Salt content of softened water

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I have one of those softeners. There is an upright canister about five feet tall. Then there is a black container with a lid that holds about four bags of coarse salt.
My doctor said to cut down on all salt. I was wondering just how much salt is left in that after it has done its thing. We also have a reverse osmosis unit, but I can't see how that could remove dissolved salt, and if it does, I think I would have to change the filter canisters weekly.
I know that I can take a pool water sample to my pool store, or I think to Home Depot, and they will run an analysis on it.
Is there anywhere I can take this water sample, or buy test strips, or does someone here know? Or know a site with the answer?
Thanks
Steve
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Just a tiny bit. If you do a Google search you may find the information. I've seen it in the past but did not bookmark it.
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:I have one of those softeners. There is an upright canister about five feet : tall. Then there is a black container with a lid that holds about four bags : of coarse salt. : : My doctor said to cut down on all salt. I was wondering just how much salt : is left in that after it has done its thing. We also have a reverse osmosis : unit, but I can't see how that could remove dissolved salt, and if it does, : I think I would have to change the filter canisters weekly. : : I know that I can take a pool water sample to my pool store, or I think to : Home Depot, and they will run an analysis on it. : : Is there anywhere I can take this water sample, or buy test strips, or does : someone here know? Or know a site with the answer? : : : Thanks : : Steve : : Normally with a correctly installed water softener the kitchen sink and bathroom sinks cold water lines aren't softened, so it's not an issue. You can probably trace out your connections to figure it out. Our softener only softens the hot water lines; the cold water bypasses the softener entirely.
One of the reasons it's done that way, besides being more expensive to soften all the water, is that softened water can sometimes taste bad to many people. I know it makes a lousy cup of coffee if I mistakenly use hot water instead of the cold! But then the coffee pots don't last as long either that way <g>.
So, best case, you might be able to figure it out yourself by tracing your pipes. Also, water softeners aren't using table salt as you are thinking: It's a different type of "salt"; look at your bags for contents, and you can discuss that with your doctor if it's an issue. Worst case, there are testing laboratories in the yellow pages that can test your water for about naything you can think of; for a price.
Luck!
Pop
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If you drink 8 glasses of water a day from softened water, you would get the equivalent salt that would be in one slice of bread. If you are using an R/O system, the water to it should be softened or the medium/bladder or whatever you call it won't last 6 months. The calcium has to be removed from the water before hitting the R/O or it will plug the microscopic holes in the bladder. On the other hand, any salt in the water would not be able to get through those same holes and would be stopped and then flushed down the drain to keep the holes from being plugged. That's why an R/O uses several gallons of water to get one gallon to drink. I'm not sure where you could send your water for testing...Sears used to provide a little bottle and mailing envelope you could use to send in samples for a complete analysis..I don't know if they still do. Just checked their website and they only check for hardness and free iron content, now.
Tom G
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Pop wrote:

It's salt: Sodium Chloride. Water softner salt and table salt differ in purity but the main ingredient is chemically identical.

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Steve B wrote:

With a properly maintained unit, very little salt is in the water. You could ask your doctor, but it sounds like he said cut down and you would likely cut out more salt by eliminating one Big Mac a week than the softened water.
Also as noted by another writer, it is not uncommon to have un-softened cold water at some or all sinks.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Steve B wrote:

One word, nothing to worry on softener salt. Just don't use table salt in your diet. My family does not use salt and we're all healthy and fine. You don't cut down on salt, just don't use it. As is we're taking more enough salt from all the food(mostly processed) we eat today. Tony
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Thanks, Tony, and all. I anticipated one of those Google searches where everything but the thing you want comes up. I found a site that was FAQs, and answered my question in short order.
The salt is used to recharge the resin that takes the hardness out of the water, so it actually isn't used directly in the softening process.
I had a unit die on me last year. Boy, oh boy, did I see what billions of balls of resin looked like. Got to take apart every filter and faucet to get them out. I still have a Jaccuzi that I can't figure how to get into and change the stems. But we don't use it, so, it isn't an issue yet.
Thanks for the answers, all, and there IS something to be said for Google searches.
But then, if we all went to Google, no one would come here.
;-)
Steve
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You SHOULD NOT be drinking soft water.
When I installed softwater system I found out that everything after the softener was soft including the outside hose bib. Which was fine as I never used it for anything other than the swamp cooler.
The setting on the softener will be an indication of the amount of salt. The manufacture could tell you more.
I changed over to Potassium, a bit more money but worth it for me. Just clean out the system, flush with clear water and pour it in. At least that is what I did. Still working after 10 years.
I ended up running a separate unsoftened water line to the refrigerator for ice and water.
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Steve,
Sounds like you have an ion exchange resin type water softener. In these there is a resin which releases sodium and takes up calcium. So the amount of sodium (which is the "salt" that concerns you) in your tap water is a function of the hardness of your well water. Really hard water will yield somewhat more "salty" tap water than slightly hard water does. For most folks this "saltiness" is thought to be insignificant. By having the hardness of your well water tested and reading the owners manual or writing to the manufacturer you should be able to figure out how much salt is in your water. Then figure out how much water you drink per day and you'll know how much salt is being added to your diet by your water. Run this number by your physician for his advise.
Dave M.
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 07:26:38 -0800, "Steve B"

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Please go back and read paragraph 2 of my post.
Steve
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 13:58:46 -0800, "Steve B"

know about the drain line?
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I'm sorry. In paragraph two, I stated that I DID have a RO system in addition to the softener. I guess you missed that.
TWICE!
Steve
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 22:21:58 -0800, "Steve B"

Why do you think I wasn't responding to the R/O comment?
R/O DOES remove salt. It does not plug up the membrane because the blocked salt goes out the drain line. Perhaps you should read the book that came with your R/O and you wouldn't be asking us about the salt. BTW they use bigger R/O systems to desalinate sea water so the small amount your water softener puts in is no problem.
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Sorry, now I am really confused. I stated originally I had an RO unit in addition to a softener. You stated I needed to look into getting a RO unit.
Must be too much salt clogging up my brain.
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

Did he tell you to cut down on *table* salt (sodium chloride) or sodium? What's left after the softener does its thing is sodium carbonate, not sodium chloride.
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Steve B wrote:

Why?
Six percent of the population suffers from hypertension. Of those, half have the type of hypertension aggravated by salt.
Salt does not cause hypertension.
Therefore, 97% of the population can consume, literally, as much salt as they can hold. In controlled experiments, test subjects have consumed as much as 25 grams of salt per day for months and months with no ill effects.
Ask your doctor again.
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wrote:

Actually, the percentage of the USA population that has hypertension is 24%, one in four persons, not 6%. Where did you get the 6% figure. I wish it were true.
"Prevalence of hypertension in the US adult population. Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1991.
AU - Burt VL; Whelton P; Roccella EJ; Brown C; Cutler JA; Higgins M; Horan MJ; Labarthe D SO - Hypertension 1995 Mar;25(3):305-13.
"The purpose of this study was to estimate the current prevalence and distribution of hypertension and to determine the status of hypertension awareness, treatment, and control in the US adult population. The study used a cross-sectional survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States, including an in-home interview and a clinic examination, each of which included measurement of blood pressure. Data for 9901 participants 18 years of age and older from phase 1 of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, collected from 1988 through 1991, were used. Twenty-four percent of the US adult population representing 43,186,000 persons had hypertension. The age-adjusted prevalence in the non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white, and Mexican American populations was 32.4%, 23.3%, and 22.6%, respectively. Overall, two thirds of the population with hypertension were aware of their diagnosis (69%), and a majority were taking prescribed medication (53%). Only one third of Mexican Americans with hypertension were being treated (35%), and only 14% achieved control in contrast to 25% and 24% of the non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white populations with hypertension, respectively. Almost 13 million adults classified as being normotensive reported being told on one or more occasions that they had hypertension; 51% of this group reported current adherence to lifestyle changes to control their hypertension. Hypertension continues to be a common finding in the general population. Awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension have improved substantially since the 1976-1980 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey but continue to be suboptimal, especially in Mexican Americans."
Here's the story on sodium:
Sodium American Heart Association recommendation: Eat less than 6 grams of salt (sodium chloride) per day (2,400 milligrams of sodium).
Sodium intake may be a primary factor in the development of high blood pressure (hypertension), which is a major risk factor for heart attack.
About half of the people with hypertension and 30 percent of the general public are described as "salt sensitive." This means that their blood pressures are likely to increase when they eat a high-sodium diet, and conversely, their blood pressures may be lowered by limiting dietary sodium.
Salt sensitivity is difficult to accurately diagnose. Therefore, appropriate sodium recommendations are a subject of great debate among nutrition experts. Some believe that all people should limit their sodium intakes (to 2,400 mg/day) to either treat or prevent hypertension, regardless of their present blood pressure level. Others, though, advise that only people with hypertension or those who are believed to be salt sensitive need to limit sodium in their diets.
Nutrition researchers are still trying to tease out the exact role of sodium in hypertension. A major study in this area is DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This study found that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat-now called the DASH diet-helped lower blood pressure. The second phase of the study found further reductions in blood pressure when the DASH diet was combined with a sodium intake of no more than 2,400 mg/day.

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In my case, I had a five way bypass and an aortic valve replacement.
I thought if they could do that for me, and I could walk out of the hospital, that the other directions they gave me might be worth listening to.
8 hours in surgery and eight days in the hospital will get your attention.
Steve
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