Good Evening all,

I've read a few threads trying to educate myself about what to look for (and look out for) when purchasing a water softening solution for my new home. So far I've received quotes from Culligan (who tested my water and said I had 20 grains), Kinetico, a local plumbing firm for a Northstar system and from Puronic.

Based on what I've read here and the fact that non of the fore mentioned solutions back up there big warranty claims with included labor beyond a year (two for the Kinetics), I'm inclined to seek out my own solution and have a qualified plumber do the installation. I still have a few questions I hope the knowledgeable group here can help me with...

1. How does the regeneration cycle interval play into the efficiency of a softener (i.e. I read a softener should be sized to regenerate every 7 to 8 days, why?)?

2. It's my understanding that Clack makes one of the best (and easiest to service) valve/control units but are no longer available on the internet for purchase. Is it worth the extra effort to try and find a Clack dealer locally or are Fleck or Autotrol good options?

3. When I sized my water softener it recommended a 24K solution for a two person household and 20 GPG. What's the disadvantage/advantage to sizing up to a slightly larger 32 or 40K softener (I'm guessing the answer to question 1 comes into play here).

4. Is the cost of advantage of SST-60 Resin worth the additional expense?

5. I was told by the Culligan rep that I should purchase a 1" "unit" (which was more money BTW) to match my home plumbing... Is this correct?

6. If I go the DIY purchase route, who are some reputable online resellers?

Thanks for helping a softener newbie... Just trying to be 2% smarter then the equipment I'm trying to purchase.