Need a water softener

Discussion in 'Water Heaters and Softeners' started by Otahyoni, Apr 10, 2011.

Help Support Plumbing Forums by donating:

  1. Apr 10, 2011 #1

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Ok guys, need some recommendations for a water softener. Our water hardness is about 15-20ppm. We have Lowes and Menards locally.

    I checked at Menards and all they carry in the store are Waterboss (poor reviews on amazon) and Morton system saver.

    At Lowes the 30k grain Whirlpool model has very good reviews.

    I'm not really sure how large of one i need. We have 1 bath and only 2 people living here.

    I'd like to not spend much, but i realize this could get expensive... :(

    Can we try to stay under $600 though?
     
  2. Apr 10, 2011 #2

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    Although the water here is extremely hard, I don't want to deal with another machine needing maintenance, needing fixing or adding salt. For a few years I had the tank which was replaced monthly, but at $50 per month, I'll tough it out without one!
     
  3. Apr 10, 2011 #3

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    It killed our dishwasher.... I thought it would be best to get a water softener before replacing it.

    Might help sell the house too... and currently i'm not getting any dishes cleaned... :(
     
  4. Apr 10, 2011 #4

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    Was the dishwasher working at one time or another? Maybe the element on the dishwasher is broken....I've dealt with a few of them before.
     
  5. Apr 10, 2011 #5

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    The heating element has an 1/8" layer of scale on it, and it wont clean the dishes any more... tried a few things to clean it but nothing has helped... :(

    And it's not the only thing with scale built up... shower head, couple faucets... And i'd hate to see what our pipes look like... :eek:
     
  6. Apr 10, 2011 #6

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    Put a quart of white vinegar and run a few cycles in your dishwasher. it will clean up the scale quickly. If you are set on a water softener, just keep an eye on the reviews or heed the advice on some of the experts here who could tell you more.
     
  7. Apr 10, 2011 #7

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    I did that once.... guess i can try it some more...
     
  8. Apr 10, 2011 #8

    phishfood

    phishfood

    phishfood

    Moderator Staff Member Professional Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    5,775
    Likes Received:
    992
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    A friend of mine sells and installs the occasional softener, so while I wouldn't necessarily call him an expert, he knows more than I do about them.

    He tells me to NOT buy anything from Lowe's or the like, with electronic controls. Once those start to malfunction, how do you troubleshoot or repair them? My mother has a model that is all mechanical, and in 15 minutes over the phone, my buddy talked me through a diagnostic check that solved the problem.
     
  9. Apr 10, 2011 #9

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    :(

    I'd imagine those are far and few and expensive...

    My parents have an electronically controlled one that is 15+ years old...
     
  10. Apr 10, 2011 #10

    speedbump

    speedbump

    speedbump

    Wells & pumps; not a... Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Riverview, Florida
    How true! Stick with one built by a local company with either a Fleck or Autotrol head. People in your area will work on them and they are readily available as are their parts. The others are not and you will pay dearly for repair on that proprietary equipment. If you can find anyone to repair them.

    My normal 1 cu ft unit with a fleck metered head goes for $750.00. I haven't shopped the big box stores, but I don't think they are much less and theirs are not quality.
     
  11. Apr 11, 2011 #11

    phishfood

    phishfood

    phishfood

    Moderator Staff Member Professional Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Messages:
    5,775
    Likes Received:
    992
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    speedbump, I was hoping you would wander through and comment. Thanks for affirming my trust in my best friend.
     
  12. Apr 11, 2011 #12

    Andy CWS

    Andy CWS

    Andy CWS

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio, Ohio
    Am I the only one or is everyone completely disregarding a basic piece of information here. 15-20ppm hardness and you are recommending a softener? At any price?

    Since 17.1ppm equals ONE grain per gallon, I would hardely suggest wasting money on a softener.

    Now unless the OP's original number were meant to be gpg, then he should have been asked many other questions before recommending any piece of equipment. How much iron? TDS? Number of people? etc.

    Andy Christensen
     
  13. Apr 11, 2011 #13

    speedbump

    speedbump

    speedbump

    Wells & pumps; not a... Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Riverview, Florida
    I agree, if it is ppm. I missed that when reading his original post. I guess I assumed gpg.

    Problem with the big box stores is that most people go there and just buy what's on the floor. Never having their water tested prior to installing whatever.
     
  14. Apr 11, 2011 #14

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

    Caduceus

    Professional Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    353
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the link, speedbump.
    Quick reference for hardness tests:
    very soft <17 ppm = 0-1 gpg
    slightly hard 17-51ppm = 1-3 gpg
    moderately hard 51-120 ppm = 3-7 gpg
    hard 120-256 ppm = 7-15 gpg
    very hard 256-425 ppm = 15-25 gpg
    are ya kiddin' me? >425 ppm = >25gpg
    Today is another one of those days where I learned something new.
     
  15. Apr 11, 2011 #15

    speedbump

    speedbump

    speedbump

    Wells & pumps; not a... Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Riverview, Florida
    Lucky me, I had a well at my previous house that had 42 grain hard water. It hurt to take a shower. Rather than buying stock in the Morton Salt Division, I relocated and drilled another well. By moving about 250', the hardness went down to 17 grains. That one was much easier to deal with.
     
  16. Apr 11, 2011 #16

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    My pool is constantly 500 PPM. every time I get the water tested, they recommend to drain off 1/2 the pool (~15,000 gallons for 1/2 the water) and refill it. With my water bill ~$150 a month already, I'll leave the hard water. It's also fun to be able to walk on water! :)
     
  17. Apr 11, 2011 #17

    speedbump

    speedbump

    speedbump

    Wells & pumps; not a... Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Riverview, Florida
    I wonder how it got so hard in the first place.

    I can't remember ever checking mine for hardness. I guess that might be the same as alkalinity.
     
  18. Apr 11, 2011 #18

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    They say is is leached from the 2 year old plaster, but I don't believe them. I did drain 1/2 the pool and refilled it once and the PPM was reduced to ~450. Not worth all the money IMHO! If I had a back hoe, I'm fill that pig and plant a garden!
     
  19. Apr 12, 2011 #19

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Otahyoni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,780
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Thanks for pointing that out....I used the wrong unit of measure.

    According to the test strip its a little over 15 grains per gallon...(~250ppm)

    I'm trying the vinegar solution in the dishwasher, and it that gets it to cleaning dishes I'll probably forget the whole thing....seeing as how i plan to move within a couple years...

    Either way, i have to have a working dishwasher if i want to eat... bosses orders... :D
     
  20. Apr 12, 2011 #20

    havasu

    havasu

    havasu

    Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,316
    Likes Received:
    1,309
    Location:
    Southern California,
    Did you turn the water on to the dishwasher yet?
     

Share This Page