Where NOT to Buy a Water Softener in San Diego
So, you've decided to purchase a water softener which is a very good decision. A water softener has many benefits and also has investment quality in that it protects your home's plumbing system [pipes, fixtures, valves, etc]. Fortunately [or unfortunately] there are many sellers and brands of whole house water softeners. Many of these sellers are reputable and sell there products in an ethical manner. Then there are those who can be "lumped-in' with used car salespersons and the like. In essence, a water softener is an appliance and a commodity good. Yes, each brand can have different features [bells & whistles] but in the end....water goes in hard and comes out soft. Everything else is essentially window dressing. If you know about the commodity markets, there is little differentiation among commodity products so standing apart from other competitive sellers/products and charging a higher price accordingly is a very difficult thing to achieve. The same holds true for the water softener market - or at least it should. There are some sellers who like to live in the past, way before the internet turned into an eCommerce environment and refuse to acknowledge that market pricing for water softeners is published all over a multitude of websites. They prefer to go old school and do the high pressure sales pitch at your kitchen table which can last up to 2 hours - yikes! They will build value and then build more value while using scare tactics about your water like using test kits that utilize a reagent that turns your water sample black [or some other undesirable color] when all they are testing for is water hardness which is harmless to the human body. Then, finally after being polite for 2 hours and faking interest in all of this mumbo jumbo, you get hit with the price and it's enough to give you a heart attack or at least maybe have your heart skip a beat. Typically these type of sellers will come in between $3,000 to $5,000 - that's insane! All you have to do is get on Amazon.com and find the real value of this commodity product and it's far less than that. Sadly, consumers are still falling for this type of sales pitch.
Where You Should by a Water Softener in San Diego
So please avoid the above type scenarios - don't even schedule an in-home appointment with these type of companies. I won't name names but you'll get a vibe so go with your instincts. You'll do much better in 2 different arenas  Water Treatment Dealers that come-off more like a service oriented company vs a sales company  Big Brand Retail & Internet Sellers like the Home Depot & Lowes. Service oriented water treatment dealers should come in your home and politely go over their products without resorting to high pressure sales tactics. They will also do a site survey and go over the installation requirements for the water softener. They should also go over ongoing service requirements to be performed by the homeowner. Finally, they should give you a solid and reasonable price to include the system and installation. You should expect the price to fall in the range of $1,200 to $1,800 depending upon the quality of the equipment and the installation requirements. You should feel very comfortable with this price range. Final determination should be based upon your instinct or preference on what company best represented themselves and their equipment. Big box retail & internet sellers are a great source for quality water softener systems at very affordable prices. Typically, the price range from these sellers is $500 to $800 for name brand systems. Of course, always vet each seller online by checking out reviews etc. Maybe even give them a call or do an online eCommerce transaction. This will give you a chance to evaluate the seller on their professionalism and their knowledge. The main drawback when it comes to buying your water softener from these sources is "Who the heck is gonna install this thing?". Installing a water softener is no easy task [even though these sellers will tell you different - i.e. "Easy Installation" etc].
Water Softener Installation
Like I said, installing a water softener is a project best left to a pro.
My qualifications are based upon over 35 years of experience in all facets of the water treatment industry. I've worked behind a desk and in the field...like lots and lots of field experience...actually got my hands dirty type of experience. I've worked at the manufacturing level and the retail level. I've done hundreds of city water and well applications. I've installed the simplest little carbon filter under the kitchen sink and have designed, fabricated and installed several 1/2 million gallon per day Industrial reverse osmosis systems. I've serviced nearly all potable water source equipment as well as non-potable sources like cooling towers, hot & chilled closed loop systems and steam boilers, etc. So, now I'm finally getting around to documenting all of those experiences here on this site. I hope it proves useful!