Water Softeners

Anyone have one? What kind? What do you like or hate about it?


  • Had one in my parents house when we were growing up. The only time I ever really thought about it was when it was time to dump another bag of salt into it.

    Arguably I should have one in my house because the water has a high calcium content.

    It’s one of those things that you don’t really think about.
  • edited January 12
    Had one at the previous house, put in by the previous owners. I thought it made the water feel slimy so I disabled it. I think YMMV depending on where you live and what your local water quality is like.
  • I have really hard water in CO. It leaves a lot of deposits on fixtures, etc.

  • What part of CO? My FIL is (was) a water quality engineer for WY and now part-time consults up and down the Rocky Mountain Fairway. I can pick his brain if you want?
  • 80439 is the zipcode. We are 40 min west of Denver in the foothills.
  • edited January 13
    We installed a Culligan system 20+ years ago.
    It's on it's last legs.

    We have well water & un-softened it's bad, the sulfur smell in particular.

    It's been reliable.
  • You could try a good quality whole house filter first and see if that traps enough mineral content to make a difference.

    It not a bad idea regardless.
  • I do have a whole-house filter, and it does trap a lot of shit. I actually just changed it this weekend and there was a lot of sediment in the filter housing. But the hardness won't be removed by any standard filter. Softening requires chemistry.

  • The FIL recommends the Water Boss Model 700 which is what he has; 4 BR, 3 bath home, approx 2400 sq ft. It's digitally programmable and comes with a water testing kit to help set the programming.
  • dgm said:

    I do have a whole-house filter, and it does trap a lot of shit. I actually just changed it this weekend and there was a lot of sediment in the filter housing. But the hardness won't be removed by any standard filter. Softening requires chemistry.

    A filter will remove any minerals that are not in solution.

    Whether that's enough to get the job done is a different issue.
  • By definition hard water has minerals in solution.
  • Yes, but there is also a portion of the minerals that is not in solution.
  • Yes. And my particulate filter is catching those, evidenced by the mud in the bottom of the filter housing. I think I hadn't replaced it in a year, which is obviously too long.

    My real problem at this point is scale build-up in and on fixtures. Even with that CLR spray it's hard to remove.
  • Yeah, I have the same problem. I’m just better at ignoring it.

    I literally have a small pair of needle nose vise grip’s acting as the handle for my kitchen sink faucet and they’ve been there for several years now.
  • I just can't deal with it anymore. And it isn't just the aesthetics of the faucets. It's also bad for the innards of dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes, and your skin.

    I'm dealing with a soon-to-die dishwasher right now. It's still under the 5 year extended warranty and started acting weird. I want to get it fixed and then preserve it by giving it better quality water. Maybe a pipe dream given what pieces of shit all modern appliances apparently are, but there are numerous benefits anyway.
  • Well.

    I figured out why my hot water circulation loop wasn't working. The hot water is supposed to be pretty much instant at the tap, because there's a supply and return loop that each fixture taps off of, within a few feet of the fixture. It's run by a small Taco circulation pump.

    The fucking hot water return inlet on the water heater was completely occluded with hard water precipitate and sediment. I had to chip it out with a screwdriver. Hoooo-leeeeee fuck. A 3/4" internal diameter pipe, completely stuffed with calcium and shit.

    Water softener, STAT.
  • I did, thank you. Would you mind asking him about this one? Or GE softeners in general?

    It has some very useful (to me) features like being able to turn the whole water supply on and off remotely.
  • I'll ask. I suspect that he likes the Water Boss because he's a big Made in America guy.
  • I can respect that. Haven't found a comparable product made here, unfortunately.
  • edited January 15
    FIL just texted back and gave the GE a thumbs up. He doesn't know reliability stats or anything, but the specs should be fine for what you want. He asked if I was going to explain proper IT Sec to you. I told him that wouldn't be a problem. LOL

    On a more practical note, he advises getting a water quality testing kit before buying. Make sure you're shopping the specs specific to your water. I suspect you can get one on Amazon
  • Haha yes. IoT infosec is a shitshow.
  • edited January 15
    I got a little clarification and he said to just call your local (county or state) dept of water quality and ask for the well driller. Ask about the aquifer characteristics and let him/her know what you have in mind. They should be able to steer you in the right direction or validate your choice.

    Again... The FIL is an engineer and tends to analyze and study *everything* before he makes a decision, so consider the context of that before you follow his advice. ;)
  • Heh. Yeah, I can tell. And he's right about testing prior to buying.

    I did to a water test a couple years ago and found my hardness to be about 250 ppm, which is... high.

    What I have not evaluated is iron, sulfate, barium or radium content, which also can apparently affect softener performance.
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