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dthornton 04-11-2012 08:19 PM

water softener
I bought a house in SW Iowa - the water is pretty hard -the sinks and tubs have red stains and the faucets have white crystals on them. I bought a water softener (we are having the house COMPLETELY replumbed, with PEX tubing). I do trust my plumber; however, he recommends only hooking up the softener to the water heater. I think that it should be hooked up to the whole house (EXCEPT: the outside faucets and the fridge/icemaker water [which has its own filter]). Any professionals have any input? We don't want buildup in our washer (we only wash clothes in cold h2o) or our kitchen faucet and stainless steel pans, but if it's not needed, it's not needed. Appreciate any input - especially those who have real experience with this. Thanks!!! :)

davehyatt 04-11-2012 11:52 PM

I'm no expert on this, but that doesn't make sense to me because then the only water being treated by the water softener is your hot water...or at least that's the way I would understand it. We recently purchased a house and had a water softener co. out to demo their system and the way they were going to install it was to connect the water softener loop into the plumbing right as the water enters the house, so all water entering the house will be treated.

Speedbump 04-12-2012 09:07 AM

I know people who only use a softener for the hot water. It's usually a restaurant that wants their glasses sparkling clean. This saves salt. I would hook it up to the whole inside of the house.

I don't think your going to be happy with the softeners ability to remove iron (the red stains you mentioned).

dthornton 04-12-2012 06:21 PM

Thank you both for your replies. I called G.E. today (it's a G.E. softener we bought at Home Depot) to see what they recommend. The person I spoke with had a softener in their house, and said they hooked up everything to the softener except for the outside faucets, the fridge water (its own filter), and the kitchen cold water. This is so they can cook with non-softened water. Made sense to me, and that along with your replies made me think this is the way to go. I advised my plumber that this is the way I want it hooked up.

Anyone know any reason to not hook it up this way? Thanks, all!

Speedbump 04-13-2012 07:29 AM

The fridge filter is a carbon filter and will not soften the water. Carbon is a taste and odor filter and it removes chlorine (for a while).

UVBoy 01-14-2013 11:59 AM

For a home application you want your water softener treating the hot and cold water. If you can bypass the outdoor spigots you'll save salt that way (and it's much better fro your grass). Water softeners will remove up to about 2.0 ppm of iron which is quite a lot but you'll need to add a resin cleaning chemical to your brine tank periodically. Here's a link to some PRO products that I've used personally in the past:

KRMWaterPro 01-27-2013 10:41 AM

I've been installing softeners and other filtration equipment for over 15yrs. We always install softeners just as water enters home. Sometimes we will plumb all outside faucets before filter to conserve except for one that can be used to wash car. I would recommend you have your water tested. You need to know pH, iron, and hardness levels, and TDS would nice too. You will need to know hardness level to setup softener, if iron content is higher than 1ppm or mg/l I would suggest you install a iron filter before softener, but before you can install an iron filter the pH needs to be higher than 6.8 or it will need to be raised with pH adder or if its real low you nay need an acid neutralizer.

The reason to take care of iron if its a high level is that it will iron foul your softener and ruin the media in as little as a year if iron content is high enough. We have a filter that works real well and there is probably a dealer in your area since its a worldwide company that makes it, that will work on all three problems but the water has meet certain criteria.

Hopes the helps. And remember you can always add more filtration in front of softener as needed.

AU_Prospector 03-11-2013 01:26 PM

Soften the whole house plumbing except outdoor spigots.
Modern to date equipment uses very little salt compared to equipment from even 15 years ago. Iron filter is needed and also they make specific softener salt called Iron Out that helps too. Your plumbing will last forever including your water heater. You use less soap, and can use less coffee too! At parents house they just replaced a 40 year old electric water heater. Elements were near perfect, only thing wrong was over pressure valve was starting to leak.

Get your water tested and call in an expert who knows the wells in local area.

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