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Water Treatment FAQs

The average adult needs around eight to twelve 8 ounce servings of water daily. Hydration needs can vary based on the level of activity, health circumstances like pregnancy, and age.

For instance, a 60 lb. child may only need a minimum of 30 ounces of water daily (3-4 glasses); whereas a 180 lb. man should have about 90 ounces every day (11-12 glasses).

As people age they may need more water since thirst signals dull, activity levels drop, and prescription drugs may dehydrate the body.

In simple terms, reverse osmosis is a process that forces water molecules though a semi-permeable membrane. The membranes in Culligan's reverse osmosis systems are capable of filtering out impurities smaller one micron. Reverse osmosis filtration can be used to create filtered water anywhere, including homes and commercial businesses, such as: restaurants and hotels, car washes, breweries, and even a space shuttle!

Reverse osmosis systems and bottled water coolers are the two most cost effective means of enjoying great-tasting water in your home.

A Culligan reverse osmosis system (RO system) is a water purifier that eliminates or reduces nearly 50 different types of chemicals and other impurities.

Some examples of what RO can remove include, but are not limited to: toluene, lead, PCBs, dichloropropenes, trichloroethanes, insecticides and ethylbenzene. For a more complete list view our chart on: What Reverse Osmosis Takes out of Water.


A reverse osmosis (RO) system employs a number of processes, including reverse osmosis, to produce great-tasting, low sodium drinking water. An RO system eliminates around 97% of total dissolved solids (TDS) like salt and sodium from your water. Most bottled water companies, including Culligan, use reverse osmosis in their bottling process. So with a reverse osmosis system, you are essentially getting "bottled water without the bottle".


Good Housekeeping has given the Culligan® HE water softener, our Aqua-Cleer® water filter and seven other Culligan products their powerful seal of approval. In addition, the Culligan® HE water softener has also been named as a Consumers Digest "Best Buy" by Consumers Digest magazine (2012).

Good Housekeeping

Culligan's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Good Housekeeping has given the Culligan® HE water softener, our Aqua-Cleer® water filter and seven other Culligan products their powerful seal of approval. In addition, the Culligan® HE water softener has also been named as a Consumers Digest "Best Buy" by Consumers Digest magazine (2012).

Here are some helpful considerations you may want to take into account before deciding on a water treatment solution.

How hard is your water?

It is important to have your water tested for hardness and other factors to determine your exact needs. Even if you already know you have one or more water problems, getting a water test is an excellent first step to choosing a water treatment solution. Do you have hard water or poor water quality? Find out with our free water test.

When evaluating your needs, an expert will look for a number of factors. For instance, the current hardness level and the size of a family will have an impact on the type and size of the equipment required. The same holds true for drinking water systems.

Your water usage and pressure.

Water pressure and the amount of water used are important factors to look at when outfitting your home with a system for improving water quality. The size of your household may influence water usage, and different families have different water needs. Factors such as expected family growth and guest visits should also be taken into account.

Why you should avoid a "quick fix".

Finding a fix for an existing water problem is your primary focus, but don’t be too quick to go with the cheapest water treatment solution. You might find that a higher-end system will be more efficient and handle your needs better. Before making a purchase, get a detailed estimate for the cost of: equipment, installation, and maintenance to make sure you are getting your money’s worth!

Buy from a reputable dealer.

A reputable water treatment equipment dealer can be an excellent resource when you need help determining your water conditioning needs. Culligan® is the most trusted name in the water treatment industry.

Financing Options.

You may be able to get the price of your water conditioning equipment financed under FHA Title 1 or private lending agreements. Make sure to check with your bank or finance company to get more information. Local dealers may offer special financing options as well.

Picking the best water quality improvement system doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are some helpful questions you can ask to make sure you are getting a water treatment system that is right for you and your family.

Questions to ask:

  • Does the price include installation?
  • Will installation include all the features you might need?
  • Will installation include a bypass to provide garden and lawn faucets or a faucet for unsoftened water?
  • Will the system have the capacity to support your current and future needs?
  • If you are leasing does your agreement include an option-to-buy?
  • Does the dealer you are planning on buying from have an established business in your area?
  • Are there any customer references for your dealer?
  • Have you had your water tested by a reputable lab and/or the local health department for health related problems?
  • Will a representative call to consult with you to determine the right system for you?
  • Did the salesperson explain the cost and method of regenerating the system?
  • Did the salesperson provide answers to all of your questions about the design, function, and cost of the system?
  • Are there maintenance contracts or other after-sale services available from your dealer?
  • Will the equipment come with a written warranty?
  • Did you make sure to read and understand the terms of the warranty?

Hard water is one of the most frequent water problems that occur in the home. Hard water can cause your dishes and glasses to have spots, cause a buildup of scale and soap scum, and make laundry dull. All of these problems make cleaning a chore. The typical cause of hard water is dissolved calcium and magnesium minerals in the water supply.

The Water Quality Association defines hard water as water that has a concentration of dissolved minerals above 1 GPG (grains per gallon). Levels of hardness are described as follows:

  • Soft Water: Less than 1 GPG
  • Slightly Hard Water: Between 1 and 3.5 GPG
  • Moderately Hard Water: Between 3.5 and 7 GPG
  • Hard Water: Between 7 and 10.5 GPG
  • Very Hard Water: More than 10.5 GPG

An ion exchange water softener is the most common method for treating hard water.

Learn more about hard water.

Rust is caused by iron in water and comes from five different forms. Particle iron and clear water iron are the two most common. These types of iron can cause staining of tubs, sinks, laundry, and even your hair. Iron bacteria, colloidal iron, and organic iron are the three other types of iron that can be found in water. These types of iron will cause red stains, sulfurous odor, and a tea colored appearance of your water. A special iron water filter can be used to eliminate iron in your water.

You don't need a degree in hydrology to understand the basics of water softening and water filtration. Here's an abbreviated version of what happens when softening or filtering water.

Filtering water is the process of separating impurities like minerals, particulates, iron, hydrogen sulfide, or any other organic matter, from the water. This is achieved by passing the water through a "filter bed" or "media bed", which traps impurities and cleans the water.

Softening water involves an "ion exchange" process that removes dissolved solids like magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese from water. These dissolved solids can’t be captured by a filter bed. Water softeners use resin beads with sodium ions attached to the resin. The resin attracts dissolved calcium and magnesium, exchanging its sodium ions for the dissolved solids and ridding the water of those impurities.

To determine if you need a water filter system or a water softening system, you must first determine what impurities are in your water. Culligan® Water Filters will eliminate particles in your water that can cause staining, odors, and excessive cleaning. A home water filter from Culligan will protect you and your family from undesirable impurities in your water.

Water softening eliminates dissolved minerals that cause hard water spots and lime-scale. Cleaning will become easier because your water will work with you, not against you.

To find out if impurities are in your water, contact your local Culligan® Dealer to schedule your free in-home water test.

Do you have concerns about water softener maintenance?

If you currently have a water softener, you can stop worrying about buying salt and filling the tank, thanks to the Culligan Advantage Plus® Program.

With the Culligan Advantage Plus® Program, your Culligan Man® will deliver salt directly to your home and into your water softener. He will work with you to assess your salt usage, so salt can be delivered automatically, when you need it! With every salt delivery your Culligan man will perform a 6-point water softener inspection that involves: checking time settings, evaluating salt and water levels, and looking for leaks. This inspection will establish if you are in need a water softener repair. Afterwards, any remaining salt bags will be neatly stacked and empty bags will be disposed of.

Stop lugging home heavy bags of salt! Contact your local Culligan® Dealer to learn more about this convenient service.

Regeneration refers to the action of water softeners "recharging" resin beads after they have become "full" of calcium and magnesium, and have lost their ability to soften water. There are a number of ways a regeneration cycle can be "triggered". Clock regeneration occurs when the regeneration cycle is activated after a certain amount of time has passed. Metered regeneration occurs when the regeneration cycle is triggered after a set amount of water has been used.

If you currently have a water softener, you can stop worrying about buying salt and filling the tank, thanks to the Culligan Advantage Plus® Program.

However, Smart-Sensor® regeneration is the most effective and efficient regeneration technique. Smart Sensors test the electrical conductivity of resin beads to determine precisely when regeneration is needed based on actual demand. This method of triggering a regeneration cycle is particularly valuable when water hardness varies from day-to-day.

Smart-Senor® technology is exclusive to Culligan and can save almost two tons of salt and 20,000 gallons of water over a 10 year period – saving you more than any other brand.

According to the Water Quality Association (WQA), discharge from water softener regeneration has no negative effect on septic systems or leach fields. In fact, studies show that the discharge may actually benefit septic tank system operation by improving soil percolation, particularly in fine-textured soils.

Using softened water outside for lawns or gardens is not only wasteful, but in some cases the sodium content of the softened water could be high enough to stunt plant growth and harm grass. Climates with little rain fall are more susceptible to these problems because they don’t receive enough rain to rinse away the accumulation of sodium in the soil.

Be sure to ask the Culligan dealership that is installing your water softener about a bypass for your lawn and garden spouts, and a faucet for un-softened water.

Have you bought bottled water recently? Did you see all the different types that are now available? While there are different sources for bottled water, all water that is labeled as "drinking water" or "bottled water" is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must meet certain standards.

According to the FDA, for a product to be considered "bottled water" it cannot contain sweeteners or chemical additives (other than flavors, extracts or essences) and must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts and essences — derived from spice or fruit — can be added to bottled water, but these additions must comprise less than 1% by weight of the final product. Beverages containing more than the one percent by weight flavor limit are classified as soft drinks, not bottled water.

What is in bottled water? The FDA defines the various types of water as follows:

  • Artesian Water: Bottled water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand).
  • Mineral Water: Contains no less than 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (minerals). No minerals can be added to this product.
  • Purified Water: Water labeled as "purified" can be derived from either distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis.
  • Sparkling Water: Water that, after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source. (An important note: soda water, seltzer water and tonic water are not considered bottled waters. They are regulated separately and may contain sugar and calories. These types of carbonated water are considered soft drinks.)
  • Spring Water: Bottled water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.

Your local Culligan® Dealer delivers crystal clear bottled water in a variety of sizes: Spring Water (1, 2.5, 3 and 5 Gallon); Distilled Water (1 Gallon); Pure Drinking Water (20oz, 24oz, 1/2 liter, 1 liter and 1 1/2 liter, 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon, 3 gallon, 5 gallon).

Contact your local Culligan Dealer to find out what products he carries, and to discuss your water needs.

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