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Thread: Water softener?

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Water softener?

    This is going to sound stupid, but does anyone here know anything about water soteners?

    We're moving next month into a house with wellwater. A couple of the neighbors have orangey coloration on their siding, which I assume is from iron in the water. I believe this requires either a whole-house filtration system or a water softener to fix.

    Water softeners come in all sort of "grain" sizes, but I have no idea what grain size is good for us. We have 2 people in the house, a couple of animals, and ideally, we'd like to push our underground sprinkling through the water softener as well. Is 30,000 grains enough?

    Also, I'm seeing 2-piece units and 1-piece units. On the 2-piece units, it looks like one is for salt storage, and 1 is for water softening. Not sure what the 1-piece units do different.

    I'm also seeing a huge difference in price, even with the same grain size. For example, at Lowes, a 30,000 grain unit is $377, and I'm seeing prices up near $700 for the same grain size elsewhere.

    Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

  2. #2
    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer, John, but well water is a concern in my neck of the woods, too, so I will look into it and report what I find.

    (Have you tried calling the water company? Have you tried speaking to the people at Home Depot or Lowes?)
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

  3. #3
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Wait, you mean actually TALK to people?? Hell no!

    Although I might have to resort to such desperate measures.

  4. #4
    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    Wait, you mean actually TALK to people?? Hell no!

    Although I might have to resort to such desperate measures.
    I hear that, man. I don't pick up a phone and I definitely don't go face-to-face with someone, especially if email will do.

    Give me a mo' while I get my water company on the line.

    ETA: ...in the meantime, lookee what I found:

    http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/filters.htm

    I don't know who "Jess Stryker" is, but it looks like he's the pimp-daddy of water filtration.
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

  5. #5
    Obama '08! Callie's Avatar
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    This is what I know from a CHEMISTRY prespective:

    Water softener is of course for hard water. Water is called "hard" if it contains a lot of calcium or magnesium dissolved in it. It causes 2 problems, scaling (gets formed inside pipes, tea kettles, water heaters, toilets, etc) and when it reaction with soap it doesn't lather. There's 2 solutions, people usually go with water softners cause it's cheaper.You can filter the water by distillation or reverse osmosis to remove the Ca and Mg, or to use a water softener. Water softners work cause of replacing the Ca and Mg with Sodium. Gotta watch though, cause the system needs to be replaced like every year or so..

  6. #6
    Premium Member FinallyHere's Avatar
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    John, I just moved into a new house with well water and I amhaving the same concerns. I have yet to do any hardcore research on the subject yet. Two things have been suggested to me so far.

    The first is that the company that drilled the well may be able to shed some light on the subject since they had to have the well water analyzed and certified. (ours is a new house so this info was contained in the closing documents)

    The second suggesti on I was givenwas to go with one of the bigger names in water treatment like Culligan. They will analyze your water and then customize a system for you to meet the treatment needs of your water. My fear with this route is that it sound like a lot of $$$$.
    Some people are like slinkies, they're useless until you push them down the stairs.

  7. #7
    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Being someone who grew up with VERY hard water, and moved to a town with chlorinated water, and NOW to a pace with Iron well water I would not reccomend a softener. Just a filter if the aftertaste bothers you. Iron doesnt make the water hard, it just makes it kinda smell and have a slight after taste... A Clorox tablet thing in the toilet keeps the bowl from getting orangy. Softeners are OK if you have freakishly hard water, but they make your water taste yucky and you can sort of feel it on things. If that makes any sense. My In laws have a softener and drinking the water there makes me feel more ill than quenched. Also showering there makes my hair feel heavy and dirty really fast.

    This is all JMHO
    ~There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.~

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    If I remember correctly, my dad added Iron Out to our water softener in our old house. I don't know what kind of water softener we had, but I know it wasn't a Culligan-type system. Whatever we had, it worked well enough that we didn't have hard water stains in the tub, toilet, etc.

  9. #9
    Fort Regular angelic_one2002's Avatar
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    John - we have VERY VERY hard water here where we live WITH lots of iron. If we hadnt installed a large water softener, the iron would damage every appliance I own.
    Im not sure hwat make our softener is, but it is two pieces. The one part is the tank where the softener salt is dumped into. The other part is the actual water softener
    housing and unit. Not sure how many grains hardness our water is here, but it is really high. We have gone through 3 softeners in 25 years here...and this last one so far, is the best...by far. It's a larger softener, and believe me, if your water is very hard or has lots of iron, you don't want a small unit. The iron content in this water was what made out other softeners wear out.
    Another thing.....we were advised by the water softener repairman that came out to install our softener, that we were to use ONLY softener salt in it that removes iron. Its more expensive, but it will save your water softener.
    "Success is falling nine times and getting up ten." - Jon Bon Jovi

  10. #10
    Fort Regular angelic_one2002's Avatar
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    John - Just checked our water softener brand, and it is called "CSI Water treatment systems".
    "Success is falling nine times and getting up ten." - Jon Bon Jovi

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