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Water Softening

What to Expect at Your Culligan Water Softener Installation

Culligan water softener installation
Culligan water softener installation

What to Expect at Your Culligan Water Softener Installation


Making the decision to have a water softener installed is the first step toward cleaner, soft water throughout your home. You’ll no longer have to deal with common hard water problems such as spotty glasses and shower doors; buildup in faucets, showerheads and water-using appliances; and dry skin and hair.

Once you’ve purchased a water softener, installation is the next step. Working with your local service provider is recommended to ensure your water softener installation is done correctly.  But what does water softener installation require? How long does the installation take? Here’s what you can expect.


Preparing for Your Water Softener Installation

Timing can range depending on the on the equipment being installed, the age of your plumbing and other factors, but the installation typically takes about 2-4 hours. Your local Culligan technician will bring all the required equipment and tools. They’ll also take steps to ensure your home is kept clean.

At your initial consultation, your local water specialist will have helped you determine where your system should go. Typically, this is in a garage, utility room, basement, or outdoors. The amount of space required for your system depends on the softener’s size. You’ll likely need about 9 square feet, though it could be less. It’s also necessary to have access to your water pipes, a drain and an electrical outlet.

On installation day, make sure the space you selected is cleared and clean. Other than that, there is nothing you need to do to prepare. If you have an old water softener, we’ll remove it first and can often dispose of it for you.

Your new softener will typically have two tanks. Culligan water softening systems work using ion-exchange technology. The softener is a pressure tank filled with resin beads that remove hardness ions (like calcium and magnesium) from water and replace them with softer sodium ions. This softener is connected to a brine tank filled with salt. When the softener becomes loaded with minerals, the salt from the brine tank rinses the resin beads and the minerals are discharged into a drain. (This process is called regeneration.)


How Water Softener Installation Works

When it’s time for your system to be connected, the water in your house will be turned off. Then, your technician will connect the softener to your plumbing so that all the water coming into your home flows through the softener first. To do this, your technician may need to add additional piping to route the water supply as needed. This can involve cutting your home’s water lines, which is just one reason why it’s a good idea to have your softener installed by a trained professional.

Your technician will then connect the softener to a drain line to flush out the hardness minerals and salt collected in the main tank during the softening process. Next, the brine tank will be filled with salt. Typically, your dealer will provide the salt required for the first fill at no additional cost.

Your technician will then program the system to supply the right amount of soft water needed based on your water’s hardness, your family’s size and your water usage.

If you’ve purchased one of Culligan’s smart water softeners, your technician will guide you through the simple process of connecting your system to the Culligan Connect app. Through the app, you can track your water usage, check your salt supply, get service alerts and more. You can even use the app to set your system on bypass when you don’t need soft water, like for watering your lawn.

At this point, your water softener is up and running.


How to Maintain Your Water Softener

After the system is installed, your specialist will show you how to maintain your water softener, which fortunately doesn’t require a lot of work. The main need is to periodically replenish the salt; your technician can provide you with an estimate of how often you’ll need to refill the salt in your brine tank. This is based on your water usage and the number of people using water.

The most common problem people have with water softeners is forgetting to refill the salt. If this happens, it may take several days for the system to get the water soft again. To avoid this issue, we recommend that you take advantage of Culligan’s salt delivery service. With this service, three to four times a year, your local Culligan water expert will deliver salt bags to your home, fill your brine tank and usually, conduct an inspection of the unit as well.

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

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


Seeing the Results of 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 will be replaced with soft water. Once the hard water in your hot water heater is completely drained and you’re using softened water, you’ll likely notice these changes for the better:

  • You can use less soap – on yourself, your clothes and your dishes.
  • Lather will form faster, whether you’re washing your hands or your hair.
  • In the kitchen, you’ll see fewer spots on glasses, dishes and cookware – even without rinse aid in your dishwasher.
  • Your laundry will be softer to the touch – even without using dryer sheets.
  • Cleaning your home will be easier – you’ll see less limescale buildup around faucets and drains and less soap scum on showers and tubs. Your water-using appliances will work more efficiently and can last longer.
  • You may notice a “slippery” feeling to the water when showering or bathing – this is completely normal and is caused by the natural oils in your skin being allowed to reach its surface

Here at Culligan, we have more than 85 years of expertise in water problems and solutions, serving 50 million customers per year. Our innovative systems are built to last, so you can feel confident that you can enjoy your soft water for many years to come.

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