Culligan Water Softener Reviews
For years, the Culligan Water Softening System has helped families, and homeowners supply their homes with a softer, cleaner, and more economical water supply. But, is it worth your time and money to invest in one? Find out by reading our expert Culligan Water Softener review.
Although many of us can tell the difference between hard and soft water when we taste it, few understand what makes hard water “hard” and, more importantly, how they can soften it. Luckily, the experts at Culligan have been working hard—no pun intended—to make home water softening solutions available in a convenient and affordable treatment system.
Culligan is the home of America’s “Water Experts” who perform home water testing and softener installations on an on-call basis. Ranked the #1 water softening franchise in the world by Entrepreneur Magazine, Culligan is a popular company devoted to treating, filtering, and softening household drinking water.
Since the 1930s, long before the tradition of water softening became popular, Culligan was pioneering the practice and developing the equipment necessary for the job. Without the work by Culligan, it is likely that water softening would never have caught on in America.
There is perhaps no brand more popular in the world of water softening than Culligan. However, are their services worth your money? In this article, our experts go in-depth and analyze other Culligan water softener reviews to determine whether Culligan is a waste of money or if it is the real deal.
What is the Culligan Water Softener and How Does It Work?
There are three main types of Culligan Water Softener, although each of them functions similarly. For your convenience, we have listed them below:
Although the list above is not exhaustive (indeed, Culligan has five other less-popular variants of the models above), these three are the bestselling systems that are found in most Culligan-equipped homes in America.
HE Water Softener System
The original high-efficiency water softener system by Culligan is a “smart” addition to your drinking water because it reduces the amount of water, salt, and electricity your home uses. The brine tank is installed underneath your sink and measures between one and three cubic feet.
Since the tank is connected to the internet, it provides real-time reports to a Culligan Water Experts informing them of the mineral and salt concentrations in the water. Consequently, you never have to worry about booking an appointment with Culligan if you have this model because they will already know when to show up at your door.
HE Twin Tank and Conditioner
The natural upgrade from the regular HE system, the HE twins tank and conditioner have twice the capacity to de-mineralize your water as its predecessor. This makes it the smart choice for larger buildings, big families, and institutional or commercial drinking water taps.
This system contains all the features of the original system, but with more added on top. For example, this system never has to undergo downtime. Instead, if one tank is at maximum capacity, the secondary tank will kick in to pick up the slack.
Gold Series Water Softener
If we were to recommend an all-in-one household water softener system, it would be the Gold Series. This is because the Gold Series does it all, from treating your drinking water to making sure your laundry water and shower are also adequately de-mineralized. Plus, the Gold Series tank has a higher work capacity than both of its predecessor systems.
Depending on the variety of tank you install, you will need up to three cubic feet of space under your sink or elsewhere in your home if you want to purchase this system. And, like the models that came before it, it is equipped with smart sensors to notify Culligan staff of real-time updates and defects before they become a serious issue.
What is the Culligan Water Softener and How Does It Work?
Most of us know, intuitively, what hard water is. This is because we have tasted hard water countless times. However, the most obvious distinguishing feature of hard water is the white calcium residue that builds up on top of metal surfaces if hard water is left on it. Although it washes off easily, it can be an eyesore if left untreated.
Hard water is any water that has a grain per gallon (GPG) reading of seven or higher. This metric measures the concentration of dissolved minerals in the water and, more specifically, calcium and magnesium carbonate. Although these chemicals belong in drinking water and are safe to consume, having too much of them can irritate the skin and cause a bad taste.
Thankfully, there are ways to extract these unwanted minerals from the water. With the help of water softening systems, such as those by Culligan, Pentair, and Kinetico, a physical process is known as “ion exchange” can occur in which calcium and magnesium are exchanged for other minerals.
When this exchange process occurs, sodium ions take the place of calcium and magnesium. Without making the water taste salty, it restores the water to its natural state and makes it more hospitable to your skin, your appliances, and your faucet and plumbing.
Is Hard Water Unsafe?
Despite wives’ tales and hearsay, hard water does not pose any serious health risks that have been backed by science. However, there has been at least one report by the National Institute of Health that has implied that water hardness may affect heart health. Regardless, no research to date has confirmed whether water hardness adversely affects health.
What Makes Culligan Water Softener Unique
Our favorite aspect of having our water treated by Culligan is that the process is easy and stress-free. Whereas other vendors install the components and then leave never to be seen again, our Culligan Water Expert routinely shows up at our door to check up on the system and exchange various parts as required.
Another under-appreciated aspect of Culligan is that their services are backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, meaning you can get your money back if you are not satisfied. Plus, Culligan’s Water Experts will remove the product from your home with no questions asked within 30 days of your purchase.
With Culligan, you can sleep soundly knowing that your purchase has helped make the world a better place. Why? Because Culligan is the only water treatment company that hosts a charitable organization, the Culligan Cares Foundation, which provides clean water to impoverished communities and those devastated by natural disasters in the United States.
Professionalism is another major selling point with Culligan. Unlike most of their competitors, they have a Customer Care Center that can be contacted seven days a week to answer questions or concerns you may have about their product. The Care Center can also help with the following services or areas of concern:
One of the unfortunate aspects of Culligan is that there are no set prices. Ultimately, the cost of installing and maintaining a Culligan water softener system will depend on where you live and how adamantly you are willing to talk down the sales rep. Nowhere on the Culligan website or elsewhere online can you find a price list like you would with Pentair.
However, if you want to buy a Culligan water softener, you should expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000 US. This figure is inclusive of taxes and installation fees. Our readers should also note that it is possible to rent a Culligan water system instead for between $20 and $30 monthly.
If you want to save money on your Culligan water softener, we recommend not giving in to the sales representative when they try to up-sell you to a more expensive system (trust us, they will probably try to do this). As always, hold your ground and remain firm on your original price. If the call ends, feel free to call back to a different sales rep and start the negotiation over.
Coupons and Deals
There are no deals, coupons, or product codes for Culligan equipment or services. However, we recommend checking in with their website from time to time to see if there are any seasonal deals you can take advantage of before you make a purchase or contact their sales representative team.
Public Perception (Other Culligan Water Softener Reviews)
We were a bit surprised to find that Culligan has a relatively negative reputation among some of the top consumer watchdog websites. Although there is a healthy mix of Culligan water softener reviews that praise the company and their services, the standout reviews all mention some unfortunate aspect of the company.
For example, ConsumerAffairs does not list Culligan as an accredited brand. To make matters worse, Culligan has an overall satisfaction rating of only 1.5 stars out of five based on 142 user reviews. To provide one specific example, Shari of Lexington, Kentucky, alleges that Culligan employees stole items from her home and that head office did not respond to her complaints.
Another customer, by the name of Vicci, from Denham Springs, Louisiana reports that his under-the-sink unit installed by Culligan burst and flooded his kitchen and bathroom. Worse yet, Wendy of Saltspring, Florida, says that she was on the hook for more than $10,000 after her Culligan-installed equipment malfunctioned during Hurricane Irma.
We find it interesting that most of the glowing reviews of Culligan online are found on the official Culligan website. On the Culligan Water Softener Reviews page of the website, they have re-posted reviews from Consumer’s Digest, ConsumerDemocracy, and Yelp. However, they have neglected to provide a link to any of these original reviews (does this sound fishy to you?).
How It Compares
A quick Google search led us to the impression that Culligan has a poor track record of customer service compared to some of their rivals like Ecowater or Pentair. The first page of the Google search query results for Culligan water softener reviews indicates that there are hundreds of scathing reviews for this company.
Although we had success using this company to install a water softener in our home, you cannot trust our judgment alone. Instead, peruse some of the other customer reports online that discuss how they were left with a multi-thousand-dollar bill and a flooded basement due to equipment malfunction or a piping leak.
In the past, we have owned a Pentair water softener solution that included hardware from GE and Fleck. Whenever things went awry with the system (and they inevitably will), we were able to hunker down with a wrench and fix it. However, with Culligan, this is simply unachievable since they use proprietary hardware that is not DIY-friendly.
Maintenance vs. Pentair
In our two years of owning a Culligan water softener device, we have had a Water Expert at our door four or five times to adjust or repair a component that has caused a system failure. While we do not consider this to be a deal-breaker, it does not help that our Pentair system in our bathroom has only had to be serviced once in an equal span of time.
What We Think
Overall, we are satisfied with our Culligan water softener system. Although there are countless Culligan water softener reviews available online that will tell you to stay far away from this brand, based on our experience we are willing to suggest that it is a company worth considering for your water softening needs.
However, we cannot fully recommend Culligan due to their high prices and sub-par customer service. In our view, this company should be contacted only if there are no other reliable options in your area (i.e., Pentair or Ecowater are not available). While our experience with Culligan was fine, there are too many customer horror stories to justify them as a first choice.