Kitchen faucet recommend for hard water

rocks911October 6, 2012

I am in the market for a new kitchen faucet as I am having granite counter tops installed. The old faucet is just four years old but because of hard water I can hardly move it from side to side.

I want a single neck faucet and a soap despenser.Is there any brand or material that does better with hard water than any other?

Its just incredible to me that my current faucet is nearly siezed up after four years.

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Sophie Wheeler

Trying to put a bandaid over a gushing artery is never the recommended approach. If your faucet is gunked up after only 4 years, imagine the pipes going to that faucet and your water heater and all of the other components in your home's plumbing systems.

You should look at putting in a water treatment system. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than paying to repipe the whole home because it's all clogged up with mineral deposits.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 11:38AM
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Alright then, what do you recommend to soften the water?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 12:31PM
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From my cities web site:
The hardness levels can change from month to month, but averages 161 mg/L or 7.0-10.5 grains/gal. Calcium and magnesium salts are the minerals in water which are responsible for its hardness

So can somebody recommend a solution?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 5:08PM
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The first thing you ought to do if you are interested in treating your water is get your water tested by a certified lab. You want to know:


Your city's website may be a good place to start, but realize that some of those numbers can change by the time they get to your house as water picks up contaminants from whatever pipes it sees along the way.

Contact local water treatment companies such as Culligan, Kinetico and there are likely others in your area as well. Sometimes plumbing companies are competent as well. They will send a rep out to do some water testing (not as accurate as a lab) and make recommendations. If you are handy, you can also purchase online and install one yourself or have a local plumber install it.

I can help you ensure you get the proper size, but need to know the list I provided above as well as:

1) Number of people in your home
2) Number of bathrooms
3) Any high-water-use devises such as jacuzzi tubs, multi-head showers, etc.
4) Do you intend to change the number of people in the home within the next couple of years or frequently have overnight guests?
5) If you know how much water you actually use in a month on the inside of your home only (not lawn watering) that would be the most accurate info.
6) The buildup in your faucet - what color is it? Do you see orange staining in sinks/toilets?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Softeners aren't plug and play devices. You have to do a lot of work on your end to get the information you need to do it correctly. Alice is a guru though, and if you can provide the info she asked you for, I'm sure that you can educate yourself enough to either DIY or to at least evaluate the contractors who come out to give you quotes.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Thanks for the replies, I'll have to accumulate the requested info.
Right off the bat I can provide the obvious info:
1. my wife and I
2. 4 1/2
3. 1 jacuzzi tub
4. No not really, just the wife and I and occasionally a guest or two and during the holidays a house full.
5. I accessed my online utilities account and there were some strange numbers for water usage, everything from 9.2 in February to 39.1 in August. Not sure what units. here in Texas obviously we use a LOT of water for the lawn/shrubs.
6. there isnt really a "build-up" per se, just deposits around the faucet making it difficult to swivel. White I suppose calcium.

The rest obviously will require testing.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2012 at 8:06PM
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Its proving difficult to find a lab to test my home water and I dont want to call a water treatment business because in my 52 years of life I have found that they are like insurance salesmen, they just never stop.

So how do I find someone to do this?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:12AM
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If you have city water, you can request a copy of the quarterly or annual water report - it should include the analysis you need. You should be aware, however, that water is likely pick up a contaminant or two on it's way to your home. You can ask the city what lab they use for their analysis. If they do their own testing, they may be willing to test yours for a fee. If all else fails, you can find test kits online (Amazon even has a few) - Hach tests are your best bet for good quality. Their accuracy will depend entirely on your ability to perform the tests precisely.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:19AM
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So I went through the EPA
and discovered a listing of certified facilities, most of which are city treatment plants, but did manage to find one in my area that was on the list as "certified". I called and was told that they could not certify results for anything other than 2 parameters which had to do with bacteria. So I thought a couple of things, firstly, why are they called a certified lab if they cant certify the results of all their tests, and how reliable is a non-certified result?

They said the results would take about 2 weeks and cost about $250.

really?! This is what I need to do?

My water district has the following test results:

I really need to spend $250 to get my water tested?
Cant I just set up a basic filtration system without knowing the lab results for all these parameters?

I just want to stop the hard water deposits in my system.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:07PM
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You guys need a FAQ for softener sizing and design in this forum

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Here's the thing, rocks911. Water chemistry isn't simple. Softeners use resin beads to exchanged the calcium and magnesium in your water for sodium or potassium. Resin beads are specialized plastics. They work really well under the right conditions, but if you have the wrong conditions, they won't do much for you and you will have wasted your money.

Softeners will also collect iron and manganese, but only up to a point, and they resin does not like to let go of them during regeneration. Consequently, every ppm (part per million) of iron or manganese needs to be treated as if it were 4 - 5 grains of hardness. That is 68 - 85 times what we need to do to remove 1 ppm of hardness. It's a big deal, and can make a huge difference in correct softener sizing.

Now, I can guess that your iron is exactly what the city report says it is, and assume that the water picks up nothing on its way to your house and size a softener for you and perhaps we will get lucky and you will get the correct softener. What if we're wrong? Then you will have spent money and still have the same problems you have now. You will be unhappy, rightfully so.

Go to your yellow pages and look under water treatment. Find a local water treatment company and have them come out to do some testing for you. Tell them to test for iron. Their test will not be very accurate, and I would not size my personal softener based on it, but it's a cheaper alternative for you. Have several companies come out and make recommendations.

Things to consider:
1) You don't want to water your lawn with softened water - grass doesn't like the extra sodium. You could use potassium chloride for regeneration, but that may be expensive if you are watering a lot in the Summer. It would be better if lawn water is left unsoftened.
2) You want a gravel underbed in your softener to improve resin life and ensure proper flow distribution.
3) You want a quality American made resin - it will be more uniform and last longer. The resin should be 10% cross-linked to withstand chlorine from city water.
4) You want a system that regenerates on demand, not based on time.
5) You want a bypass so that you won't have to shut off water to the entire house if your softener needs to be worked on.
6) You want to read and learn as much as you can before making a water treatment decision because, sadly, there are lots of snake-oils salesmen out there.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Good question! We just finished our reno and I'm afraid our hard water will ruin our pretty new fixtures. Do the salt-free options really work? I hate the taste of "water softener water." Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 7:58PM
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There are many threads on this site about the salt-free options. I'll let you read those rather than repeat.

If you hate the taste of soft water, a small RO system (reverse osmosis) will provide clean, clear water. Alternately, you can run an unsoftened line to your sink with a separate faucet just for drinking water. It's purely a matter of taste, unless you have something dangerous in your water.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 8:19PM
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Thanks, Alice!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Having your hose bibs/garden taps bypass the softener/treatment system also has the benefit of less load on the softener, and maximum pressure/flow.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 12:47AM
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