Average Water Softener System Installation Cost In 2024 – Forbes Home

Type of water softener

There are different types of water softening systems, each with slightly different costs.

Ion exchange systems

Ion exchange systems are the most common and reliable water softening systems. The ion exchange system allows water to flow through sodium ions into a resin tank where they go through an exchange process, exchanging clean sodium ions for the hard ones. These systems are available as single and double tanks. Overall they cost between $400 and $3,000. To maintain them, you must regularly refill the salt tank.

Reverse osmosis systems

Reverse osmosis systems remove all chemicals, minerals and toxins from your water and combat high mineral deposits. They can also work with additional water softening systems that you may already have installed in your home. A single-point-of-use reverse osmosis system that connects to your sink can cost just so little $100. However, more comprehensive systems usually require a fee between $1,000 and $11,000.

Magnetic systems

Magnetic systems are a recently developed technology that uses magnets in pipelines to neutralize the ions. This system is recommended for less stubborn cases of hard water and is cost effective between $200 and $600.

Water distillation systems

Water distillation systems eliminate heavy metals, bacteria and minerals. However, not all chemicals are eliminated. These systems work by boiling water and collecting the steam. They are great for self-installation and are inexpensive $50 to $4,000 to install. Keep in mind that these are not suitable for heavy maintenance jobs around the house. They are best suited for drinking water.

Salt-free systems

Salt-free systems work similarly to ion exchange systems but use potassium instead of sodium. This type of system costs between $500 and $4,000. They prevent the buildup of ions in the water system and are best for people on low-sodium diets.

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The brand of water softener you choose will also affect the price. Most brands offer a range of systems, including larger and higher quality fabric softeners. Smaller, traditional models are cheaper.


Where you live and where you get your water from will affect what type of system you need and the total cost of installing a water softening system. Some cities and regions have more minerals in their water than others. The United States Geological Survey has a map of harder water regions. In urban and metropolitan areas, material and labor costs tend to be higher than in rural areas.

Size of the house

The number of people in your household and how much water each person uses will also affect the type of water softener you need and therefore the overall cost. The average person uses about 90 gallons of water per day. This includes drinking, cleaning, showering, etc. Multiply this number by the number of people in your household to determine your household's water usage.

Test the hardness level of your water in grains per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (PPM) by performing a professional laboratory test, purchasing a test kit, or contacting your water utility company. Before purchasing a water softener, multiply your household water usage by your GPG or PPM to determine the ideal capacity.


In addition to the size of the household, the capacity of the water softening system also affects the overall costs. The grain capacity of most household systems is around 24,000, which is typical for a four-person household. Systems with this capacity cost between $300 and $600. However, as capacity increases, so does the price. Typically, the harder the water and the more capacity you need, the more expensive the water softening system will be.

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