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
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
The non-salt Softener's claim they do not, here are a few links
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.
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
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?
This stuff is techno babble:
"A lime/scale elimination product that doesn't add or remove anything from
It looks like a total scam to me.
"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
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
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
NO magnet(ic) gizmo or electronic gizmo or "conditioner" or carbon
filter will soften water but people waste their money on them
Check out this URL for one story <a href="http://www.nmsr.org /
magnetic.htm"> http://www.nmsr.org/magnetic.htm </a> and there are
many 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...
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:
here is a Picture. Its pretty close to the Schematic
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
Specific Conductance 830 umhos/cm
maganese <20 ug/L
Iron 580 ug/L
Nitrate 7.0 mg/L
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
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
Quality Water Associates
Sodium chloride (NaCl) is salt. Potassium chloride (KCl) is also
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.
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