Water Softener Questions
I've started reading through various posts on here and my head is spinning. I thought I could easily pick a water softener and replace the unit I'm currently renting and be done. However, now I realize this is far more complicated than I ever realize and am attempting to learn. Please bare with my newbie questions.
Currently Renting a Culligan Estate 2 water softener. We've had it about 11 years. I know nothing about the specifications as the guy on the phone didn't volunteer much information and I didn't know what to ask. Now I've started research so I realize I need alot more information.
TO buy the 11 year old unit is $299 a new unit is $799. I presume this was the same model as the current unit however it doesn't seem to be made anymore since it's not listed on Culligan's website.
We are on city water that is very hard. I haven't had a recent in home test done but the city report says it would be about 20 (which is in line from what I remember when it was tested years ago). We don't have any problems with iron.
We have 7 in the family, but 5 of them are kids, among the group we average only 2 showers a day but we run the dishwasher 2-3 times a day. I'm sure our water usage will go up as they grow but I'm not sure how much longer we will stay here (guesstimate is 5 years) Looking at my water bill it looks like we are averaging 8-10k gallons of water a month (if I'm reading the statement correctly)
So my first questions are about sizing. With the calculators they have given me numbers of anywhere from 32,000-110,000. Since I don't even know what I current have, I have no idea what to compare to. What seems a realistic size?
If I already have a softener installed, is it easy to pull out what unit and install another? I don't know much about these things but I'm willing to read/learn if it's feasible for a not very mechanically person to do so. If I have to redo plumbing I know that is out of my league but I'm hoping since one has been installed it will be more like disconnect one and reconnect the other.
Would you purchase one of the Culligan units mentioned above or invest in something else? If you knew you would be only using it 5 years would that affect your choice? What if you planned to stay longer?
Lastly I don't have alot to spend on this right now. I think I need to keep this below $1,000 but closer to $500 if that's feasible. If my numbers are completely unrealistic please tell me that and I will know I have to wait to make this purchase.
Thanks for any information you can share.