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Old 12-04-2020, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Poop-hole, Northern California
18 posts, read 9,813 times
Reputation: 27

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For any longterm residents of Sierra Vista, what is the thought on the need for water softeners
to avoid scale buildup in appliances and pipes? An online search says the water hardness
for Sierra Vista is 140 ppm.

I simply want to gauge the need for a water softener for a new home.
Bonus points for a thought on salt, no-salt softeners.

Thank you.
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Old 12-06-2020, 12:38 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,787 posts, read 10,087,532 times
Reputation: 7349
At 140 ppm, your water is classified as "Hard" by the USGS, so a softener would be beneficial to you, IMO. I've been doing water softening since 1976, so I've seen my share of it....lol

As to "no salt" softeners, the only ones that actually have any real effect are the units that use Potassium Chloride - which can get REAL expensive, in my experience (it's about 5x the cost of regular salt). The rest of the "gadgets" out there are a waste of time and money.
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Old 12-06-2020, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Poop-hole, Northern California
18 posts, read 9,813 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks for the reply. But since you've had such a long experience with water softening,
you seem like the perfect person to answer more questions on it. (I know, this is the thanks
you get.)

My little bit of online research says the following negatives about water softening with salt:

1. That with water softening, you no longer want to drink the water without filtering. Is
that right? Is it fine to drink without a filter?

2 With water softening, rinsing one's hair feels as though it doesn't want to rinse
thoroughly. Maybe it leaves a slippery feel?

3. With water-softening (with salt), water heater anodes rust and they have to be replaced.
It didn't say how long that takes.

[But with no water softening, hard sediment builds up in the water heater and you have to
replace the whole heater. Not sure how long that takes, but I guess it would depend on the
degree of hardness and how much hot water the household runs through.]

No pressure to respond to these "bonus" questions! Thanks again regardless.
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Old 12-06-2020, 09:36 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,787 posts, read 10,087,532 times
Reputation: 7349
LOL - no problem! I know that when I open my big yap....but my hope is to give folks actual and factual information, rather than the continuing line of BS you can get from the guy trying to sell you one and make a commission (for clarification, there's nothing wrong with earning money - until you cross the line and are less than truthful intentionally).

1.Unless the person telling you that has "Dr" AND is treating you, tell 'em to stuff it. I'm a cardiac patient w/hypertension, and specifically asked MY doctor about it. He laughingly pointed out that I get more salt with a slice of bread. I knew that - but my wife wanted "professional advice" . I always suggest to my customers who express such concerns that they do the same.

2. Hard water "curdles" soap, leaving behind a film. Further, soft water has a lower surface tension - so you feel "slicker". What you're actually experiencing is just how soft/smooth the human skin REALLY is.

3. Actually, it's the result of an improper anode selection for the condition. There are two primary anode materials, aluminum and magnesium. Aluminum can for a slimy gel residual that looks pretty nasty if it manages to make it out of the tank, plus it can dissolve into the water itself. Most of us don't drink hot water, but I still prefer to go with the magnesium anode, replacing it every 3-4 years.
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Poop-hole, Northern California
18 posts, read 9,813 times
Reputation: 27
Okay, thanks for all of the answers.
I will assume that since you assumed my question #1 was about health, rather than
taste, that the taste is fine. No further clarification needed. My question was badly worded.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:37 AM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,787 posts, read 10,087,532 times
Reputation: 7349
Not at all - valid question, as well! Many of my customers comment on the "taste" of soft water. It's something that many of the companies use to sell the RO system on.....thing is, in a week or two you become accustomed to the taste. I also tell them to chill the water - that helps a lot for that initial period, as well. Folks in my industry (sadly) will do whatever they can to upsell, rather than just tell folks the honest facts and let THEM decide.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:13 PM
 
1 posts, read 919 times
Reputation: 10
Overall, SV water is VERY hard. We don't have a water softener and I am constantly using CLR in the tea kettle and dishwasher. The hot water heater fills with sediment and has to be cleaned out about every 6 months. Everything else is filtered. FYI, depending on where in SV you live there are several different water companies. We live on the outskirts, just outside the city limits and I had to hunt down which one served our area.
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Old 12-06-2020, 02:15 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,787 posts, read 10,087,532 times
Reputation: 7349
PLEASE use either citric acid or pickling vinegar in lieu of CLR - it's a STRONG and potentially dangerous acid. Either of the other two will do the job, with less danger should you accidentally get some in your mouth/eyes.
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:24 PM
 
652 posts, read 252,651 times
Reputation: 725
140ppm might technically be considered hard somewhere, but I would consider it about normal. A lot of that is actually added by the water companies to keep the Ph within range. Magnesium and calcium for instance. My water is also 140 and the only thing I notice is in the toilets there is a buildup in the little hole near the bottom (facing front) that needs an occasional manual scraping out. For drinking water I use a ceramic block countertop filter that I believe is .5 micron absolute. Then the water goes through a Brita filter before going into the kettle or to drink. Since I been doing that I no longer have to think about buildup in the kettle as it just does not happen any more. The ceramic block gets manually cleaned once a year and is now 8 years old. Never had a water softener, and I would go RO before I ever did (if I moved).

Last edited by ocoilslick; 12-13-2020 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: add something
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Old 12-13-2020, 03:34 PM
 
Location: New Braunfels, TX
6,787 posts, read 10,087,532 times
Reputation: 7349
Going RO sans softener is an excellent way to scale a membrane. And if a ceramic or any other kind of physical filter is preventing scale, then yours is a issue w/particulate matter, NOT dissolved.

There can be reasons that 140 mg/l doesn't scale - usually having to do w/pH of the source water. Drop down to around 6.8 or so, and scaling will be dramatically reduced. 7.0 and up, you'll usually start seeing issues again - or you could well be gradually creating issues that won't be apparent for a number of years. And always remember - "normal" is a relative term.....lol
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