Do you live in an area with hard water? If so, you’ll undoubtedly suffer from lime in your coffee machine or kettle, you’ll see it on the walls of your bathroom and you’ll eventually have to turn up the heating because your appliances and central heating system will deteriorate. In these cases, you can choose to purchase a water softener. These devices soften all the water that flows through your pipes by using filters. These contain resin granules that filter lime and magnesium out of the water. These filters are then cleaned with salt by the machine itself.
The benefits of soft water
There are certain benefits from softening your water. First, there are the environmental benefits. You need less beauty and cleaning agents, you can use less detergent in your washing machine and your dishwasher, and you need fewer products to remove lime as well. This is not only better for your wallet, but for the environment as well. In addition, your appliances will work better and longer, and your heating costs may fall because your boiler doesn’t have to work so hard. You’ll also feel some changes. Your hair will feel softer, your skin less dry after showering and tea deposits on the cups will no longer occur. The deposit in the bathroom or on the car will disappear after washing.
There are different types of water softeners on the market. The most common types are electronic and mechanical water softeners. The costs you pay include the purchase of the machine, the installation, any maintenance and the cleaning salt that has to be replenished once in a while. Here you will find an overview of the costs.
|Electronic water softener||From $775|
|Mechanical water softener||From $600|
|Salt||$20 per 50 kilo|
|Maintenance contract||From $85 annually|
|Installation costs||From $195|
A mechanical softener without a maintenance contract: you choose a mechanical water softener that you maintain yourself. Mechanical water softeners work with a timer. You can set it yourself when you want the machine to soften the water. With the correct settings you won’t have any problem, but there’s always a chance that the device will soften either too much or too little water. You can do maintenance yourself. You can lubricate the parts, clean the machine, refill the salt and test the water for hardness and bacteria.
An electronic water softener without a maintenance contract: if you buy an electronic water softener and maintain it yourself, you’ll pay a little more money. However, this machine will soften the water on demand and not when you indicate it. During holidays it will work less than if you have guests, for example. Different settings are possible, such as the hardness of the water. These devices use less salt and work more efficiently.
An electronic water softener with maintenance contract: if you don’t want to worry about anything, you can consider buying an electronic water softener with a maintenance contract. The softener will set you on the right program and it’ll soften the water when you need it. Once in a while, the maintenance team will visit you to refill the salt and check the machine completely.
The price structure
The initial cost of purchasing a water softener consists of material and labor costs for the installation. After that, you’ll have to pay for maintenance and salt, but these will depend entirely on your own water consumption. Installing a water softener is not a time-consuming task and can be done within a few hours. A new water softener costs about $1010 and the installation is $245. Often you can have this done by the same company. The labor costs make up about 18 percent of the total costs. This is shown in the following diagram.
Choices that influence the price
The majority of the price for buying a water softener is for material. This is where you can make the biggest savings. By installing the device yourself, you only save 18 percent of the total price and it’ll take a lot of time and effort. There are a number of choices you can make that can have a positive or negative impact on the price. These are the biggest.
The type of water softener
You pay less for a mechanical water softener than for an electronic type. The result is softer water in both cases, but the electronic softener works on demand and the mechanical one on the settings you make yourself.
Maintenance contract or no maintenance contract
You can also sign a maintenance contract during installation. For about $110 per year, you don’t need to worry about your machine anymore. You can also save this money by doing the maintenance yourself. Usually this means lubricating moving parts, refilling the salt, cleaning the machine and performing a water test.
Secondhand or new
You can also find second-hand equipment. You can buy this at a fraction of the price. In addition, you also have the installation costs, but in the end you can soften your water considerably cheaper.
Interesting savings tips
Softening your water has many advantages for your home, for you and for the environment. Here are two tips to help you keep costs down.
Use a local supplier: if you can find the water softener locally and have it installed, you may avoid the call-out costs completely or at least keep them to a minimum.
Do it yourself: you might consider installing the softener yourself, even though this is a fairly precise and complicated job. If you don’t want to, you can also just do the maintenance yourself, at least for the first few years.
The planning of every job, large or small, starts with the comparison of quotations. Use our comparison tool for this and you’ll receive a number of non-binding quotations. You can then compare them and make the best decision regarding your new water softener.