Buying a new softener can be overwhelming, here is a rough guide to what your money will get you…
You won’t be surprised to hear that there are huge variations in the cost of water softeners but, ultimately, the price you pay will come down to the type of softener you choose and what you expect the product to do for you.
Prices can range from several hundred to several thousand pounds. The reason for this is primarily down to the functionality and efficiency of the softener in question.
You have to ask yourself – what are you looking to gain from buying a water softener? What are your circumstances? Do you have a large family where there is a constant, high demand on water, or do you live alone and, in comparison, have a much reduced requirement.
Does your water use fluctuate? What happens if there is a fault and spare parts are needed – are they going to be easy to come by? Are you prepared to pay that little bit extra for years of reliable service before anything needs replacing or upgrading?
At the end of day, we are all looking for a product that is reliable and cost effective. It really all depends on what your own individual interpretation of cost effective actually is!
The good news is that we have products to suit all budgets. Some are more sophisticated than others, but no good water softener provider would sell you something that’s second rate! Equally, if you wanted an all-singing, all-dancing water softener for a bargain basement price, then we’d tell you your expectations were somewhat unrealistic!
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
So what will my money buy me?
In a nutshell – if you were spending a maximum of £500, this most probably would only buy you a cheap, single-cylinder softener with limited capacity and prone to using loads of salt. And it might be liable to breaking down, so maybe best to avoid.
If you raised the stakes to around £1000, then you would certainly have some much better options available to you. This is a more realistic base level spend that we would recommend, where you would be talking about an efficient single-cylinder model, such as our Glacier Water Softener – a very popular option in this price bracket.
With a £1600 budget, you could splash out on a Kinetico Premier Compact, or a Harvey’s HV4 – both twin cylinder softeners which are considered to be amongst the best that money can buy in this price bracket. Generally, the twin cylinder softeners are more expensive because they regenerate more efficiently and require less maintenance and upkeep. That said, EcoWater make world-class water softeners and their single tank options do everything that a twin tank would do, in terms of delivery of soft water and is, on average, 40-50% more efficient than a Kinetico or Harvey’s.
If you were to push the budget up to £2000, then this should cater for most large households. Unless you run a commercial establishment, with exceptional water usage, you shouldn’t need to be spending more than a couple of thousand pounds on your water softener.
Of course, if you wanted to include any extra touches to enhance the overall installation – such as introducing 3 way taps, drinking water systems or external cabinets – then you would need to push the boat out a little further in terms of overall expenditure.
Water filters can also vary substantially in price – ranging from £45 up to about £310. They’ll need replacing every 6-12 months, depending on the type of unit.
With regards to installation, you should allow £250 and this would typically take anywhere between two and four hours to complete. And before you ask – no, having a water softener installed won’t affect your water pressure!
No matter how much you spend on your soft water system, we’re so confident you’ll love your softener that we’re willing to offer a no-quibble, 30 day money-back guarantee. In the unlikely event you do not wish to continue with your installation, we’ll come back and remove the softener and ensure all the plumbing work carried out is returned to its original state – at a time that’s convenient to you.
What about any ongoing costs?
As far as annual servicing is concerned, this costs £99 as a one off, or £65 if you are on one of our annual subscriptions.
As you would probably expect, there are always going to be running costs with your water softener. Again, much will depend on the type of softener you select and their levels of efficiency.
The harder the water and the more intensive the water usage, the greater the demand placed on the water softener and its associated running costs, e.g. the amount of salt replacement required, whether the system is metered or not etc. Certainly, much will depend on how much water is needed for regeneration. Single tanks generally work harder than duals, so are less reliable.
As a rule of thumb, however, you should allow somewhere between £1.25 and £2.50 per person per month for salt, and, on average, you should notice an increase in your annual water bill of around £5.
And just in case you were wondering, the prices quoted are all inclusive of VAT.
This would seem a small price to pay set against the benefits and advantages of having soft water in your home.
Whatever the cost, it’s worth remembering that having soft water will always save you money in the long-run, because it will cut down on never-ending cleaning costs battling limescale build-up and putting up with appliances that don’t perform properly, or which need replacing due to the damage inflicted by hard water.