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

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On Sat, 19 May 2012 03:55:05 -0700 (PDT), Robert Macy

Never heard of that.

You did rinse the soap off. That is what your skin feels like when you don't put a lot of minerals on it. First time you've been so clean.
Many hotels though, are changing the way they do things. Water is either hard or soft. Instead of making the water soft, they are reducing the amount of hardness. It is a cost savings for them and people unfamiliar with soft water don't get that smooth feel.
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Robert Macy wrote:

A softwater salesman will tell you that the slippery feeling comes from your body's natural oils, a benefit of the soft water. He will also tell you that softwater makes your soap more effective. So how come the more effective soap didn't remove those "natural body oils"? That's what soap/detergent does...emulsify oil so you can get rid of it. IOW, the salesman is full of it.
One possibility for the slimy feeling is that you DO need to use less soap with soft water. However, regardless of how much soap you use, the water should easily remove it, IMO.
Another possibility is that the calcium carbonate that was in your water has been replaced with sodium carbonate. Both are bases but sodium carbonate has a considerably higher pH. Bases feel slippery. Moreover, if one calcium ion has been replaced with two sodium ions - as others in this thread say - then the amount of sodium carbonate is double the original amount of calcium carbonate. Your water now has a higher pH than previously.
I can't say (because I don't know) that the higher pH hinders the soap's effectiveness at emulsification but I do know that one aid to that process - in cooking, at least - is a mild acid.
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dadiOH
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wrote:

He's half right. Water is a lubricant too. Without the mineral your skin does feel slippery when wet. I don't know about oils though, as you point out.
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On Sun, 20 May 2012 10:22:46 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I must admit, with 12 to 14ppm calcium hardness in my well water, I've never noticed any 'problem' with the way my water rinses off soap in the shower.
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If rinsing is NOT complete, and NEVER was, skin felt tight, drawn, itchy, so definitely thought something got left.
Ah HA! sodium carbonate, Yes that would explain why the water feels slick, plus explain why the skin doesn't feel good when dry - thought it was always poor rinsing, may not have been! May be skin's reaction to different ph. Plus, it is my understanding that one has to be very careful about shifting around the skin's ph; else fungus infection, or all kinds of ills can occur.
Thanks, one more reason to not spring for a water softener!
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Robert Macy wrote:

Depends on how hard the water is. All in all, I prefer a softener to soap scum.
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dadiOH
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Right. At least one feels clean when getting out of the shower.
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wrote:

Good choice. Fleck is one of the best valves around for softeners.
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There used to be a fella who posted here, by the name of Gary Slusser. A very knowledgeable guy in the water treatment industry.
Personally, I wouldn't spend that kind of money, you're getting hosed! I bought a softener through Gary a couple years back, he is no longer in business, retired, done. I spent a total of almost $800, with a Clack valve, shipped to the door. Installed it myself with about $50 worth of copper & shut offs.
Here's Gary's site with forums, you'll do yourself a huge favor by visiting & reading. He also has charts for properly sizing your softener. http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com /
I'd suggest sizing your own softener using his charts, visit a real lumber yard, some carry softeners you won't find at Sears or the big box stores. The ones around here sell the Fleck valve, which my understanding is also a good valve. I do believe you'll get away with paying under a grand, and won't have the tinker toy products sold by box stores.
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On Thu, 17 May 2012 20:54:00 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."

There's a sucker born every minute. They must believe you're one of them........ After you hand over your 6 grand, you'll prove them correct!
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On Sun, 20 May 2012 18:59:52 -0500, tangerine3 wrote:

Well, I'm trying 'not' to be a sucker - which is why I'm asking here.
I first read the suggested web site: http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/sizing.php
That calculator said I needed 27K Total Grains of Capacity for approximately once per week regeneration with a 24 hr reserve (3,400 daily grains of capacity).
It further said 1.5 is the minimum cubic foot size of softener required for your capacity needs.
Pounds of salt Per Cubic Foot of Resin = 5 Salt dose (total lbs) = 8 Salt Dose Capacity = 27,300 Grains of Capacity PER lb of salt (salt efficiency) = 3,413 Days between regenerations = 8 Gallons between regenerations = 1,950
Reading about the softener sizing chart: http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/softeners/sizingchart.htm
I calculated that my water flow is about 60 gallons per minute at about 70 psi (the psi is from the gauge on the pressure tank back at the wellhouse so it will be lower at the faucet).
This all comes up with: 1.5 cuft using a 6 lb PER cuft (9lb) salt dose generates 30,000 grains (3,333 grains/lb).
Looks like about $700 not including installation & piping.
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 02:11:49 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."

Well, lets first find out how long you have lived there. If it's been awhile, have you had any of the problems that guy told you?
You said: "He provided a litany of bad things that will happen, from bubbling hot water tanks with a foot of calcium on the bottom to clogged pipes and dirty shower stalls, spotty dishes, dirty clothes, and dirty cars."
That sounds to me like typical scare tactics, which he tells everyone in order to make a sale.
Ok, you can get crud in your hot water tank, which is why you should drain it regularly. Yea, pipes clog, and that depends a lot on the type of pipes you have, with galvanized steel being the worst to clog, copper is much better, and plastics clog the least.
However, I know someone on a city water system who had a whole hot water tank full of calcium crud. The repalcement of that 15 to 20 year old tank cost around $200 for the tank, $40 for parts, and $120 labor. ($360 total). MUCH LESS THAN $6000, (and that tank was old and due to be replaced).
If I recall, you are on a well and septic. Dump that salt water down your septic, and the tank will be shot in a few years. A new septic will cost another $6000 or more. Then there are the health risks. You NEED calcium in water for health. Softened water contains sodium (salt). Bad for the health. You may as well add a 3rd faucet in the kitchen for unsoftened water to drink.
If you dont put that salt water in your septic, you will cause environmental damage whereever it's dumped. Just picture yourself dumping 2 or 3 50 lb bags of rock salt in your yard every couple weeks. Have you noticed what salt does to car bodies in areas where they salt the roads in winter? Now think of that giant pile of salt in your yard. Even 4 bags a month, is 2,400 lbs per year. (over a ton).
You said your only problem is your pool. Are you going to soften all the water entering your pool? You'll need one hell of a big system for that, if the pool is large.
Although I'm retired, I worked as a plumber for years.....
I know all about the water softening biz. There are a lot of water softeners in use that dont need to be there. But they make big money for the softener companies.
OK. for the good part..... You'll be saving some shampoo and laundry soap with soft water, and get better suds. That may save you $20 in a year. You car and dishes wont have spots (I could cares less). Your water heater might last an extra year or two. That could save you $25 in the course of time. And you wont have that nasty calcium in your garden hose, which is hurting nothing. But you may have to replace your shower head more often.
So, yea, you may save $100 a year. Of course the salt is $9 a bag, and at a minimum of 50 bags a year, thats $450. Plus costly septic damage, or environmental yard damage. Then there's the cost of medical care when you become ill from the sodium water and lack of calcium which will have to be replaced by buying calcium tablets. Not to mention the initial cost of $6000, or $700 if you buy the materials, plus labor.
People have been drinking natural water since the beginning of time. Enjoy it!!!!
I have a well, and it has iron and calcium, and other minerals, and it tastes great. I dont do anything to it.
If anything, I think you need to buy some better filters or equipment for your pool, but I wont get into that, since I know nothing about pools. I'd much rather swim in a river of lake, which is not loaded with chlorine and chemicals, but probably has calcium and minerals....
If I was you, I'd investigate better (whatever) for your pool, spend some of that $6 on the pool, save $500 of that money for eventual water heater and shower head replacements, and use the rest of the money for a nice vacation.
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 03:24:16 -0500, tangerine3 wrote:

The 'only' problems I've had are the white stuff in the hose and the bubbling of the hot water heater and the white stuff on the bottom of the kitchen pot and the specks of 'sand' on the bottom of cups where water is left in them to sit.
None of those really bother me (except maybe if I'm ruining my hot water heater - although I read the post that said calcium is good for the hot water heater).
Plus the pool has white sandy stuff on it but pool water needs calcium.


Agreed. Out here, you can't get a decent gas hot water tank for less than about $600 to $800 or so (IIRC) as I replaced one a few years back (bought the best I could find at OSH which was the major cost since I did it myself - and had to also pay for the permit which ended up being a waste of money).
This house has two of them hooked in series - so it's twice that if they fail. I see I should be emptying them yearly! I never touched them!

The salesman said I should just dump it outside with a long hose.

Hmmm... ok. This is not a good thing, I agree.

While the pool is a problem, the salesman said we don't soften pool water which is filled from the outside hoses.

You make a good case AGAINST water softeners. Very good case! I appreciate the other side of the story. Very much so!
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 15:54:23 +0000 (UTC), "Arklin K."

If you're getting specks of sand, you might have the pump too low in the well (too close to the bottom). This could be due to poor installation, or the well might be accumulating sand (filling up) due to the way the ground water is entering it. For example, my well is 300 ft deep, the pump is at 280 ft. If you're pump is only a few feet from the bottom, you will be sucking sand. BAD FOR THE PUMP TOO!
I'd have the well inspected by a professional well company before doing anything else. If you have any data about the well from when the pump was installed, it should say the depth. Normally they write this on the manual that came with the pump and give it to the homeowner. If you know that, you can actually measure the well depth with a weight attached to a string.

Seeing the picture, I sure would not worry about that... If anything, it provides a slip free surface. You'd be stepping on sand in a lake!!!

In your case, I'd empty and flush them TWICE a year or more often. You must use a lot of hot water to need two tanks. Did you say you're in Florida? Or did I confuse this with another post on here? If you are in FL, you should rig up a Solar Pre-heater for your hot water. Basically a storage tank painted black and placed in the sun, with piping from the cold water to the input of the hot water tank(s).
I'm in a northern climate and I made one. Saved a lot of money in fuel. Except up here I have to constantly be on alert in late fall and early spring, or the pipes freeze during cold snaps. And of course it cant be used in winter. You can buy commercial units, or you cna make them from odds and ends. I built mine from recycled materials. Cost me less than $100.
Basically it's a flat black tank (BBQ grill paint), placed inside of a glass enclosure (2 old storm windows in the shape of a V, with plywood ends). The rest is just piping, and a ONE WAY valve to prevent heated water going backward into the cold water system. I have mine in the backyard in a sunny location. It sits on the lawn on top of some concrete blocks with plywood across them. (some people put them on their roofs).
Note: (You want FLAT black, not glossy paint, glossy will reflect some of the heat away).
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 13:32:45 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@toyotamail.com wrote:

We've stayed at a Villa in Italy a couple of times where there is a lot of limestone and very had water. If you let the clear water stand you will see solids after an hour or so.
If it is actual sand as you say, a filter should be in the line before the softener.
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Yep, that can happen even if the pump is not too low, if there is incoming water ABOVE the pump (which is quite normal). After checking on the pump, I'd suggest a filter, even without a softner. That's a small expense compared to the softener.
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Lowes is currently selling the Whirlpool 40000-Grain Water Softener for $497.
Mine is about 6 years old and I've not had any problems with it.
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On Mon, 21 May 2012 05:57:47 -0400, Norm A. Brams wrote:

Looks nice: http://tinyurl.com/8425b4k
40000-Grain Water Softener
Ideal for households of 1-5 people Maximum water hardness of 125 gpg Clear water (ferrous) iron removal of 10 ppm Demand initiated regeneration with salt saving technology Super high flow rate - up to 1-1/4" super high flow valve Only recharges when necessary, saving salt and water Control display features: demand initiated regeneration, water flow indicator and low salt indicator Space saving single tank design Warranty: 1-year full parts and labor, 3-year limited electronics, 10-year limited tanks
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On Fri, 18 May 2012 10:08:24 -0400, Don Phillipson wrote:

Same with me!
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On Fri, 18 May 2012 07:15:35 -0700, Oren wrote:

You're the second to recommend the Fleck. The salesman for the Kinetico extolled the virtues of 100% hydraulic - but I like the idea of having the programmed control too.

I have a well. No sewer. Just septic. But it's OK to spill as I can put it over the leach field which has nothing growing over it.

There is no water or sewer utility. It's well and septic. Nobody regulates it (as far as I know).

I like that they have a DIY focus! http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com/softeners/clackws-1.htm
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