Thread Number: 72436  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
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Post# 957211   9/12/2017 at 07:00 (403 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

In an effort to avoid the hard water in our little village, I've called upon Culligan's tank exchange service. Having increased the tank changeover from monthly to bi-weekly, I still found the water went hard at about day nine or ten. Called again and arranged for weekly service. They come here once a week from a town about eighteen miles away. So, no problem. No more hard water.

I've found this particular store's pricing to be rather...arbitrary. The two times I've called to increase the frequency of service, the woman at the other end says, "Let me ask Phil how much he'll do it for."  She yells to Phil, who responds, then comes back to me and says, "Phil said he'll do it for $_______.

Here's where things get a bit creative: Basic, once-a-month service is $25 plus tax and some small fee. This increased to $33 per month for a two-week exchange. Weekly service is only $36 per month. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining by any means...but doesn't this pricing structure seem a bit odd?


Received my first month's electric and water bill: 2,450 gallons of water used.  Phil from Culligan estimated each tank would soften 600-800 gallons of water before losing efficacy.


I was using 2,800-3,150 gallons monthly at the house.  (Note: Somewhere I mistakenly posted a use of 1,000-1,300 gallons per month at the house.)  


Anyway, 2,450 seems about right considering my water softener at the house regenerated weekly, using  quite a bit of water.  Taking advantage of the much-feared Normal Eco cycle when feasible on the SQ saves a fair amount of water.


Here's The Rub:  When Phil exchanges the softener tank anywhere between 9:00-10:30 a.m. every Thursday, he makes quite a racket.  He hits these heavy metal connectors with a big wrench to get them firmly in place.  This translates to a full 45-60 seconds of very loud clanking to remove a tank and another 45-60 seconds to get the new one in place.  Might not seem like much on paper, but when you're listening to it reverberate loudly throughout the building, it's an eternity.  The softener is installed downstairs in the laundry/pass-through hallway.  The barrage is loud upstairs in my apartment; I can't imagine how loud it must be for the four apartments downstairs.


Methinks I'll be making a lot of Damn Good Cinnamon Rolls as peace offerings to the neighbors, LOL.


But I have soft water, by God.



Post# 957246 , Reply# 1   9/12/2017 at 13:09 (403 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

That pricing structure does seem odd. It's reasonable to assume that more frequent service might be cheaper per service trip--just like buying something in bulk gets more for the dollar. But $9 vs $25 does seem to be a huge price gap--particularly given that a service call is made, and there is a tank switch. But I wouldn't complain, either, in your place.


You might find ways to save water with great care. For example, there is the old cheapskate idea of limiting toilet flushes ("yellow mellow, brown down!"). LOL

Post# 957250 , Reply# 2   9/12/2017 at 13:47 (403 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
with he servicing the whole building?....or just you?...

there could be a chance if he can swap out several at a time, its savings of time and money for everyone....

the first service call for our PH tank was 180.00....granted this was 2004...he pulled the tank outside, flushed it out, refilled with the chemical, re-installed and back flushed the loose particles.....since then, I have been buying the chemical/granules, 40.00 plus has to be done about 2 times a year...

the softener tanks only recharge as needed by water amount used....

granted too, we have well water...there is a sediment pre-filter, amazing what that catches alone...this gets changed with the PH tank...

one advantage, outside faucets are not treated water....

one last thing, is Culligan the only service in your area for service.....some others may be cheaper....

Post# 957253 , Reply# 3   9/12/2017 at 13:55 (403 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
Asking Dumb question now.

iheartmaytag's profile picture

Why don't you just install a water softener, and not worry about the weekly delivery/switch out?


Is it because of the space, plumbing issues, etc.  Just wondering.


Post# 957257 , Reply# 4   9/12/2017 at 14:40 (403 days old) by Maytagbear (N.E. Ohio)        
Not a dumb question!

Building management might forbid owned softeners, and ion exchange tanks might be the only option.

Secondly, exchanged tanks are vastly is not schlepping large, very heavy bags of salt or potassium, which can be difficult to transfer from the bags into the softener.

Lastly, have you priced softeners lately? They cost even more than they did 10-15 years ago, and that's before installation.


Post# 957269 , Reply# 5   9/12/2017 at 17:25 (403 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Lord Kenmore: I'm not sure if the toilet uses untreated or softened water. Pretty sure it was hard water at the house. Regardless, with weekly tank-switching I no longer have to be concerned with running out of soft water.

Martin: At the moment, I'm the only person in the building with soft water service. Culligan is the only service provider within 30 miles. It dawned on me that Phil might be cutting me a deal so that I spread the word to other tenants. Frankly, I think it's $36 bucks well spent. I hate hard water.

Harley: I wouldn't object to purchasing a softener, but there is no room for a conventional set-up. The skinny exchangeable tank for my apartment barely fits between the downstairs neighbor's water heater and his washing machine, which is precisely where the two pipes to my apartment are located.

Lawrence: You nailed it! The exchange service requires not a bit of effort on my part. No more lugging big, heavy bags of salt; no dealing with inevitable repairs. While apartment life is quite an adjustment, my stress level about so many things related to home ownership has been greatly reduced. For me, it was the right decision. Some of my friends understand this; others can't fathom why someone would choose to sell their house and move to apartment. It's not for everyone.

Post# 957288 , Reply# 6   9/12/2017 at 19:45 (403 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
I know all about that crap. My water is super hard, off a granite mountain and have a spring 17 ft. deep that has never gone dry in 22 years. I have a neighbor with an over 400 ft. drilled well and my spring and theirs test the same. I have a water softener. It helps but film, rust is still there waiting for you to clean it and it uses way too much salt.

Post# 957318 , Reply# 7   9/13/2017 at 01:20 (403 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Love my water softener.  Rainsoft was a total ripoff with a capital R!  My Lowes model lasted 10 years and when it died, I just ordered the valve head and new resin to fit my Rainsoft tank and refurbished it.  Flawless performance ever since.  I only have to fill it about every 8-10 months and it regenerates every 12 days.

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