This post is lengthy, but I'm trying to give as much information as I can to give a clear picture of my situation. I have a residential well and had my water tested by the University of Florida with the following results (in parts per million):

calcium = 45.5
magnesium = 20.4
hardness = 197.4
iron = 0.0
manganese = 0.0
sodium = 10.0
chloride = 9.2
suspended solids = 0.0
and pH = 7.6

I'm looking for a water softening solution and also a reverse osmosis system for the kitchen.

Additional information: years ago I suffered a spinal cord injury which left me wheelchair-bound and unable to perform maintenance on any of the stuff myself. That being the case, I basically need a service to maintain the unit. There are three people in our household however, my wife wastes a lot of water in the kitchen and I take a lot longer shower than the norm. Also, occasionally we have company staying with us a week or two at a time.

I called Culligan and was shown their high-efficiency metered unit complete with a wireless remote to be able to control the unit without going outside.

Now going into this I knew whatever they had would cost a lot more than what I could buy elsewhere, but I was thinking I would be getting a better quality product with good service, warranty and a company to fall back on that would be there years down the road.

The sales rep gave me a price for the above softener which he said was a 30,000 grain softener which would take care of all my softening needs. They also offer a "platinum" package for $150 a year which covers an inspection of the unit every other month, salt included, free maintenance on parts and labor for as long as you keep paying with the first year included in the price.

Since then I've been trying to do research on what I was told and am getting confused. I downloaded the user manual and don't fully understand the specs. I wasn't told which size unit I was quoted (outside of 30,000 grain) and called back to find it's the 9 inch/1 ft. model. The sales rep wrote down 10 gpg of hardness which is more like 11.5 by my calculations and I used an online calculator which recommended a minimum of 1.5 ft. of resin.

With their proprietary reverse osmosis system the total price is around $4500 and I'm wondering if I would be better off with the larger unit, just how much I'd be getting screwed and what others would recommend given my situation? Any input is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.