Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ's on Reverse Osmosis Water Systems

Thank you for choosing Culligan for all of your water needs.  Below is a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions to help you with your new Culligan system.  If your question is not answered after reviewing this document, please call our office for further assistance. 


 1) How do I turn my unit off? Look for a small blue handle valve connected to a water supply line. This valve can be turned a quarter turn (90 degrees) to close off the flow to the unit. If there is no blue handle valve, look where the smaller size tubing is connected to your existing piping, and there should be a valve of some kind there.


2) How do I turn off the holding tank? The RO holding tank will have a blue handle valve on the top of the tank where the tubing connects. Turn the handle a quarter turn to close the flow to the faucet. If it is a large tank, over 20” tall, the valve is located underneath, and can be accessed by gently tipping the tank to the side.


3) How do I clean the faucet. Use a Q-tip or a rolled up paper towel to clean inside the tip of the faucet. Run a mild chlorine solution through the arm to clean and sanitize.  Culligan faucet arms can also be removed by loosening the retainer nut at the base of the faucet arm.  Culligan recommends having a certified technician perform this task.  


4) How often do I have the filters changed? Culligan’s recommendation on filter changes is every 12 months. This period is based on the ability of the carbon to filter properly in a submerged application.  While the filter lifespan is related to usage, waiting longer than a year would be at the expense of water quality, and the life of the membrane. The membrane is what actually purifies the water, and can be expensive to replace.


5) How often does the membrane need to be replaced? The water is tested for quality each time we change the filters. This quality test can be calculated to indicate rejection percentage from the membrane.  When the rejection percentage gets too high, usually about 25%, it’s a good idea to have the membrane replaced.


6) Why is my unit not producing enough water? Low volume of water can be caused by a couple of things.  Whether the tank is not letting the water flow, the filters are clogged, or there is an issue with the water lines, the unit will require service. Be sure to let the friendly Culligan customer representative know that there’s a flow issue, so the tech has the correct parts with him to expedite the repair.


7) Why is the pressure is low? As stated in the last question, low flow and low pressure can both be caused by insufficient air pressure in the holding tank. If the filters are replaced on a regular basis, the tech should be resetting the tank pressure on each visit.  Whether this or another issue, the problem will require service.


8) Why is the drain is making noise? As the unit purifies the water, a certain percentage of waste water will be expelled to the drain. If the noise in the drain comes and goes, it could just be producing water to compensate for usage. This is very common and is completely normal for your unit to do.  If this noise continues and you are not consuming any water, please call your Culligan dealer for service. 


9) Why are there black specs in the water? The post carbon filter may need to be flushed. Run the water for a minute or two, and see if the problem is remedied. Keep in mind that under constant flow, there is only a couple gallons of water, so don’t run for too long. If the problem persists, it could indicate that the unit is due for a filter change.


10) Why does my water taste funny? The first thing to consider when there is a taste issue with the water, is when the filters were changed last. If they are overdue, the quality of the water will decrease proportionately. Another cause for odd taste in anything as neutral as water can be certain medications. If you have recently changed or started a new medication, and you find the taste of the water is affected, consult your physician as to whether or not that could be the cause.


11)  Why is my water cloudy?  Either after the first installation, or after a filter change, water can appear to be cloudy at times.   This is due to air being trapped in the system and causing bubbles to be in your water.  This can be remedied by empting your holding tank and letting it refill itself. 



FAQ's on Water Softeners and Filters

Thank you for choosing Culligan for all of your water needs.  Below is a compilation of Frequently Asked Questions to help you with your new Culligan system.  If your question is not answered after reviewing this document, please call our office for further assistance. 


1) How much salt will it use? Salt consumption is determined by the water conditions of the supply water, and the number of people in the home. It will vary depending on usage, but can be estimated by your service technician or a member of our friendly office staff. A typical family of 4 will use approximately 40 – 60  pounds of salt per month.


2) How much water will be used during the regeneration process? Water consumption varies depending on the size of your unit, but an average of 40 gallons per regeneration is normal.


3) Is my unit using too much salt? Normally, a softener will use between 8 and 18 lbs. of salt per regeneration, depending on the size of the unit and the supply water. A typical family of 4 will use approximately 40 - 60 pounds of salt per month. Too much salt usage could indicate a programming issue or an issue with the salt tank needing to be adjusted. We would recommend service to resolve these types of issues.


4) What if my unit is not using salt? The salt in the tank may be “bridged”. Run no more than 3 gallons of water into the salt tank to see if the salt drops down. If not, there may be an issue with the way the salt water enters the unit. We would recommend service to resolve the issue.


5) What if I can’t hear it running? Normally, you won’t hear any noise from the unit. The only noise would be created by the regeneration process, and should take place in the middle of the night,  typically around 2:00 am. The system runs for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.


6) How often does it need service ? We recommend having your system checked on an annual basis to prevent breakdowns and media fouling. We will add a cleaning agent at that time to insure the unit is working to its full potential.


7) How can I regenerate manually or set the Time of Day? You can get instructions on manual regeneration, Setting time, and other important setting that apply only to your unit in your Owners Guide, or a member of our friendly office staff can walk you through the process. If you are considering a manual regeneration, try to avoid using water during this process as it will not be treated or filtered.


8) My unit regenerates in the middle of the day. Always make sure that the Time of Day is set according to the AM/PM setting.


9) Why is my display blank? If your unit is equipped with a “stand-by” capability, you need only press the “status” button to bring it online. If not, check for power to the unit. Try unplugging your unit and plugging a different device into the outlet to see if the power supply is working properly.  If there is power, and you still cannot get the display up, call for service as there may be an issue with the transformer or the circuit board.


10) Why does my display read “Error X”? An “Error X” on the display indicates several different problems.  Unplug the unit and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Plug it back in, and see if the unit returns to the service position. If that resolves the problem, then your unit has reset properly.  If it happens again, unplug the unit and call for service as the unit requires a technician’s attention.


11) What if I see a big puddle of water in the yard?   Your unit will dispense water during a normal regeneration.  However, if it seems to happen frequently or in excess of what you would consider “normal”, there are a few things to check. First check to see if there is water coming from the drain line. If there is, and the timer is set correctly and it is not the middle of the night, please call for service, Another cause, if there is not water running from the drain line, could be the ground is too wet to absorb the water immediately, especially if there’s been a great deal of rain. Give it a little time, and see if the water disappears.


12) I can’t see any water in my salt tank Use a flashlight to look into the small tube inside the salt tank and determine if there is any water at all. Normal levels should be about 12” to 18” off the bottom.  If the salt levels are consistently moving down, there is no need to worry.   


13) What if my brine tank is full of water? Schedule a service appointment, as whatever the cause, this will need to be addressed by a service technician. 


14) How do I bypass the unit?  You can get instructions on bypassing the unit from your Owners Guide, or a member of our trained office staff can walk you through the process. When closing or opening a threaded bypass valve, take care not to loosen or tighten the knob too far, as it will break the shaft inside the valve, and require replacement.


15) What if I think my water is too soft. Fortunately, Culligan has the High Efficiency model, which is the only water softener on the market with the capability to adjust the softness of the water in the home. Unfortunately, not everyone has an HE model softener, and if you do not, the unit is taking all the hardness out of your water. Keep in mind however, that the slick feeling from the water is actually the natural emollients in your skin coming to the surface, and not soapy residue. Soft water will actually remove more soap residue than hard water!


16) What if my water pressure is low? The first thing to do is to bypass the equipment to see if the pressure comes back. If the pressure does not come back, check the sand/sediment filter. If this clogs, it will reduce pressure down to nothing if not addressed. If the pressure still does not come back, contact a well/pump person to check that equipment. If the pressure returns when the softener is bypassed there may be an issue with your softener. If it is cycling normally, and there is adequate pressure at the hose bib on the pump, there may be a problem with the media bed on the softener or filter. Since this is rare, eliminate all other possibilities first.


- If you are on a Municipal Source and you have low water pressure, follow the bypassing instructions above. If bypassing restores pressure please contact Culligan for further assistance. 



Common Questions

Why should I do business with Culligan?


Culligan has been the #1 water expert for over 75 years now. If you are around that long you must be doing something right. Check us out On, we have an ‘A’ rating with the better business burea and our customers rate us #1 for their water purification needs. What makes Culligan 5 gallon……. Culligan is a IBWA certified water dealer, that means we go above and beyond the industry standards to ensure you get the best tasting water Available. Competitors come and go, Culligan is here to stay. We also offer Bottle-Free Cooler systems that make great tasting water but without the bottles. We are confident you will love our service and our drivers are always prompt, friendy and here to service your needs.



What is soft water? And what do drinking water systems do? What is the difference between both of them and do I need one or the other or both?


Soft water is water free from minerals deposits. Don’t worry they are not the kind of minerals that are what you need in your diet. We are talking about calcium and lime. It’s the stuff you see built up on your shower walls, the fading on your glassware and what clogs up your pipes in your home. Once you get rid of the hardness in your water you can use way less soap, hair is softer, and skin is less dry. A drinking water system makes the same water you see from those Culligan machines you see in the grocery store. But instead of lugging around a big bottle, carrying it out to your car and hauling it inside your home you can just make it right from a spout on your sink. We do both rental system, purchase or rent with option to buy, your choice.



What about those SALT-less water softeners I have been hearing about?


If those things really worked Culligan would be making them. The fact is that they DO NOT remove hardness from your water. If you go to their website and look for the fine print you will see where they say that their unit does not remove dissolved minerals. The only way to remove calcium and lime is to use ionic resin featured in a water softener. Sorry folks but its true. Call Culligan or any water treatment company and they will tell you the same thing. Believe us if they really did work we would sell them too.



I want to know more info but I don’t want a pushy salesperson in my home or have someone telemarketing me.


Culligan has been around way too long to play those games with people. We are straight shooters and will tell you what you want to know without a long drawn out sales pitch or a pushy salesperson twisting your arm. However to truly know what equipment you need it’s best we test your water. When we do a water test we look for what your TDS is (total dissolved solids), GPG (grains per gallon or how hard your water is) and what size your pipes are. It is also important we see where your water system will be installed because sometimes it’s a very simple job, other times it takes allot of work. If you want to talk with one of our water professional please feel free to call or make an internet inquiry. We can get back with you at any time that is good for you…days, week nights, weekends…your choice.