Many hardware and wholesale units are inefficient due to a one size fits all mentality.
They use low grade resin usually 6% crosslinked this usually has a short life span on chlorinated city & county water or iron laden water well water. Other issues are programming that has no variance for rinsing or backwashing. Typical lifespan is just 3-5 years.
The next level of conditioning usually comes from a professional water treatment company. These use a 8% crosslink resin that is more tolerant of chlorine and iron degrading along with more programming for better rinsing and backwashing. These typically last 5-10 yrs.
The next step is a premium grade resin at 10% for high chlorine/ammonia laden water that usually comes from a surface water source. These machines typically offer higher flow rates due to valve design, better efficiency due to upflow brining, custom control settings and a more efficient tank design. These units typical life span is 10-15 yrs with the ability to be rebuilt and start a new life.
Top dog equipment is twin tank systems that use premium resin, tanks and controls and have the ability to clean them-self with the water they produce. This equipments typical lifespan is 15-20 yrs with the ability to be rebuilt for less than replacement.
Average cost for these types of equipment range from as little as $500 to as much as $5000 depending on where you live.
Average cost of water softener in midwest is $1750.00 according to WQA 2013 yearend report.
As you can see here you the consumer has some thought to put into this purchase.
- How long am I going to live here?
- How many people in my family now and in the future
- What is in my water?
- What flow rate do I need?
- Who do I call for estimate?
- What are the qualifications of the person educating me on what is needed?
- How long will it take to get my investment back.
- What is the guarantee of the equipment and the company?