Is a Water Softener Worth The Cost
At North East Water Softeners, we have been helping people solve their hard water problems for nearly 15 years. And one of the most popular questions people ask is …
Is a water softener worth the cost?
To answer this question there a few factors to consider including:
- What are the effects of hard water and how much is it costing you now?
- How much is a water softener to buy?
- What are the benefits of a water softener and how much money can it save you?
- How much does a water softener cost to maintain?
What is the Cost of Hard Water Damage?
Around 60% of the UK are currently experiencing hard water and living with its adverse effects. If you're unsure about how hard your water is, you may recognise some common signs. For example, do you find yourself cleaning limescale from your surfaces and taps? Have you ever found it difficult when washing to even make soap lather? Is your skin and hair dry or brittle despite using beauty products? Well, you can probably trace the issue back to hard water.
And if the visible signs weren't enough, there are several other negative effects that can cause permanent and expensive damages to your home. In fact, hard water can lead to many preventable costs including:
- Repairing bathroom and kitchen damages. Limescale and hard water can damage fixtures and fittings including sinks, taps, showers, baths & surfaces in a matter of months. This is a major issue for those who have just bought a new property or who have recently rennovated their home.
- Replacing home appliances. Hard water shortens appliance lifespan by 50%. From kettles, to washing machines and dishwashers. You may find your machines breaking down.
- Boiler repairs or replacements. Limescale gets inside our boilers which over time can cause unrepairable problems. From expensive call out charges, to a whole new system, costing you up to £2000 - boiler issues can be costly.
- Replacement of blocked taps and shower heads. By blocking taps and shower heads, limescale can also reduce the water pressure in the home.
- The cost of cleaning products and expensive descalers. White scale deposits are unsightly on surfaces. Hard water also causes dirt build up on your sinks, showers and baths. It is even responsible for that blank gunk & dirt you find in your mashing machine soap drawer! Keeping on top of limescale requires excessive cleaning and a lot more cleaning product.
- The cost of extra washing powder, shampoos & soaps. The minerals in hard water don't react well with soap surfactants. For bathing & showering, this means using a lot more shampoo and shower gel - ad still experiencing little to no lather. For washing your clothes, hard water makes it difficult to get good results, requiring up to 50% more washing powder.
- Higher Heating and energy bills. Limescale coats the inside of home heating and water pipes. This reduces water pressure and also provides a layer of insulation. This makes heating systems less efficient and more energy is required to heat the home.
- Hard water can even cause eczema, dry skin & hair - meaning expensive treatment products.
How Much is a Water Softener?
Water softeners vary in cost depending on the brand, make, model and size. When it comes to quality – you often get what you pay for ... and cheaper systems may not present the best quality and may not last you long.
You should be looking to pay anything from £1000 - £1900 for a twin tank water softener, depending on the size. And by investing in a good quality system, you can be looking at a long lifespan from 10-20 years. Models under this price may be:
- Dated and older models – meaning they are not as efficient and don’t have up to date technology.
- Be lower in quality with a lower quality resin. This means they may not have the capacity to soften very hard water and may not last long.
- Electric – and therefore need to be serviced every 2 years, are less efficient and cost more money to run in general.
- Single tank systems – meaning they don’t have a large capacity.
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain? How to be Cost Effective
The running costs of a water softener can vary depending on how efficient the machine is and whether it is electric or non-electric.
Electric systems require electricity and energy to work. They also require servicing every 2 years by law. For these reasons, non-electric systems are cheaper to run and are more cost effective choice.
All water softeners require salt to filter and remove excess calcium and magnesium. And this salt needs to be repaced as it is used up. However, not all water softeners use the same amount of salt. That's why it is important to 1. Choose the right size of water softener for your home and 2. Choose an efficient system that has a low salt usage per regeneration (300-400g for a average twin tank water softener).
But how much will the salt cost you? We’ve got you covered. Let’s do the math:
For efficient twin tank machines such as the Harvey TwinTec S4 or Kinetico Premier Compact, the average amount of salt required is on average: 1 block per person per month.
A pack of 2 salt blocks is around £6.
Therefore, the maintenance cost for an average family of 4 is estimated at:
£12 per month, which is £144 per year.
How Much Money Does a Water Softener Save? The Benefits of a Water Softener.
Despite over 60% of homes being supplied with hard water, only about 3% actually have a water softener. The systems may be considered expensive, but they are certainly worth the investment when you consider the overall cost savings and the benefits of soft water.
In fact, it has been calculated that a water softener can actually save up to £400 a year by saving you money by:
- Lowering energy bills. Soft water actually breaks down existing limescale, and so can improve heating efficiency.
- Protecting your boiler from breakdowns and long-term damage.
- Requiring less cleaning products - saving you money on exepnsive descalers.
- Increasing the lifespan of home appliances by up to 50%.
- Reducing the amount of water needed when cleaning.
- Reducing the amount of soaps, shampoos and skin care products required.
- Reducing the amount of washing powder needed by up to 50%.
Not to mention, a softener system also provides additional benefits including:
- No more limescale in your bathroom and kitchen - even in your cups of tea.
- It protects your boiler, pipes, taps and fittings from damage.
- Soft water lathers with soaps and shampoos, it also gives you softer skin and hair. In fact, soft water is even considered a treatment for eczema.
- Laundry that looks cleaner and feels softer.
- It saves time and requires cless cleaning.
- It can help to increase water pressure in the home.
So, is a water softener worth the cost?
To be cost effective, it is important to see a softener as a home investment - which means purchasing from the best brands. Buying cheaper models online, can save money initially, but the lower efficiency and more expesnive running costs, are more expensive in the long run. Not to mention, electric systems are legally required to be serviced every two years – which includes a call out fee every time.
By purchasing Harvey or Kinetico systems, you will get a non-electric softener that lasts 10-20 years, with a 10-year warranty. These systems are more efficient in terms of salt usage and being non-electric system saves on running costs. They also have the best customer reviews and ratings.
With a water softener, there really is no hard sell. You either live in a hard water area and need one, or you don’t! In the end, the cost of a good quality water softener will pay for itself over and protect your home from expensive damages.
To find out more info you can enquire below or call us direct on 01429 872 522.