Water is a crucial part of our lives. It is essential to our survival and vital for our wellbeing. We drink water, it’s essential for our hygiene, and it is a necessary element for cooking. We can face several diseases and dangerous health conditions without access to safe and clean water for daily use.
If you receive municipal water supply at your home, you might assume that it is completely safe for consumption because the municipality is responsible for processing the water to remove contaminants and make it safe for use at home. However, you might still be receiving hard water – a different type of water supply problem that requires additional water treatment.
In this post, we will discuss water softeners, the role they play, and the ongoing costs of a water softener to help you make a more well-informed decision for your water treatment needs.
“Contaminant-Free” Does Not Necessarily Mean Mineral-Free Water
Even when your water is free of contaminants, it is not necessary that it does not carry dissolved minerals. Water that has a lot of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium is not unsafe. However, the water can cause significant damage to your plumbing and appliances over time. Additionally, the mineral deposits can cause dry hair and skin and lead to irritation in your skin.
At Shell Water Systems, we understand the importance of getting a safe and healthy water supply. We are a water filtration company that can provide you with a wide range of water treatment solutions to ensure a high-quality water supply for you to use at home.
If you face hard water problems with your water supply, the ideal solution to your problem is the right water softener. Water softeners or water conditioners are appliances that treat the water supply at the mainline before it enters your home’s plumbing. Water softeners remove the harsh dissolved minerals in the water supply to ensure that the water flowing through your home’s plumbing does not carry the dissolved minerals that can build up in the pipes and leave deposits everywhere.
How Much Do Water Softeners Cost?
Water softeners can cost anywhere between $300 to $4,000, depending on the type, quality of water softener, and its installation costs. While water softeners can have varying upfront costs depending on these factors, there are also recurring costs that can add up over time.
Salt-based water softeners rely on salt for the ion exchange process that removes the dissolved minerals and replaces them with potassium – providing you with “soft water,” or water that is free of dissolved minerals that make it problematic for you. Salt-based water softeners might require you to purchase more salt to replace the salt in the system as the water treatment system keeps processing the water to remove the harmful minerals from the water supply.
Modern salt-based water softeners like the Shell Water Systems Salt-Based Water Softener use more innovative techniques to remove hardness from the water while reducing the water used to make it a more cost-efficient water treatment solution.
Saltless water softeners, or salt-free water conditioners, are another type of water treatment solution to tackle hard water problems without using the ion exchange process that requires replenishing the salt supply for continuous operations. Salt-free water conditioners like our Go Natural Salt-Free Conditioner use a simple upflow design and Vortec technology to remove the minerals without using potassium. It uses a lot more media to filter the water and remove the minerals without any wasted water.
Of course, that does not mean that salt-free systems do not come with ongoing costs. No matter which system you buy, ion exchange and salt-free systems both require some sort of maintenance costs. The costs associated with ion exchange systems might be much more than with a salt-free water conditioner.
Depending on the circumstances, one system might provide you with a more economical solution for your hard water problem than the other. It all depends on the severity of the hard water problem in your municipal water supply.
Maintenance Costs for Salt-Based Water Softeners
Salt-based water softeners require buying a bag of salt for proper regeneration to take place. A bag of salt per month might not seem too much, but the cost can add up over time.
You can choose to purchase a bag of potassium instead of salt for the system, but that could cost you much more. Another maintenance cost with salt-based water softeners is due to resin replacement once it expires. You might have to replace the resin after it expires . The cost might not seem much dispersed over time, but it can add to the total ongoing cost for the water softener.
The average cost of salt-based water softeners can range from $300-$4000
Maintenance Costs for Salt-Free Water Softeners
Salt-free water softeners also have ongoing costs, but there is a lot less for you to worry about with this water treatment solution. The most significant cost to maintain saltless water conditioners is to replace the filter media once every few years, depending on how much hard water your system processes.
Compared to a salt-based system, salt-free water conditioners can provide you with a truly set-it-and-forget-it solution to your hard water problems. These systems require minimal maintenance compared to their salt-based counterparts.
Considering the relatively lower sophistication with salt-free systems, the average ongoing cost of salt-free water softeners can range from $50-$100.
There are a lot of hidden costs that come with buying and installing a water softener. Salt-based water softeners are highly effective in removing hardness-causing minerals for the water supply. However, you might accumulate a lot of maintenance costs over time. The monthly cost of replacing the salt or potassium can add up over time.
Saltless water conditioners can provide you with a more economical solution for your hard water problems. Aside from the one-time cost of purchasing and installing the system, the only ongoing costs will be for servicing the unit and replacing the filter media. However, if there is a significant hard water problem in your water supply, regularly changing the filter could end up costing more over time.
If you are concerned about the hard water problem in your water supply and need better access to safer water at home, feel free to contact us. We can guide you to the most suitable solution for your hard water problems from our wide range of water treatment solutions at Shell Water Systems.