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Re: Water Softener

Subject: Re: Water Softener
From: "Peter J. Thomas" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 13:28:05 -0500
Mike Sloane wrote:
> We live in a limestone area, and the water is 500 ppm calcium carbonate, 
> so a water softener is not an option - it is a necessity. Our first 
> softener lasted 30 years before the resin material no longer functioned. 
> We had a local guy replace it (sorry I don't have the brand name at 
> hand), and it is pretty much similar to the first. I would agree with 
> others that Culligan is OK, but it is definitely the most expensive 
> alternative. Most of the other brands are fine, and I would only suggest 
> that being able to have a variety of settings is better than the very 
> simple clocks. We no longer use the amount of water we did when we had 
> two teenage boys at home, and it would be nice to cut back the cycles to 
> match our changed lifestyle. (or visa versa for a growing family with 
> lots of wash and showers) By the way, forget those gadgets that you 
> clamp on the outside of a pipe - they are just "snake oil".
> If you are doing any plumbing while doing the change-over, I would also 
> recommend that you have your outdoor faucets connected before the 
> softener - your plants won't benefit from soft water. It should also be 
> noted that what happens to the calcium carbonate is that it gets changed 
> into sodium carbonate, and the calcium chloride goes down the drain. So 
> if your doctor has restricted your sodium intake, you might want to 
> think about having an "outside water" tap somewhere for drinking water, 
> etc. (we have "outside water" and "inside water"  - it was easier to 
> distinguish it that way when the kids were little)

I have a major iron/manganese problem.  We left one of the two outside faucets 
unconditioned.  Watering plants we leave iron in and washing cars we leave the 
iron out.  My wife sometimes does not want to drag the iron hose to water her 
gardens.  It makes a noticable difference.  I can tell when she has done this 
because the softener has to be manually recharged.  So you save on salt and 
extend the life of the unit bypassing it for water the grass.  Plus, minerals 
are good for the grass.

For Sodium, there is an alternative, potassium chloride.  So if you're on high 
blood pressure medicine, this is a slightly more expensive alternative.  Though 
a word of caution, some people with heart conditions must avoid potassium.

> Mike
> Donald H Locker wrote:

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