Nobody around here softens their water because the mineral content is
so high a softener would be exhausted almost immediately. Evaporation
forms black rings inside the toilet bowl that won't come off without
A water softener contains cation and anion exchangers that replace
calcium and magnesium with sodium, and carbonates and sulfates with
chloride. Again, because water is scarce here in the Sonoran Desert,
the backwashing needed to regenerate the filter would be an
I'm 25 miles south of Tucson in Green Valley so my water quality must be
close to yours. Very hard! I'd guess that over half the people here have
softeners. We don't yet because there's no iron in the water to discolor
things. I'm sure we'd have one if we had a basement like everywhere else
we've lived. It's hard to redo the plumbing when everything's buried under
the slab. So the options are 100% softened which we don't want. Or only hot
water softened which doesn't work out well since the cold water is so warm.
If you absolutely must experiment with a scale dissolving acid, use
oxalic acid, which you can buy as automotive radiator flush. It is
more potent than acetic acid, and far less harmful than muriatic
(hydrochloric) acid. $$-wise it will be less costly, but you're still
going to spend a fair amount, since the capacity of a typical
automotive system (one package) is 1/10th or less of a water heater.
Whirlpool recommends: turn the power off; close both valves;
disconnect the hot water pipe; drain a little more than a gallon of
water; pour one gallon of cider vinegar into the hot water fitting;
let it set for 6 hours; drain/refill/flush 3 times; put back in
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