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Any water softener users here…question or two #3091597
11/04/22 10:56 AM
11/04/22 10:56 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Cometstorm Offline OP
"Beat It"
Cometstorm  Offline OP
"Beat It"

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Had our home custom built 1991. Three acres, 2100 sq feet. Single story ranch, full walkout basement (unfinished).

It quickly became apparent we needed a water softener system. Water heater elements caked over in no time.

So one was installed not long after home build.

Head unit: https://media.wattswater.com/Autotrol-255_400.pdf

Been replaced twice over the years (AutoTrol brand), about $1200 per replacement.

These are older designs. Electric, but regenerates each night (not per demand). Uses quite a bit of salt, maybe a 40 lb bag every two weeks.

This particular softener owner is now elderly, not sure why he never adapted to newer technology. Just old school I guess. But it’s what our builder setup initially, so we’ve just stayed with this softener dealer/installer.

Now our unit is on the fritz. Brine tank won’t “draw” and keeps overfilling.

I tried all the standard DIY fixes to no avail. It was installed Jan. 2017

So I’m figuring on replacing it with newer tech, including smart regeneration.

Culligan is currently scheduled to install one of their “Plus” systems. They want just over $3k.

I’ve tried doing some comparisons online, but it’s not easy. Most won’t even discuss pricing without a home visit first.

From what I can deduce, Culligan had middle of the road reviews up to 2020. More recently it appears they have improved notably.

Our local Culligan dealer has numerous stellar reviews across the board.

No, don’t want to buy one and do it myself. Rather. Not mess with the technicalities, settings setup, etc. And I want the warranty supported by a local dealer.

Any thoughts appreciated, especially the $3k cost.

Thanks! wave


Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Cometstorm] #3091656
11/04/22 02:50 PM
11/04/22 02:50 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
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Someplace you aren't
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SomeCarGuy Offline
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Don’t let them sell you a filter with it. We did and basically can’t use the system. They couldn’t unhook the filter and I haven’t felt like messing with replumbing the stupid thing. It runs back and forth between two tanks.

Problem is it filters out chlorine and causes mold to grow…everywhere. Out of faucets, all over showers. Fridge water dispenser. Sinks. Nasty. I think it’s a nova brand and seems to use much less salt than you are outlining. Has the smart regen. We put it on to wash dishes and clothes for about a day and then off it goes for a month.


I want my fair share
Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Cometstorm] #3091658
11/04/22 02:52 PM
11/04/22 02:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Cometstorm Offline OP
"Beat It"
Cometstorm  Offline OP
"Beat It"

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Came across this YouTube which covers a lot in regard to different pricing levels of various softener types.

He pushes EcoWater, which is likely same level as Culligan.

Both American made and NSF/ANSI certified.

https://youtu.be/NYYYKglrKX4

Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Cometstorm] #3091667
11/04/22 03:51 PM
11/04/22 03:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,729
WI
Dcuda69 Offline
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Dcuda69  Offline
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WI
OP must have very hard water! Built our house in "89. 1900 sq ft, 2.5 bath/3 bedroom. Rented our 1st softener...lasted 25+ yrs but was a salt hog. Had a new one put in (same company) but we bought this one. Don't remember exact cost but it was less than $1500. Been in a few years now, works great. Regen based on usage not time...only 2 of us here now so 10 40lb bags lasts me well over a year

Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Dcuda69] #3091678
11/04/22 04:53 PM
11/04/22 04:53 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Cometstorm Offline OP
"Beat It"
Cometstorm  Offline OP
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Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,680
St. Louis, Missouri area
Originally Posted by Dcuda69
OP must have very hard water!


I guess that’s true….

Our Lowes, Home Depot, and local hardware stores stock
Softener salt pallets like you can’t believe.

It’s obviously a continuous sell in my area.., shruggy

The salt bags are always palleted right at the front, just inside the automatic doors.

Whether that’s because of weight/bulk, neighborhood demand, etc.

I don’t know,

But I guess we DO use a lot in these parts. 🤗

Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Cometstorm] #3091727
11/04/22 08:17 PM
11/04/22 08:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 158
Maryland
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ro23_j Offline
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Maryland
My recommendation is to call several water treatment companies and have them test your water. The results of the test will determine what type of treatment/filter that you need.

I have had water softeners in the last two houses that I owned. Both had well water and needed softeners that used salt brine to periodically regenerate the resins that removed minerals from the water. Both of the softeners had controls that allowed the user to determine how often the resins were backwashed. The first one was based on time or number of days between backwashes, the one I have now allows me to set how many gallons between backwashes. I have had it for two years and have it set to regenerate after 1200 gallons are used. It uses about 40 pounds of salt every two months. The brand name is Hague WaterMax.

The key is to call several suppliers and ask for a water test, estimate and system recommendation. Compare the results and you will have a better idea of what you need. I hope this helps.

Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Cometstorm] #3091743
11/04/22 08:55 PM
11/04/22 08:55 PM
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Posts: 8,176
Highland, MI.
Sunroofcuda Offline
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Highland, MI.
Our house was finished in 2005 & the original unit installed was an Aqua Tech. It was a real salt hog, & nothing but trouble every couple years. I finally decided to replace it, even though my softener guy said the Aqua Tech was a good unit.

My BIL is a plumber so I asked him what he thought. He said he didn't know any softener guys specifically & to call his main plumbing supplier & ask them. I called their parts counter & asked them "who is THE water softener guy?" The parts guy told me to call one guy. I called him & told him what was going on. He said "$1600.00 installed - a Sterling" - without hesitation. He said this is all he uses. Had him come out & install it - it is FABULOUS so far - it's been in for about a year. Uses very little salt too compared to the last one. I maybe put in 80 pounds every three weeks. He said if anything goes wrong with it in 5 years, he'll fix whatever it is - no charge. HE is my warranty!

https://sterlingwatertreatment.com/product-category/residential/water-softeners/

Last edited by Sunroofcuda; 11/04/22 08:57 PM.

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Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Sunroofcuda] #3091796
11/05/22 07:47 AM
11/05/22 07:47 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 8,360
Ontario, Canada
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Stanton Offline
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Quote
maybe a 40 lb bag every two weeks.


Are you running a motel ?!?!?

That's a ridiculous amount of salt to be using.

A unit that measures water usage will do two things, reduce salt usage and allow you to adjust the softness of your water. Also, you really don't want to be using soft water outdoors to water your lawn or plants or to fill a pool or a hot tub so having your outdoor taps plumbed ahead of the softener system is a good idea.

Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Stanton] #3091913
11/05/22 10:43 PM
11/05/22 10:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,202
Minnesota
Hemi_Joel Offline
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I operate rental property, and currently have 6 softeners in use.So I have learned a bit about them. Unless you like to throw away money, cancel that Culigan deal. You're gonna get about a $700 water softener, $300 worth of installation labor and a $2000 commission for the salesman.

Your best bet is to buy some test strips and test your water hardness to determine what size water softener you need.

Then either buy one for $500 or $700 at home depot or just about anywhere, and install it yourself or have a handyman install it. Or else call one of the smaller independent watersoftener dealers and they'll get you set up with something really good for about $1500 installed. You just need to get one that is metered. So it regenerates when it needs it, no more no less. Any other bells and whistles are just a waste of money.

Last edited by Hemi_Joel; 11/05/22 10:45 PM.

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Re: Any water softener users here…question or two [Re: Hemi_Joel] #3092871
11/09/22 02:27 PM
11/09/22 02:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,300
Iowa
burdar Offline
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Iowa
It seems like this post has run its course but I saw it and had to relay a story.

While growing up in the 80's my parents had a rented Culligan water softener system. Instead of having to buy salt ourselves, every so often, the Culligan truck would show up and they would replace a big metal cylinder in the basement. As kids it was a special treat when they'd show up. We would hear the door open and a man's voice would shout out "CULLIGAN". We would stop what ever we were doing and run down to the basement to watch him change the tank. When the old tank was disconnected, a little water always sprayed out of the connection. The Culligan man would always spray us kids with the water which we thought was sooo funny. The name of that Culligan man that always changed our tanks.....Rich Christensen from the show Pinks.







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