Hard water can be damaging to your pipes, appliances, and fixtures. The chalky residue can be unsightly, can make your drinking and cooking water taste off, and can make your skin dry and flakey. If you have hard water in your house, installing a water softener system can help. A water softener helps remove caustic magnesium and calcium from the water, replacing these minerals with less acidic sodium or potassium.
A water softener system installed by a Lowe’s professional will cost on average $1,500 for the unit and the installation. The overall cost to install a water softener will largely depend on the size and capacity of the water softening system. The range of prices for Lowe’s to install a system will be between $1,000 and $2,800.
To install a water softening system, you will need access to a 110-volt outlet within 10 feet of the water softening unit. Installing an outlet could add an expense to the overall installation. But, with a Lowe’s professional installation, the work your technician performs will be guaranteed for one year, and Lowe’s offers flexible financing options for every budget and price point, pending credit approval.
Table of Contents
- What Type of Water Softener Is Best For Me?
- Different Water Softeners Compared
- Does Water Softener Capacity and Style Influence Price?
- What Size Water Softener Do I Need?
- What is Included with a Professional Installation from Lowe’s?
- Should I Buy the Lowe’s Protection Plan?
- What Do I Need for a Water Softener Installation In My Home?
- Related Questions
What Type of Water Softener Is Best For Me?
In general, there are three main types of water softeners. The three main styles include an ion exchange unit, a dual tank unit, or a salt-free unit. Each has its pros and cons and can treat hard water in your home in different ways.
- Ion Exchange Water Softener: This type of water softener unit is the most common. It works to pull calcium and magnesium out of your water. The ions are attracted to resin beads that work to exchange the calcium and magnesium ions with potassium or sodium ions. The softer water is then recirculated back into your water system. These units are the most common type of water softener.
- Dual-Tank Water Softener: Often referred to as a twin tank or dual tank design, these water softeners are ideal for large and busy families. They use the same mechanism as an ion exchange unit, replacing the magnesium or calcium ions in your water with sodium or potassium ions. These units differ by having two tanks running simultaneously to cycle soft water through the home 24 hours a day. These systems have the maximum capacity size but also take up a great deal of space.
- Salt-Free Water Softener: Often sold as a water softener, the salt-free design is more closely related to a water conditioner. Rather than completely remove hard water elements from the water, these units simply work to prevent the build-up of hard water calcium or magnesium. These units are costly but effective and can help to filter water throughout your home. Salt-free systems are available as a single tank or a dual tank, but the dual tank styles will be much more costly.
Different Water Softeners Compared
|Ion Exchange||Dual Tank||Salt-Free|
|Mechanism||Resin Beads to Exchange Calcium Ion with Sodium/Potassium||Ion Exchange but features two tanks, providing ongoing soft water.||Water Conditioner will not remove hard water minerals but will alter them.|
|Household Size||1-4 People||2-8 People||1-4 People (Dual Tank version available)|
|Pros||Slim, Easy Install||24 Hour Production, Large Capacity||No Salt Required|
|Cons||Salt Must be Refilled||Pricey, Takes Up Space||Does Not Eliminate Hard Water, Reduces Build-up|
|Ongoing Maintenance||Must Purchase New Beads/Salt Periodically||Heavy Water Usage||Filter Change Periodically|
Does Water Softener Capacity and Style Influence Price?
Like many installed systems and units in your home, the style and capacity of the water softener will largely influence the price of the unit and the price of the installation. Although an Ion Exchange, Dual Tank, and Salt-Free water softener system all help reduce hard water, there is a significant price difference, dependent on both the style of water softener and the size.
|Unit Cost (without installation)||Ion Exchange||Dual Tank||Salt-Free|
|40,000 – 50,000 grains/gallon||$597||$1,149||$1,348|
|50,000 grains/gallon and larger||$797||$1,369||$1,642|
For installations, plan on an additional $150 to $600 from Lowe’s. Simple, smaller units usually cost around $150 for installation. More complex installations that require additional plumbing and retrofitted connections will cost more. Lowe’s installation will include the cost of delivery and the cost to program the new unit included in the price.
What Size Water Softener Do I Need?
Determining what size water softener you need for your home can be difficult, but there is a quick equation to determine the rough size you will need. The water softener capacity is measured in a grains per gallon unit, which can be calculated with a few simple steps.
First, determine the number of gallons your home uses every day. Take the number of people in your home, multiplied by the number of gallons each person uses. An average person uses 75 gallons per day.
5 people X 75 gallons = 375 gallons per day
Next, calculate your water hardness level. You can do this with a simple pH test kit, purchased for about $50 from the hardware store. Your water hardness, or pH, will be measured in grains per gallon. Take your grains per gallon number and multiply it by the total gallons used in your house per day. An example calculation may look like:
375 gallons per day X 8 pH = 3,000 gallons per day
Most water softener units have capacity measured as gallons per week, so multiply your gallons per day number by 7 to calculate the number of gallons per week needed.
3,000 gallons x 7 days a week = 21,000 capacity water softener
What is Included with a Professional Installation from Lowe’s?
When you decide to get your water softener professional installed by a Lowe’s technician, you can rest assured that you are getting a professional who will answer your questions about the product, usage, or installation. Every technician is from an independent company, and all technicians have been certified, insured, and have had a full background check.
Plus, Lowe’s provides a warranty on the labor and work done installing your new water softener system. The installation is guaranteed for one year following the installation. Additionally, Lowe’s has plenty of options to allow for special financing to afford a new water softening system. Installing a new water softener doesn’t have to be a substantial financial expense, and options can work with any budget for your upcoming project.
Should I Buy the Lowe’s Protection Plan?
In addition to your water softening unit and your installation, you may have the opportunity to purchase the Lowe’s protection plan to help keep your water softening system well maintained throughout its lifetime. The protection plan will cover your unit for three to four years after the manufacturer warranty has expired.
The plan offered through Lowe’s will cover quick repair (with $50 deductible), on-site service, and 50% off products needed to keep your water softener running. Plus, if a new unit must be installed, the plumbing protection plan will cover the cost of a new installation.
It is important to note that under the terms and conditions for the warranty program offered through Lowe’s, you may receive a new or a refurbished water softening system as your replacement unit. Once the unit has been replaced once, the protection plan is considered fulfilled and is terminated.
The cost for the protection plan break down as follows:
|Product Price||3 Year Program||4 Year Program|
What Do I Need for a Water Softener Installation In My Home?
Installing a water softener in your home is very simple for a professional technician. Before installing your system, be sure that you have a 110-volt receptacle to power the unit. The outlet must be within 10 feet of where the water softener unit will go. If you do not have an outlet, be sure to contact a licensed electrician before your Lowe’s water softener installation to have an appropriate outlet installed.
What Is a Good Water Softener System Alternative?
If you are not prepared to install a water softener system that will run throughout your entire house, there is a smaller, more affordable option. Adding an under-the-sink water filtration system can help remove magnesium and calcium from your water. These systems are easy to install for savvy homeowners and usually feature a three-stage filtration system. The filters are long-lasting and relatively inexpensive to replace once a filter is expired.
How Can I Tell If I Need a Water Softener?
Determining when and if you need a water softener can be difficult, but there are usually noticeable signs that you have hard water and need a water softening system. You may notice staining on your glassware, shower door, or calcium build-up around your faucet spouts. Further, you may see your skin is dry and itchy, or your clothing is becoming gray and faded after each load of wash.