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Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       10-01-2012, 1:51 PM Reply   
does anyone have any experience with these?
we are currently using a water service that comes in weekly to replace the softener tanks. unfortunately, their new delivery guys are incomptent, and keep leaving my garage open, or just not showing up when they say they are. kind of a pain in the arse.
anyways, I am looking at this system, and wondering if the install is easy, or if it utlizes the same lines that my tank currently uses. I know nothing about plumbing, just that it is a basic two line system. an IN, and OUT.

as always, your guys' help is much appreciated.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-01-2012, 2:49 PM Reply   
I've got one and I don't spend much of my time thinking about it. I check it every so often, and dump in a whole bag of salt when needed. You definitely do not need any service to do that for you. I live in a water district that takes ground water out of limestone. The water softener is necessary to combat lime build-up everywhere, but especially on the inside of pipes.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-01-2012, 11:13 PM Reply   
I installed one of these in my house. Cutting and soldering copper pipes and valves is pretty easy if you are pretty handy. You could also pay someone to install it and fill it with salt from a big box store a few times per year. I run through about $15 worth of salt every year.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-02-2012, 8:37 AM Reply   
We have crazy hard water and it is mandatory. I installed mine in about 1 hour. Dump salt in it maybe twice a year. Super worth it.

If you are handy go for it, if not probably cost you $100 to get installed. I think Lowes, Sears, and Home depot even over to install them for a responsible cost. Or call a local plumber or check craigs list for plumber/handyman.
Old     (wakecumberland)      Join Date: Oct 2007       10-02-2012, 2:00 PM Reply   
I'm in the process of considering this as we are heavy with limestone in my area as well. Looking forward to hearing some more suggestions. Are the "easy water" systems I hear about worth considering? Sounds too good to be true.
Old     (magicr)      Join Date: May 2004       10-02-2012, 2:15 PM Reply   
Wow, you guys must have really "soft" hard water, I go through 40 pounds of salt a month with my new up to date system, my old softener used 200 pounds of salt per month. The biggest thing you need to do is have your water analysed, for hardness along with other issues. I assume you're on a well?
Old     (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-02-2012, 2:18 PM Reply   
The previous owner of our place installed this system. Looks pricey and is complicated. I consider myself pretty handy, and would not attempt installing it. Works great, though and I don't have to avoid water usage at a certain time.
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       10-02-2012, 3:05 PM Reply   
How do you test the hardness of your water?
Old     (magicr)      Join Date: May 2004       10-02-2012, 6:52 PM Reply   
I had two different tests done on my water. The first one was done by a laboratory that specializes in water analysis. Since I live in a rural area I wanted to make sure the water was void of Mercury, Lead, etc. Then I had the pump service affiliated with my well driller check for water hardness. I had a well on one side of my property go dry it had very soft water. My current well on the other side of my property is very hard.
Old     (monkey_butt)      Join Date: Sep 2011 Location: Twin Cities       10-05-2012, 9:55 PM Reply   
go to Menards, HD or Lowes - they're all selling testing kits for water hardness. The other option is to call the city if you're not on your own well - they can tell you exactly what your water is going to be.

what I would look into is a company named waterboss (fleetfarm, menards etc. sells them). I installed one in my old home and have to put one in for my new home now (it sits already in the garage but I'm busy with a lot of other projects). Next to that they're fairly efficient is the fact that they have a pretty small footprint compared to others. Now if you have a huge basement and you don't care - no need to worry about it but in my case - both my laundrymat rooms are small and cramming another appliance makes it worthwile the smaller it is ...
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-06-2012, 10:00 AM Reply   
If your water service is served to you by a public water utility, you should be able to get a thorough analysis from them. Ion exchange water softeners (ie., you dump in salt) really only just remove calcium and magnesium in replacement with sodium. There is unlikely to be any increase in calcium and magnesium levels from what the public utility reports it sees, and what comes out your faucet.

Your home plumbing, however, can add other things, like copper and, depending on the age of your home, lead (from the solder).

I paid someone to install mine, and it is a fairly pricey unit. To plumb it in, the installer used compression fittings and flexible hose.

I'll reprint next 2 things from how things work, the second telling you why chloride disposal is concerning, and therefore how it might influence your choice of which kind of re-charge cycle.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-06-2012, 10:02 AM Reply   
Water softeners operate on a simple principle: Calcium and magnesium ions in the water switch places with more desirable ions, usually sodium. The exchange eliminates both of the problems of hard water because sodium doesn't precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap. The amount of sodium this process adds to your water is quite small -- less than 12.5 milligrams per 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass, well below the standard set by the Food and Drug Administration for "very low sodium" [sources: Shep, U.S. Food and Drug Administration]. If you have health concerns, discuss them with your doctor, or consider either using a different kind of softener or only softening wash water.

The ion replacement takes place within a tank full of small polystyrene beads, also known as resin or zeolite. The negatively charged beads are bonded to positively charged sodium ions. As the water flows past the beads, the sodium ions swap places with the calcium and magnesium ions, which carry a stronger positive charge.

So why do you load up water softeners with salt if the plastic beads do all the work? Over several cycles, calcium and magnesium replace all of the sodium in the beads, after which the unit can no longer soften water. To fix this problem, the softener enters a regeneration cycle during which it soaks the beads in a strong solution of water and salt, or sodium chloride. The sheer amount of sodium in the brine solution causes the calcium and magnesium ions in the beads to give way, and the beads are recharged with sodium. After regeneration, the water softener flushes the remaining brine, plus all of the calcium and magnesium, through a drainpipe. Regeneration creates a lot of salty water -- around 25 gallons (95 liters).

Most home water softeners use the plastic bead and salt approach. The main difference between them is how they decide when to regenerate. Some softeners use electric timers that flush and recharge based on a regular schedule. Others use a computer that judges bead depletion based on water use. Still others use a mechanical water meter to measure water use and kick on the recharging process only when sodium exhaustion requires it.

Each approach comes with its share of pros and cons. Electronic timer units can't dispense soft water while recharging. Conversely, some computerized systems carry a reserve resin capacity, so you can tap them for a squirt or two of soft water even during recharge cycles. Most flexible of all are mechanical systems, which come equipped with two mineral tanks. One tank can make soft water while the other recharges.

Modern water softeners run between $400 and $2,700, and are designed to be easy to install and remove, which is good news if you want to take your unit with you when you move. However, unless you are confident in your electrical and plumbing abilities, you might want to hire a plumber, which could add $100 to $600 to the initial cost of your unit. Some stores include installation with the purchase of a water softener.
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       10-06-2012, 10:03 AM Reply   

Water softeners break down salt (NaCl) into sodium ions (Na+) and chloride (aka ionic chlorine [Cl-]) and then release the polluted water into septic systems or sewers. Sewers transport it to treatment plants, which deal with the water and discharge it into groundwater or surface water. There, chloride may harm freshwater organisms and plants, including altering reproduction rates, increasing species mortality and altering local ecosystems. If you want to reduce your environmental impact, soften water only when necessary; maximize efficiency by using minimum salt dosages and regenerating more frequently; and use a softener that regenerates based on actual use.

[source: Wisconsin Bureau of Wastewater Management].
Old     (depswa)      Join Date: Nov 2000       10-08-2012, 12:20 PM Reply   
Are you in Ventura? If you get a chance, give me a call. I am a manager at one of the major water conditioning companies that services your area...Hopefully it is not our service that you currently are having problems with...if it is, I will rectify the situation. I can answer any questions you might have and get you set up with a service that will work for you and I can see what I can do to get you a fellow wakeboarder "Bro" deal.

I definitely recommend calling me before you make a decision to go with an Automatic Softener from another company. I can give you the pros and cons and hopefully educate you enough to make the correct decision. Like I said, I'm a manager (not a sales rep), so I can give you the low-down without feeling the need to "Sell" you anything. I'd just rather you know what options are out there and are happy with whatever route you choose to go.

Give me a call on my Cell..

Dan Noonan
Old     (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       10-09-2012, 6:02 PM Reply   
thanks for the info guys.
Dan, I will hit you up in the next day or so. yes, in ventura.


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