I believe that the hose bibs on the outside of my house are hooked to the
soft water system. Is there any disadvantage to watering with soft water?
They're about to turn on the irrigation water system in our rural area, but
I need to get around and water some of the trees before that.
For occasional watering it is fine. For steady use I'd avoid it.
Most softening systems replace the calcium and magnesium with sodium.
Plants need calcium and magnesium, sodium is toxic. Over time it will
build up, change the soil properties.
Like Charles said, you would basically be putting salt on your plants.
You don't want to drink it either, again it is salt (or the cation half
of the salt) and you risk raising your blood pressure. It is good for
washing things because the Ca++ in the water (hard water) is out and you
don't precipitate fatty acids or get calcium stearate (better known as
bathtub ring) which interfere with making the dirtiness soluble in water.
Finally, the best sources of water are those that simply don't have
many dissolved chemicals; or at least none that cause trouble for your
body. That means that your water shouldn't have much lead or arsenic
dissolved in it or any of a number of noxious organic chemicals. The
purest waters are distilled water, rain water (assuming minimal air
pollution), and water that has been chemically filtered (via ion
exchange, reverse osmosis, and/or activated carbon). Spring and well
waters tend to contain substantial amounts of dissolved calcium and
magnesium salts, which make the water less pure but probably don't
affect its healthfulness. One special case to look out for is water
that was very hard but that has been passed through a water softener.
The dissolved minerals that made the water hard will have been
replaced by sodium compounds during the softening process and
excessive sodium consumption may be a problem for some people.
You have to give Shellly credit. He may be stoopid but but he is
persistent. One more time from the top:
The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium
ions in the water are ""REPLACED** with sodium ions. Since sodium does
not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the
problems of hard water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the
water in the house runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through
a chemical matrix called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with
sodium ions. As the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places
with the calcium and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite
contain nothing but calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this
point they stop softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the
beads or zeolite.
How's that hole coming Shelly? About time to hydrate again, huh?
That's not true. There is no more salt contained in softened water
than there is in the bottled water that people drink, usually less.
If softened water contained salt then it wouldn't be softened water,
now would it. The salt used by water softeners leaves the sytem as
grey water (along with the other minerals the system removes), that
never enters the domestic water. If the typical water softener uses a
pound of salt a day it's a lot, usually will use closer to 1/2 pound/
day. The trick is to find a way for disposing of the grey water
without it building up in one spot. My grey water (water from my
water softener, dehumidifier, and RO filter) is piped by gravity to a
creek, the same creek that collects run off from many thousands of
acres of lands as the creek meanders over many miles, which includes
the many tons of salt spread on the roads in winter by the highway
department.. my couple handfulls of salt a day is so negligible that
it doesn't count. And salt is not toxic it's a necessity of life, a
salt lick for live stock places more salt into the ground than any
water softener. Softened water contains very little salt, certainly
far less than if the water were not softened.
Wrong, unless you are using a dual ion exchange system. The common
household water softener just exchanges calcium and magnesium ions for
sodium. The carbonate, sulfate, or whatever else is in the water
stays where it is.
Your reading comprehension skills are near the 3rd grade elementary
school level, and I'm being quite generous.
[per your web site]
"Regeneration involves soaking the beads or zeolite in a stream of
sodium ions. Salt is sodium chloride, so the water softener mixes up a
very strong brine solution and flushes it through the zeolite or beads
(this is why you load up a water softener with salt). The strong brine
displaces all of the calcium and magnesium that has built up in the
zeolite or beads and replaces it again with sodium. _The remaining
brine plus all of the calcium and magnesium is flushed out through a
drain pipe. "_
Shelly, my dance instructor once told me that if I was going to fall, I
should do it gracefully. You might learn from that and not be so snotty
when you are so horribly wrong. The preceding paragraph reads,"The idea
behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the
water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate
out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard
water are eliminated. To do the ion replacement, the water in the house
runs through a bed of small plastic beads or through a chemical matrix
called zeolite. The beads or zeolite are covered with sodium ions. As
the water flows past the sodium ions, they swap places with the calcium
and magnesium ions. Eventually, the beads or zeolite contain nothing but
calcium and magnesium and no sodium, and at this point they stop
softening the water. It is then time to regenerate the beads or zeolite."
Hellooooo? Did you get that Shelly? The calcium and magnesium ions in
the water are **REPLACED** with sodium ions. Duh. Now go have a nice big
glass of soft water:-)
You're confusing "sodium" with "salt". The process is that sodium
ions are picked up on the surface of the zeolite. Not "salt", just
one of the chemical components of it. Those are exchanged for
less-reactive calcium and magnesium ions in the water, so calcium
carbonate (or magnesium sulfate or whatever) gets turned into sodium
carbonate (or sodium sulfate or whatever) with a slight release of
energy. The calcium and magnesium ions then remain on the suface of
the zeolite until such time as it is regenerated by exposure to sodium
chloride at which time it picks up the sodium ions and the calcium
goes into the brine as calcium chloride.
So the softened water has no "salt" added, what is has is the existing
calcium and magnesium compounds turned into sodium compounds. The
quantity of the compounds doesn't change, what changes is their
If you think that a water softener works by "adding salt" then try
adding salt to hard water and then have the hardness checked with and
without salt and see what you get.
From my pitiful short garden experience.
* Water from rain is best
* then Water from rain barrels
* then Water from softener
* then Water from the hard line.
* Let plants die.
When I use my hard line my garden does not grow very well.
Still better than no water at all. I have also found that flowers does
seem to hold up better with the soft water than vegetables.
Most water softeners are first run through a sediment filter taking out
some nasty stuff first. Hard lines tend to come straight out of the well.
Depending on the size of your garden that softener can get expensive, if
it is a large one. If you are very rich and do not care, use the water
from the R.O. purification system from your drinking water.
Their are some companies that make inline water filters for the outside
water lines (also not cheap). I will let you do the searching.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.
The filter needed depends on what you want to remove, the concentration of
that unwanted substance, AND, how much resulting water you intend to use
during a filter change interval. A solar heated still with intermittent
manual removal of solids is almost like rain water purity. United States
Patent 5181991. Rain barrels are a good idea if you get enough rain, flush
the gunk out of barrels and lines once in awhile (green slime, might be
black if cold).
Well I am not confusing anything. salt is NaCl which dissociates in water to
Cl-. Cl-, BTW is what makes food taste "salty". The sodium ions are exchanged
the calcium and magnesium ions in the water which are stabilized with the
ions which are flushed down the drain. The sodium stays in the softened water.
is a BIG issue with people who keep fish because some places have so much calcium
and/or magnesium in their water that the sodium ion concentration is thus high
to sicken and/or kill their fish. This is even a bigger problem when people use
prophylactically without testing for sodium ion concentration. It is the
ions that are helpful to fish, not the sodium.
In addition physicians typically admonish their patients with high blood
not drink softened water, rather, to use RO water for drinking. Ingrid
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