, salt refilling, and an annual system checkup.

Water Usage and Electricity Costs

Salt-based systems and reverse osmosis systems drain away excess water the most, therefore, resulting in up to 20 to 50 gallons of wastewater per year. This results in water wastage costs that amount to $50 per year.

Electronic descalers, reverse osmosis filters and salt-based water softeners use electricity to reduce water hardness. These systems can use up to 70kWh of electricity which costs a maximum of $15 per year.

Rental Costs of Water Softeners

Overall renting a water softener will prove to be more expensive initially and in terms of maintenance too. On average, renting a water softener can cost $300-$600 per year.

If you rent from a pricier high-quality brand it will cost you $960-$1800 per year. This includes the installation, maintenance, and cost of filter replacement depending on the type of water softener you go for.

What are the Factors Affecting the Price of Water Softeners?

Water softener prices and costs depend on factors such as the softener brand, labor cost, water loop installation, costs for replacement, and moving a softener system.

Glass of water produced from home water softeners

Brand Prices

A single water softener unit can be priced from $500 and can go up to $5000. Subsequently, this will affect the cost of installation, repairs, and maintenance cost as well.

Companies like Culligan and Kinetico give you the option to choose the type of softener you need from their wide range of softeners priced at $500 as well as $5000!

Labor Cost

The labor cost of a softener system entails the professional’s installation fee, the materials needed, additional equipment, etc! On average labor can cost between $200 to $500. There’s a wide range depending on the initial cost and brand of the softener you purchase.

There might be extra labor costs if the plumber needs to fit in extra pipes or accommodate space for softener tanks. These costs can range up to $45 to $150.

Cost of Water Softener Loop Installation

Installing a water softener isn’t always direct. Some house water systems already have water loops but additional costs can be incurred if your house doesn’t have one!

Water loops reconnect the water supply of your house pipes to redirect soft water for primary use inside the house first. Water loops, if not installed may require extra plumbing. On average this can cost anywhere between $600-$2000!

Replacement and Movement Costs

If you want to install a new system, it will cost you around $700-$3000 on average. Replacement costs are a different story because of components like filters, and resin involved.

Mostly softeners last a long time as well as the resin beads filters they consist of, but with salt-based softeners filter tank costs come into play. Filter tank replacements cost between $150-$500 and resin replacements cost can range between $200-$400 on average.

Movement costs depend on the distance you’re traveling and the size of the unit system. The cost incurred also depends on the degree of water hardness where you’re moving. This deduces if your house system will use well water or municipal water supply.

Movement costs are $200-$500 which may not include the various costs of additional plumbing and maintenance etc!


With all costs broken down and classified separately for your help, we guarantee you’ll now be able to acquire any sort of water softener system.

Be it a salt-free softener or water softener conditioner, all costs mentioned above will give you the information needed to set a budget to purchase a water softener!