Contrary to popular belief your low end units such as the ones you get at home depot and lowes will cost you more in the long run than a good unit. Being in the business for some time i have gone on service calls where the people bought a big box store brand and it was bad right out of the box. Also cullligan and kinetico are not high end softeners they may be expensive but that does not mean quality. your best bet is for one of the big three Fleck Clack or Autotrol they are the industry standard you can readily purchase parts and are easy for diy'ers. They come under a miriad of names but these are the ones you should look for.