Water softener

casaramOctober 24, 2011

Hi, I'm hoping this is the right subforum for this question. Apologies if not.

The previous owners of our home left us with a water softener to process our well water. They left us with a brine tank full of salt pellets, and we have been diligently refilling it with the yellow bags of "Diamond Crystal" pellets.

We have not moved in full time yet, but each time we visit the house for a day or more my wife gets terrible rashes/skin irritation around her mouth. As soon as we leave, the irritation goes away within a few days.

Our home inspection water tests did not show abnormal levels for anything except sodium, which was 110mg/L. Our water hardness (downstream from the water softener) tested at 10mg/L.

One more bit of info is that our water is consistently very "slippery", especially when we use soap. There is no noticeable buildup or rusty coloration on any of our faucets/drains.

Any ideas what may be causing this irritation? Is it related to our hard water/water softener? Could the water softener be making the water TOO soft?

Thanks very much!

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justalurker

Post the results of the water test.

What brand and model is the softener?

Was water hardness 10 mg/l before or after the softener?

Is the softener plumbed to treat all the water entering the house or just the hot water?

There is no such thing as too soft. Water can be zero hardness and that's it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 2:14PM
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casaram

The hardness of 10mg/l is after the softener (from the faucet) I believe, but your question about the hot water vs. all water had not occurred to me. I will check this out. Is this a common way to hook up this kind of system?

Test results:
e. coli - absent
arsenic - chloride - 61mg/l
copper - 0.067mg/l
iron - flouride - hardness - manganese - sodium - 110mg/l
nitrite-nitrogen - <.2mg>nitrate-nitrogen - lead - 5.7 ug/l
pH 6.8
total coliform - absent

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 3:41PM
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justalurker

Are these test results from BEFORE the softener or after the softener?

If the softener is working properly and is correctly sized and set up the hardness after the softener should be ZERO.

Softening only the hot water is stupid but it is done.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:19PM
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casaram

The testing was from after the softener. The test was taken from the kitchen sink. However you confused me a bit by suggesting that just the hot water may be softened, and to be honest, I don't know if the test used hot water from the kitchen sink but I'm guessing no. I have to check if the softener is just affecting hot water or all water.

The test result read 10, but according to the test lab website, 10 is the lowest they can report, so in effect, I'm guessing 10 really means "zero".

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 4:37PM
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justalurker

When buying a house with a well there must be a comprehensive water test of the RAW, untreated water from the well.

That's how you know what the water conditions are and what may need to be treated.

And again... what brand and model is the softener?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 5:10PM
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casaram

I don't know the brand/model off the top of my head and I'm not home right now. Will get you this info. Thank you so much for all of your replies.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 5:16PM
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