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Old 08-06-2013, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 29,489,114 times
Reputation: 9265

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I'll be the contrarian here and say that I consider a softener highly desirable. But I am on a well.

Our home didn't have one when we moved in. But our faucets had deposits, the shower walls had scale, etc. Washing a car instantly created spots. Coffee makers quit working, etc. And of course the water heater quickly built up a huge amount of deposit.

I put one in, and life is better.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Dallas
31,192 posts, read 19,686,184 times
Reputation: 9188
You can get your water tested for free by the company that sells softeners.

It does make a difference, but most people survive without them. We added one and enjoy the softer water. You can use less soap in your washing machine with soft water. And supposedly, it has less negative impact on your clothes.

But like a lot of other scientific topics, the science is not settled on the benefits of soft water.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:37 PM
 
206 posts, read 272,083 times
Reputation: 78
From my own research and paying $100+tax to have a service call out to my property, I can tell you:

If you are on city provided water, forget about it. If they provide water that will damage household pipes, the water utility will have hundreds if not thousands of people knocking on their door complaining their pipes are breaking because of city provided water.

If you are on a private well, you should use one. You can get the water tested for around $20? (I believe) but it's one of those preventive maintenance cost since you are the utility providing your own service. Are you a gambling man or are you not?
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:30 AM
 
1,058 posts, read 2,108,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamwayne View Post
From my own research and paying $100+tax to have a service call out to my property, I can tell you:

If you are on city provided water, forget about it. If they provide water that will damage household pipes, the water utility will have hundreds if not thousands of people knocking on their door complaining their pipes are breaking because of city provided water.

If you are on a private well, you should use one. You can get the water tested for around $20? (I believe) but it's one of those preventive maintenance cost since you are the utility providing your own service. Are you a gambling man or are you not?
We are on City of Leander water, not a well. The plumber and the softener company have all told us of the horrors of not replacing the unit making comments about destroyed pipes, water heaters and plumbing. I am not sure I believe them, just trying to figure out how to verify if they are giving me their pitch or if there really is a concern.
I'm going to poll a few of my neighbors before I shell out a couple of grand to replace the dead softener.
I read the City of Leanders water report but honestly, I don't know what I am looking at and further research is needed on my part.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:38 AM
 
163 posts, read 383,847 times
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The water report should indicate "grains of hardness". There will also be information about various other stuff in there. IIRC the City of Austin report included the normal ranges for reference so hopefully that will be on the one you get as well, but if not, google for it... I remember finding it easily enough that I didn't bother writing it down.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:35 PM
ITO
 
Location: Cedar Park
159 posts, read 347,971 times
Reputation: 174
More than likely the reason your softener stopped working is filter resin the little tall tank is worn out and has started breaking down. This happens to all softeners and cost about $250 to replace, at which time it will be ready years of service. Note it cost a lot less to replace the resin that it does to replace the whole system.

Do you need a softener? That depends on how hard your water is, what type of plumbing you have and how you maintain your water heaters.

If you live in Round Rock, or Pflugerville you may want a water softener, the water is pretty hard out there.

If you live in Austin, nope don’t need one.

If you live in Cedar Park or Leander you can get by without one, but you will need to maintain your water heaters.

Hard water leaves mineral deposits on shower glass, tile, the faucets, in the pipes and in your water heater. If you have a newer home your pipes are more than likely PEX which means nothing will stick in them and you don’t have to worry about that issue. If you have hard copper pipes, the minerals can over time deposit solids in the pipes and clog them up…but that is over a very very long time.

New or old house, with hard water and without a softener, you should drain your water heaters every month, but to be honest I only drain mine ever 6 months and I live in CP.
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