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Old 10-21-2007, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 9,856,206 times
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I live in Northern Florida and a few of my friends have these water softener/purification systems that cost anywhere from $4k to $6k. Is a comprehensive system like that necessary?

I use a water filter in the refrigerator and 50% of the time I drink bottled water.

Can I just get a water softener from Lowes for $600 and be done with it?
Is there a website or URL that links the specifics of water through the FDA, EPA or CDC?
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:51 AM
rfb
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,746 posts, read 4,712,163 times
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The only reason to get a water purification system is for drinking water. These typically sit under the sink and use reverse-osmosis to produce the drinking water. You wouldn't want to use it beyond drinking water as it wastes a lot of water when you run the system. It would allow you to replace the bottled water, though.

You can get a separate water softener system. I'm not a big fan of the ones from the big box stores. You tend to get cheap components, and it is usually very expensive to have the system serviced - and with cheap components, that is more likely. You are better off either buying from one of the big companies (e.g., Kenitico and Culligan), or hiring a plumber to build you one using quality components. The big companies are more expensive, and don't necessarily use better components, but you do know who to call to service the equipment. But with a plumber building you a water softening system, you would be using "standard" equipment, so it should be easy to find someone to service it if/when needed.
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Old 10-22-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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It really depends on what you want to filter out of the water. If it is only chlorine, then a sink or pitcher charcoal filter works fine. If it is too hard and you want to reduce calcium deposits, then a softener should work. I agree on the plumber rather than box stores. Just get a good one. In the end it probably won't cost more.

There are other reasons to filter the whole house and not just drinking water. Severe calcium deposits or rust can really do a number on clothes and plumbing.

Toxins in the water probably mean reverse osmosis is needed, but that can be overkill for other problems. You can spend $30 or thousands depending on what your problem is.
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Old 10-22-2007, 10:16 AM
 
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We have a water softener from Lowes but we also had the plumber attach lines for two whole house filters....one before it goes through the softener and one after the softener but before the the water enters the house. Then we have the refrig filter before we drink the water from the dispenser. You can really see the stuff that the first filter catches before it even enters the water softener.

BTW.....we are in TX where the water is quite hard.
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 30,481,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
Can I just get a water softener from Lowes for $600 and be done with it?
Yes and no.....you need a loop, and that's the expensive part.

When my house was built, I chose to have a water softener loop as a plumbing upgrade - the upgrade cost $2000 alone. Were I to try and install a loop now, it would likely cost a lot more (harder to do once the home is built).

The equipment - the softener itself - is cheap in comparison. I spent $600 or so on a Kenmore. I waited until they were on sale and used a coupon and got the biggest water softener they make. Then you just buy the bags of salt and throw 'em in, it's pretty easy. Going on 5 years and zero maintenance issues.

I'm thrilled with my water softener and feel it delivers as promised .
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 9,856,206 times
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Will the water softener help with the freshness of laundry?

Will it affect the taste of the water?

Actually, this thread answered the question:

Help with whole house water filtration questions please

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldjensens
Those guys that come you your house to sell you water equipment are generally hard sell scams. If they insist that your spouse be present or ask your income, cancel immediately. If they want to test your water onsite, escape as quickly as you can. Maybe there are some out there that are not scams, but I have not encountered any.

Take your water to almost any hardware/home improvement store and they will test it. Pretty much anyplace that sells softeners or filters will test your water. Pool stores will also test your water for a tiny fee. If you have city water, just call your water department. They already have all the information on hardness, chlorine content etc. Keep in mind these things can change if your city gets water from different sources at different times, and as they change the chlorine content to address how clean the incoming water is.

Water softeners and filters are for two different issues.

A softener takes out the minerals that make water hard. Soft water works better for cleaning you and cleaning dishes, but softened water is not as good for you to drink because softeners put salt in the water. Many people who have hard water, use a water softener and then put in a separate tap for softened drinking water. You do not want to fil your pool with softened water, nor water your plants with it.

A water filter takes out impurities. The best kind as far as I know is reverse osmosis (R/O) R/O filters take out everything. The water is pure, but it has no taste since all of the minerals are gone. Bottled water companies generally use R/O filtering and then add minerals back in to give the water a better taste. I tink that an RO filter effectively softens your water, but it is my understanding that if you run hard water through it, it will gunk up the filter right away. I am not sure, ask one of the scientist types who post here.

A whole house filter is insanely expensive. If you use R/O filtration for your entire house you will be replacing really expensive filter cartridges constantly. Why do you need to filter your toilet water? Your plant watering water? or your laundry water? Even your shower water makes little sense to filter through an R/O filter. You may want to filter your drinking water.

You can get a small R/O filter for drinking water for about $300. However those filters that go inside a pitcher (britta) work almost as well. they take out something like 90% of the bad stuff. the RO units take out 100%, but I am not sure that they are really necessary. We have one, but have not gotten around to installing it yet. they are more convenient than those bulky pitcher things.

If Chlorine is the problem, you can get a simple charcoal (or is it carbon?) cannister chlorine filter. They cost very little to buy and install and need little maintenance.

I hope that you do not fall for the hard sell tactics. If you are really concerned, find a consultant that does not sell anything and pay them to analyze your water and suggest a system. Filtering your entire household is nuts unless you are incredibly rich and have money to burn. In which case you could spend about $1000 on a chlorine filter and a small R/O filter for drinking water and give the rest to a charity that helps other people get water that will not kill them (or any other charity).
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Old 06-05-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,325 posts, read 46,216,465 times
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Always get the water analysed by a water lad, not the treatment retailer, before you do anything to fix it. Treating iron is different from treating hardness.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:21 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
733 posts, read 3,898,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riveree View Post
Yes and no.....you need a loop, and that's the expensive part.

When my house was built, I chose to have a water softener loop as a plumbing upgrade - the upgrade cost $2000 alone. Were I to try and install a loop now, it would likely cost a lot more (harder to do once the home is built)..
What's a "water softener loop"? I've not heard that term before.
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:41 PM
 
24,852 posts, read 29,225,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Always get the water analysed by a water lad, not the treatment retailer, before you do anything to fix it. Treating iron is different from treating hardness.
County heath departments will give you bottles. Then you just mail them in.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:42 AM
 
101 posts, read 476,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windtimber View Post
What's a "water softener loop"? I've not heard that term before.
A water treatment loop is a derivation or interruption of the plumbing near the point of entry where a softener can be installed. This is usually plumbed in a manner where additional plumbing will not be needed beyond the hook-up. Sometimes a 3-way by-pass is pre-installed.

In other words, outside lines may be plumbed to remain hard and the rest of the house can be treated. I see this very often in condos so one condo that wants treated water won't be treating other condos or only portions of its own condo. Or, slab foundations where only a portion of the house could be treated due to the location of the installation point and other water outlets. So a treatment loop can handle all needed locations. They are usually designed during planning to reduce costs and lengthening of construction time.

Is that clear?

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Last edited by autumngal; 08-10-2008 at 10:46 AM.. Reason: no signatures as per the terms of service please
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