Do I need $6,000 water softener for 12 to 14 grains of calcium in well water?

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On 5/17/2012 4:54 PM, Arklin K. wrote:

I have an ECOWater softener and I would NEVER use it for pool or garden. Our water is 28 grain and the softener is for indoor water use only.
I would never buy a softner from a big box store or sears. Do your reasearch, many of them are poorly built with poor quality valves. Many of them are built by Ecowater, HOWEVER Ecowater build their own branded with 5 layers of resin and much better quality valves than the 1 layer of resin for the sears/home depot crap.
Ours has filtration and we paid $2100 installed. We expect it to last 25 years. Make sure you do your research on Valves for water softeners
Our softener is programmed to flush out every 550 gallons. Frankly I wouldn't waste softened water on outdoor use and it's not reccommended for gardening..
Should mention that Culligan has had bankruptcy issues in the past and you may have to research your local dealer. Some are great and some are poor but I bet most are better that the big box stores.
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Apologies for the uncorrected spelling... I hit send too soon...
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On Thu, 17 May 2012 22:54:35 -0400, Duesenberg wrote:

The salesman told me that the ones at Costco and Sears are membrane filters and he said that, at 12 to 14 grains, they would get clogged in months.
I don't know if that's true or not though ...

Ah, that's about 1/3 the price I was quoted in the Silicon Valley!

This one he tried to sell me would be programmed for 600 gallons. So those numbers jive.
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On 5/17/2012 9:55 PM, Arklin K. wrote:

he's mixing up r/o and softeners, knowing that you don't know any better.
yes, you can't use an r/o in place of a whole house softener, but they do similar things. the r/o will filter out a lot more 'stuff' than a softener though.
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Arklin K. wrote:

Hi, One thing for sure is you need two resin tank system so always softened water is ready w/o pause for regeneration. Kinetico is like that and it does not need power to run it.
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On Thu, 17 May 2012 21:09:04 -0600, Tony Hwang wrote:

Thanks for confirming that.
The 2060 Kinetico system 'is' a two-tank (actually three when you count the brine tank) where one works then it switches to the second one for cleaning and then back to the first - all with the water-operated valves on top.
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On Fri, 18 May 2012 04:57:22 +0000, Arklin K. wrote:

I forgot to mention that the salesman 'sized' the system based on the size of the house and the pipes (e.g., I have smallish 1 inch or maybe 1.5 inch pipes he said).
http://www.kineticoofsiouxland.com/index.php/premium-green-package / kinetico-2060s
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You need to do some googling. There are plenty of web sites that can educate you better than I can. However, some comments from my experience:
I never felt that the treated water tasted salty.
I had 22 grains of hardness. The metal spray arms on my dishwasher were white from the calcium deposits and clogged regularly. After installing a water softener, no more issues.
A water softener should be sized based on the number of people, overall water usage and the water hardness. Pipe size mainly determines the controller valve inlet size and the max flow possible. If you plan on supplying soft water to your pool, you will need to add that to your overall water usage. You will need a larger unit if that is your plan. Most installations are set up to only treat inside water usage. If sodium is a concern, you might want to run an untreated supply to the kitchen.
I seriously doubt that hard water will ever clog your pipes. It will cause buildup where the water can evaporate such as in the dishwater, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc. I don't know about the water heater. I suspect you could get some buildup (not a foot!) and lose some efficiency and maybe a little bit of life.
They will tell you about all the money you will save on cleaning products. In reality, you should be able to use less detergent in the dishwasher and washing machine but the saving are not that great. Your shower doors will be easier to clean.
My first water softener was from Sears for $500. Last about 7+ years until the resin tank started to fail. Worked fine, never clogged. I would not recommend Sears. The second unit was purchased on the web. This one had a Fleck valve with demand driven regeneration. Cost about $800 about 4 years ago and should last 10+ years. Very easy to install but you do need power. The support from the dealer was excellent.
You will need way more than 15 pounds of salt.
Regeneration is usually done at night. During that time (roughly 1-2 hours), you will have untreated water. Who cares if at 2 am that the water is hard.
These systems tend to reliable. If the controller fails, they can be repaired or replaced. The resin does have a life span and can also be replaced.
My recommendation is to consider buying on the web or maybe a local dealer. Find a dealer that will help you properly size the unit. You do not want to vastly oversize or undersize the unit. From what I remember, the unit should be sized so that regeneration happens every 7-14 days. Stay with a high quality controller (Fleck is one popular brand). Install it yourself or hire a plumber or handyman to do for you. Make sure that you have a means to bypass the system if service is needed. A lot of controllers have this as part of the system. Unless there is more to the story, a $6000 dollar system is overkill.
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my dad and step mom have high blood pressure so the drinking water is run thru a osmosis filter.
honestly i cant tell a difference in salt taste between osmosis and softened.
the most interesting trouble they had was a osmosis filter system failure while away on vacation. their home is in phoenix one floor on a slab. they had water leaking out the doors when they got home from a week cruise. the house had over a foot of water filling it.
they had trouble opening the doors, i think they had to break a window to get in. the water pressure held all the doors shut. this was years ago. a tank seam burst
dad wasnt upset homeowners insurance and the osmosis manufacturer paid for wall repairs, a complete repaint, all new carpeting, a bunch of new furniture, and a week at a nice hotel with jacuzzi while everything was fixed..
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On Fri, 18 May 2012 05:00:19 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."

He sized it by more than just the pipe size. He also sized it per your water hardness. The internal gear set is different for different water hardness. So if you are going to install it yourself, you have to ensure they ship you one with the proper gearset in it.
Mine uses a #4 gear set.
The one thing I dont like about my Kinetico is that it just plain doesnt run with an RO unit. The water flow rate is too low to turn the gears.
I have an aquarium and generate about 50 gallons of RO water a week for use in it. The RO unit has about a 4 to 1 waste water ratio, so its using about 200 gallons to make those 50 gals.
The softener is always needing a manual cycle because the RO unit just doesnt get the water flowing fast enough to turn the timing gears.
The Kinetico is actually a very nice unit. And of all the other brands I've ever owned, it is the most miserly with salt usage of them all. So the salesman may be correct with his salt estimates.
Mine's about 13 years old. Back in '99 it only cost $2000 to install.
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On Thu, 17 May 2012 20:54:00 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."
12 to 14 grains of calcium in well water?:

This will work just as well: http://www.sears.com/kenmore-ultra-high-efficiency-water-softener/p-04238420000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2
Installation cost will probably be about $400 or less. You'll have to get a quote on that yourself.
--
Work is the curse of the drinking class.

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On 5/18/2012 5:28 AM, Caesar Romano wrote:

http://www.sears.com/kenmore-ultra-high-efficiency-water-softener/p-04238420000P?prdNo=2&blockNo=2&blockType=G2
Sears are on the brink of bankruptcy yet again. I wouldn't trust them for anything but a clearence sale...
Department stores and Bog box stores are poor choices for softeners but if the OP decides to go this route, stay away from Sears because if issues arise, you'll be far less likely to get help from them.
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Arklin K. wrote:

Yes you can. For about $600-$900 plus installation. If you can cut and join pipes you can DIY.
Get one with a Fleck valve.
--

dadiOH
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I couldn't find "fleck valve" on Wikipedia - but the company has an FAQ: http://www.fleckvalves.com/FAQ.htm
Which is better?
Totally hydraulic for regeneration or the fleck type with an electric timer for regeneration?
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Arklin K. wrote:

Beats me. I can see a minor advantage to basing regeneration on the amount of water actually used but have no idea as to what could go out of whack in the metering. All in all, I like Thoreau's axiom of, "Simplify, simplify".
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 07:00:12 -0700, Oren wrote:

So does that mean the Fleck 5600SE regenerates on gallons or on time?
That is, does it assume, say, 60 gallons/day/person and then regenerate when that calculation reaches 800 gallons (whether or not 800 gallons were actually used) ... or does it actually count gallons?
I don't know if it matters - but I'm trying to figure this new Fleck thing out.
Thanks,
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 09:09:14 -0700, Oren wrote:

Ah. I see. I'd put the Fleck valve on "Meter Immediate" and it would regenerate at 800 gallons using the second tank during that time.
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 11:01:52 -0700, Oren wrote:

Oh. OK. I guess it regenerates from one tank at night when nobody is using the water.
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 18:04:14 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."

Unless it has a second tank. Larger systems than cannot be down for any length of time will have two tanks and switch between them as one regenerates.
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water just took that thing out. Upon calling Bradford customer service [very easy to reach, very knowledgeable] I was told 'don't mess with a water softener, our heaters are designed to work WITH hard water and if you use soft water, it takes a toll on them. It'll hurt them'
Wow, THAT from the people who MAKE hot water heaters!
I'm glad softeners cost a lot, are water hogs, and do untold environmental damage. Unless you know of one that works differently. Can't afford distillation.
So, now I just replace the heating element(s) every year [a cheap nuisance maintenance job] and live with the water the way it is. It DOES make good coffee. where we were before the city supplied water made the coffee smell like fish and produced some kind of solid semi- floating scuzz all over the inside of pot and cups.
Just a note, here in AZ the well water is supposed to be hard, leaves white crust everywhere, but rinsing while showering it FEELS softer than water we used to be in [city water deemed fairly soft] takes forever to rinse soap off, like when you're staying at a hotel with soft water and can never rinse off that soapy feeling.
Has anybody else got feedback from hot water heater manufacturers of repute [like Bradford] that claim their product is hurt by softeners?
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