The installation of a water softener is often recommended to limit lime problems or to protect sensitive skin. The price of a softener can vary from 1 to 7 or even more in some cases. How to explain such price differences?
The sale of softeners in France
It is estimated that nearly 100,000 softeners are sold each year in France. It may sound like a lot, but it’s actually not much if we compare it, for example, to the 2.6 million refrigerators sold in France each year.
So why does essential equipment for the protection of its sanitary installation and for its well-being experience so few sales?
Several reasons for this:
- Its distribution method
- His price
- Whether or not you own your home
- The nature of the accommodation (individual or collective)
- The action of limestone is not immediately visible
For info, some figures on housing in mainland France:
- The total number of dwellings amounts to 34.537 million
- Individual housing represents 56% of the stock, or 19.325 million
- 82% are primary residences (16.088 million)
Also read about the Mineral water plants
The sale of softeners “door to door”
The sale is mainly carried out by water treatment professionals (50%), mainly to individuals.
Half of water softeners are sold by professionals who often rely on a sales team working directly with the customer (so-called “door to door” sales). The equipment sold is often more expensive than in other distribution channels due to marketing costs, the quality of the softeners, the options offered by the equipment (softener with electronic programmer, softener without electricity, quality of manufacturing materials, etc. ..), and also because the price includes installation by qualified personnel.
Large national or networked companies operate in this segment, and as in all markets sometimes dubious practices may be practiced. This is the case with financing proposals associated with equipment over long periods of time and which sometimes lead to paying for the equipment at much higher prices.
Our advice, always ask for the price of the equipment you buy . Very often a minimum annual maintenance contract is offered to you.
The sale of softeners by heating plumbers (35 to 40% of sales)
Plumbers often use wholesalers who reference a unique line of softeners. The installation is done in the rules of the art but your plumber will rather offer you the installation of a water softener following a lime problem on your sanitary installation. Maintenance is not always provided by the plumber who can put you in contact with a service provider. Costs rarely exceed 2,500 euros via this network, including installation. They also work in collective housing and in professional environments.
Large DIY stores (7 to 10% of sales)
The types of softeners sold are often around 1000 euros. The store can offer you the installation by a professional from its network. Be careful because maintenance is not always scheduled . On-site advice is often the responsibility of qualified and unskilled personnel.
Online store on the internet (2 to 3% of sales)
Many internet stores, such as AQUA-DIRECT, offer water softeners . Very often if the tanks are different, we find the same valves which have changed little but have demonstrated their effectiveness. Prices in online stores are generally cheaper because:
- the products offered which are of mature and reliable technologies,
- the marketing costs are much lower (in contrast to the sale by water treatment professionals).
Maintenance and installation are generally only offered for departments bordering on the establishment of the company.