I'm not related to this company, but I've been needing a water softener the past few weeks for new house and have been tracking a few models on Amazon / Lowes. I went to one of the Amazon Marketplace's sellers website directly and found this sale.
This seems to be the best price for a 48,000 grain model with a quality digital Fleck 5600 SXT meter and 10% cross-linked cation resin
. For a family of 4/5 I wouldn't go lower than a 48,000 grain. 32,000 grain can work now, but in 5 years when the beads lose capacity it'll be more like 20,000 grain. Also, salt usage scales non-linearly with how much grains you user per cycle. You can regen 20,000 grain with 8 lbs but it takes 18 lbs to regen 32,000 grains for a 32,000 grain softener. In a 48,000 grain softener that same 32,000 grains only takes about 12 lbs.
I initially purchased a Whirlpool from Lowes for $400 after coupon, but there are tons of horror stories about them being throw-away units that are ridiculously expensive to service, you need to buy $30 of cleaner for the 2 year warranty, and the manual requires you to brush out the complicated brine venturi with a toothbrush yearly. The Flecks are user-serviceable.
Appears to come with all the installation parts, including the metal quick bypass valve which other providers usually charge $30-$40.
Coupon code LIQUABLACK
for 15% off
$475 with FREE SHIPPING