Water Softener systems..

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Our house is in a town of 33 000 people. The town's water supply is well water. Everyone in this town complains about the hard water and many home, including ours has a water softening system.
We plan on doing lots of gardening and we have a pool in the yards here so I was relieved to see the outside hose connections are not hooked up to the water softener. However in trying to trace the plumbing, I noticed our kitchen faucet cold water is not hooked up to the softener either. The cold for the bathrooms and laundry rooms and water heater are all connected to the softener. Is this normal to leave the kitchen cold off the softener?
Does anyone have any opinions on the use of softeners? I have no experience with these things. We have only lived in this house for 3 weeks. Not sure what to expect for a softener.
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The Henchman wrote:

Hi, My city has very hard water. Having a softener is a must. And that is standard plumbing with softener in the house. Drinking hard water is OK. In our kitchen we have under the sink 6 stage filtered RO/UV light system I installed for drinking/cooking. I bought a filter kit and it was cinch to hook it up.
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Contact the company and have someone come out and service your conditioner. Rain Soft recommends once a year but I have them out once about every 5 years.
Dump all the softener that is in your tub and clean it. Most people don't do this and you'll be surprised what is down there.
Not having the softener to the kitchen faucet is not a bad thing. I'd put a RO system under the sink anyway.
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...
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Drinking hard water is disgusting. Here in phoenix, we get canal water and it is about the worst I've experience with the possible exception of southern orange county in california also canal water. The problem should be fixed. An undersink RO system can be had for less than $200+instalation. It won't have enough output for the fawcett, but it can provide drinking water for a small spigot. I have a line run around the kitchen to feed the freezer's ice maker. It was a huge improvement over the simple filter it previously had.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

Hi, It depends. I know what you mean. PHX was my second home when I was working for Honeywell. Here in Calgary our water comes from Rockies glaciers, Not from canal, LOL! It cost me ~100.00 when I installed the RO system myself. For two of us, a dog and cat it provides more than enough water for drinking/cooking. We don't drink icd cold water. It is bad for you. Lemme see what is our body temperature?
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...

In the summer when it is 118 outside? Hot enough. I only drinked iced water when I'm hot. Most of the time I'm too lazy.
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The reason that the cold water is not softened is so that people who have salt-restricted diets do not have to drink the softened water which contains a fair amount of salt. That is what softening does. It uses salt to soften the water as part of the softening process. I'm surprised none of the earlier responses totally overlooked that fact!
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On Jan 23, 12:36 pm, AZ Nomad

I'm glad you pointed that out, but in an attempt to avoid a big discussion and to try and have the facts straight, softened water doesn't really contain any added salt, but it does contain sodium. The chemical softening process uses salt (sodium chloride) to exchange sodium for other water hardening elements, so the softened water has a higher level of sodium.
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actually not. part of the process is to flush out the system.
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AZ Nomad wrote:

...
Actually, yes. Na+ ions replace alternate positive ions (mostly Ca/Mg, the "hard" carbonates replacing them w/ sodium equivalents (necessary to maintain charge neutrality to replace those that are deposited in the resin).
It isn't NaCl (salt) but it is a higher concentration of Na which is the culprit targetted in low-Na/salt diets being especially, a culprit in elevated blood pressure.
<Chuck Wight, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, provides the following explanation:
A typical water-softening system removes calcium and magnesium ions from hard water and replaces them with sodium ions. ...
The water softener unit is located in your household plumbing near the place where water enters the house so that it softens the water used for drinking and washing but not for irrigation. The unit contains several cubic feet of porous plastic resin covered with molecules that attract and bind to positive ions dissolved in the water. Normally, sodium positive ions coat the resin, but as water flows over the resin on its way to your sink or washer, the naturally occurring calcium and magnesium positive ions that exist in hard water stick to the resin. This releases sodium ions into the water in order to maintain a balance of electrical charge on the resin. ...
--
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Ok - You said it more eloquently than I did.
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Correction: sodium-restricted diets. Softened water contains sodium; it does *not* contain salt.

I'm not, since that's not a "fact". Ion-exchange water softening works by replacing calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions. Salt is used as the source of sodium, yes, but water softeners do *not* add salt to the water.
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On Sat, 23 Jan 2010 11:09:47 -0800 (PST), hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net

bullshit. There's no salt in softened water unless you system is seriously broke or a piece of shit, or both. Do you smoke? Don't you think you'd be able to taste it?
If you'd bother to teach yourself how a water softener works, you'd know that salt is only used for the recharging process. It doesn't enter into the system while it is running normally.
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AZ Nomad wrote: ...

The salt (NaCL) itself, true. But the Na+ ions which is the health culprit does as it replaces the displaced Ca/Mg...
--
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You're right. I had it wrong.
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No, you didn't. You're absolutely right: there's no salt in softened water. He's right, too, though: there are Na+ ions, and that is the health risk (but only for people on severely sodium-restricted diets).
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In most cases, softened water contains between 40-80mg of sodium per litre. To put that in context, ask yourself how many litres of tap water you drink a day and consider that a single slice of white bread contains between 150-200mg of sodium and a can of chicken noodle soup can contain over 500mg of sodium.
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wrote:

Are there really people who still eat white bread and canned soup? For that matter, who still eats bread?
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The point is that people are getting all worked up over something (sodium in soft water) that is close to insignificant.
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wrote:

Seriously. If you're still eating canned soup and bread then you have much more serious health issues than softened water!
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