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Old 03-15-2009, 11:28 PM   #1
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water softener-which brand/system is best


We have a lot of iron in our well water (5.5 parts per million). We've never had a water softener before and don't know which one is best. We're going for the salt system. Kinetico or Culligan? Do we need a company like Culligan or is it adequate to go purchase one at Sears or Home Depot and do it ourselves? We realize Kinetico doesn't need electricity. Both say they use less salt than the other. We've had both representatives over to the house to analyze our water, recommend a system and explain how their system works. Culligan is about $800 cheaper than Kinetico. Any feedback we can get would be welcome. Thanks!

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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water softener-which brand/system is best


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Originally Posted by cozycove View Post
We have a lot of iron in our well water (5.5 parts per million). We've never had a water softener before and don't know which one is best. We're going for the salt system. Kinetico or Culligan? Do we need a company like Culligan or is it adequate to go purchase one at Sears or Home Depot and do it ourselves? We realize Kinetico doesn't need electricity. Both say they use less salt than the other. We've had both representatives over to the house to analyze our water, recommend a system and explain how their system works. Culligan is about $800 cheaper than Kinetico. Any feedback we can get would be welcome. Thanks!
IMO, the best Culligan is not as good as the worst Kinetico units that are comparable in size. Kinetico uses less salt, water, have twice the warranty and ten (10 years vs one) times the warranty on the valve parts. Electrical problems accounts for nearly half of their service issues.

No HD or Sears unit will be able to handle that much iron. What models did Culligan and Kinetico offer? I can get you more details on either of those units for you. How hard is your water? What is the pH? TDS?

Kinetico is a far better unit but it is more expensive. It will last a lot longer and give you much better service. There are so many features that Culligan doesn't offwer which leads to longer life and better service. Make the investment work for you.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

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Old 03-18-2009, 07:06 AM   #3
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water softener-which brand/system is best


When I last looked Sears and Home Depot sold the same GE units, Sears just had a Kenmore label I think North Star? is also the same

My GE has been a good unit when working but it has a rotating impeller component which is subject to continual wear. I would have spent over $300 on service calls by now if I didin't DIY mine..........

While I don't like things breaking down, I do prefer to buy things I know I can fix myself. Parts for these units are expensive.

I have replaced the impeller once, then resurfaced it as well. Have also repaired two more of these softeners with other issues for neighbours, one GE one Kenmore.

That said the site Kenmorewater.com is a great trouble shoooting guide for basic issues, not repairs relating to this design.

The site also contains general info about water conditions.
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Old 03-18-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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water softener-which brand/system is best


Sorry to disappoint you, Gary, I wasn't and have never been upset by you.

Last edited by Andy CWS; 03-18-2009 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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water softener-which brand/system is best


The size depends on the hardness and iron content, the cubic foot volume of resin, the type of resin and then, the number of family members and bathrooms and the type of fixtures in them. Like a big tub, or a shower with body sprays. That all gives you the constant SFR (service flow rating) gpm that if exceeded by your peak demand gpm, the softener can not remove all the hardness and iron from the water; it's called leakage and you want no more than 1 gpg and I size for 0 gpg. Then you adjust the salt dose lbs to get the K of capacity needed to provide an automatic metered/demand initiated regeneration on average once every 7-9 days.
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