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Does anyone have a water softener from a home improvement store (Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.) and not Culligan? Has it held up okay? 

We are going to order a $400 one from HD and have it installed in hopes that we won't have the massive annual pipe/appliance/hardware damages we've had since we bought the house. We're on a city system, but our water is extremely hard. I just replaced our kitchen faucet 1.5 years ago and I've had to take it apart and soak it in vinegar twice already to remove the solidified deposit on it. Our other faucets are just as bad. Our dishwasher motor went out after a year, and if we don't remember to move our shutoff valves every few months, they harden and break when you try to open them. It's ridiculous!

Dh has agreed that we need a softener. We have friends that use Culligan, but that is not in the budget and it's not something we're even considering. I'm just wondering if anyone has had luck with a cheaper one. (I'm looking at a GE from Home Depot. We were considering a Waterboss because it has a built-in filter, but they're not highly reviewed.) 

Whatever softener you have, chime in and let me know that it has helped! I'm so tired of using 1/8 cup of shampoo every time I wash my hair, whether I use salon shampoo, DIY homemade soap, or anything in between. I want clean hair on a regular basis! 

 

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One word of advice: the softener I loved the most was an HE unit. It used so, so, so much less water and salt than normal units. It was a Culligan, but if you can find one from a store, I recommend getting that.

 Ooo, thanks. I didn't realize they made HE softeners. I will check into that. Our plumber suggested that we get one with 30k grains and an "on demand" (as opposed to "time clock") delivery system, but if HE is also an option I'd prefer that as well. We do not use that much water so we don't need a massive energy hog. Our water bill every month is just the city's minimum charge for water. 

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I don't think the brand matters as much as other things:  the type, the load capacity, whether it works on a timer or senses when you need more salt, does the store provide service, do they install, etc.

 

We live in an area with extremely hard water too.  If we didn't have a water softener, our appliances would probably stop working in a a couple months and our clothes and dishes were turn orangish-brown in about two weeks.  

 

Our first water softener was not Culligan, and our latest one is.  They seem to work about the same to me.  Our first one lasted somewhere around 15-17 years I think; we won't be in this house long enough to know how long our Culligan will last.

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We have one from Lowe's or Home Depot.   It is perfectly fine.   I used to have a fancy, expensive one, not Culligan though, this one was fancier.  I like the one we have now just as well.   It monitors the water usage and recharges as needed.   When the shower starts to feel off, we know that it needs more salt.   I know that salt-useage is a LOT less than it used to be.   I know a bit about them since in college I worked for one.  I recommend to friends to buy a Lowe's or HD softener, and then go to Sam's or Costco to get an RO Unit.  

The reason we replaced the fancy one was that when I called to get it serviced, they had a sales guy call me and he basically said I was an idiot to not want to replace ours with the latest and greatest which cost more than my admittedly cheap car.  I'd been shocked by his attitude.  They had always been so nice, and many of the same people were there.   Then I realized that I'd had to leave a voice mail (and therefore didn't chat with the same person who always answered) and I had a new phone number, so they didn't know who I was.   Even then, I think the new entire unit cost about what servicing the previous one cost.  

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We had two diy units at our last house. It was a small house, so we got the cheapest ones. The first failed about 10 years in, the second was still going when we left. At our new house we replaced the unit they left with a different one from a hardware store. No complaints. Hardest part is plumbing it in.

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