Water Softner and filter for Well

I'm looking for a non-salt/KCL water softener and filtration system for my home. We are running off a well.
We had a salt based water softener before and we never liked the slimy feeling it left when you take a shower.
I was looking at the Life Source and the EWS water filtration/conditioner units. Has anyone used these or another type of non-salt/KCL water softener?? Opinions?
We do not need much throughput as we are going to store the softened/filtered water in a 5000 gallon tank before it is sent to the house.
Thanks, Scott<-
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On Sat, 07 Jul 2007 10:06:32 -0700, Scott Townsend wrote:

Doesn't all soft water regardless of how it's softened feel that way?
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The non-salt Softener's claim they do not, here are a few links
https://www.waterfilter-usa.com/page.html?chapter=0&id2 http://www.lifesourcewater.com/water-softener-chart.html
Then you have to deal with the Icemaker, the Pet's water, etc that would all be on the Softener. You don't really want to be drinking the Salt water.
I'm filtering the water as its going into a 5000 gallon storage tank. Then distributing it to a few homes form there.
Thanks, Scott<-

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You're not drinking "salt water" anyway, even with a conventional salt-based ion exchange water softener.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Though isn't it true you don't really want to be drinking the water that has been salt softened?
wrote:

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Scott Townsend wrote:

No. Unless you have to restrict your sodium intake. Even then the sodium you'd get in drinking water/coffee/etc. is probably considerably less than you would get from a glass of V-8 or a bowl of canned soup.
--

dadiOH
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Scott Townsend wrote:

There are lies and damn lies. I wouldn't call these either but I *would* call them incorrect, said incorrectness being designed to sell you something.
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dadiOH
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So are these no-salt 'conditioners' more of a gimmick?
I know its all in what and 'how' you read things, but It just seems like adding salt seems like a bad ideal all around. corrosion, environmental discharge (backwash), sliminess, plants/irrigation, etc. Seems like there should be a better way?
Thanks,

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Scott Townsend wrote:

This stuff is techno babble: "A lime/scale elimination product that doesn't add or remove anything from your water."
It looks like a total scam to me.
From: http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/messages/260140.html
"One more bit of advice. The people that are buying or have bought magnets, electrolytic, or any other goofy "salt-free" system has just become the proud owner of a $4000 carbon filter. You could just buy a 75.00 whole house carbon filter at lowes. My least favorite is the lifesource water system. To those that own this: You have a carbon filter.It is a Fleck5600 valve with a tank full of carbon. There is also a "beotron energy cell" inside. It is worth it just to take this thing out, take it to your salesperson, and beg him to explain how this could do anything to the hardness in the water. The Beotron energy cell is a stick of thick pvc, capped at both ends, and filled with sand and one small copper coil.It is really funny. These companies train their sales people to actually believe this. This is also where the wqa,Nsf, and others are rolling over for money. The lifesource people would have you believe this system is approved, yet it is only approved as a taste and odor reduction system;A Carbon Filter."
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To "soften" water is to remove calcium (among other things like iron) from the water and that is commonly done by one of two methods.
One method is ion exchange as done by a water softener. A water softener exchanges either sodium ions (if using NaCl) or potassium ions (if using KCl as a SALT SUBSTITUTE) for calcium (and other) ions in the hard water. That's it, no ifs, no ands, no buts, and no sales double talk. Simple chemistry and physics. Softening water is not black magic. It is physics and chemistry with a side of mechanics. No matter how hard sales people try (and want) to they can not violate the laws of physics or change the nature of chemical actions and reactions.
The other is by a filter, but no simple filter will remove calcium. You would need a reverse osmosis unit large enough to service your entire house. You would not want to pay for that big an RO nor pay for the service and routine maintainence it would require and RO water would be very agressive in your plumbing and it would waste a lot of water.
NO magnet(ic) gizmo or electronic gizmo or "conditioner" or carbon filter will soften water but people waste their money on them EVERYDAY.
Check out this URL for one story <a href="http://www.nmsr.org / magnetic.htm"> http://www.nmsr.org/magnetic.htm </a> and there aremany more on the net if you Google.
Pick the right softener (not a box store brand), size it properly for your water conditions and usage and the SFR of your plumbing, and get a competent install and you should go 15-20 years.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that water treatment begins with a complete water test so you know what needs to be treated or filtered out to get the quality water you want.
If you want to know more about that "slimy feeling" that comes with soft water go here... http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/jul2001/996090332.Ch.r.html
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Thank you for your reply. It did seem like the non-salt softeners were kind of black magic. Trying to get a hold of someone was also difficult. I have yet to try to get a hold of a salt based softener company.

We are trying to save money and do this ourselves. I've started the Plumbing manifold and its partially up. Here is a Schematic of my Setup: http://tinyurl.com/27c2hz
here is a Picture. Its pretty close to the Schematic http://tinyurl.com/2y5rcb
On the Right you can see where I have the hookup for the Filter/softener. We are Softening and filtering the water as it goes into a Storage Tank, so the demand/usage is low. The Plumbing from the Well through the softener/filter to the tank is all 1 1/2" pipe. Though the well Cant supply enough to keep that pipe happy, its only about 5-7 GPM.
Do you have a Recommendation on a Softener and filter?

Okay I have a little pride here. When I saw the magnetic things I knew to stay away from them.

Our Water was tested with the following results:
Total Hardness 310 mg/L
pH 6.8
Specific Conductance 830 umhos/cm
maganese <20 ug/L
Iron 580 ug/L
Nitrate 7.0 mg/L
Thanks again!
Scott<-

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wrote:

Magnetic and electronic water "conditioners" usually do not work nor do they remove hardness.
You are more than competent to install your own equipment.
You should have contacted a water treatment dealer experienced in well water treatment at the beginning of your construction planning stage.
Just a quick glance at the schematic and picture of the plumbing (great looking plumbing BTW) I think you are making a big mistake. Actually I think I see a few mistakes based on wrong assumptions but that's without further study of your system.
ALL ion exchange softeners use sodium or potassium chloride as a regenerant. The resins are sodium form, not potassium but it works albeit not as efficiently as sodium chloride; there are no potassium form resins. Kinda like gasoline and ethanol in internal combustions engines, it works but...
The amount of sodium added to softened water is 7.85 mg/l (roughly a quart) per gpg of exchange. An 8 oz glass of skim milk usually has like 530 mg of sodium... a slice of white bread, 120-160 mg. I can look up the amount of potassium added, it's a bit more than for sodium and too much potassium can kill ya. And pets. Many to most of our foods contain much more sodium than our hardest softened water.
The only check valve for a submersible pump is the one in/on its outlet in the well. Any more and you cause any problems to be hidden, like a leak in the well plumbing.
You should be softening this water at each house.You probably will want to remove the iron and manganese prior to the 'cistern' tanks.
Depending on the type of material of your cistern tanks, you may not want softened water in them.
When using 'cistern' type atmospheric storage, you will need disinfection equipment eventually.You will also have to clean and sanitize them periodically.
Sharing a well is not a good idea, being responsible for someone's water quantity and quality as a landlord is not much fun either.
Why use these tanks to start with?
What controls that submersible pump? Why a flow switch and an electrical valve? I would suggest pressure switches are a better choice than flow switches, especially with high iron.
The pressure tanks... if they are actually plumbed off a tee, you do realize the water flow will be bi-directional right? That is a bad idea due to at least water hammer problems.
Why two pressure tanks and how large are they?
The system would be much better with a CSV and one small 20 gal (nominal) pressure tank and controlling the submersible pump with a common pressure switch. Especially since there is irrigation.
You are mixing the recovery rate of the well with the output of the submersible pump... a far too common mistake.
The plumbing is way larger than needed and will cause problems with the sizing of a main line filter/softener. And wait until you get the price of a 1.5" control valve... and with this design, you'll need at least two.
I have a customer with all but the same system design at both his house (including 2 others and a business building on the property) and at another location with a 4 unit rental apartment building. Both with high iron and hardness. He is using 1.5" plumbing to his cisterns and controlling the sub pump with a float switch in a 4500 gal tank and that tank feeds a 1500 gal by gravity feed. His primary treatment equipment is at the well which is 100' lower and 200' away from the 4500 gal tank. A studio building is by the well house. Each building has its own softener rather than treating double digit peak demand with one softener and running water line back to the well house from the 4500 gal tank. And if something goes wrong with a residential softener, the rest of the system is not effected.
I was not involved in the design of the original system. My design redo and equipment is the 3rd that has been there and I reused most of his present equipment and added some and disinfection.
You only want to do the water treatment stuff once, AND it should be the right type and SIZE before the design is as they say, set in stone. If I'm anywhere near correct, you need much more info than you have or has been used to design your system. Toll free hourly fee based consultation, partially refundable with equipment purchase, is available.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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Scott Townsend wrote:

Sodium chloride (NaCl) is salt. Potassium chloride (KCl) is also salt. __________________

The "slimy" feeling is due to an *excess* of sodium carbonate (what's left from NaCl after the ion exchance with calcium carbonate). If you use KCl to soften, then what will remain is potassium carbonate.
Both sodium and potassium carbonate are bases. All bases have a slimy feel if the concentration is high enough; however, sodium is more reactive than potassium so it is possibel that the sliminess would be less in equal concentrations, can't say for sure.
--

dadiOH
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