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Water Softeners

Old 04-09-2009, 03:03 PM
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Default Water Softeners

Any of you guys have a water softener for your home?
I am in the market for one now. My home is supplied with water via a private well. In the past few years the quality has gone down. Two years ago I installed a whole house filter. It works very well on particulates but does nothing for HD, Clhorides, Iron, Mg or any other dissolved/soluable contaminates.
We are getting extensive hard water stains in all the appliances and plumbing fixtures.
So far I have gone to Sears, HD, Lowes and spoke to the local Culligan rep. The do-it yourself systems that would be of adaquate size, range in price from $589 @ HD for a 40k grain unit to $800+ @ Sears.The Culligan man wants a fortune to either rent me a system or sell me a system.
Water use at my home is for two people and normal appliances. GPD- I don't know never measured it.
Old 04-09-2009, 03:13 PM
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I have this sears unit and it keeps up just fine with 2 people and lots of boat washing. Doesn't use very much salt at all.

http://reviews.sears.com/2328/04238356000P/reviews.htm
Old 04-09-2009, 09:40 PM
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Have Culligan just drop off a tank every month. We pay $30/ month for this and avoid all the hassle of an expensive system. It may be against ordinance for you to discharge regen water to the samitary sewer if you had your own system. Check your regs.
Old 04-10-2009, 02:21 AM
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I've got a Waterboss http://www.waterboss.com/index.shtml Water Softener. I like it, because I was able to install it myself and maintain it myself. I don't like it because I had to install it myself and maintian it myself

Its a water softener that uses salt on demand instead of on a timer. I'm sure many of them do this by now. I don't know. I've had this unit for 10 years and I think I had to install one broken part over the years, but can't remember which part.

I don't like or trust my water, so I also have a Reverse Osmosis system in my kitchen. This presents lots of logistical problems. No automatic ice maker, no R.O water in the bathroom, but the taste and quality is top notch.
Old 04-10-2009, 07:41 AM
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I purchased and installed the GE model from HD and have had it for several years without any problems. You already have a whole house filter which I highly recommend because particles can wreak havoc on a water softener.

We notice a big difference with our softener - makes soap lather up more and keeps the dishes nice and clean. Ours is also usage based and does not go through a lot of salt. Install was not too bad - dad helped me out and the most difficult part was soldering the plumbing which turned out to be quite easy.
Old 04-10-2009, 02:01 PM
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We bought a Sears softener in 1999 and had one small repair in the time we owned the house for almost 9 1/2 years. Didn't use much salt product, got the Morton in the yellow sack, and never had any buildup on the fixtures in all that time. I guess you could say I was satisfied with it.
Old 04-10-2009, 02:24 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys.

Some other info I left out last night, I was posting via a black berry so I cut it short.

I work in an industrial water treatment plant, clarification, de-ionazation, deaeration, those are my jobs. So I am very familiar with how a ion exchanger works, maintaining it and servicing it would not be a problem.

Further I have no city, parish (county) services, beyond sheriff's patrol. No water, no city sewer, no garbage service, so discharge of the regen waste would be no problem.

Right now it looks like the one Mike B has is the winner. It is slightly cheaper than the ones at HD, Sears and lowe's plus I can by it from my local Do-it center hardware store. They are locally owned, I have an account there and they treat me good. So it's a Water Boss 900, it is also designed to do 10 micron filtering on it's own. I will initially install it inline with my whole house filter, maybe later I will illiminate my inline filter. Going to drop by and order it in the AM it will be ready for instore pickup Wed.

All the units I looked at come complete with bypass valves, everything needed to run except salt.

I am encouraged that a few of you guys bought, installed and run your own softeners with minimal problems, I hope I am as lucky.

Anybody use potassium clhoride for a regenerant rather than sodium clhoride?
Old 04-10-2009, 04:09 PM
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Have any of you had Rainsoft come to your home? If not have them come out for entertainment. System $8000 if you buy that night $10000 if you decide to buy later. I was not far from killing the rep that came to our house after he broke our new kitchen faucet.
Old 04-10-2009, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 606zpx View Post
Have any of you had Rainsoft come to your home? If not have them come out for entertainment. System $8000 if you buy that night $10000 if you decide to buy later. I was not far from killing the rep that came to our house after he broke our new kitchen faucet.
Rainsoft? I guess I am going to have to google'em up, just to see what they are about, but from that price I can tell you I ain't going to far past that.

Broke your faucet--- did you set fire to his car? I think fire has a way of evening things out!
Old 04-11-2009, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by twentynine View Post
Anybody use potassium clhoride for a regenerant rather than sodium clhoride?
So what's the difference Dave in performance? How's the cost factor compare? I might as well ask as well, where does one buy potassium clhoride in large bags?
Old 04-11-2009, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Garett View Post
So what's the difference Dave in performance? How's the cost factor compare? I might as well ask as well, where does one buy potassium clhoride in large bags?

Yes Kcl can be purchased in large bags. Most anyplace that sells Nacl.

Cost bag to bag is some what higher.

It does not regen the resin bed as efficiently as Nacl, so it requires more Kcl per regen pound to pound when compared to Nacl..

Some people are on sodium restricted diets, and can not tolerate the extra sodium in their diet.
Old 04-12-2009, 05:49 AM
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Hmmm, thanks Dave. That's actually good to know, especially if one is Diabetic.
Old 04-12-2009, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by twentynine View Post
Rainsoft? I guess I am going to have to google'em up, just to see what they are about, but from that price I can tell you I ain't going to far past that.

Broke your faucet--- did you set fire to his car? I think fire has a way of evening things out!
By the way, the prices are not an exaggeration. These were the prices. I pretty much ran him out of there when he was going to pull the "let me talk to my manager" then he gets me on the phone with the manager for the hard sell.

I got phone quotes for Culligan machine installed at $1500 and Kinetico installed around $2000.

To tell you, I am very tempted to buy and install this myself since good machines arent much more than $600-800.
Old 04-13-2009, 05:04 AM
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I second the WaterBoss softener. I used one for years in Maryland and never had a problem. I bought their City Boss model when I moved to Florida to cope with the chlorine in the public water supply. Have the best water in town. Nice, small compact units. Check their web site, they have several different models for different needs.
Old 04-13-2009, 09:54 AM
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Before you consider investing money in a machine to treat the symptoms, consider treating the problem instead. I don't know where or how deep your well is, but have you thought about drilling a new well that taps an aquifer with better water quality? It could pay for itself over the years when you look at the costs of installing, operating, and maintaining a treatment system.
Old 04-13-2009, 10:19 AM
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Hydro

In a word, yes!

The first well was drilled in the late 1950s to a depth of 285'. Second well was drilled early 1970s to 385'. Third and present well was drilled in 1985 to 465'. I am all out of aquifers.

My grandfather was in the water well business, he drilled the first well, the second well was drilled by the guy who bought PawPaw's business, the third well I paid for. The cost was over $2k for the 1985 well..


The real irony is "city" water is now with 1-1/4 miles of my home, the water company has stated they have no plans what-so-ever to extend service further down the road. They just by coincendence stopped right in front of the local state legislator, put a big red fire hydrant in his yard. The cost of his homeowners insurance went down.
Old 04-13-2009, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro View Post
Before you consider investing money in a machine to treat the symptoms, consider treating the problem instead. I don't know where or how deep your well is, but have you thought about drilling a new well that taps an aquifer with better water quality? It could pay for itself over the years when you look at the costs of installing, operating, and maintaining a treatment system.
I can not speak for what twentynine has but we are a little north of him and most single home private wells are fairly shollow 400 to 600 ft and have water a little on the hard side. To get to a good aquifer it is 4500 to 6500 ft. Excellent water though.
Old 04-13-2009, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by twentynine View Post
Hydro

In a word, yes!

The first well was drilled in the late 1950s to a depth of 285'. Second well was drilled early 1970s to 385'. Third and present well was drilled in 1985 to 465'. I am all out of aquifers.

My grandfather was in the water well business, he drilled the first well, the second well was drilled by the guy who bought PawPaw's business, the third well I paid for. The cost was over $2k for the 1985 well..


The real irony is "city" water is now with 1-1/4 miles of my home, the water company has stated they have no plans what-so-ever to extend service further down the road. They just by coincendence stopped right in front of the local state legislator, put a big red fire hydrant in his yard. The cost of his homeowners insurance went down.
Yepper, sounds like you covered that base! I see a lot of money wasted on water treatment systems around here when the real problem is with the well itself. Sometimes the best water quality is actually shallow, but it is more vulnerable and risky.

Only other advice i would offer is to have the water tested every couple of years or so for bacteria, nitrates, and metals - both "raw" water and treated, to make sure the system is performing as expected and just for your own piece of mind. Good luck!!!
Old 04-13-2009, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bsmit24 View Post
I can not speak for what twentynine has but we are a little north of him and most single home private wells are fairly shollow 400 to 600 ft and have water a little on the hard side. To get to a good aquifer it is 4500 to 6500 ft. Excellent water though.

Around here, 400-600 feet would be considered "deep"!! If you need to drill to 6,000 feet you might as well hope for oil instead! You'd need an oil well to pay for the drilling.
Old 04-13-2009, 03:29 PM
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I have a Culligan system cost was about $2400 9 years ago. No real problems but I thought it was over priced then, when I compared it to others after I bought it. I have a iron problem and tds from my well. If I had to do it over I might go with Kentico or just with sear's best system and replace it every 4-7 years and still save money. I do run a iron PE culligan filter in front of the softner, but I really do not have to, but it saves the softerner. Almost all softerners will solve my iron problem but if used alone, they may not last tooo long that is why I said Sears and buy a new one every 4-7 years. Sears does offer a reasonable install price as well.
Rain soft is abosolutly rediculus in price.

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