Soften water only to hot water?

popedaOctober 18, 2009

Was reading another thread and saw a side comment that softening only to hot water was not a good idea. We are considering doing that.

My goal is longer life for hot water, less hard water mess in bathrooms, and less etching in dishwasher. I have to say that switching to Cascade Complete has helped in dishwasher, but we still have some problems with glassware.

Don't want to drink salted water. So...wouldn't just softening to hot water heater make sense?

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The advantages of soft water are...

* To eliminate minerals (and deposits) from the service water, the plumbing, the fixtures, and the appliances.

* To facilitate the use of less soap and detergents.

The cost benefits of soft water are...

* Longer service life and reduced maintenance of the plumbing, the fixtures, and the appliances.

* Clothes last longer.

Common misconceptions about soft water...

* Softening ONLY the cold water supplying the water heater leaves hard water in every service line up to the water softener at the water heater and in all cold lines and fixtures and appliances where cold water is available and at every fixture and appliance where cold and hot water are mixed.

You are paying for a softener and installation but only protecting your water heater. While a proper whole house softener installation may be more expensive at first in the long run the maintenance and repair/replacement savings realized by softening at the service entrance (whole house) will pay you back big time.

Softening only the water supplying the water heater is usually done when a correct (whole house) install is too challenging for the installer or costly for the customer. While some may think that solution is better than no soft water IMO it is not.

* Ion exchange water softing does not add salt to the water. That is a fact. Ion exchange softening will add minute amounts of sodium or potassium (based on what you are using as a regenerant) but NO SALT.

Either NaCl or KCl, which are salts, are used in the brine tank but the chlorides (which make both compounds a SALT) are flushed down the drain during regeneration.

If your water is extremely hard then the higher the hardness the more sodium or potassium ions are exchanged into the water to soften it and discerning pallets can notice that taste but it is not SALT. Installation of a POU Reverse Osmosis unit will eliminate that taste and provide bottled water taste for a modest cost.

If a doctor has you on a low (or NO) sodium diet then using KCl (potassium chloride) in the brine tank is an accepted substitute.

So, if you're going to spend the money to get soft water why not get what you're paying for?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 2:19PM
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