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Water Softener Installation Cost Checklist

Is hard water a problem in your home? If so, installing a water softener may be a good option. This article is designed to help you understand the items that may increase or decrease the cost of a new water softener (and professional installation).

1. Local building codes

Before installing a water softener, you should read up on local building codes. In some parts of the United States, it’s illegal to discharge any salt to the public sewer system. In Massachusetts, no water softener backwash is allowed to enter a conventional septic system. As a result, these homeowners may need to construct a drywell to handle these mineral deposits.

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2. Permitting

Depending on where you live, you may need to secure a permit before installing a permit. All permit inspection fees should be included in your contractor’s itemized estimate.

3. Geographic location

Did you know your geographic location may have an impact on the cost? Labor rates can vary significantly throughout the country. Setup fees and installation costs are typically higher in large cities than they are in rural towns.

4. Household size

The required capacity of your water softener will be determine by the size of your household, the number of bathrooms in your home, and the current hardness level of your water. Water hardness levels are measured in grains per gallon. Larger homes, with more people living in them, will need higher-capacity units. If your home has less than 3 bathrooms, a 33,000-grain water softener may be a good place to start.

5. Softener system types

Most traditional water softening systems use salt to remove hardness. However, if you are concerned about increased sodium intake, you may want to consider installing a salt-free system. These systems, which use potassium chloride in place of sodium chloride, tend to be more expensive.

6. Purchase vs. Leasing

Some companies may offer you the option of leasing a water softener. When leasing this equipment, you should expect to pay an initial setup fee in addition to small monthly payments. A lease may or may not include regular maintenance visits. Before signing anything, make sure you have a good understanding of what’s included (and what’s not included) in the rental agreement.

7. Plumbing accessibility

Is your home pre-plumbed for a water softener? Are you replacing an existing water softener? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you should not encounter many technical issues. However, if the necessary plumbing is not in place (or it is difficult to access), the cost of your project may increase.

8. Long-term costs

When purchasing any appliance, it’s also important to consider the operating and maintenance costs. How much power will the softener use each month? How often will the salt need to be replenished? How long can you expect the unit to last? Signing a service contract with your installer may help you save money on maintenance over the lifetime of the unit.

9. Licensed & insured

Before hiring any professional, it is critical that you take a few minutes to verify their credentials and ensure that they have comprehensive insurance coverage. Although an unlicensed contractor may offer you a good deal, there’s no guarantee that the work will be done correctly (and up-to-code).

10. Compare quotes

If time permits, we always recommend requesting several estimates from different contractors. By comparing multiple quotes, you can see who delivers the most value for your dollar. Make sure to get everything in writing to avoid any surprises charges down the road.

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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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