Soft Water/Warter Softener Questions
I really didn't want to start another water softener thread but I just couldn't really find any that answered my questions. Sorry.
We've just finished building a new house, that has a well, and were given a quote on a water softener. I'm a bit annoyed by the dealer because I never asked for a quote or my water to be tested. I guess my builder gave him access to my water and my contact info, now he calls all the time, twice so far this evening (whomever invented caller ID deserves an award). Anyway, my exposure to softened water is limited so I have a few questions re my experiences.
First, the only thing I know about our well water is what this dealer told me. He said the hardness was a 15 with a trace of iron. That's it. I think I'll call him and tell him to send me the results of his test. We aren't living there yet so I haven't tried showering or anything yet. If you try hard you can barely taste the iron in the aftertaste of a drink of water. You have to be searching for the taste to notice it. The water does leave a white residue in glasses and in water spots in the sink. I'm assuming this is due to the hardness and not something in our pipes due to new construction? Though I currently have hard city water and have never experienced this residue before.
Anyway, I'd like to eliminate this and save wear and tear on my appliances, so in comes the water softener idea. The draw back is that I've had miserable experiences with softened water. I wanted to see what everbody thought of my experience and see if it was due to soft water and if there are remedies to my concerns.
The first is obviously the "slimely" feel. I absolutly hate this. I don't even like to get dressed after I shower in this stuff. My hair feels heavy on my head and dirty and my face always breaks out. I've read that these are natural oils, so why do I breakout? The tubs are always slimey and slippery too. Why is this the case? I shave before I shower and the water just burns my face, it's very unpleasant! Is this from the salt getting into tiny nicks (not helped by this sudden acne outbreak that I get) and raw skin?
Currently we have city water and love it (I read that it has been named best muny water in Michigan). I "feel" clean and my hair has body, not flat and greasy feeling. I've never had any problems getting suds like I've read. Is it that it must not be too hard? I'd love to be able to replicate this water over at the new house.
So, do my soft water complaints sound typical or is something else also at work? Would going to potassium chloride over sodium chloride eliminate the "salt in the wound" feeling I get when I shower? I saw a thread about adding some hard water to the softened water that goes to a shower. Sounds like something I'd want to consider. Maybe I'd get used to the soft water but I'm skeptical because I nearly go nuts with it now. My grandfather has been using a water softener since 1980 and he still hates it, but my grandmother won't budge.
I was also wondering about softening water to be used outside. Will the trace of iron start to leave rust marks on the outside? Is water softened with sodium chloride safe for plants? And how much more does it cost to use potassium chloride (there's just the 2 of us)?
Thanks for reading my ramblings and thanks for any feedback.