Why Salt Water Softeners are So Dang Expensive

Why Salt Water Softeners are So Dang Expensive

Devin Ergler |

Salt water softeners are, and have been, used nationally and beyond as a solution to combating the adverse effects of hard water. These devices use salt as an agent to prevent scale buildup in pipes and appliances, by removing the minerals responsible for it. But both environmental and economic concerns over salt softeners have become more common. The capital, operational, and service-based costs associated with salt-based water softeners add up very quickly, as can the price paid by the surrounding environment. Often, those costs are hidden, because plumbers and manufacturers alike have every reason to hide them from you.

In this blog, we’ll cover the economic costs. Later down the road, we’ll tackle some of the more broad based environmental and ecological concerns. 

Fiscally Salty 

Initially, salt water softeners may seem like a good investment to protect your home against the various issues that stem from having a hard water home. However, when you consider all the associated with these devices, it becomes evident that they’re more expensive than they first appear. 

Capital Costs

Salt water softeners cost $2,500 to $7500 retail. Then, they require weekly or monthly salt deliveries adding up to $360 to $475 per year for the typical home. Over time, the salt used in traditional water softeners can damage your septic tank, drain field, and your yard (on a macro scale, it can even damage your city’s waste water treatment plant). The cost of repairing or replacing these damaged components can be substantial.

Salt systems are so complex and difficult that often customers find that they don’t have any space for them and resort to burying them in their yards. This can of course lead to a litany of capital expenditures when they leak or need to be dug up for any other reason. They simply aren’t meant to be in the average American home.

Bottom line is, salt softeners are perhaps best at filtering money out of your wallet. 

Operational Costs

Traditional water softeners require the consumption of salt to regenerate, which means a continual and consistent  purchase to refill salt pellets or blocks. These expenses will last for the duration of your ownership. Not to mention the rushing water noises at 2am while you’re trying to sleep.

And here’s something they never tell you when you’re buying a salt softener. The complexity of salt systems means frequent app updates, electricity concerns, worn parts, and labor only professionals can handle. So not only will you have a salt-delivery frequently visiting your house, but maintenance experts as well. This is the minimum buy in to ensure your salt softener is continually running properly.

  • Troubleshooting Service Call: $150-250
  • Solar Salt Pellets: About 30 at $15 each,  $450
  • Your time: add 12-24 hours per year to the never-ending honey-do list

Comparison of Cascadian Softener to Salt Water Softener Costs

Why don’t they tell you this? Because, of course, the more maintenance you require, the more  revenue for plumbers and manufacturers.

Water Waste

Another significant hidden cost is not economic, but environmental.  Salt softeners work by treating your water with salt, then filtering out the brackish solution before delivering the water to your faucet. They rely on backwashing, and thus, drains. This backwash often results in many thousands of gallons of water—often upwards of 10,000/year for an average customer—wasted down the drain. Then, they spread damaging salt everywhere along their drainage path. For ecologically-focused customers, this is obviously a massive problem. 

The Cascadian Solution 

After 30 years in the water filtration business, including many years dealing with our own salt softeners, Cascadian has pioneered a better way. Our pure, simple devices don’t use salt. They don’t waste water or power. And they drastically minimize capital, operational, and service costs—they require virtually no maintenance after installation besides a yearly cartridge replacement you can easily handle yourself. 

Since our softeners are so simple, the initial purchase price is often lower than traditional softener devices. They don’t require weekly deliveries of salt pellets or blocks. They do not depend on backwash cycles to regenerate, which means minimal to no water is wasted during the filtration operation.

Cascadian Water filters also prevent hard water scale from building up in your plumbing and appliances, saving you money on repairs and replacements in the long run. By choosing a salt free water softener, you're making a positive impact on the environment. 

By eliminating the need for salt softener—and all the hidden costs that come along with it—Cascadian Water offers a softening solution that works with nature, not against it. Our devices are more economical in every single way.  They not only benefit your wallet, but the natural environment both inside and outside of your home.