Updated: Oct 16
How much should a water softener cost & what's the difference between buying a generic water softener from a store like Home Depot? What benefits are there in investing in a professional-grade ultra high efficiency water softener?
The old rule of you get what you paid for is no exception when it comes to a water softener.
We often get asked "what's your cheapest Water Softener?" Our follow up question is "up front or in the long run?"
Water Softeners have a wide range of pricing depending on the quality of the tank, valve head & resin used, from very basic scheduled softeners that can be as little as $800 to higher quality systems that can cost as much as 5-6K. A basic model you get from Home Depot or Lowes still requires installation, which can range from 1K to $2500 depending the plumbing required.
There are also different qualities of resin beads, which are the softeners motor, that can dramatically change the price too. Resin beads come in 6%, 8% & 10% Crosslink. The higher the crosslink, the stronger the bead and the better job it will do removing the calcium and magnesium from the water to soften it. Difference between a 6% to a 10% crosslink resin, in NON CHLORINATED water is on average an additional 10 years in life on the system. Also consider that most city water is chlorinated, and a 2 ppm of Chlorine, a bead that would last 15 years would only last 5 before the chlorine destroys it. Some resins are also cheaply made, and some beads end up deformed or broken. When a bead is deformed or broken, then the cross links are broken and they're just taking up space in the tank. This throws of the systems size and programming. Always get US certified resins that go through quality control to ensure every bead works.
For argument sake we will say the average cost for standard on demand Water Softener with 6% crosslink resin is around $2500 installed. If the water softener only lasts 3-5 years before having to buy another softener, then in as little as 10 years you could easily spend $5000-7500 on multiple softeners to maintain soft water.
An Ultra High Efficiency on the other hand might cost 4-5K upfront, but can last 20 years or more. UHE Resins are designed to last in chlorinated water and have the maximum number of crosslinks to ensure the best softened water.
Different systems also use different amounts of water softener salt. Standard systems use and average of 3-4 bags a month for a family of 4 at 20 grains hardness her in Utah. Average cost in salt and water every 5 years to maintain soft water is $3051. Alternatively In a UHE Softener the average drops to 2-3 bags every 2-3 months and $681 every 5 years for the same family and hardness. A savings of $2370 every 5 years.
Last is the softener size. Water Softeners come in many sizes and should be sized properly for your home. The bigger the softener, the more resin it requires and a larger tank to hold it. To fully regenerate the tank it also requires a larger brine bin "tank that holds the salt".
When making your decision on what water softener is best for your home here in Utah, consider your ongoing costs to maintain soft water and if you want a system that's cheap uo front, or cheap in the long run.
Important things to consider when choosing the right water softener:
Build Quality: Professional-grade water softeners like the Ultra High Efficiency Water Softener is designed using higher-quality materials and components including ultra high efficiency resin beads, On Demand Water & a Dry Salt Brine that can saves thousands of dollars over its life. UHE Resins are built to withstand continuous operation in harsh water conditions. For this reason UHE Resins Beads can have up to a 20 year warranty. In contrast, generic models of water softeners that you’d buy in a hardware store use lower-quality materials. They use a blonde resin bead which dissolves over time and is destroyed by chlorine which results in a shorter lifespan of the water softener and lower softening capability.
Durability: Professional-grade water softeners like the UHE Water Softener are designed with durability in mind. They have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they can handle the demands of providing consistent water softening for extended periods of 20 years or longer. Generic models often will not include a warranty of any kind, and no one will warranty their resin beads.
Efficiency: Professional-grade water softeners are typically more efficient in terms of water and salt usage. They will regenerate (clean themselves) less frequently, reducing water and salt consumption. This efficiency can result in significant cost savings over the long term. Generic water softeners are much be less efficient and cost more to maintain water softness.
Maintenance and Service: Professional-grade water softener systems come with customer support and and require little to no maintenance maintenance over time. Many reputable companies like Nusoft Water Systems offer warranties to ensure the longevity of their systems. With generic models, you will have little to no support options and potentially higher maintenance costs.
Capacity: Professional-grade water softeners have the options for larger capacities, making them suitable for larger households and even commercial use. Generic models will have smaller or limited capacities and can become overwhelmed in high-demand situations. Many of these systems are an All-In-One where the tank and salt bin are in the same container. They are not dependable for Utahs water.
Water Quality: Professional-grade systems are designed to deliver consistent water softening, providing better overall water quality. Generic models will not be as effective at removing minerals which may result in less desirable water quality.
Long-Term Cost: While professional-grade water softeners often have a higher upfront cost, their longer lifespan and efficiency result in much lower long-term costs. Generic models require more frequent replacement or repairs, which add up over time. Investing in a professional-grade water softener like the ones at Nusoft Water Systems, offers multiple advantages over purchasing a generic model from a retail store like Home Depot, including better durability, higher efficiency, and long term cost savings, making it a wise choice for those looking for a reliable and long lasting solution for water softening.