After 16 months of hard water, our dishes were starting to get dingy and cloudy, so I finally called the Culligan man to see why our water softener didn’t do anything.

He came out yesterday. I was relieved to see he was skinny and would fit into our utility closet. I had a momentary worry that the problem would be something like it not being plugged in, as I never went back there to poke around.

It was plugged in and getting power — the timer was running but the unit wasn’t. There was a wire disconnected inside. He reconnected it and cleaned some dirty parts that he said would likely cause problems later if they weren’t cleaned. He said the parts he most often replaces appear to be much newer than the main unit and said we should get at least five years out of the unit.

He explained to me how the unit works (prior to moving in, I’d never even seen a water softener so I had no idea), how to know if it’s running correctly, how and when to add salt and what kind.

After he left, I gave our dishwasher a thorough scrubbing and got rid of a lot of nasty mineral build-up and then ran a cycle with vinegar in it to further break-up any remaining gunk. I haven’t washed any dishes in it since then but I’m hoping this solves the dingy dish problem.

Next up is to get all the mineral deposits off of our sinks, shower and toilets. I think that will be a little trickier, but I’ll give it a shot. And if it works, I’ll have to find something else in our house to be irritated and disgusted by. I’m sure it won’t be hard!