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Old 06-08-2012, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
156 posts, read 238,025 times
Reputation: 61
Default Do I really need a water softener?

We are in process of building our new home in Driftwood. The community there is connected to the city water. So, I wonder, do I really need the water softener for the water that comes from the city and definetly will be pre-treated?

I definetly could understand needs for the water softner if water comes from the well. Or I'm wrong? We are coming to Austin from DC area, and here we never had any water softeners, this is all new for me.

Our house will have a loop for the water softner hookup.

Last edited by SergeL; 06-08-2012 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,456 posts, read 12,361,039 times
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Water treated by the "city" is not softened. It is simply safe to drink.

I strongly recommend installing a water softener. Your water will be very hard. You will see it right away when cooking and the deposits will build quickly on appliances and fixtures.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,762 posts, read 9,469,382 times
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Many people with city water do not feel the need for water softeners, but it can't hurt to have a water softener loop in your system in case you want to add one later.

The reason well water users in this area often use water softeners is because well water in this area is very hard, meaning that it has a lot of minerals dissolved in it, like calcium and magnesium, from long contact underground with the limestone. Dissolved minerals interact with soaps and detergents to leave a scum on shower tiles and dishes and things (and skin!), and they also create deposits inside water heaters and pipes, and stains on tubs and sinks and washing machines. It also takes more soap or detergent to get things clean in hard water.

City water in Austin, however, is drawn from the Lower Colorado River (Lake Travis and Ladybird Lake are part of the Lower Colorado) which has less dissolved solids. Might as well try it out without until you know whether or not you feel the need.

Last edited by OpenD; 06-08-2012 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
5,253 posts, read 6,175,576 times
Reputation: 1953
Since you will have the loop installed, you could certainly wait and 'retrofit' with the softener. If it's considered an upgrade from the builder, you will likely be paying quite a bit more than you could find it on your own. As I mentioned in the other thread, most of the systems sold 'door to door' or those likely installed by the builder aren't just a few hundred dollars. You could easily pay >$4000 for a complete system installed.

I'd get one...just a matter of shopping around to find what you need.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
499 posts, read 587,125 times
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You get Austin water all the way down in Driftwood?
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
156 posts, read 238,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owlman View Post
You get Austin water all the way down in Driftwood?
Water services provided through Greenhawe WCID

Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Volcano
11,762 posts, read 9,469,382 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergeL View Post
Water services provided through Greenhawe WCID

Meaning, if I understand, that it is LCRA water, but not City of Austin. Ah, yes, I see now that the property taxes are higher in Driftwood than in COA, and that Greenhawe WCID is the main reason. Interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SergeL View Post
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Wow! Is that even legal in Texas?
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
156 posts, read 238,025 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Meaning, if I understand, that it is LCRA water, but not City of Austin. Ah, yes, I see now that the property taxes are higher in Driftwood than in COA, and that Greenhawe WCID is the main reason. Interesting.
Yes, its LCRA water. I'm not very familiar with infrastructure, so I've been told tat this is a city water. Yes, taxes are higher there because of water..

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Wow! Is that even legal in Texas?
Funny

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Old 06-09-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
156 posts, read 238,025 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10scoachrick View Post
Since you will have the loop installed, you could certainly wait and 'retrofit' with the softener. If it's considered an upgrade from the builder, you will likely be paying quite a bit more than you could find it on your own. As I mentioned in the other thread, most of the systems sold 'door to door' or those likely installed by the builder aren't just a few hundred dollars. You could easily pay >$4000 for a complete system installed.

I'd get one...just a matter of shopping around to find what you need.
The water softener loop is standard feature. I'm considering Whirlpool water softener, it's about $500 plus installation WHES40 40,000 Grain Capacity Water Softener - Whirlpool Water Treatment . Not sure if more fancier systems worth those money.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Avery Ranch, Austin, TX
5,253 posts, read 6,175,576 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by SergeL View Post
The water softener loop is standard feature. I'm considering Whirlpool water softener, it's about $500 plus installation WHES40 40,000 Grain Capacity Water Softener - Whirlpool Water Treatment . Not sure if more fancier systems worth those money.
There are all sorts of features built into the more expensive systems...monitored recharge schedule and much longer warranties being two. The one year warranty on your system is pretty short but as long as everything is running smoothly, it should do the job.

Another consideration is the cost of the 'wasted' water used during regeneration. You'll likely want to regenerate only when needed. I'll go on a limb and recommend potassium chloride as your 'salt' rather than NaCl. The potassium can have small health benefits vs the slight addition of sodium with NaCl. If you are on a septic system, I'd pay the extra for KCl. Our closest HEB has KCl for 19.99/40# vs five bucks or so for NaCl with no 'additives'(Last time, KCl was $17.99). DON'T buy the KCl at Lowe's or HD unless you want to pay closer to $28/bag. We only use a couple of bags a year, so the extra expense is 'easy to swallow' .
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