Advice on Water Softeners

shafer97201August 5, 2013

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but have tried to read everything I can find about water softeners. I have moderately hard water at about 6 grain per gallon (leaves white stains on everything). Water is municipal water, chlorinated at about .2-.5 ppm. I have gotten quotes from Kinetico, Ecowater, and Culligan. I am not going to "do it myself." I have eliminated Culligan. I am looking at the Kinetico S250 Premier or the Ecowater 3500R. I understand some of the pros and cons of each. I believe the Ecowater removes chlorine within the system, Kinetico would require a pre-filter. I understand chlorine can reduce the life of the resin, but at the low level I have I am thinking it is not worth spending hundreds on a pre-filter. Both have good warranties. Anyone have any experience/advice or which is better?

I also don't think I can bypass one of my outdoor hoses in the front due to where it comes off the water line (right before the water heater and then it goes up into the ceiling of the garage to the outside wall-the water main is under the house..). That is pushing me to believe I need to you potassium chloride instead of salt as I may need to occasionally water plants with the hose-I understand sodium may hurt plants. Any thoughts? Or should I stay with salt due to the low cost and run a new hose line to the other side of the house but also in the front?

Thank you in advance for your advice.

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The ECO removes chlorine within itself be using a mixed media bed of resin and carbon which is a bad idea for the customer but good for the dealer. Since there's a minimal amount of carbon (which removes the chlorine) mixed with the resin when the carbon is depleted the dealer will come out and add more carbon to the resin tank but... not for free and who will be monitoring the chlorine levels in the water so someone knows when the carbon is depleted and needs to be replaced... you?.

I'm not a fan of removing anti-bacterials under any circumstances and especially at the low levels you quote. Anti-bacterials are added to water supplies for a reason and giving up that protection at the house POE just doesn't make sense to me.I have to know my water is safe when I turn on the faucet... no ifs, ands, or buts. At your chlorine levels your resin might only last 15 years instead of 20 or maybe 20 instead of 25 years. By then it'll be time to rebuild the control valve anyway so get them to rebed the softener when they come to rebuild it..

Watering house plants with NaCl softened water in theory could harm plants.. Our water is currently running at 40gpg hardness (approximately 7 times more sodium exchanged into the soft water than you will have) and the wife routinely waters her house plants and no casualties have been reported and I know I'd hear it if one of her plants curled a leaf let alone died.

At 6 gpg hardness you really needn't worry but don't water anything with the effluent that runs from softener to drain during regeneration... that stuff is high concentrate chlorides.

KCl is an appealing alternative especially to people on a salt restricted diet and when it was $7 a 40 pound bag I used it, but
KCL ia currently selling for around $25 per 40 lb bag and NaCl is around $4 per 40 pound bag so the question is how much money you got to spend on regenerant? Quality NaCl is fine for your needs.

Whichever softener you choose make sure the installation is treating the water to the entire house and not just to the water heater,

Before you pull the trigger on a brand name proprietary softener from Kinetico or ECO look around for local independent water treatment companies that sell industry standard softeners. Equal performance for a fraction of the brand name cost and parts and (free) tech info are readily available unlike Kinetico, ECO, or Culligan.

This post was edited by justalurker on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 20:40

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 8:01PM
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