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If you’re on the hunt for a water softener for your home, the Culligan water softeners may have caught your eye. Culligan is one of the most popular water softener manufacturers today, and, reportedly, one of the most expensive. But there’s something unusual about Culligan’s systems: they don’t have a price.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Culligan’s products are free (if only). To understand exactly why prices aren’t listed online, read on.
🤔 Why Are Culligan Water Softener Prices Not Disclosed Online?
The reason why Culligan water softener prices aren’t disclosed is that the total cost of the product depends on a broad range of factors.
Most water softener manufacturers allow you to choose between different options when purchasing a water softener, including unit size (or grain capacity). You will also have the choice to purchase add-ons of varying importance, such as pre-filters, installation kits, and resin upgrades.
This process can be convenient – but only if you know what you’re looking for. It’s easy to buy the wrong system if you’re not entirely sure what you need to buy, which means you won’t get the most out of your water softening experience.
Culligan offers a tailored experience, working closely with customers to fully understand their needs, then suggesting a water treatment solution that best fits what they’re looking for.
When you buy a water softener with Culligan, you don’t just get the system itself. You also benefit from an in-home water test, professional installation and equipment setup, and personalized service from Culligan throughout your water softener’s lifespan.
Because Culligan offers a more tailored service, you get peace of mind that the water softener built for your home is exactly what you need in terms of capacity, add-ons, and overall performance.
🔎 How to Get An Official Estimate From Culligan
It can be a little frustrating not to have an upfront Culligan water softener price for reference, especially if you’re comparing water softeners and haven’t reached a decision on which brand you want to go for yet.
However, getting an estimate from Culligan is easier than it may initially seem. Here’s what you need to do:
- Search culligan.com and click the red button in the top right that reads “find your local dealer”.
- A popup will appear, prompting you to enter your address and your zip code. You will also need to choose your “area of interest” from the dropdown. If you’re looking for a water softener, select “water softening”.
- Click “go to my dealer”. This will bring up a list of your nearest local Culligan dealers. You can use the contact information provided to call or email your preferred choice.
- You should receive a response within the next few days, scheduling an appointment for a Culligan water representative to make a home visit and provide you with a price estimate.
❔ What Happens During the In-Home Water Test?
Typically, when a Culligan representative visits your home, they’ll carry out a free in-home water test. During this test:
- The representative will take a sample of your drinking water from your kitchen faucet.
- It takes less than 10 minutes for the test results to be available. The representative will then explain to you what your results mean.
- Based on your water hardness, and anything else picked up by the test, the representative will present the most suitable systems for your situation.
If your water problems are “harder to identify”, Culligan offers a more in-depth lab testing option. It’s not clear whether this testing is free or not. This kind of testing takes longer, and it will usually be a couple of days before you’re contacted with the details of your results.
You can book a free water test online by clicking the “schedule a water test” button on the top-right of the website’s home page.
You’ll be taken to a new page and asked to enter your details, including your name and home address. After you submit your details, Culligan will process your request and get in touch by phone call in the next few days.
📝 Potential Factors Affecting Culligan Water Softener Cost & Rental Rates
It’s understandable if you want to know more about the factors affecting Culligan’s pricing before you choose a Culligan water softener.
It can seem like individual representatives might just pull figures from the tops of their heads. But don’t worry – there are justifying factors for Culligan’s prices, which I’ve covered below:
Type of System
Culligan doesn’t just offer one or two types of water softener – there are actually 8 water softeners currently available on the website. These include twin-tank softeners, ion exchange water softener systems, progressive flow softeners, and salt-free water conditioners.
Each system will be priced according to several qualities: size, construction, durability, efficiency, performance, and more. Though Culligan’s water softener prices aren’t listed online, typically, there’s a difference of around $200-$600 from one product to another, depending on the system type.
Size of System
The size of your Culligan water softener will also influence its overall price.
We can look at examples of other branded water softeners for this. A smaller system for homes with 1-3 bathrooms may cost around $800-1300, while a system for 4-6 bathrooms may cost $200-300 extra, and a system for more than 6 bathrooms may cost up an extra $200-300 on that.
Why pay more for a bigger Culligan water softener? Your money is spent on the extra materials used to make the unit, the extra resin required for the resin tank, and the more powerful performance required from the system.
One of the biggest benefits of purchasing a Culligan water softener is that you don’t have to worry about installing the system yourself, because Culligan will arrange for an expert to do the job for you.
However, this may also be a downside, because you don’t appear to have a say in the matter – the price of installation is just part of the package, whether you’d be happy to save money and DIY install the system or not.
Installing a water softener is no easy feat. You need to cut into your waterline, which could prove disastrous if you weren’t completely accurate. You also need to have a good understanding of all the parts included for installation – and the parts that aren’t included, but must be purchased from a hardware store before you can get started.
If you buy a softener online and paid separately for installation by a plumber or handyman, you should expect to pay an average of $200 for the full job. Keep in mind that Culligan will probably charge a similar price for installation, and this will be tacked onto the overall cost of the system.
Upsells of Other Equipment
Purchasing a softener online means that you’re less likely to be persuaded to buy optional add-ons or additional water treatment systems, even if your home may benefit from them.
When a Culligan sales representative visits your home, however, they’re likely to use the power of persuasion to make you feel like you need a certain add-on. This may be true – you might actually need additional systems – but in many cases, you won’t.
That’s not to say that you should avoid all suggestions of add-ons. While they are trying to make a sale, Culligan’s representatives will only try to upsell you the equipment that you will genuinely benefit from.
For instance, if your water has a high TDS (total dissolved solids) reading, your representative may recommend purchasing a whole-house water filter or reverse osmosis system to remove some of the problem contaminants that could damage your water softener and drastically reduce its lifespan.
This could cost you an extra $1,000-$1,500 alongside your initial water softener investment, but if it extended your water softener’s lifespan by 2-4 years, you may think it a worthy investment.
Buying vs Renting vs Financing
Culligan has a number of buying and paying options to choose from.
First off, you can buy a Culligan water softener upfront. If you’ve got the cash, you can pay for the whole system, including installation, in one go. Though this will hurt your wallet the most initially, it’s the cheapest overall choice.
The second option is to finance your softening unit. Rather than paying outright for Culligan water softeners, the manufacturer gives customers the choice to set up a payment plan. You can tailor a plan to suit your budget, paying as much as you can afford to repay per month.
Though there’s no clarity on Culligan’s website about whether this plan tacks on interest, I’m going to hedge a bet that it does.
The final option is to not purchase your own softener at all, but to rent one from Culligan instead.
Renting Culligan water softeners is a low-commitment option that costs less to begin with, but it’s usually the most expensive in the long run. I would only suggest renting water softeners if you’re planning on moving to a new house soon and don’t want to pay the full price for a water softener that you can’t take with you.
📌 Alternative Options to Consider
There are definitely benefits to buying a whole-house ion exchange or salt-free water softener with Culligan. But that’s not to say that Culligan’s offering is right for you.
Culligan is far from the only manufacturer that offers water testing. You can buy at-home test kits for less than $10 if you just want a rough idea of your water’s calcium and magnesium content. For more thorough testing, you can arrange for your water to be tested by a certified laboratory.
Once you get your test data back, you can search for water softeners based on your findings. You might prefer ion-exchange salt-based water softeners, or you may be looking for salt-free water conditioner systems. There are plenty of soft water solutions online to choose from.
Testing your water yourself may also determine that you could benefit from another treatment system, like a reverse osmosis system.
The only setback of testing your own water and buying direct from the manufacturer is that you can’t purchase a Culligan softener without paying for their own testing, so you’d end up ruling Culligan’s products out. However, Culligan has many high-quality competitors, so this won’t necessarily be a problem for you.
The average cost of testing your own water and determining the softener for you is likely very similar to working with Culligan. The advantage, however, is that you get control over the total cost of your soft water solution from the very beginning, rather than being surprised with a price from the manufacturer only after your water has been tested.