I apologize in advance for the long story but I feel the need to give the specifics. I am completely overwhelmed after reading all these softener forums.

Bought home in country 2 years ago and completely remodeled it. We lived there for a year and the whole time the water smelled terrible. Attempted to shock the well but it did not improve the smell. It stinks on hot and cold. Home sat for one year (did not sell) and we currently have renters dealing with the smell and terrible iron problem. You can fill a glass of water and you can see iron sediments. Toilet red, bathtub water tinted red and back of toilet looks terrible. Had a Culligan guy come out to the house and I believe the hardness was 18 (I do not know any terminology) and he sent a sample in for testing. I believe a small amount of sulfur bacteria was present but I can't remember anything else. He told me a unit through another company was going to cost me $2500 and then after getting water tested (we need to still pay $50) I was told the unit would actually cost $4800 (softener, something for the iron, and something that would chlorinate the softener). We said no way. He then suggested we buy a softener and then rent a pellet system and something for the iron. Again; too expensive. Finally he tried selling me a used unit for $1250 and then an even older and smaller unit for $750. I agreed and then called back today and left him a message saying I was uneasy with the how thing and thanks but no thanks. I never saw any of the tests, just bits and pieces over the phone. And now after reading water softener forums I feel very clueless and confused. Meantime our renters would like the hard water and smell resolved. We have a sediment filter but it's clogged shortly after replacing it. It's hard to keep up with it. Thanks for taking the time to look over this. I will try to get the results from the Culligan man and post more tomorrow. If someone could point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Also, I might add that we are in a smaller town with limited options (Culligan and I'm hoping Ecowater - left message tonight).