Water Softener Installation Cost at Home Depot

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Hard water is a problem that countless homeowners face, especially if they have older plumbing with high mineral content. These minerals can lead to dirty laundry, stained dishes, and clogged pipes that can eventually cost a fortune. Home Depot offers a wide selection of water softeners, but how much do they charge for installation?

It costs an average of $9,000 to install a water softener through Home Depot. You can get a water softener with reverse osmosis from Home Depot for $4,500 or a full softener with reverse osmosis and a water filter for $6,500. The cheapest option is only $2,500, but it only comes with a water softener.

Factor in at least another $300 per year to run and maintain your water softener, and that includes salt.

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Cost To Install a Water Softener

You can expect to spend between $2,500 and $6,000 to install a water softener through Home Depot. General water softener installation costs range between $1,200 and $6,000, so Home Depot’s prices aren’t too far off. Costs vary based on the water softener itself, and whether it features water filters and reverse osmosis.

Home Depot’s water softener installation costs are simple because they lump it into packages based on what is included. There are several cost factors that Home Depot uses to determine how much your water softener installation costs and that includes:

  • System type
  • Size
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Water filter
  • Labor
  • Permit

Most municipalities require a permit to install a water softener system, but that varies based on where you live. Size and type affect the installation cost because larger and more elaborate softeners take more time to install. Follow along as we explore each of the cost factors and go in-depth as to how they affect the final price.

Water Test

Most companies charge you $50-$100 or more to test your water, but Home Depot does not. Home Depot includes a free water test in your installation no matter which package you choose. The water test is important because it can show you whether or not you have hard water.

Hard water can lead to problems, such as clogged pipes, stained silverware, dirty dishes, and skin and hair problems. Home Depot service professionals can examine your water and test it for mineral content, such as calcium. Hard water can shorten the lifespan of your appliances, such as faucets, toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines.

The results of your water test can help you decide which softener installation package to choose. For example, if your water has a high mineral content, you may want the package that includes reverse osmosis. However, if you have many residents in your home and severe hard water, you may need the $6,500 installation package.

Water Softener

The water softener itself is a big part of your Home Depot water softener installation cost, and they have many options. You can buy Home Depot’s cheapest water softener for $278, but it is a portable unit and isn’t optimal for daily use. Spend $349 on a unit and you can get a water softener system that you can run daily and throughout the year.

Home Depot’s most expensive water softener is over $5,400, but it is mostly intended for well water. Stay within the $400-$600 price range, and you can buy a water softener with powerful regeneration cycles and great performance. These costs do not include installation, but they do factor into your total Home Depot water softener installation bill.

Installation Cost

Installation cost generally comes at a fixed rate when you choose Home Depot because they have three options. You can choose between basic, mid-tier, and high-end water softener installation packages at Home Depot. Water softener installation generally takes 2 ½ hours, but mid-tier and high-end can take an extra hour or more.

Basic Water Softener

Home Depot charges you $2,500 for basic water softener installation that doesn’t include add-ons like reverse osmosis. Basic water softeners are effective and reduce the mineral content in the water and your home appliances. Water softener installation costs at Lowe’s are cheaper, and basic installation costs $1,000.

However, Home Depot’s basic water softener installation is arguably more effective than competitors like Lowe’s. Basic water softener installation costs include the water softener itself, as well as labor and materials. It can be pricier than $2,500 if you need to install additional plumbing because it adds to how long installation takes.

Basic installation can cost significantly less if the house was built to support a water treatment or softener system. Existing connections for a water treatment system can knock as much as $500-$800 or more off of your total bill. You could spend as little as $1,000 on installation, including the water softener, if your house can already support a water softener.


You can expect to pay $4,500 for mid-tier water softener installation at Home Depot, but prices vary. The basic mid-tier package is $4,500, but existing connections and support can lower the cost. This package is expensive because it involves a reverse osmosis system to further clean your water.

Reverse osmosis is an addition that you can get for water softeners that improve the quality of your drinking water. Basic water softeners remove minerals, but reverse osmosis helps remove other contaminants that affect water quality. However, it is important to note that some organizations, like the WHO, don’t recommend drinking reverse osmosis water.

Consider the mid-tier option from Home Depot if you want to remove the salt from your water. Salty water is best removed with a reverse osmosis system as it removes sodium. If salty water isn’t a problem, you can save up to $2,000 and forego a reverse osmosis system altogether.


Home Depot’s high-end package tier is the most comprehensive, effective, and ultimately, expensive option. That is because it includes a water softener, reverse osmosis system, and water filtration for the entire house. The high-end tier is expensive because it requires more hardware and equipment, and it takes longer to install.

That is why Home Depot charges you $6,500 for the high-end water softener package, and it is arguably worth it. Installation takes longer because of the reverse osmosis and water filtration system that it involves. This package can also involve some expensive permit fees that range between $50 and $500 depending on where you live.

Not all counties and neighborhoods even require obtaining a permit, but others strictly require one. This package is ideal for homeowners that live in an area with poor drinking water. It is a worthy investment because the water softener, air filter, and reverse osmosis system can add up to $10,000 in equity to your home.

Cost To Run a Water Softener

The average homeowner can expect to spend an average of $15 each month to run your water softener each day. Costs range between $10 and $20 per month, so you can spend roughly $120-$240 or more per year to run your water softener. However, you may also spend as much as $25 per month to purchase water softener salt, and that adds hundreds of dollars per year.

That means that you can expect to spend at least $300 on water softener salt per year to properly maintain it. You can spend as much as $600 per year to run and maintain a water softener to keep it working in order. That is ultimately the biggest downside to water softeners, but it is worth it for the value that they add to a home.

Maintenance can add between $20 and $150 in costs to your yearly water softener expenses, but that’s not always necessary. Older water softeners can cost you $700 per year to run, maintain, and purchase salt. Luckily, water softeners last 15 years or longer, so it takes a while for costs to climb that high.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Good For You?

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that reverse osmosis water can have negative health consequences. Home Depot’s mid and high-end tiers both include reverse osmosis systems, but are they worth it? The problem with reverse osmosis systems is that they remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from the water entirely.

Basic water softeners filter minerals out as well, but they generally still leave minuscule amounts of them in the water. Humans need these minerals, and the concept is reverse osmosis water can deplete us of them. However, reverse osmosis water is certainly great for your appliances and can help keep them clean and unclogged.

Standard water softeners deprive you of fewer minerals, and they are not considered to be unsafe. Both reverse osmosis water and soft water are safe to drink, but they don’t allow you to get all of the minerals that you need.

Related Questions

Do You Need a Permit For a Water Softener?

You don’t generally need to obtain a permit for a water softener, but some counties or neighborhoods do. Permits range between $50 and $500, but they are rarely required unless your municipality includes it in their building codes. However, you may need to clear your water softener with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA) before you install a water softener.

Should water softeners have water in them?

Water softeners should always contain water in the brine tank unless it is currently in its regeneration cycle. Your water softener’s brine tank should generally contain between 3 and 6 gallons of water unless it is a dry brine tank. Dry brine tanks should only contain water for 1-2 hours directly before it enters the regeneration cycle.

Do water softeners add value to your home?

Yes, you can add value to your home if you install a water softener for when it’s time to sell the house. It all depends on the location and how elaborate your setup is, but water softeners often add at least $5,000 in equity to your home. Elaborate water softeners, such as Home Depot’s high-end package, can add up to $10,000 in equity to your home.

How long do water softeners last?

Water softeners last between 10 and 15 years, but they can last longer if you maintain them well. You can ensure that they last longer if you keep up the proper salt level so that it can run optimally. Try to clean your water softener at least once per year so that it doesn’t get clogged and stop working as well as it can.

Does Home Depot service water softeners?

Home Depot can arrange for someone to service your water softener, but it will be through a third party in most cases. They typically choose a professional or service to repair and maintain your water softener if you contact them directly. However, you can also service your water softener if you call the number on the box for the unit and ask what kind of service they recommend.

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Summing It Up

It costs between $2,500 and $6,500 to hire Home Depot to install your water softener for you. This cost is split up between three packages, and the $2,500 package only includes a water softener. The mid-tier $4,500 package includes a water softener as well as a reverse osmosis system.

Home Depot’s high-end tier features a water softener, water filtration system, and reverse osmosis system. This package is Home Depot’s most expensive option, and it costs $6,500 unless you have existing connections for a water softener. Existing connections can knock hundreds of dollars off your bill because it reduces how much labor your installation requires.

It costs at least $300 per year to run a water softener, but it can cost as much as $700. You’ll spend between $10 and $20 per month to run the softener and up to $25 per month on water softener salt. It is expensive to install a water softener through Home Depot, but it can add up to $10,000 in equity to your home.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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