Watering with soft water

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I believe that the hose bibs on the outside of my house are hooked to the soft water system. Is there any disadvantage to watering with soft water? They're about to turn on the irrigation water system in our rural area, but I need to get around and water some of the trees before that.
Thanks.
Steve
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"SteveB" wrote:

I seriously doubt your outdoor hose bibs are connected to your softened water, easy enough to check. But since water softeners operate by on-demand it would use too much salt and place too much stress on the unit were it used for for heavy watering as is usually the case with outdoor water use. It's possible your hose bib is connected to softened water but would be exceedingly rare. My house has three hose bibs, none are connected to my softened water but the one by the garage is tempered water, it is part hot water so salt can be washed off vehicles during winter without it freezing.

There's no disadvantage but neither is there any advantage.
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on 3/1/2008 8:29 PM Sheldon said the following:

My house was built without a water softener. When Culligan put in a water softener a couple of years later, it was installed right after, and next to the expansion tank in the main line from the well, so all water was softened. When I replaced the water softener years later with a Kenmore digital unit, I tapped off the main water line before the softener and ran a direct line to the outdoor spigots and to a filtered small drinking faucet on the kitchen sink.

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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Obviously the Culligan guy didn't know what he was doing, more likely lazy and didn't care about you. It's just plain silly to have outside hose bibs connected to a softened water system.... if you had an automatic irrigation system for your lawn it would be idiotic to have it connected to softened water... not to say there aren't those with more dollars than brain cells.
The only reason for having softened water at a hose bib is if one is car collecting fanatic and can't tolerate the thought of spotting on their Maserati ... although today's modern car wash compounds are designed to obviate spotting the same as those dishwashing additives.
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In article

Shelly, did the flip just flop?
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Like Charles said, you would basically be putting salt on your plants. You don't want to drink it either, again it is salt (or the cation half of the salt) and you risk raising your blood pressure. It is good for washing things because the Ca++ in the water (hard water) is out and you don't precipitate fatty acids or get calcium stearate (better known as bathtub ring) which interfere with making the dirtiness soluble in water.
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wrote:

I was wondering about if the softener was regenerated with potassium chloride instead of sodium, that might be an overdose of potassium. Good if one is raising bananas, I guess.
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What tripe. There is virtually no salt in softened water... whatever salt was contained in the water before it was softened would be far, far less.
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Shelly, I wouldn't recommend increasing one's sodium intake to most people but for you I will make an exception. Drink soft water heartily and often, please.
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wrote:

From: http://howthingswork.virginia.edu/search.php?searchs=water+softener&Go.x &Go.y&searchq=yes&searcha=yes
Finally, the best sources of water are those that simply don't have many dissolved chemicals; or at least none that cause trouble for your body. That means that your water shouldn't have much lead or arsenic dissolved in it or any of a number of noxious organic chemicals. The purest waters are distilled water, rain water (assuming minimal air pollution), and water that has been chemically filtered (via ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and/or activated carbon). Spring and well waters tend to contain substantial amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts, which make the water less pure but probably don't affect its healthfulness. One special case to look out for is water that was very hard but that has been passed through a water softener. The dissolved minerals that made the water hard will have been replaced by sodium compounds during the softening process and excessive sodium consumption may be a problem for some people.
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Sodium ions is not salt. The salt used in water softeners does NOT end up in the domestic water... the salt and oher minerals flush out as grey water.
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You have to give Shellly credit. He may be stoopid but but he is persistent. One more time from the top:
The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are ""REPLACED** with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite.
How's that hole coming Shelly? About time to hydrate again, huh?
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Charles wrote:

That's not true. There is no more salt contained in softened water than there is in the bottled water that people drink, usually less. If softened water contained salt then it wouldn't be softened water, now would it. The salt used by water softeners leaves the sytem as grey water (along with the other minerals the system removes), that never enters the domestic water. If the typical water softener uses a pound of salt a day it's a lot, usually will use closer to 1/2 pound/ day. The trick is to find a way for disposing of the grey water without it building up in one spot. My grey water (water from my water softener, dehumidifier, and RO filter) is piped by gravity to a creek, the same creek that collects run off from many thousands of acres of lands as the creek meanders over many miles, which includes the many tons of salt spread on the roads in winter by the highway department.. my couple handfulls of salt a day is so negligible that it doesn't count. And salt is not toxic it's a necessity of life, a salt lick for live stock places more salt into the ground than any water softener. Softened water contains very little salt, certainly far less than if the water were not softened.
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wrote:

Wrong, unless you are using a dual ion exchange system. The common household water softener just exchanges calcium and magnesium ions for sodium. The carbonate, sulfate, or whatever else is in the water stays where it is.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-appliance-bathroom-laundry/question99.htm
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Your reading comprehension skills are near the 3rd grade elementary school level, and I'm being quite generous.
[per your web site] "Regeneration involves soaking the beads or zeolite in a stream of sodium ions. Salt is sodium chloride, so the water softener mixes up a very strong brine solution and flushes it through the zeolite or beads (this is why you load up a water softener with salt). The strong brine displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the zeolite or beads and replaces it again with sodium. _The remaining brine plus all of the calcium and magnesium is flushed out through a drain pipe. "_
DOH!
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Shelly, my dance instructor once told me that if I was going to fall, I should do it gracefully. You might learn from that and not be so snotty when you are so horribly wrong. The preceding paragraph reads,"The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite."
Hellooooo? Did you get that Shelly? The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are **REPLACED** with sodium ions. Duh. Now go have a nice big glass of soft water:-)
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Sheldon wrote:

You're confusing "sodium" with "salt". The process is that sodium ions are picked up on the surface of the zeolite. Not "salt", just one of the chemical components of it. Those are exchanged for less-reactive calcium and magnesium ions in the water, so calcium carbonate (or magnesium sulfate or whatever) gets turned into sodium carbonate (or sodium sulfate or whatever) with a slight release of energy. The calcium and magnesium ions then remain on the suface of the zeolite until such time as it is regenerated by exposure to sodium chloride at which time it picks up the sodium ions and the calcium goes into the brine as calcium chloride.
So the softened water has no "salt" added, what is has is the existing calcium and magnesium compounds turned into sodium compounds. The quantity of the compounds doesn't change, what changes is their chemical composition.
If you think that a water softener works by "adding salt" then try adding salt to hard water and then have the hardness checked with and without salt and see what you get.
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From my pitiful short garden experience.
* Water from rain is best * then Water from rain barrels * then Water from softener * then Water from the hard line. * Let plants die.
When I use my hard line my garden does not grow very well. Still better than no water at all. I have also found that flowers does seem to hold up better with the soft water than vegetables.
Most water softeners are first run through a sediment filter taking out some nasty stuff first. Hard lines tend to come straight out of the well.
Depending on the size of your garden that softener can get expensive, if it is a large one. If you are very rich and do not care, use the water from the R.O. purification system from your drinking water.
Their are some companies that make inline water filters for the outside water lines (also not cheap). I will let you do the searching.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
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The filter needed depends on what you want to remove, the concentration of that unwanted substance, AND, how much resulting water you intend to use during a filter change interval. A solar heated still with intermittent manual removal of solids is almost like rain water purity. United States Patent 5181991. Rain barrels are a good idea if you get enough rain, flush the gunk out of barrels and lines once in awhile (green slime, might be black if cold).
----- Dave
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The best way to deal with hard water is to use plants which are native or adapted to alkaline soil. Period, the end.
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