Culligan water "conditioner"...performance lacking?

I have had a Culligan MGA94 (30K grain)water "conditioner" for appox 3 months. I went with the culligan because I was able to get them to install the loop (difficult re-route for outside set-up) and a 3month no obligation trial for a very minimal price. When they came in they tested the hardness and it came out to be about 15-17 Grains. We are 2 adults in a 2 bath home(we only use one really) in Gilbert AZ.
The 3 month trail is about up and they monthly fee will go to 30+ a month. I am looking to replace it (buy) but wonder...
The water really does not feel that "soft", I.I the slick feeling normally associated with soft water isn't there. SOMETIMES you can feel it a bit, but for the most part nothing feels different that before. I have called culligan and they have assured me that the water is either "soft" or its not, needless to say this did not seem right.
Culligan asked us to use the "tester" they left us which consists of a vial and some soapy liquid to shake up with the water and it does "lather" better than when they came in.
Shouldn't we be "feeling" the softness? This just doesn't seem to be there/seem right.
All that said, what are your thoughts on the all in one units available a sears(Kenmore) any other suggestions( this we be outside in the AZ heat.
Thanks for your input
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It may need some adjusting if it is not soft. There are other types of kits that will tell you if it is soft. Othes will tell you just how hard it is. One has a blue liquid you drop into the water and if it is soft, it says blue, if hard, it turns pink. OTOH, some people like it to have some minerals and not soft, just reduced.
If you keep this or change to another brand, yo will want to do some testing to check it periodicaly, so the kit will not be wasted.
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wrote in message

I have very hard water and a softener that is functioning properly. I don't *feel* the softness but glassware comes out of the dishwasher without water spots which isn't the case if I let the softener run out of salt.
I do test the hardness at infrequent intervals using a chemical test kit with a blue dye indicator as previously suggested. These are somewhat more informative than the old soap-test routine. Culligan should be able to supply one. They are also available at aquarium supply stores. You would want the one that tests for *total hardness*. Usually about $5.00. Not difficult to use.
SJF
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GotBonus? wrote:

Well I would say that the feeling you are looking for is the result of over softened water.
Why did you get the softener in the first place? Has that problem been resolved? If you can not identify a specific problem before you installed the softener, then I suggest you don't need one. You don't put a softener in to make water feel slick.
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Joseph Meehan

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GotBonus? wrote:

The slick feeling (I think of it as slimy) is from the sodium carbonate in the water that the softening system substituted for the original calcium carbonate. You really shouldn't feel it all the time, only time I do is just after regeneration.
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any pool store (you should have tons of them in Arizona) will sell you a test strip to find out exactly how hard the water is. I am really surprised Culligan didnt do a before and after test for you. LAst time I bought some it was about $10 for a bottle of them.
IF your cheap, go to a hardware store and look for aome literature on Morton system saver salt. There usually is a free test strip tucked away in it. Menards has them in my area

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Got,
As others have pointed out it is easy to get your water tested for hardness. If you don't want to buy the kit take a glass jar of cold tap water to Sears, stand near the water softeners, look prosperous. A salesman will show up quickly to test your water. It's possible that your hot water tank is a reservoir of hardness. After 3 months I would be surprised though but drain and refill it. I own a Sears unit. It works ok but the rotary valve needs to be cleaned annually and the price of Sears parts is scandalous.
Dave M.
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