In essence, you have two main options when it comes to installing your new water softener. You can either opt to install it yourself, which will save you money but require a good deal of skill and knowledge. Alternatively, you can hire a professional, either from the same store from which you bought the softener, or you can shop around hardware and plumbing stores for offers.
Naturally, the DIY option will be cheaper than hiring a contractor, but will require you to take on some serious trades work. If you’re the kind of person who loves to immerse themselves in home improvement projects, then this might be the right option for you. However, keep in mind that in order to complete the project, you’ll need to cut and join water piping (typically steel or copper).
If you do opt to do it yourself, make sure your softener comes with an installation kit with all the materials required to install your particular softener, like tubing and connectors, groove joint pliers, a wire reaming brush, a tubing cutter, and the like. This is a serious and potentially dangerous job, and should only be attempted by those confident they are able to handle the installation.
On the other hand, for most people, the right thing to do will be to have a professional contractor install the water softener in your home. Although the cost will be higher than doing it yourself, you will save yourself a lot of time, frustration, and future headaches down the road.
As the installation job can be complex, having a professional carry out the project provides you with peace of mind. Any errors made up front in the installation can prove costly down the road. Cutting the wrong pipe or installing the wrong size will likely only end up inflating the overall cost of the project. Using a professional also means you have someone to call when it comes time to give your water softener some maintenance.
Because different contractors will charge different rates for parts and labor, it makes sense to shop around a little. Get a few quotes of approximate cost from local contractors and plumbers or those employed by a hardware store. Getting quotes upfront also saves any surprises when it comes time to take a look at the invoice. Depending on where you purchased the softener, you may be able to get a discount on installation by using the same store and bundling the two purchases.
Lastly, make note of whether your manufacturer requires a professional installation of your softener. Some manufacturers will void the warranty on the unit if it is not installed by a professional service.