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This has nothing to do with wood-working but with water-softeners

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 11-09-2013 12:39 PM 2284 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


11-09-2013 12:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I plan on retiring in a few years and while I have an income I try to replace everything in our house that need to be replaced.
I remodeled the whole house and added to it and I have replaced about everything that can be replaced, the last thing about 6 weeks ago what the furnace.
Now the very last thing that need to be replaced is the 20+ years old water softener.
This is a Culligan, it still works but I always try to replace before the disaster and not after.

When I get ready to buy a big appliance or a new tool I shop to death: I read , I ask, I read reviews, I go back and forth again and again.

So for water softening I found out that there are basically thee solutions:
Salt less water conditioners, reverse Osmosis and salt water softeners.
My Culligan is with salt.
I have a reverse osmosis water purification system under the sink in the kitchen, my wife and I love it.
Our water is hard , 18 grain.
I now believe that I am going to buy a metered salt water softener as they seems to be the best to remove the stuff in the water.
I need a 32 0000 to 40 000 grain unit.

The price range for these units goes from around $500 to well above $1200.
I looked at many units but one on HD retained my attention, the GE 40,000 Grain Water Softener

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-40-000-Grain-Water-Softener-GXSH40V/203219780#.Un4qyRlNz8t

The reviews on the HD site are very good but I read somewhere else that these units last only 5 or 6 years before they fail.
Do you have any experience with them?

I also looked that Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 grain water softener digitial sxt metered whole house system on Amazon,

http://www.amazon.com/Fleck-5600SXT-softener-digitial-
metered/dp/B004GEFKN8/ref=cmcrprproducttop#productDetails

This is a more “professional” unit but also it is more expensive.

I read that Fleck is one of the very best brand right now. Is this true?
What do you use at home?
What do you recommend?
Do you use the GE?

Thank you for reading.
Bertrand

-- Bert


20 replies so far

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Gene Howe

8256 posts in 2894 days


#1 posted 11-09-2013 01:06 PM

While we generally shy away from Sears and Kenmore products, but they were the only retailer available when we moved here 15 years ago. Our well water tested at 24 grains hardness with lots of iron. We needed it FAST.
We purchased their UltraSoft 880 automatic water conditioner. It has served us well for 15 years. It is very stingy in it’s use of the softening medium. All the water used from the outdoor faucets is NOT routed through the softener. Softens the water used in the house and removes the iron. We are very satisfied.
It is a single unit rather than separate filter and salt tanks.
We use potassium chloride rather than salt. A bit more expensive but safe for the wife’s indoor plants, and we get no salty tasting water.
Wife’s sister and BIL lives close to us and uses the same well. They bought the HD GE model you referenced plus a filter system ahead of the unit. They have had nothing but trouble with it.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1980 days


#2 posted 11-09-2013 01:15 PM

I had a similar problem years ago with a house with well in the Poconos. I put in a whole house filter rather than a water softener. I think the “salty tasting water” is actually way too high in sodium and although not hard, is bad for your health. Just my personal opinion. But my doctor agreed, and when my F-I-L died early of strokes, I remembered his constant attention to his salt based water conditioner, which he used for years. His wife followed him just four years later, dying of similar causes.

I found that I had to change out the filter in my whole-house about every three weeks. Cannot remember the micron, and it did not soften the water, but did stop the enormous amount of iron and calcium that was in our well water, and problems with things like shower heads, water heaters, etc. stopped.
Remember, this is just my opinion…

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#3 posted 11-09-2013 01:37 PM

Thank you guys

-- Bert

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Bogeyguy

548 posts in 1533 days


#4 posted 11-09-2013 01:42 PM

Just like their appliances, stay away from GE IMO.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#5 posted 11-09-2013 02:01 PM

Can a water filter (not reverse osmosis) remove the hard water particles as a water softener would do?

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#6 posted 11-09-2013 02:12 PM

.

-- Bert

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Gene Howe

8256 posts in 2894 days


#7 posted 11-09-2013 02:13 PM

Bert, no.
Depending on the filter, it will remove particulates and, possibly iron, but it will not soften.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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PaulDoug

1094 posts in 1169 days


#8 posted 11-09-2013 02:52 PM

Just thought I’d throw this in. We have a Culligan and it is getting old. The problem with most water softeners is the generate based on gallon of water used, not the hardness content. I find our water changes constantly so we do not get consistent soft water. I can see it change in iron content simple by how often I have to change the filter I installed. I wish they made one that monitored the hardness and generated based on that.

Also when I had mine installed, I plumbed one outside faucet into the system. Makes it much nicer when washing cars.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#9 posted 11-09-2013 03:32 PM

Paul, some new water softeners monitor how much water you use and the water hardness.
They change their settings automatically accordingly.

The GE which I am talking about at the beginning of this post does that.

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#10 posted 11-09-2013 08:03 PM

.

-- Bert

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Craftsman on the lake

2523 posts in 2903 days


#11 posted 11-09-2013 08:24 PM

”I had a similar problem years ago with a house with well in the Poconos. I put in a whole house filter rather than a water softener. I think the “salty tasting water” is actually way too high in sodium and although not hard, is bad for your health. Just my personal opinion. But my doctor agreed”

Hey wait. a water conditioner that uses salt doesn’t put salt in the water. I have one. The salt is just used to flush out the filter periodically. When this happens a valve shuts off water from the filter so that the wash water goes to the drain. Then it turns the filter back on and lets water run through it to clear out the impurities again. The salt never gets to the tap. The water is never salty, and it’s not the eating kind of salt anyway.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#12 posted 11-09-2013 08:35 PM

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sodium/AN00317

I’m trying to lower my sodium intake. How much sodium does a water softener add to tap water?

Answer
from Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.

Regular tap water contains very little sodium. The amount of sodium a water softener adds to tap water depends on the “hardness” of the water. Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium. Some water-softening systems replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. The higher the concentration of calcium and magnesium, the more sodium needed to soften the water. Even so, the added sodium doesn’t add up to much.

An 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass of softened water generally contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium, which is well within the Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “very low sodium.” Thus, it’s unlikely that sodium in softened water would pose a risk for most healthy people.

However, if you’re on a very low-sodium diet and you’re concerned about the amount of sodium in softened water, you may want to consider a water-purification system that uses potassium chloride instead. Another option is to soften only the hot water and use unsoftened cold water for drinking and cooking.

In any case, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of sodium in an average person’s diet comes from table salt and processed foods. Thus, the best way to decrease sodium in your diet is by putting away the saltshaker and cutting back on processed foods

http://www.purewaterproducts.com/articles/sodium-in-soft-water
How Much Sodium Does a Water Softener Put into Your Water?
Well, it all depends on how much “hardness” was in the water to begin with. The softener “exchanges” about an equal amount of sodium for the initial hardness. The harder the water, the more sodium you’ll have added to the final product.

Although this is actually a rather complicated math problem, it can be simplified to the following:

Grains per gallon (GPG) of total hardness x 1.89 = mg. of sodium (NA) in an 8 oz glass of water.

Even simpler:

GPG hardness x 2 = mg. of sodium in an 8 oz glass of water, more or less.

In other words, if your water test tells you that you have 18 grains per gallon hardness, installing a water softener will add about 35 milligrams of sodium to each 8 oz. glass of water you drink.

To put this in perspective, a tablespoon of catsup has 204 mg. of sodium and a slice of whole wheat bread has 211.

We should explain that what we are calculating is not the total sodium in your water, but the total amount added by the water softener. If your water already has 30 mg/L (milligrams per liter), you’ll have to add that to what the softener puts in. An 8-oz glass is about 1/4 of a liter, so your total natural sodium for the 18-grain example above would be about 8 ppm. Add to that the amount added by the softener, and you’ll have a general idea of the amount of sodium you’ll be consuming from your drinking water.

FYI: Filters don’t remove sodium from water, but reverse osmosis units do.

Note: If you’re trying to make a more exact determination of the sodium added by a softener, here are some facts to help.

Ion exchange people usually express sodium as grains per gallon and as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This puts it in the same size frame so that you can compare it with the calcium/magnesium hardness in the water. To convert GPG sodium as CaCO3 to GPG sodium as NA (sodium), multiply by 0.460 (the sodium conversion factor)

-- Bert

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Woodmaster1

737 posts in 2052 days


#13 posted 11-09-2013 09:13 PM

Bert, I like your train of thought. I have replace all major appliances, new roof, and furnace the house is basically maintenance free. I also upgraded the important things like a tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press, planer and jointer. One last thing on th list is heat for the garage. I am retiring at the end of the school year after 39 yrs.

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#14 posted 11-09-2013 09:15 PM

Thank you

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2514 days


#15 posted 11-09-2013 10:29 PM

” the house is basically maintenance free.”
I do not belivet that such a thing exst

-- Bert

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