Will softened water kill our plants?

We just had a water softener installed in our home and I had read where the sodium in the softened water could kill plants if used extensively. Has anyone heard anything of this?
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Most people only soften the water going to their water heaters. Soft water is primarily of benefit in washing skin, clothes, or dishes, not for cold water uses (unless you only wash your clothes in cold water). Therefore the water is normally diverted before it goes out to the sprinkler system, (assuming you irrigate only with cold water), leaving your sprinkler system water hard. However, depending on what minerals make the water in your area hard, there might be other issues. For instance, some hard ground water in some areas also can make the soil alkaline or otherwise inhospitable to plants. Maybe you want to check how things were done in your installation.

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Our water softener is connected directly after the well tank and before the UV filter, hence softening the entire house.

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Schooner wrote:

There should still be a tap at the pressure tank before the water softener where you could draw hard water (use this for watering your lawn and garden too so you don't run so much water thru your softener and have to recharge it as often.)
OTOH, the sodium will not build up as bad as the calcium it replaced, as long as you water until it runs out the bottom of the pot. If your pots do not have drainage holes, I think the sodium buildup from softened water will be worse forthe plants than the calcium buildup from hard water.
Best regards, Bob
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I connected the outside faucets ahead of the water softener and sediment filter. That way we have hard water outside and soft water inside. I disagree that having softened cold water inside is unusual or undesirable. Most people don't shower or bathe in 100% hot water; maybe 50-50, but not all hot. If all your cold water is hard, your bath, shower, and laundry water will be partially unconditioned. I find that having softened water in the toilets eliminates mineral build-up and makes them easier to clean. Soft water for laundry drastically reduces the amount of detergent needed. I have switched to nearly all cold water washing, and of course, I always use cold water rinse option.
Having softened water for irrigation is at best a waste of money and is not recommended for the health of your plants. I don't know if it would kill them since you will have some rain as a primary source of water unless you live in a very dry climate. The rain should leach away some of the sodium. You also have the option of using potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride in the softener. Potassium chloride costs about twice as much as salt, but over a year's time that would only add up to an additional $20-$30 if you use 4 pounds of salt each week. I have never seen any comments about the use of potassium chloride softened water on plants, but my guess is that it might actually be beneficial. If so, the addition expense might be lower than paying a plumber to reconfigure you pipes. If you live in an area where the winters are cold and you don't irrigate most of the year, you could use lower cost salt in the cold months and potassium chloride in the months that you irrigate.
If you have access to the plumbing ( like in a basement or crawlspace), you should consider reconfiguring the lines so the outside taps bypass the softener. If you can't do that, you can use a bypass valve at the softener to manually bypass the system when you water. Most softeners come with a bypass valve as part of the installation kit. If not, you can buy one. And, as I mentioned, you can simply use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride in your softener.
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YES! Softened water will harm your plants, to different degrees, depending on what kind of chemical the softener uses. As for the previous mention of potassium chloride being beneficial to plants, this is not true. Anything you use in a softener will hurt your plants. The chemicals used in them are all soluble salts, the same as fertilizer.
Toad
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I have had softened water for nearly thirty years. I have two faucets outside, one hard, one soft. The soft faucet is for the spot free car wash. I occasionally water my plants with the soft water, and have never noticed a problem. I too, have all my inside plumbing connected to the softener...keeps everything cleaner, easier. Perry

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Anything you use in a softener will hurt your plants.

So you don't recommend the use of fertilizers?
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I think there is a fundamental difference between fertilizer and softener salts .. the latter almost always contain chlorine ..
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Not all salts created by fertilizer are water soluble. And, what comes out of a softener is not what you put in the softener. Water softeners use ion exchange resins that take out calcium and magnesium ions and replace them with sodium ions. The calcium and magnesium is combined with the chlorine and discharged into a drain as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.
1) Softened water is not recommended for watering house plants, lawns and gardens due to its sodium content; 2) water used in recharging a water softener may over load or reduce the effectiveness of small septic or sewer systems; 3) there may be health risks from sodium intake; 4) softened water is not recommended for steam irons or evaporative coolers. The best choice for such appliances is distilled water or water from a reverse osmosis unit.
In potted plants, this is a serious problem since the sodium ions build up and form salts which are toxic to many plants. It is best to use naturally soft water for plants in containers.
When watering potted plants it is best to water from the top and to discard the water that comes out the bottom drain hole.
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wrote:

This is all true, but it ignores my point about using potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. As far as I can tell, potassium is a required nutrient for people and plants. People who have sodium sensitivities can use potassium chloride in their softeners. My question is if the potassium used in a softener would be beneficial, harmful, or neutral in relation to the health of your plants.
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Schooner wrote:

You filter the ultraviolet from your water?
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I always use distilled water for potted plants because of mineral salts build up. Outdoor plants shouldn't be effected because of natural leach out
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