Water Softener questions
I have read the forums and researched the systems (understanding most of the material) and still am unsure of the best setup. My biggest concern is undersizing the unit for the house if we decide to have kids or decide to flip. Or oversizing the tank in anticipation of increased use that never happens.
We have 2400 sq. ft. house for 2 adults, may add a couple in next few years. 2 full baths, and a huge 6'x3' jacuzzi tub that gets used once a week. According to water department bills our highest daily usage was 200, generally closer to 160.
My initial thought was to buy off the shelf Sears or GE cabinet style and hope it got me 7 or more years of service. I had Ecosystems and Culligan give me prices that would allow me to swap out a "junk" cabinet style 3-4 times and still be cheaper. My dad and uncle both have had success and both have cabinet that are 15+ years old.
The current tank is a 21 year old cabinet model but was without salt when we purchased the house. It sounded like a spaceship was landing at 3am when it went off the first time. We have been using it for the past 8 months but I am not sure how effective it was. It has been bypassed and unplugged for the past few weeks.
I have seen the light and discovered two tank systems for about the same price as a cabinet style. (Fleck 5600SXT 32,000 is at top of shopping list.)
One salesperson said a prefilter would extend the life of the softener. Is that worthwhile investment? Even without odors and a municipal supply?
This is first house w/ water softener, and not used to slippery feeling- one feature that Culligan had was an adjustable hardness dial. Is that a feature that can be added to any softener system? We thought that we could slowly adjust it so we could get used to the softer water.
Finally, should I bypass the water softener for the RO filter? The old setup had the RO filter connected before the water softener. I replaced it and it is connected to after the softener.
Water in our area is from municipality, drawn from 19 wells at 10 locations. Was told that highest readings were 22-24 grains, ours tested within 20 hours at 12 and 19 GPG. According to the water department they recommend setting at 18 and adjusting. Last year the average was 17.
We have very little iron or chlorine, not sure of pH but assume it is balanced. No odors and water actually is okay even without using the RO faucet in kitchen. Our toilets do get deposits and under the faucet the tub and sink do have rough spots.
Sure is easy for those salesmen to sell you on the fact that their system is the right one for the house even though they only seem to have one unit they sell to everyone. But it also seems that the Fleck unit is the one that seems to be recommended online.
PS Thanks for the help.