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Old 01-29-2013, 08:19 AM
Location: ABQ - NM
9 posts, read 19,835 times
Reputation: 22


If you live here in ABQ you know how hard our water is. I have been thinking of buying a water softener but am not sure which way to go. I heard that the cheaper units for Home Depot/lowes break and can't handle our water. Do any of you have an Eco water system? They pitched me recently but am a little nervous with the 6k price tag. I am also nervous of spending $500-$1500 for a system that may break or may not even change my water.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:36 AM
1,450 posts, read 3,408,780 times
Reputation: 2110
We've had good luck with our Kinetico model. They provide excellent service, too.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:44 AM
Location: ABQ - NM
9 posts, read 19,835 times
Reputation: 22
Originally Posted by nmguy View Post
We've had good luck with our Kinetico model. They provide excellent service, too.
Do you mind if I ask the cost?
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:15 AM
Location: Wyoming
8,595 posts, read 15,171,306 times
Reputation: 11972
Out of stater here, but ABQ isn't unique in having hard water. I've gone both ways over the past 40 years here -- expensive units and cheap units. I've been using cheap ones for the past 20 years -- Sears.

My first one bought in 1972 was $2000 or so, not cheap in '72 dollars. It worked for nearly 2 decades, on and off. It seemed that sometimes I was calling the repairman more often than I was buying salt for it! He was strongly suggesting that we buy a replacement at that point. Instead I divorced my wife, and I don't know what she did with it after that.

Meanwhile I moved to a small rental house that we'd owned that had no water softener. I missed the soft water more than my ex, so upon seeing a "nearly new Sears water softener" advertised in the newspaper for not much money, I was again in soft water. I used it for a few years until it stopped working, then replaced it with a new Sears unit. That one worked for another several years before it quit and I bought another one again. That's where I'm at now, 3rd Sears unit in 20 years and it's going strong.

If you buy a Sears, I strongly recommend getting a multi-year service agreement with it. The reason I ditched the last one was because I couldn't find a serviceman to work on it, so those service agreements are very important, and it's pretty much a warranty for $50 or so a year -- not bad for a water softener.

My vote goes for the cheaper units simply because it's less cash outlay. They do the same job the more expensive ones do and do it just as well. They just don't last as long. Get the service agreement and keep it renewed and you'll be fine.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:21 AM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
22,997 posts, read 35,211,728 times
Reputation: 26681
There are different types of water softeners, a good description: HowStuffWorks "How does a water softener work?"

We moved to this area (Rio Rancho) in 1998. We have city water, it is hard, we do not have a water softener.

We have about 20 years experience with whole house water softeners in two separate houses in two states, one with city water the other with well water. First house, softener went bad in the first year, I replaced it with a Sears unit, no problems for 8 years, then we moved. Next house (1988 - 1998) had a 10 year old Culligen which had a lifetime Warranty with just a service charge, think it was $20, it had to be adjusted once, another time a bunch on the plastic valves were replaced (surprisingly no addition charge).

Our units used salt. A pain at times.

Most water softeners use water to cleanse themselves, so they so 'consume' or waste water. You might want to research that...
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:05 AM
Location: 5,400 feet
1,440 posts, read 1,855,893 times
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We priced a Kinetico 4-5 years ago, it was in the $3,500 range. We considered it because it used potassium chloride, not salt, and used less water in the backflush. Salt causes your water to contain a lot of sodium, which I'd prefer not to have. We eventually went with a cheaper GMX magnetic system. They get mixed reviews because they don't remove the water's hardness and the water feels as it did before. They did substantially reduce the scaling on the faucets and in the toilets, which now require less and easier cleaning than before (which is why we were in the market).
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:57 PM
Location: Sandia Park, NM
265 posts, read 603,735 times
Reputation: 356
I really resent having to have a water softener system, I actually prefer the feel of hard water, but hubby insists for the appliances' sake. Our whole-house system gobbles potassium chloride like there's no tomorrow - best price for bags I've found is Home Depot, BTW - and it wastes a lot of water. Sometimes it seems to go wild and flush itself over and over and over ... really ruins your morning shower.

In addition to the whole house system, we also have a Kinetico filtration system under the kitchen sink. (Inherited when we purchased the house.) The good news is, it really seems to work, and it produces the best tasting water in the East Mountains. The bad news is, this Kinetico system uses proprietary non-standard filters that you can only buy from the dang dealer, AND you have to pay for the dealer to bring them out and install them every year. How ridiculous is that?

So if I were able to choose my own system, I would certainly look for one that uses industry standard filters, so you can buy cheaper generic replacement parts!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:29 PM
Location: ABQ - NM
9 posts, read 19,835 times
Reputation: 22
I called TLC & they sell Kinetco which seemed like a good option and was about 1k less than EcoWater w/install & a 10 year warranty. The guy I spoke to was very friendly snd up front sbout everything which I greatly respect. We ended up buying an EcoWater system. The sales guy was a little shady about financing but they ended up making it up to us, so beware. The reason we chose them was because of a lifetime warranty and extra goodies they threw in which seems worth the 1k extra that we are paying. Wish us luck as it was a huge purchase! So far I am loving the way the water tastes and my hair is softer and stays that way longer than with the hard water. I have eczema so I am hoping this water will also help with that.
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