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School me on Water Softeners

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School me on Water Softeners

Old 04-18-08, 09:43 AM
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School me on Water Softeners

I've been living in a brand new house for 2+ years now and for a while I have noticed a ring forming around my toliets and bathtubs. I believe this is due to hard water which I hear is common in my area. I think a water softener would help solve this problem, but I don't really know much about them. I do have a hookup for one in my downstairs closet.

If I put one in, does all the water in the house get filtered through it? Is there any maintenance/upkeep involved? Is it expensive on a monthly basis?

Would it be easy to install?

Also, where can I get one for a good price? My first search found this one at lowes

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...S30&lpage=none

Is that a good price?

Last edited by j123vt_99; 04-18-08 at 09:46 AM.
Old 04-18-08, 10:02 AM
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Fleck is generally considered to be one of the better brands. You can find them on ebay. The plastic units are made fun of over at GardenWeb.
Old 04-18-08, 10:12 AM
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Not sure they made them for #1 and #2, but something like this might work.

Old 04-18-08, 10:33 AM
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I had an old timer based softener that would recycle every other day. I replaced it with a Culligan Gold unit a few years back, and it only recycles on demand. I use very little salt now. Monthly costs are low, a bit of electricity, some water for recycling, and salt. I think I use like 4 bags a year now, if that much.

The one you linked to looks decent.

A water softener will not remove odors from your water (I live in a high sulfur area) but that doesn't sound like an issue you are having. If you water your lawn, you will want to make sure you bypass the softener if plumbing the whole house (include outdoor faucets).

Installation depends on your skill level, sweating copper etc. You say you have a hook-up, so maybe you can use flex hose.

You can do your whole house, in from the well (?) through the softener and to the house. My kitchen sink isn't hooked to my softener, because some people (builder/original owners) are worried about the salt content in the water used for cooking, I don't care.
Old 04-18-08, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
I had an old timer based softener that would recycle every other day. I replaced it with a Culligan Gold unit a few years back, and it only recycles on demand. I use very little salt now. Monthly costs are low, a bit of electricity, some water for recycling, and salt. I think I use like 4 bags a year now, if that much.

The one you linked to looks decent.

A water softener will not remove odors from your water (I live in a high sulfur area) but that doesn't sound like an issue you are having. If you water your lawn, you will want to make sure you bypass the softener if plumbing the whole house (include outdoor faucets).

Installation depends on your skill level, sweating copper etc. You say you have a hook-up, so maybe you can use flex hose.

You can do your whole house, in from the well (?) through the softener and to the house. My kitchen sink isn't hooked to my softener, because some people (builder/original owners) are worried about the salt content in the water used for cooking, I don't care.

thanks for the replies..

all i know is I have 2 hookups in my closet (i'm assuming an intake and an outtake). i would guess that i would just plug the machine in and hook up the 2 'plugs' to the unit.. is that oversimplifying it?
Old 04-18-08, 10:52 AM
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Nope, that is it, well pretty much.

Ore your 2 plugs connected together now?
If yes, remove the connector, put the softener in the middle and you should be done.

If no, you will need to insert the softener, and close or remove whatever "jumper" is in the line now.
Old 04-18-08, 11:09 AM
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thanks.. now to find a good deal on one... i found a discount or 2 for the lowes one.
Old 04-18-08, 01:11 PM
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Don't forget about the salt pellets you have to pour into the barrel every couple of months. One of those big bags cost about $4-5.

I just moved into a house in Round Rock (15 minutes from Austin) with a water softner system in the garage. The barrell was running low, so I dumped 2 bags into it. I was told to pour a bag in every other month or so.
Old 04-18-08, 01:19 PM
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Note: Culligan Gold = Fleck.
Old 04-18-08, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Shazam
Fleck is generally considered to be one of the better brands. You can find them on ebay. The plastic units are made fun of over at GardenWeb.
The Fleck 5600SE or 7000 is what I plan on installing myself. Here is one PLACE I was looking into buying the softener from. I have others bookmarked but they are on my other computer.

First you need to make sure the softener is sized right for your needs and the valve is big enough so as not to restrict flow. I've gone from looking at a 40k grain capacity to a 48k and now a 64k. The link above can help you size it or you can google water softener sizing. Our water is pretty hard and I only want the softener to regenerate once a week.

Also, your kitchen my not be softened. Ours isn't. You should also have a drain with that loop.

Ed
Old 04-18-08, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mickey65
Don't forget about the salt pellets you have to pour into the barrel every couple of months. One of those big bags cost about $4-5.

I just moved into a house in Round Rock (15 minutes from Austin) with a water softner system in the garage. The barrell was running low, so I dumped 2 bags into it. I was told to pour a bag in every other month or so.
we are neighbors
Old 04-18-08, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MysteryX01
The Fleck 5600SE or 7000 is what I plan on installing myself. Here is one PLACE I was looking into buying the softener from. I have others bookmarked but they are on my other computer.

First you need to make sure the softener is sized right for your needs and the valve is big enough so as not to restrict flow. I've gone from looking at a 40k grain capacity to a 48k and now a 64k. The link above can help you size it or you can google water softener sizing. Our water is pretty hard and I only want the softener to regenerate once a week.

Also, your kitchen my not be softened. Ours isn't. You should also have a drain with that loop.

Ed
What's the difference for say, the 5600 between these 3?

Fleck 5600 3/4" 12-Day Timer Water Softeners

Fleck 5600 3/4" Meter Water Softeners

Fleck 5600SE 3/4" Electronic Meter Water Softeners
Old 04-19-08, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by j123vt_99
What's the difference for say, the 5600 between these 3?

Fleck 5600 3/4" 12-Day Timer Water Softeners

Fleck 5600 3/4" Meter Water Softeners

Fleck 5600SE 3/4" Electronic Meter Water Softeners
In the above link go into the water softener section then click control valve types on the right hand side (in the green box). This describes the differences better than I can.

Ed

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