I'm in the process of buying water softeners for my household as well as a couple of relatives households (you may have seen my other thread regarding one of them). All the googling I've been doing has raised a few general questions in my mind that I hope some of the experts here can help me with:
1. If I buy a unit with 2.5 cu.ft. of resin and at some point in the future I need a larger system, can I simply add .5 cu.ft. of resin to give me a 3.0 cu.ft. system, or is there more to it than that? Interestingly, one of the sites I'm looking at offers both of these systems - aside from resin volume, they look identical to me - valve, tank size, brine tank. However, the 3.0 system costs $160 more than the 2.5 system. I don't think .5 cu.ft. of resin costs $160, so I must be missing something?
2. I see the experts recommending Purolite resin a lot. The site I'm thinking of purchasing from includes "NSF Approved High Capacity Cation 8% Crosslink Softening Resin (imported)" by default, but I can upgrade to "Purolite C100E High Capacity Cation 8% Crosslink Softening Resin (USA)" for $92 - is Purolite worth that much more? If so, what advantage does it provide over the generic default resin?
3. I've seen the experts recommending to newbs like myself to make sure and get things like a gravel bed and a top basket. Are there any other "accessories" that are "must haves"?
4. I've seen Ohio Pure Water mentioned a lot as a reputable place to purchase from - any other reputable companies I should consider? Additionally, I'd be interested if anyone has any experience with any good companies local to southern California (Ventura) if their prices are close to online prices.