The plumbers came today and hooked up the water softener. We went with a Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 grain softener. Fleck is not a well-known brand, but they are a fraction of the cost of a Culligan or Kinetico system.
We knew that the water in this area was hard, so before we settled on this softener we got a water test from Servi-Tech Laboratories out of Hastings. The hardness test came back at 16 grains per gallon. We used this calculator to determine that a 40,000-48,000 grain softener would be optimal for our conditions.