Water Softener and Possible RO unit

kwarner16January 21, 2012

Hi everyone, I am new to this all though I have tried to read as much as I can I am still in need of some expert advice. We are looking to buy a water softener we are trying to decide between the Fleck 9100 SXT Twin Tank to be purchased online and buying a local Watts PWSYS-WH-SOFT-PRO SE-30K. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

This what we know about our water.

We on on a well 27 G.P.G. T.D.S. 450 PH 7.5

We will have a 2 BA home with 2 adults.

Thanks for the help.

Kathy

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justalurker

Any intelligent discussion of water treatment begins with the results of a comprehensive water test and with well water the tests should be by a certified independent lab.

So, let's see... well water, 27gpg hardness, TDS 450, PH 7.5, 2 baths, 2 adults

How about... iron, manganese, sodium, nitrates, bacteria, chlorine, copper?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 1:33PM
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kwarner16

Thanks justalurker, I will see about finding a independant lab to test the water do you have any suggestions on how to go about finding one? We live in the country so I am sure it will probably have to be sent out.
Thanks again

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 1:50PM
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justalurker

Call county, municipal, or state environmental heath departments and see if they have any recommendations for labs. Also colleges or universities nearby.

You can Google well water testing and stand back...

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 2:11PM
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andy_c

I agree. A little more knowledge about your water would be helpful. You numbers don't chime very well...at least your TDS. You hardness alone has more TDS than your current total.

Anyway, I would recommend a twin-tank design for best performance and consistency. You will appreciate the longer life and efficiency and allowing for unusual water usage.

Yes, more details would not hurt. I always recommend an RO for drinking water quality. I also recommend an adequate pre-filter ahead of the softener to protect that investment, as well.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 8:29AM
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justalurker

If I were a softener salesman I'd recommend the more expensive twin resin tank softener even when it's not necessary and always recommend an RO for drinking water and a pre-filter whether needed or not... because there's more profit in doing that.

Wanting to help the OP, I'll wait till the facts are in and then make my best recommendation. "A little more knowledge about your water would be helpful"? The facts are not merely "helpful", the facts are absolutely necessary to make the best recommendation driven by the OP's need and not the salesman's commission or dealer's profit..

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 12:46PM
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kwarner16

Justalurker, Would you mind giving me the complete list of what you think is absolutely necessary as far as having the water tested? I have located a lab to do the testing for around $200.00 don't have the specific test yet but I believe they said it would be for about 15 things including hardness. I just want to make sure I'm not skipping anything. Thanks again for your advice I appreciate you taking your time to help me out with this .

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 3:44PM
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justalurker

Labs know what to test for from well water.

At a minimum...

hardness, iron (ferric and ferrous), manganese, magnesium, copper, sodium, chlorine, PH, TDS, arsenic, nitrates, and bacteria.

A little light reading regarding well water safety concerns and testing... http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/testing.html

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 4:19PM
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kwarner16

Ok we finally got our test results back so here is the list of what we got for our $180 hope it helps with determining what type or size of water softener we would need. Thanks in advance for everyones help and especially justalurker for the list of what to look for hopefully most of it is covered.
Total Coliform (Enumeration) 0 CFU/100ml
pH 7.2 S.U., E.Coli (Enumeration-MPN24) 0 CFU/100ml
Conductivity,Specific 1,306 umhos/cm Total Dissolved Solids 812 mg/L Total Hardness CaCO3 436 mg/L Sulfate 64.0 mg/L Chloride 234 mg/L Nitrate-N 1.13 mg/L Fluoride 0.609 mg/L Alkalinity, Bicarbonate 264 mg/L Alkalinity Total 264 mg/L Iron/ICP (Total) 0.070 mg/L Calcium/ICP (Total) 139 mg/L Magnesium/ICP (Total) 19.9 mg/L Sodium/ICP (Total) 97.2 mg/L Manganese/ICP (Total)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 6:32PM
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justalurker

What we needed to see...

PH 7.2
TDS 812 mg/L
Total Hardness CaCO3 436 mg/L
Sulfate 64.0 mg/L
Chloride 234 mg/L
Nitrate-N 1.13 mg/L
Fluoride 0.609 mg/L
Alkalinity, Bicarbonate 264 mg/L
Alkalinity Total 264 mg/L
Iron/ICP (Total) 0.070 mg/L
Calcium/ICP (Total) 139 mg/L
Magnesium/ICP (Total) 19.9 mg/L
Sodium/ICP (Total) 97.2 mg/L
Manganese/ICP (Total) The best news of all... no bacteria and nitrates are very low. You should be testing for bacteria and nitrates every year or two.

So, 2 adults, two bathrooms, no water hogging appliances.

Looks like a 1.5 cu ft single resin tank softener will do nicely. Plenty of SFR and set up to run efficiently you'll use about one bag of salt a month. Will easily accommodate an increase in occupancy.

You could get by with a 1.25 cu ft softener but it's only marginally less expensive. The 1 cu ft softener your local company recommended would be too small and operate very inefficiently wasting salt and water.

There is no compelling reason to consider a twin resin tank softener.

With your hardness and TDS I'd recommend an RO under the kitchen sink for cooking, drinking, and ice cubes/fridge.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:20PM
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kwarner16

Justalurker,

Thanks for the info. Are there any particular brands you recommend?

Thanks again,

Kathy

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:37PM
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justalurker

Best bang for the buck is an industry standard softener with a Fleck or Clack control valve from an independent water treatment pro or online if you are a DIYer.

Get some quotes and post the details and we'll comment.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 9:13PM
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kwarner16

This is what we were told at the local plumbing supply would be good for what we have. Any advice as to whether this will be ok would be appreciated.
Aqua Pure -PURW CWS150ME 14 GPM Water Softener

AQ-P 561101 Water Filter with AP910R Standard Cartridge

Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 12:48PM
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justalurker

In general plumbing supply places are the second worst place to go for water treatment advice and equipment. The worst place is EVERY big box store.

There is no compelling reason for a filter of any kind.

What price did the plumbing supply quote you on the Aqua Pure -PURW CWS150ME water softener?

Look in the Yellow Pages for independent water treatment pros. Usually listed under water treatment and not selling a big brand name. They sell industry standard softeners and install and service what they sell.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:12PM
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kwarner16

Where we live you get Kinetico or Culligan for our independent water treatment pros. Unfortunately neither of those were in our budget. The other choices would have been HD, Lowes or , Sears, and no one at either place knew much about what they were selling. We were thinking about buying online but were afraid we would not be able to have the unit serviced if we needed to. We asked about the prefilter because we had one on the well already hoping it will help. Cost quoted for softener $830 for filter $225. Thanks again

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 1:30PM
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justalurker

Kinetico and Culligan are not independent. They are brand name, franchised, and expensive. I find it hard to believe there isn't at least one independent water treatment pro in the area so take another look around.

There doesn't seem to be a reason for a pre-filter so I'd abandon that.

$830 for that 1.25 cu ft softener is reasonable.

Is that including installation? Who does the install?

What is the warranty? Parts and labor? How long?

Who does the warranty service?

Ask your neighbors what they're doing for water treatment. They might point you in the right direction or tell you who to avoid. Maybe you can get some feedback on the plumbing supply.

I'd opt for a 1.5 cu ft softener (10x54 resin tank) and they should be able to offer that at a very small increase in price.

I can pretty much guarantee that they won't set the softener up for the most efficient operation but we can help you with that.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:00PM
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kwarner16

Justalurker, you have been most helpful, and as you can tell by how old my original post is we exhausted all possible leads, neighbors have Kinetico, another has one from Sears I believe. We did check out both of those but as I said before Kinetico cost to much and Sears really weren't very knowledgeable about there units. Also my DH wanted one that he could program as to when it would flush or whatever it is called. Anyway for what it's worth we decided to go ahead with the Aqua Pure ( it was also recommended by the plumber that will be doing the plumbing in our house we will be building). DH will do the install. Setting I might need to pick your brain for those. The warranty is Lifetime on the tank and 5 years on the head if I recall correctly. Thanks so much for being an unending source if info.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 2:59PM
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justalurker

I believe this is the manual for the softener you have chosen... http://www.3mwater.com/media/catalog/product/pdfs/CWSSeriesManual.pdf

Study up and be ready.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 5:33PM
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kwarner16

Justalurker, thanks again, fingers crossed all will go well!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 5:53PM
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