- Most water softener repairs are just leaky pipes or faulty seals, and can be repaired for a couple hundred bucks.
- Larger issues, like a damaged tank or a faulty circuit board, will start pushing towards $1,000.
- A full water softener replacement can cost anywhere between $500 and $3,500, depending on your own knowledge, the unit itself, and any additional plumbing requirements.
When your water softener isn’t working properly, it can be expensive to fix — especially if you need to replace the entire unit. Hopefully, though, it’s a minor, less expensive repair. Start by searching online for common water softener issues and professional repair companies.
Here are a number of common problems you might encounter with your water softener. Let’s go over them, and the average cost to get them fixed. We’ll also tell you how much you’ll have to pay to replace your entire system, if necessary. An online search for certified experts in your area is always a great place to start.
What Does Your Water Softener Do?
Water softeners have a mechanical function, in that they remove a hard mineral called calcium from your water. This is done by an ion exchange process—you know, when you add salt to water and then notice a reaction. How hard your water is without a softener depends entirely on where you live and where you water comes from.
The machine uses a brine solution with ions of sodium and potassium to swap for those removed calcium ions. The end result is water that is safer for use on surfaces like skin and hair. It also leaves less white dust behind if you wash clothing or dishes by hand. Overall, a water softener is easier on appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine, and reduces how much soap or detergent you need to use.
Common Water Softener Problems
Water softeners often have common problems, such as leaky hoses and drain valves. These problems are usually easy to identify because they will cause leakage and leave marks on your floor. The average cost of repairing a water softener is $200-600. However, if you don’t fix these problems fast enough, they can become more serious and can end up costing you more money.
Here are some other common water softener issues, and their estimated costs:
- Resin Replacement – $200 to $400
- Tank Replacement – $150 to $500
- Filter Replacement – $30 to $200
- Basic Piping Repair – $100/hour, plus parts
Most professionals will offer an inspection of your water softener for $40 to $80. After that, they will recommend any repairs or other preventative maintenance. A small bill now could save you from facing a much larger one down the road.
Average Cost of Water Softener Repairs
Overall, the average cost to repair a water softener is between $50 and $250. That might seem low if you’re used to paying for expensive items. However, keep in mind that these estimates might not include labor costs.
If you want to save money on repair costs, consider learning how to fix some common problems yourself. For example, if your salt levels are too high or low or if you have clogged filters, these issues can both be resolved with a little online research and work.
Replacing Your Existing System Versus Upgrading It
When your water softener is on its last legs, you might be tempted to replace it rather than repair it. There are some times when replacing your water softener may make sense, but there are also some instances where simply repairing your existing system will do. If you’re not sure which route to take, here’s a quick guide outlining what to consider when trying to decide between repairing or replacing your water softening system.
The choice of whether to fix or replace really comes down to two main factors: cost and maintenance. A new water softener can cost anywhere between $500 and $2,000, depending on the size and features. And that doesn’t include installation. Presumably, you can just swap your new unit into where your old one existed. However, if you need a bunch of extra plumbing or pipework done, the cost can easily climb up towards $6,000.
The Cost Of Installation
To ensure your water softener has a long life, you should have it installed by a licensed plumber. The average cost to install a water softener in your house is $400. If you need to upgrade your plumbing system at home, that can add on another $2,000-$3,000 to your installation costs. Thankfully, most companies offer financing options if you don’t want to pay upfront.
In addition, water softeners typically last anywhere from 10-to-15 years. But eventually they will need to be replaced. The cost of a total replacement depends on what kind of system you buy, plus the labor costs of your installers.
Do It Yourself Options
If you’re fairly handy around the home, a DIY water softener replacement is a great option. The average homeowner can purchase their own parts and tools from a hardware store or online. Basic repairs or swaps don’t usually require professional help, unless there is an electrical issue that needs to be dealt with.
Most DIY repair kits will come with easy-to-follow instructions for each task, allowing anyone to complete these water softener replacements quickly and easily.
The Bottom Line
For the average family, repairing or replacing your water softener will cost $400 to $600. In some cases, you might have to replace the entire unit. On the low end of replacement costs, a quality mid-range brand (Waterboss) retails for about $350. On the high end of replacement costs, a high-end GE Water System retails for about $900.
It’s always a good idea to keep your water softener system in good shape (and full of salt). It makes your other water-using appliances run more more efficiently and prolongs their life. It will also keep your dishes cleaner and be less hard on your clothes when you wash them. It even helps your skin from feeling dry and itchy after showering. Ultimately, a water softener is actually a pretty important part of your house.