Now that you have decided to go ahead and transform your hard water, to luxurious soft water you will need to decide which model of softener to buy and consider your installation costs.
Like most things in this world, you get what you pay for.
We would always recommend that you buy the best product that your budget allows. Like the purchase of anything, for example, from a new car to a new kettle, you will be able to find something that is top of the range and expensive through to something that has been produced for the budget end of the market and so costing much less. Softeners are no different to other household appliances and you will need to take into account your own circumstances before making your purchase decision.
Imagine this; a friend calls you and asks for your recommendations for a new oven for their new kitchen. What do you tell them?
Do you recommend a make and model that you have previously used or something top of the range and worth investing in, knowing that the cooker will give many years of good service and they wont need to be pulling their kitchen apart in order to get a repair done in a couple of years? Like many purchases for the home, the decision making is subjective and could be based on many different factors. For example, the friend’s choice could be based on how long they plan to stay at the property, whether it is for a rental property or for style and good looks or performance alone.
Decisions about water softener types are equally subjective. If you are considering a softener, you will already be concerned about the effects of limescale on your home and your family and wanting to do something about it.
You could go to the local plumbers’ merchants or DIY superstore and pick up a softener for as little as £300 but that machine might only have a year’s guarantee, two years at the most. After that, you might be looking at expensive replacement parts and costs that make it an expensive purchase, especially if you are thinking long term. By tripling your budget and adding a bit more, you will be able to find a more robust softener that has an extended guarantee of possibly 5 years. The longest guarantee we have found is a 10 years parts and labour, which means that you will have trouble free softening of water for that period of time. Providing you have your softener regularly serviced, it will be a faithful servant.
Once you have decided on the type and capacity requirements of your softener, you can then search around to find the best product for your budget that ticks all your boxes in performance.
Moving on to installation costs; this will depend on what you have in place at your property and the ease of access to pipework and drain connections. A straightforward installation where it’s simple to access the rising main pipework, install a bypass valve and tap into a waste connection for waste and overflow will take no more than about 1-1.5 hours of time. If you are a competent in DIY plumbing, this will cost you the plumbing connections you need and your time, no more. However, if you need to employ a plumber, you will need to consider local rates and the plumber’s own assessment to install the pipework for you. Again, this could be a subjective amount. We have found plumbers who are happy to do a complete softener installation for £70 but also come across plumbers in the more expensive parts of the UK who have quoted much more!
Like all trade jobs, we would always recommend that if you need a tradesperson for your softener installation that you get a price for the job before they commence work. That way, there will be no surprises at the end of the work.
So, to answer the question ‘How much will a water softener cost me to buy and install?’
You are looking at anything between £350 and £1200+ for the softener and then your installation costs in the region of £0 to £70+