Does a water filter on a fridge, filter the salt on a softener?

xoxosmomFebruary 26, 2008

We just bought a new fridge with a built in filter. We plan on adding a softener to our house does the fridge filter the softened water? Does it filter any of the salt?

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A subject of great misconception... there is no salt when softening water unless you are softening salt water.

Water is softened by ion exchange where sodium or potassium ions are exchanged for calcium ions.

While either NaCl (sodium chloride) or KCl (potassium chloride), both salts, are used to regenerate the ion exchange resin the "Cl" part of either "salt" goes to drain during regeneration. There are NO chlorides added to softened water and therefore NO salt.

One may taste the exchanged sodium or potassium in the softened water, especially if the source water is very hard (the higher the hardness of the source water, the higher the amount of sodium or potassium ions are exchanged to soften the hard water), but there is NO salt added.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 1:24PM
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Agreed. But the increased sodium may be a health concern for certain medical conditions. Ask your physician. The refrigerator filter does not remove sodium.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Agreed, if a doctor has placed someone on a "low sodium" diet people assume, and you know the "assume" joke, the doctor meant LOW SALT. A common mistake... about as common as thinking salt is added to softened water.

Using KCl (potassium chloride) in an ion exchange softener is approved for people on a low sodium diet.

If under a doctor's care people should always advise him/her of any circumstances that vary from natural and/or common food or water consumption.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Our water softener is hooked up only to the hot water. We were told "no need to soften the cold", so basically if you tap into the cold water line you shouldn't have a soft water issue, if that is how your softener was set up.
I guess we use hot/warm for washing and cold for drinking and outside watering so it works for us : )
Plus we already have a filter to the water line coming in to the house and the new fridge also has the filtered water too!! Wasn't planned that way but i'm sure it is o.k to double filter LOL

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 6:37PM
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No need to soften the cold?

Guess then you only need to buy right side brakes when it's time to do so for your car?

Guess I don't get why you would subject your toilets, washer (cold rinse), plumbing valves and all else to hard water when soft is available.

You do blend your cold with hot when bathing right? Why be part soft when you can be all soft? Clothes washing in hot is soft, warm is partly soft and cold rinses and delicates are not soft? HMMMM still don't get it.

A tap in line before softener can be used for drinking and lawn watering, or just use an RO for drinking & fridge.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 9:28PM
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I didn't grow up with a water softener and our pipes, clothing and toilets/plumbing are still working : ) Not sure why I need to soften my toilet water? I always wash in warm or hot, and in my bath it is still soft enough to make me slip around in the tub and make everthing overly bubbley LOL. I don't find any issues with having only the hot water softened, not sure why it would bother anyone else or have anything to do with comparing it to the brakes on my vehicle LOL. It must be how it is done where I live and I've never had any complaints or dirty whites. Maybe our water isn't as hard as some.
You could have the water line to the fridge connected before the softener too. Hope it helps you out xoxosmom : )

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 3:09PM
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i recently added a whole house water filter after my water softener because the DW did not like the aftertaste of the KCL. I added the water filter in (a Big Blue with 2 filters) and she now says the water tastes fine.

Will the water filter remove the aftertaste? I am just curious. The DW will now drink the water (before she would not) so the 300 bucks I spent was worth it. But she thinks, and I actually think so too, that the water tastes better. Are we nuts?


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 11:46AM
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If you have carbon filters in the big blue then yes, it will "polish" the taste.

In fact, the final filter in most RO units and most "fridge" filters is carbon and called a polishing or a taste filter.

You ought to install pressure gauges before and after that big blue filter housing so you can monitor the pressure drop across the housing and element and know when it's time to replace the elements. The gauges will also tell you if the filter housing is limiting the SFR (service flow rate) of the plumbing because you don't want that.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:45PM
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justalurker - many thanks ! I guess I did OK.

The Big Blue filter I bought from Abundant Water Flow has the 2 pressure gauges included with the dual filter unit. I was wondering why they had 2 guages - now I know why.

The first filter is called a pre-filter but I do not know what that means or is exactly. The second filter is the carbon filter.

I learned a lot about water treatment and softeners by reading many of your other posts - quite helpful and saved us a ton of money!

After putting the softener in I realized that we should have been treating our water all these years - even when we were on public water. When we wash our stemware and other glass - no spots! I also had wondered why my humidifiers would always gunk up - we had very hard water.

In my recent build, the builder brought in a guy who wanted to charge us $8000 for an iron filter (which we did not need) and a water softener. We put the softener in for $1000 (cost for the filter and for plumber to hook up main lines). Then I put the water filter in for less than 300. So we were done for 1300 vs. 8000!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:34PM
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    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:34AM
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OK so what I am getting from the posts above is that having a water softener for the whole house (which we just put in) doesn't mean we have "extra salt" in our cold tap water? Hubby says he can taste it & I say you cant. We were going to put a filter on the icemaker to rid it of salt but if there isn't a reason, maybe we should save our money! He is on a BP pill & that keeps him under control.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:09PM
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