I'm assuming from your title that you have a Culligan water softener
that used the proprietary Cullex resin. I'm also assuming that you're
sure that the "brownish-red gunk" was actually the original Cullex
resin, which originally started life looking like amber-colored beads,
but may have deteriorated to the point that it looked like the
rusty-colored sludge you note. If you have an older water softener
that has never had the resin replaced, the resin could have indeed
deteriorated to look like what you described. If it's a newer water
softener, and you haven't had a professional verify that it was indeed
the resin you dumped, I'd do that first before anything else.
The brief answer is yes, it can be replaced. "How much?" is variable,
and dependent on whether you want to replace the resin with Cullex
resin, and whether you want to have a professional replace the resin
If you want to replace the resin using Cullex resin, you'll need to
contact a Culligan dealer. You can find a Culligan dealer in your
area by going to the Culligan web site at...
or by calling 1-800-CULLIGAN
I couldn't find cost for you on the Cullex web site, which would be
both the cost of a service call and of replacement Cullex resin.
However, another web site, resindepot.com, notes, "Our clients tell us
that replacement resin can cost as much as $150.00 for a small
quantity." APS Water Depot offers a variety of water softening resins
ranging from $36 to $75 per cubic foot bag (shipping and handling can
range from $37 to $186 for one bag), which they claim are suitable for
both household and commercial water softeners. You'll need to check
your owner's manual to find out how much replacement resin you'll need
(the site notes that a typical home water softener holds 1 cubic
foot), or call APS at 800-460-9011. Alternatively, I'd look at "Water
Filtration and Purification Equipment" in your Yellow Pages to locate
a water softener dealer who could sell you resin equivalent to the
Can you replace the resin yourself yourself? I'd take a look at...
If your tank resembles the diagram, and you feel confident with the
instructions and your "fix-it" abilities, I'd go for it. If you're
unsure, I'd pay to have a professional do it. You may also want to
take a look at this alt.home.repair thread at...
...for some opinions on the pros/cons of replacing resin yourself.