I am in the process of "interviewing" plumbers to install a softener for me. I've done my research and know what to ask and how I want it done. So this first guy has been a plumber all his life and seemed to be a good creditable plumber which has installed a few softeners in my neighborhood.
However, there are a couple of things he said that made me turn my cheek and I wish to get your opinion.
First of all I was adimant about running the drain line up to the attic and over "just a few feet each" to the drain for the Washing Machine. Of course vented correctly and such. My next door neighbor had this done and I have read that this is common practice as long as its not enclosed and "vented" correctly. This guy was like, no way... I would never do that because it is a sanitary drain and I would never tie it over to that drain. He went on to say they always just route it outside into the grass or flower bed. I know better than that and said "no I don't want to do that because I know it is bad for the plants/grass, but he said no actually where the drain comes out is makes the grass real green and there is no problem with it. We are talking about a regular softener that uses the Salt Pellets.
The other thing was that I was going to get my own softener and have him install it, which he didn't have a problem with, but he kept insisting that the ones from the Big Box stores were just as good, last the same amount of time, and cheaper than the Fleck, Clack, Autotrol, etc. He claims that having a plumber come out and replace the resin ends up costing as much as just buying a new one off the shelf at a Big Box store anyways. And with the hardness of our water EITHER water softener will need replaced after about 5 or 6 years anyway, so it is better to go with the cheaper Big Box softeners.
From my research, this guy is wrong on both accounts.