Water softener/filter recommendation

AnxiousTurtleMarch 24, 2014

Hi there,

Long time listener first time caller.

I was hoping I could get some recommendations for a water filter/treatment system for our new house. Here is some info:

I know our water is very hard.

There are two people with guests from time to time of up to 8-10
6.5 bathrooms
we have a jetted tub
We are on city water.
Total Hardness: 208ppm
Sodium 55ppm
Chloride 61ppm
Sulfate 36ppm
Zinc .06ppm
Turbidity .2
Total Dissolved Solids 410ppm
Boron 150

Thanks very much in advance. I've learned so much from being a student on this forum.

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  1. Any problems with iron?

  2. Any particulates in the water at all?

  3. Are you more concerned with salt efficiency or water efficiency?

  4. Is a little bit of hardness alright, or do you want your water as soft as possible?

Your situation presents some difficulty. With only 2 people, a very small softener would be fine. However, your house is quite large and the probability of multiple fixture use with guests is high. This means that whatever we do won't be ideal in terms of water or salt efficiency.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Thank you so much for the response. I just bought the house.

1) I cannot say for sure as I have not had the iron content tested yet, but I can do that.
2) I'm not sure about particulates, but even though I'm on city water, I'm a bit in the country so the water is stored in tanks and our backup water supply is Lake Casitas.
3) I'm concerned about water efficiency primarily as we are in the middle of a drought in southern California, and I would to be a responsible citizen. :-)
4) A bit of hardness is alright, but there was a lot of lime buildup on bathroom fixtures, etc. The water out of the tap tastes chemically and pretty bad.

You're exactly right about the house. I think we overbought a bit. I know there was a whole house carbon filter and water softener service with the prior owner.

I also am going to get my water further tested as the water that was tested was outside the house, so who knows what really is going on in the pipes to the house. It's a long run (700+ linear feet)

Thanks again for the advice. What do you think my next move should be?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 12:21PM
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By the way, I should mention that I got my water info from the county site. Here is a link to it. I did not have my individual water tested. They have all the info on lead, particulates, etc. Thanks again.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ventura County Ojai Valley County Water report

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:25PM
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You indicated that Lake Casitas is your backup water supply. Does that mean your regular water supply is Ventura River County Water District? If that is the case, the hardness numbers will be a lot different

You also indicated a lot of hardness buildup on fixtures. Is it white/beige or does it have any rust color to it? Get your water tested for ferrous iron and then I can provide a good size recommendation. Some water providers will perform an iron test for customers. Otherwise a water lab can do it for you.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:15PM
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Hi There, aliceinwonderland_id,

That is correct about Ventura River County Water District being my regular supply. The link I posted was for the Ventura River district water supply numbers.

The hardness buildup on the fixtures is green, but I don't think I see any rust color. I will get an iron test performed asap.

Thank you so much for your assistance. Have a good one

This post was edited by AnxiousTurtle on Wed, Mar 26, 14 at 22:04

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:50PM
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I can't decide between the Fleck 7000 SXT On Demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener and the 64,000. I was going to put a big blue in front of it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 1:42AM
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Since the cost difference between the two sizes is small, I would go with the larger softener. The size of your home, number of bathrooms, and your indication that you will have a large number of guests at a time make the 2.0 cubic ft softener a better choice. When it is just the two of you, it will go up to 12 days between regenerations, which is fine with your water quality.

The following requirements are for an industry standard softener. If you are looking for a non-electronic softener, Kinetico offers the more reliable options at a premium price (and you would need to deal with a local Kinetico rep). Any decent softener vendor should be able to provide the following:

  • High quality American or German made resin. This will provide a tight size distribution for optimal flow within the resin

  • Since you have CITY WATER: 10% crosslinked resin. The oxidizers that city water treatment plants use, such as chlorine or chloramine, are harmful to softener resins. Higher crosslinking will resist chemical attack longer.

  • Top basket. This serves two purposes. It sets up a proper water distribution during normal operation and prevents resin loss during backwash.

  • Gravel underbed. Since you will have a larger residential softener, this is very important. The gravel underbed is there to set up proper flow patterns, improve backwash, keep the bottom basket in place, prevent basket failure, and prevent channeling. Many softener sales companies like to leave this out or sell softeners with a vortex system instead. Vortex systems weigh less than gravel so they cost less to ship. In addition, they are a more expensive item that adds profit for the softener salesperson, but provides no additional benefit to the homeowner . It simply adds another piece of equipment that can break.

  • Fleck or Clack valves. If you choose Fleck, get the 7000sxt. These set the industry standard. Be aware that you will not be able to purchase Clack valves online. This is not a problem if you purchase locally.

  • The valve should regen based on water usage, not time.

  • Noryl bypass. Most softeners are available with either Noryl or stainless bypass valves. Both are good valves, but the noryl tends to be more reliable when not used for long periods of time.

  • Install the softener with a three-valve bypass. This will make it so much easier if you ever need to remove the softener for repairs or wish to take it with you when you move. Use full-port, quarter-turn valves.

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Mon, Mar 31, 14 at 10:31

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:57AM
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