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water softener
Posted by: wowzer
Date: January 12, 2015 11:08AM
Do you guys use a water softener? I've been reading about them, as my house has white stains around the spigots. I did a poor man's test...using 5 drops of dishwashing detergent in a half a bottle of tap water. I shook it and got some suds, but not so much that it reaches the lip.

Any advice about a whole house water softener? Are they good/safe? Any particular bad things to know about?

TIA



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Maddog
Date: January 12, 2015 12:12PM
Very helpful in the long run for protecting your plumbing, keeping your toilets/sinks looking good. We did buy ours for a large outfit in Pennsylvania and had a local plumber install it. Works well, saved thousands doing it that way.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Yoyodyne ArtWorks
Date: January 12, 2015 12:26PM
You can get a free water hardness test kit at Sears.

We use a Hellenbrand water softener, a higher quality (and more expensive) unit than the ones you get at Home Depot/Lowes/etc:

[www.hellenbrand.com]





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Re: water softener
Posted by: wowzer
Date: January 12, 2015 12:27PM
Quote
Maddog
Very helpful in the long run for protecting your plumbing, keeping your toilets/sinks looking good. We did buy ours for a large outfit in Pennsylvania and had a local plumber install it. Works well, saved thousands doing it that way.

Maddog, what unit do you use?



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: testcase
Date: January 12, 2015 12:28PM
Water kept above 32ºF will be softer than water below 32ºF.............





...........eye rolling smiley
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: January 12, 2015 12:46PM
If I forget to add salt to my softener, and it runs a cycle, I know immediately from looking at the shower and dishwasher. We live in area with only moderately hard water -- the majority of people in my neighborhood do not have water softeners. But I love mine. (One reason people around here don’t have one is, they prefer the taste of the water as is. We do too, so our fridge ice maker/water dispenser taps into the water before it goes through the softener.)

Do NOT get a water softener sold at Sears or Home Depot. They are overpriced pieces of junk, installed by fly-by-night outfits. Do NOT have a company like Culligan come in and install their own proprietary water softener. They're not necessarily junk, but they are overpriced, and repairing them is cost prohibitive.

I had a Culligan water softener that wasn’t working; it needed a new resin bed. Our local dealer came out, told me it’d cost $200 and take five days. I said okay, paid him $200, and didn’t get it back for six weeks. Then it still didn’t work properly, ran a cycle every single night. I called them back out, and he scratched his head and told me I could pay $900 to fix it, or $1600 for a new unit.

Instead, I bought a Fleck water softener from Ohio Pure Water for $500. Since I had the hookups, it was an easy install. And for $500, I got a top of the line water softener with readily available parts if something breaks.

So, either test your water, or if you’re on municipal water, download their EPA report and see what they list for iron, pH, and hardness. Then use the Water Evaluation Form at Ohio Pure, and let them recommend what capacity softener you need. Buy the one they recommend, and hire a licensed plumber to install it. Altogether, it will cost less than if you bought one at a big box store & had them install it, and you’ll have the best residential water softener on the market.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2015 12:47PM by Mike Johnson.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: TLB
Date: January 12, 2015 01:43PM
Quote
Mike Johnson
If I forget to add salt to my softener, and it runs a cycle, I know immediately from looking at the shower and dishwasher. We live in area with only moderately hard water -- the majority of people in my neighborhood do not have water softeners. But I love mine. (One reason people around here don’t have one is, they prefer the taste of the water as is. We do too, so our fridge ice maker/water dispenser taps into the water before it goes through the softener.)

Do NOT get a water softener sold at Sears or Home Depot. They are overpriced pieces of junk, installed by fly-by-night outfits. Do NOT have a company like Culligan come in and install their own proprietary water softener. They're not necessarily junk, but they are overpriced, and repairing them is cost prohibitive.

I had a Culligan water softener that wasn’t working; it needed a new resin bed. Our local dealer came out, told me it’d cost $200 and take five days. I said okay, paid him $200, and didn’t get it back for six weeks. Then it still didn’t work properly, ran a cycle every single night. I called them back out, and he scratched his head and told me I could pay $900 to fix it, or $1600 for a new unit.

Instead, I bought a Fleck water softener from Ohio Pure Water for $500. Since I had the hookups, it was an easy install. And for $500, I got a top of the line water softener with readily available parts if something breaks.

So, either test your water, or if you’re on municipal water, download their EPA report and see what they list for iron, pH, and hardness. Then use the Water Evaluation Form at Ohio Pure, and let them recommend what capacity softener you need. Buy the one they recommend, and hire a licensed plumber to install it. Altogether, it will cost less than if you bought one at a big box store & had them install it, and you’ll have the best residential water softener on the market.

Ditto. I bought the same from the same company and strongly recommend them.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: rz
Date: January 12, 2015 02:10PM
I had one at my old house because the water smelled a little like sulfur and didn't taste that great. It made a noticeable improvement. We had to repair it once in the 7 or so years I lived there after installing it. The repair guy told us we got a decent price when we told him how much we paid. We bought it from a company we saw at a home show. They went out of business shortly after we bought it, but the unit worked fine.

We don't have one at our current house because the water quality is much better.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: wave rider
Date: January 12, 2015 04:12PM
There are salt based water softeners and salt free water softeners.

If you use the salt based ones and water your plants, make sure to use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. NaCl is not good for the plants.

=wr=
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Schpark
Date: January 12, 2015 04:33PM
Quote
Mike Johnson

Do NOT get a water softener sold at Sears or Home Depot. They are overpriced pieces of junk, installed by fly-by-night outfits. Do NOT have a company like Culligan come in and install their own proprietary water softener. They're not necessarily junk, but they are overpriced, and repairing them is cost prohibitive.

I had a Culligan water softener that wasn’t working; it needed a new resin bed. Our local dealer came out, told me it’d cost $200 and take five days. I said okay, paid him $200, and didn’t get it back for six weeks. Then it still didn’t work properly, ran a cycle every single night. I called them back out, and he scratched his head and told me I could pay $900 to fix it, or $1600 for a new unit.

Apparently the pieces of junk from Sears are better than Culligan since I installed one over 14 years ago and it is still working great with no repairs required.



"Without death, life would lose much of its meaning. My goal is to live in such a manner that I alter world in some fundamental way before I'm gone. As I get older and watch my son grow I realize I've already achieved my goal." - Ztirffritz
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Maddog
Date: January 12, 2015 05:07PM
I would tell you the name of the company we used, but I have to wait till I get home to look at it. They have been very helpful, both before the buy and since with different questions etc. I will see if I can remember to get the name and I will put it up here.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: Speedy
Date: January 13, 2015 01:54AM
Quote
wave rider
There are salt based water softeners and salt free water softeners.

If you use the salt based ones and water your plants, make sure to use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. NaCl is not good for the plants.

=wr=

There should be no salt in your softened water unless it is already in the unsoftened water.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: water softener
Posted by: abevilac
Date: January 13, 2015 06:58PM
We have very hard water here in Indy and we put in a softener after 5 years of living here. The difference is quite remarkable. Easier cleanup of toilets, sinks, showers, just a small dab of shampoo will lather up nicely, etc. Ditto what speedy said about no salt in your water.
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