Water Softeners

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There is surprisingly little info on water softeners on Google. With most water sources being on the hard side, I would expect a great deal of info on ways to soften water. There is a very large number of websites which pitch obvious frauds at high prices, such as magnetic water softeners and "ion" softeners. Never seen anything like it.
Anyway, I would like to install a real "salt-type" water softener to combat our hard water. Home Depot only sells a GE miniature water softener for $ 449, Lowes sells a Whirlpool for $ 427. That's all in the local area (San Diego).
The only other reputable looking brand that I could find on the web is the Fleck 5600 series of water softeners. However, there is no factory website for this brand.
My plumber offered to replace my old, broken down softener with a Fleck for $ 2,050, which seems excessive, considering that the unit costs only about $ 400. (Very little plumbing adjustment required.) Another rip-off.
Are fewer people using/installing water softeners? Maybe I can draw on the experience on other people in this Group?
Thanks for any input.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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How hard is your water? What other contaminates may be in it?
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Hardness is about 15 grains. Comes from the Colorado River: Too thick to drink, too thin to plow. No other problems.
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Walter
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Stick with the Fleck 5600. It's by far the most widely used and reliable control head in the home water softener market.
Get a unit that does not have the media tank inside the salt tank. Separate tanks are much easier to clean and service.
Has your water been tested for total alkalinity?
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On Sun, 10 Aug 2008 12:41:37 -0700, "nospam"

Newer Fleck 5600 have metal (SS?) bypass valves and handles.
Models around 1995 were breakable at the handle turn off.
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nospam wrote:

Hi, Fleck control head is good but my house is stuck with a GE softener, Sears depot sells GE control head rebuild kit in a bag which I used twice over the years. Price of kit is not bad. Yes, if space permits two tank system is the way to go. Easy for maintenace doing such thing as cleaning out salt tank.
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wrote:

I'm not far from Lake Mead. Your water must soften, before it gets there :)
Your water authority most likely publishes reports on the water quality/hardness... iirc, hardness here was higher. It was suggested in my readings that the hardness setting (?!) be bumped up.
I don't have the link, but maps are posted to show water hardness around the country. Las Vegas is the worst IME.
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wrote:

I replaced my Fleck 5600 and moved from the manual type to a digital model. I've had the brand in other homes, so I'm happy.

I was quoted about the same. Maybe a little more. I had the existing loop, so all I needed was the softener. I bought the Fleck 5600 digital. Finished the job in short order. Cost me about $400.00 and was delivered the next day from Phoenix, AZ (free shipping).

One occasional poster here, Gary Slusser has a web site. The site I used was a big help with information (*) Gary has toll free or cell phone numbers. Also search message from him in this group.
Good reading at both links.
Gary's site:
http://www.qualitywaterassociates.com /
* Site I used:
http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/index.htm
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We bought our Fleck online from these guys: http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/water_softeners.htm
DH installed it in about two hours, and most of that time was figuring out how to program the settings/options. It also took a few minutes to fill the resin tank, and that was much easier to do with two people. Just don't buy Kinetico. We had one of those (it cost $3k!!) and it died in 10 years. When it failed, they wanted $4k to replace it. Yeah, right. The Fleck is about 1/10th of that, and it's been working like a champ for over a year now. We're already ahead.
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wrote:

h,
I bought from this site last year (little longer). I was pleased with the service, free shipping, next day. I also posted a link to the site.
Would you PLEASE verify the link? I'm having trouble getting there, even the main page. Hope the didn't disappear :(
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I was just there, works fine: http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/water_softeners.htm
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wrote:

Thank You! My cable provider/I suppose... Can't get the Domain, even.
No need to reply, thanks.
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Walter R. wrote:

What's wrong with hard water?
--
Claude Hopper ? 3 :) 7/8

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Nothing.
The salient question is, "What's RIGHT with SOFT water?"
Just about everything.
Before first using a water softener, our water was so hard that you didn't even have to be RELIGIOUS to walk on it. <grin>
All the usual, well known benefits are true: Soap lasts longer. Clothes make it through the washer cleaner and softer. There's no need to use CLR, Zud, Lime-Away, or a cold chisel and hammer when cleaning the fixtures. Birds sing better and the sky is alway blue - even at night. :)
One need not inquire about water quality from the local utility. A trip to the local hardware or farm store reveals all you need to know: If the store has stacks of softener salt out front, the community has HARD water.
I will never be without soft water again. It's that good.
--
:)
JR

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On Sun, 10 Aug 2008 21:59:21 -0500, Jim Redelfs

Unless you have to strain it through the teeth.

Side by side comparisons:
Two homes 10 years old. My appliances worked as new and looked great, when the house was sold. I had a softener. The neighbor sold just before me. His appliances went to recycle. The calcium (Lake Mead water) destroyed the appliances in his home.
btw, folks should ask the water utility about water quality/hardness. A good source of information...
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It's very bad for plumbing and appliances. It's tough on your skin and hair. It requires more soap to clean things.
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wrote:

[snip]
The well we used to use at the farm had soft water. It was very good for drinking, but had problems for other things. I remember washing my hair and it taking (seemingly) forever to rinse out the soap.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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On Mon, 11 Aug 2008 10:28:25 -0500, Mark Lloyd

The rinsing in soft water does take some time to adjust (first time users). One is to use less/soap detergent. Soft water gives a "slimy" feel, so the person spends more time rinsing. Not really necessary, but get use to the soft water and less body soap/shampoo/other detergent (DW/Laundry).
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Perhaps you could email this to me 40 years ago? I could have used it then :-)
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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My wife wants to know: Why use a two-piece softener (Fleck), instead of a one-piece softener (Whirlpool, GE).
--
Walter
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