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Old 05-19-2011, 08:47 AM
1,410 posts, read 1,733,638 times
Reputation: 1156


Anyone here own a water softener?

Several months ago, I moved into a house that has a Rainsoft water softener. Upon finding some issues with it, I discovered that the literature that the previous owner left behind for it was simply a brochure, not an actual owner's manual. So I had to call their tech support. They sounded unconcerned that I didn't have an owner's manual and wouldn't mail one out to me. I had no idea how to take care of this appliance, and until I spoke with the tech, I had no idea that I was supposed to put special salt into the tank. Nobody tells me anything I need to know!
So I found some pdf owners manuals by looking them up on the Internet. It still didn't really give much in the way of installation, removal or troubleshooting info. Rainsoft makes the consumer way too dependent on their customer service dept., and this is an outdated way of doing business! In contrast, the owner's manual for my oven has comprehensive guidelines for cooking times, temperatures, safety, installation, cleaning, maintenance and troubleshooting. This is the type of literature that is supposed to be included with all household appliances! Does anyone's water softener have a better owner's manual? Because I wasn't born knowing how to take care of one! And I'd like to independently troubleshoot and fix it and not have to call a repairman all the time, or ever, if I can help it. Despite what the Rainsoft literature mentions about 'lifetime warranty', I have a feeling that those repairmen will bill me for those visits...I didn't bother to ask.

In summary, I think having a water softener isn't worth the trouble.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:06 AM
28,381 posts, read 67,769,628 times
Reputation: 18158
Well made water softeners last a long time with no maintenance. You put the proper kind of salt (most likely pellets) into the salt tank and the timer runs a cycle to create the brine, backflush the resin bed and then treat water until the next cycle.

Hard water is hard on other appliances (especially hot water heaters, clothes washing machines and dishwashers) as well as the tile / stone in bath and shower areas.

Soft water works better with all kinds of soap so you use less.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:16 AM
Location: The Triad (NC)
26,726 posts, read 57,642,470 times
Reputation: 29047
Your'e mixing apples and oranges...
and throwing the baby out with the bath water softener in the process.

If you're water needs to be treated or filtered in some way (and in many places it absolutely does) then you'll need some hardware and appliances and misc related things to achieve that.
It's the same as you need HVAC equipment to temper the air.

HOW those different appliance or hardware get maintained, including the use of certain consumable supplies, is a whole other set of concerns.

In your case you probably should get a system that doesn't require contracting out the maintenance and supplies.
If the equipment isn't too new then it's probably easier to justify that expense.
Take a deep breath and then figure out the best approach for you.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:56 AM
Location: Ft. Myers, Florida
3 posts, read 5,750 times
Reputation: 11
Default Water Softener

I'm using well water in Florida and there are two things that are important, using the right salt and the settings that tell the system to re-generate. You can have your water tested to determine the settings on your system. The water test will tell you things like, how much iron is in your water and how hard your water is. This helps the re-generation process so that it is not re-generating too soon (which will cost you in salt usage) or not re-generating enough. I didn't have an owners manual for my system so I had to play it ear on my settings until I got the right re-generating process times.
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