|Ask The Expert: Tracking softener sales
|Question: Q: How many water softeners were sold in the U.S.A. last year?
Answer: A: There are no hard and fast numbers available on this as much of the equipment used to make softeners is also used in other products such as iron filters, etc., and may be used for commercial/industrial systems for demineralization rather than residential softening. The Water Quality Association tracks a few products via manufacturers as indicators for the industry. Among those related to softeners are tanks and valves.
WQA technical director Joe Harrison said that through October 2000, there were 849,000 valve of size 1-inch and under reported produced. For 13-inch and under pressure tanks, 1,008,000 were produced. Both of these sizes are typically used in home softeners. In 1999, there were 951,000 valves and 1,096,000 tanks produced for the year.
In general, Harrison said, he tells people when they ask that there are about 1 million softeners sold a year.
"This year, it looks like we're a little ahead," he added. "These numbers aren't perfect, of course, because—like I said—some of these tanks aren't used for softeners. There also are some people who aren't reporting, but the major producers such as Fleck, Autotrol, Culligan and Erie are all reporting."
Return to Ask The Expert index