Best Water Softener = Best Water Softener for YOUR needs
The internet offers a lot of opinions and information about hard water softeners. If you are unfamiliar with water softeners then you may find a lot of conflicting data or analysis regarding what kind/ type of water softener is right for your needs. This is because water chemistry, and plumbing codes differ from area to area, state to state. Using a well established highly reputable LOCAL water company is your best bet for both product application and customer support.
Three Water Softener Options
1. Store Bought Systems; Lowest Price = Cheapest Quality, No Customer Support
Known as more of a DIY type water system these low priced, store bought units are competitive on price only. If things like quality, efficientcy, and customer support are important to you than this would not be a good option.
Let's say You and I want to start a water sotening company and our business plan is to simply provide the lowest priced system to a acheive a low resistance price. First we would have to manufature a water softener system not using premium quality components, things like water softener resin, tanks, and valves, but by using the lowest cost components available to us. And common sense would say that this type of system would not last as long as a premium build system, that's why the water softeners at Home Depot and Lowes only come with a 1 year parts and labor warranty. Poorly made store bought units offer the least amount of warranty and customer support and are regarded in the industry as a throw away type water softener. For example the Home Depot and Lowes don't have service vans with water softener technicians on staff who can provide you product support for this type of purchase.
2. Wholesale Resellers; One Person Business = Limited Support, not always most competitive priced.
A common business model that is practiced with in the water business is the single person style business. Often times these businesses use the simplest means to organize, ficticous name registration, carry no insurance and are unsure how to provide customer support down the road. We will talk about the insurance side of things later but for now let's look at the products these businesses provide.
Flecks, Clacks, and Autotrol's are the wholesale brands of choice for these businesses because these manufacturers don't require any minimums to purchase, you can buy one or two at a time. Instead of buying direct from Clack for example One Person Water Businesses by from a middle man, a plumbing supplier. While the quality of these products should outperform the previous segment, store bought units, they often do not. You see the One Person Business may decide to build their systems with the lowest quality grade water softener tanks and water softener resin media. After all if all their location is a PO BOX and nothing more then chances are they are not going to invest in a more costly water softener since their only chance of making sales is to undercut the market. The water softening resin media is the heart of the water system and most plumbing suppliers only carry cheap resin's manufactured overseas, to save on money. We have seen these cheap water softener resin media in Jacksonville FL fail after a few short years! If you had to change your softeners resin media every 3-4 years that would get expensive really quick but that' the risk you run when buying from a One Person Business.
Insurance Risk let the buyer beware. When a homeowner in the State Of Florida hires a water softener company to install a hard water softener the homeowner assumes all liability for physical or property damage potentially caused by the company. That's right, if the One Person Business installs a water softener and either hurts hisself or a leak causes damage to your home then you will pay the medical bills and home repairs if they don't carry insurance. To protect yourself make sure a company shows you these 3 insurances, Commercial Auto, Workers Compensation, and General Liabililty. Each time a business cuts or refuses to carry one of these it increases the risk that you will assume.
Lastly, One Person Businesses often struggle to provide product and customer support. Common sense would tell us if the installer was the person who sold you the water softener, who is also the service technician, and the office manager; then chances are obtaining service will be slow and unreliable if service is provided at all. A lot of One Person Water Businesses are simply in it for the sale and nothing more. And if you tried to find them for service needs i guess you could stop by their PO BOX.
3. Premium National Brands; Best Value and Best Customer Support
Dealing with a local water dealer who has the backing of a national reputable brand can be a great asset to you. Costing on a bit more than segment #2 One Person Businesses, the quality and customer support will more than out weigh the cost of purchasing from a company like ours.
Insurance. Did you Know? Most national brands audit their dealers annually for customer service reviews and insurances. That's right before a national brand will grace a business to use their products they have checks and balances to help protect themselves as well as provide protection for you the end user. For Example, we carry max limits on general liability, workers comp. and commercial auto as a requirement of doing buisess.
Products. Our Hellenbrand product line exceeds the quality of wholesale brands by a mile. On average Hellenbrand water softeners are 30% more efficient than standard brands, and last 4 times as long. Hellenbrand has over 250 dealers nationwide and each one was personally interviewed before access to the products were allowed. A national brand has more money for research and development and this focus will result in a premium build water softener that last's and last's. I can't think of one national premium brand that will allow their products to be distributed through a One Person Business that has a PO BOX for an address.
Pricing. A note here on pricing. Jacksonville Fl Water Softeners that are made and distributed in this segment differ in price greatly. Because the water systems are significantly better than segment 2, wholesale brands, a lot of dealers will attempt to price their systems very high and play pushy sales games when selling to the public. Companies like Culligan Water, Rainsoft, WET Avanta pure, all start thousands of dollars higher than what the actual price is and then they walk you down from there. Their idea, not our idea, is to make as much money off of you as possible. I was recently with a cusomter who sought purchase a Culligan system that included a water softener and a reverse osmosis drinking water system, the salesman started at $5800 and after a hour of back and forth he dropped $2000 off that price and the homeowner threw him out. Similar games are played by Rainsoft and WET Avanta pure. If you have had an experience like this we would love a chance to provide a second opinion.
The mission of our company is to provide Great Water Softeners, Common Sense prices. We don't play games and we don't need two hours to provide a estimate. Our site visits are usually 20-30 minutes in length, polite efficient and curteous is how we roll.