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Installing a Water Softener: What To Expect From Culligan Installation


If your Culligan® water softener installation is just around the corner, you can expect a few key things: simplicity, convenience and speed. Of course, professional service is always preferable because expert installers have the tools and experience necessary to simplify the process; however, your Culligan team brings even more benefits through their knowledge of water softening, local water quality and hard water issues.

On top of that, installing a water softener on your own would require all kinds of expertise. With professional installation, you don’t need any plumbing or pipe installation knowledge — you can just sit back and relax.

Here’s what to expect before, during and after your water softener installation.

How Water Softener Installation Works

On installation day, your Culligan installer will arrive with all the necessary tools, equipment and supplies. Once they’ve introduced themselves and explained the basics of the process, they’ll look for your main control valve so they can turn off your water supply.

Next, they’ll get settled in the chosen space. Your local water specialist should have helped you choose this spot during your initial consultation, so you likely already know right where your water softening system will go. Typically, this is in a garage, utility room, basement or outdoors.

Keep in mind that your installer will take care to leave your home in as good condition as they find it, with practices such as avoiding putting tools on your counters and wearing booties to protect your floors. The only trace they should leave behind is softened water.

Once they’re prepared, your installer will connect the water softener to your plumbing so that when your water supply is turned back on later, it will all flow through the softening system before reaching any of your home’s taps. To make this happen, your technician may need to add some additional piping or two to route the main water supply as required. This can involve cutting your existing pipes — which is just one more reason it’s a good idea to have your softener installed by a trained professional.

After that, your installer will connect the softener to a drain line. This is how a softening system flushes out the mineral content responsible for hard water and its symptoms (such as water spots or soap residue).

Next, you’ll be able to watch while your technician fills the brine tank with salt — that way, you know how the process works and how to replicate it in the future. In most cases, your dealer provides the salt required for this first fill at no additional cost.

One of the final steps is programming. Unlike salt refills, you likely won’t need to do this yourself at any point in your water softener’s lifespan; however, it can still be helpful to watch what your installer does. After verifying your water needs — that is, the amount of soft water you require based on hardness levels, family size and water usage — your technician will program the system to soften accordingly. After this, it’s time to open your water supply line and let your water softener work for the first time.

At this point, your installer will go over a few key things with you:

  • How the water softening system works
  • Where the display is and how to use it
  • What regeneration means and how often it happens
  • How to utilize the bypass valve to bypass the softener when you don’t need soft water
  • Where the salt goes, how to refill it and how often this needs to be done
  • What water softener maintenance looks like
  • What to do in the event of a power outage
  • How to access digital owner’s guides and manuals

RELATED VIDEO: How to Refill Your Water Softener Salt

Finally, your technician will clean everything up and make sure they haven’t left any water, debris or extra pipe material in the installation space. At this point, your water softener is up and running, and soft water should be right around the corner.

The Culligan Connect App

If you’ve purchased one of Culligan’s smart water softeners, you have access to a free smartphone app called the Culligan Connect App. Your technician can help you connect your system to this app and show you how to navigate the interface so you can:

  • Track your water usage
  • Check your salt supply
  • Get service and leak alerts
  • Set your system on bypass when you don’t need soft water

With a smart water softener, your local Culligan experts can also monitor your system remotely for issues, providing you further peace of mind.

Having a Water Softener Installed: How To Prepare

Most parts of the water installation process will be handled for you. However, if you want to keep things running as smoothly as possible, it’s helpful to know what you can do (and what you should leave to the professionals):

What To Do

  • Make plenty of time: Installing a water softener doesn’t take a full day, but the process can range between two and four hours. This depends on the water softening system you chose, the age of your plumbing and other factors.
  • Prepare the space: On installation day, make sure your selected space is cleared and clean. It’s usually safe to prepare about nine square feet, although the actual necessary space could be smaller depending on the size of your water softening system.
  • Provide access: Your installer will need access to your water supply, pipes, a drain and an electrical outlet.
    Write down your questions: If there’s anything you want to know, be sure to make a note so you don’t forget. Your Culligan installer will explain everything and cover any additional details you ask about.

What Not To Do

  • Turn off your own water supply: While you may be able to handle this step yourself, it’s smarter to let your installer turn off your water. That way, they know exactly what happened and when.
  • Provide tools or supplies: No need to buy or provide tools. Your installer knows what they need and how to use it, so you aren’t responsible for purchasing anything.
  • Handle your own plumbing: If you try to make a cut in your plumbing and don’t know the integrity of it — for example, maybe a copper pipe has oxidized and become brittle — you could collapse all your pipes. Culligan installers know proper plumbing codes and have the right tools, experience and expertise to handle this process smoothly and safely.
  • Worry: Installing a water softener on your own or having a friend do the work can leave you with twice the costs — not just in repairing errors and potential long-term damage, but in the time you spend worrying. Culligan does things right the first time and, if any issues should arise, we don’t leave you to call a plumber or handle problems yourself; we provide reliable support and service.

After Installation: Maintaining Your Water Softener

After installation, your technician will show you how to maintain your water softener. Fortunately, this doesn’t require a lot of work.

RELATED VIDEO: Water Softener Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Salt Refills

The main need is to periodically replenish the salt. Your installer can give you a rough estimate of how often you’ll need to refill your brine tank — a schedule based on your water usage and the number of people using water.

Monitoring Your System

If you selected a WiFi-connected Culligan water softening system with smart features, it will automatically monitor the salt level and tell you how many days of salt are remaining. An easy-to-read display provides system alerts and lets you know your softener is working.

Using Your App

Our smart water softeners use the Culligan Connect App to send information right to your phone. Keep an eye on this app so you can quickly and effectively respond to any maintenance needs.

Getting Support

If any questions or issues with your system arise, just call your local Culligan experts. We’ll have one of our professionally trained technicians diagnose the problem and make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency.

In addition, most Culligan locations offer service and maintenance packages that make it easy to keep your system operating at peak performance. Offerings vary by location but may include salt delivery, system inspections and free repairs.

What To Expect After Installing a Water Softener

When the installation is complete and your technician has answered all your questions, it’s finally time to sit back and appreciate the benefits of water softening. This is where you really get to see the difference between hard and soft water.

Here’s what you can expect:

Soft Water

Your cold water should be soft right away. However, because your hot water tank starts out full of your existing hard water, you need to use that water before it can be replaced with soft water. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day or two depending on the size of your water heater and how much water you use.

Fewer Cleaning Supplies

When you have soft water, soap and other cleaning supplies work more effectively. That means you can use less and get better results — for example, your laundry will be softer even without using dryer sheets, and you can likely use about a quarter of the soap you used before.

Fewer Marks and Spots

Mineral buildup, water spots and other hard water issues should be a thing of the past once your softener is up and running. That means you won’t have to scrub mineral deposits around your faucets or end up with spotty silverware that needs to go back in the dishwasher.

Better Efficiency

Hard minerals can build up in water-using appliances and reduce their efficiency, effectiveness and longevity. Soft water, on the other hand, is easier on those appliances and can help them last longer.

Smooth-Feeling Water

When you take the first shower or bath after your water softener installation, you might notice a “slippery” feeling. This is completely normal and is caused by the natural oils in your skin, which were blocked by hard minerals but can now reach the surface. That helps prevent dryness and promote skin and scalp health.

See How Easy Professional Water Softener Installation Can Be

Whether you’ve just chosen your first softening system or are interested in water softener replacement, it’s best to rely on the experts for installation. From plumbing system and pipe solutions to expert advice and recommendations, you’ll get everything you need to start your soft water journey off right.

If you haven’t yet purchased your water softener or figured out exactly what you need, the first step is water testing and a free consultation to determine your water’s hardness levels, softening needs and more. Your local water expert can even provide background on the mineral content in your area.

Schedule your free, in-home water test and consultation today.

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