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Old 09-29-2010, 11:45 AM
33 posts, read 100,199 times
Reputation: 28


I am in the process of planning re-installing many aspects of the bank-owned I'm about to close on in Tuscany Village and the previous owners took whatever they could with them. As for the water system, besides the hot water heater in the garage there is also an incoming connection for a water softener/filter system. Ideally I'd like to have one unit in the garage that softens and filters, but I really don't need filtered water in the crapper as I was trained a long time ago to stop drinking out of it. I'm here all week folks, two shows nightly!

With overall annual cost in mind, I'd like some advice as to what I need to have appropriately softened and filtered water in the entire house. I am fine with not having a refrigerator that dispense water/ice on the exterior door.

I mention the location of the house in case there are specific water issues in that area.

Wisdom please?
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:03 PM
Location: Paranoid State
9,571 posts, read 7,368,432 times
Reputation: 10257
Search on this forum & you'll find a wealth of information.

Here: I'll offer a few things to read:

Water pseudoscience and quackery and Hard water and water softening

If it were me, I would install a salt water softener & use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride (it costs more, but I'm a bit sensitive to sodium). I would not bother with a filter (the filter doesn't do anything to "filter" the hardness out).

I would do a quick internet search and find several reputable water softener vendors who will ship you the water softener for a small fraction of the price of one from the local retailers. My current favorite is Water Softeners but there are many others. Don't forget to check eBay for both new & used, and Craigslist for used systems.

I would also install a reverse osmosis system (RO) for drinking water & the ice maker in the fridge. I would talk the manufacturer of the fridge/ice maker to see if it is compatible with RO water. Some are, some are not. In general, RO water has all the minerals removed, and as such, when it comes in contact with a soft stone or a soft metal such as copper, it will "leach" some of that soft stone or soft metal into the water supply, which, hypothetically, over years, could cause the soft copper to fail. So, some ice makers in fridges are plumbed with a harder metal such as stainless steel which is generally compatible.

My current favorite RO system is from Costco.

If it were me, I would also change the hot water heater anode rod & install a ball-valve drain (see Hot water heaters: Make yours last decades; solve a problem for information). Here's the deal with water heaters: Most people install a water heater & forget about it until it fails 7 or 13 years later, at which point they put in a new one.

A minority of us instead perform periodic maintenance on the water heater (analogous to changing the oil & doing a brake job on your car). The periodic maintenance for the most part is changing the anode rod every 4 or 5 years, and hooking up a garden hose to the water heater drain spigot & draining a few gallons every month or two to remove sediment. By doing the periodic maintenance, the water heater can last a very, very long time.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:15 PM
Location: Redmond, WA / Henderson, NV
531 posts, read 1,548,509 times
Reputation: 166
I have a home in Tuscany. The houses are setup well for a softener in either the garage or the laundry room and RO system in the kitchen for ice&fridge. Use the loop in the garage for whole house water softening.

Depending on the model of your home, watch for the softener waste water to drain elsewhere, like the laundry room. Be sure you've punched open the drain hole and let the waste tube run into it in that room.

In the kitchen, the sink will be setup to deliver un-softened water as required by law. Run one of those cold water taps through the RO and into the valve plumbed over to the refrigerator for clean ice and chilled drinking water. There is a separate valve under the sink you can use that delivers hot softened water to your dishwasher.

Enjoy your new house in Tuscany. I love it there, let me know if you have any other questions about the neighborhood.
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