So, you’re looking into getting a water softener system. Before we get into how much a water softener system costs, let’s look in detail at what soft and hard water is.
Hard Water vs Soft Water
So, what’s the difference between soft water and hard water? The hardness or softness of water is measured by the amount of minerals in the water, particularly calcium and magnesium.
The more calcium and magnesium in the water, the harder it is. The Water Quality Association of the United States classifies water hardness by having one or more grains of dissolved mineral per gallon (1 GPG). There are levels of water hardness. Water with 1-3 gpg is considered slightly hard, 3-7 gpg is moderately hard, 7-11 gpg is hard, and over 11 gpg is extremely hard.
The opposite of hard water, soft water is the lack of minerals in the water, having less than 1 gpg of dissolved minerals. Rainwater from the sky is soft, and it becomes hard once it hits the ground, collecting minerals through contact with the soil.
Test your tap water to see where your water falls!
Benefits and Potential Negatives
There are benefits to hard and soft water depending on your lifestyle and needs. Now, let’s look at some benefits and drawbacks of hard and soft water.
There’s a myth that soft water tastes better than hard water, but it’s actually not true. The lack of minerals in soft water makes the water lose taste. What type of hard water tastes the best depends on your tastebuds and your local water conditions.
Over time, hard water will impact the performance of your appliances, making them work harder, and causing them to deteriorate faster. Hard water can leave dry spots on dishes, will leave a film in bathtubs, and can negatively affect the quality of your clothes. It can make it harder for your soap to lather. It’s known to irritate people with eczema.
If you live in an older house, built particularly in the 40s to 70s, hard water may clog your pipes over time. Too much magnesium in your diet can cause diarrhea.
Opposite to hard water, soft water is more energy efficient for your appliances, making them last longer. Soft water is better for your hair and skin, making it softer and shinier. Soap works better in this condition, and this will make cleaning easier and your laundry cleaner.
Depending on how your water is softened, the taste will be altered. Chemically softened water may taste salty. Keep in mind, that calcium and magnesium are necessary nutrients for your body. If you arent eating enough in your diet, hard water may be more beneficial for you.
What is a Water Softener System?
Water softener systems are filtration systems that filter out the minerals. There’s the ion exchange method, where positively charged resin beads are used to attract calcium and magnesium ions. The water distilling method heats the water and uses water vapor to separate the minerals. A newer, more affordable option is magnet filtering, where a magnetic field is created on your existing pipes and reverse filters the water.
Some systems have timed or manual switches. Where you can choose when to filter your water. There are even small filters that can be put under sinks, perfect for an apartment. Any method of water softening you use will need testing, maintenance, and routine changing of the filter.
How Much Does a Water Softener System Cost?
So, now what you’ve come for. How much do water softener systems cost? Well, here are the average prices for different price ranges.
The average cost of water softener systems cost about $1,500. The highest water softener systems will run about $5,000. The cheapest water softener systems you can get will be around $500. Magnet filters cost about $200 to $600. Ion filters are the most common, and they can cost from $500 to $2,000. Water distillers cost from $50 to $2,000.
First, you’ll need to test your water, and tests will cost about $10 to $50. Some things that affect the price are the size of the home. The larger your household and water usage is, the more filtration capacity you’ll need. Installation can cost between $150 and $600. Annal maintenance will run from $100 to $300 a year.
Water Softener System Cost: Conclusion
Now, to finish this off, here’s a quick pros and cons list of soft and hard water.