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Water Softener Discussion

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Deal Addict
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Feb 15, 2005
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gdanit wrote:
May 31st, 2016 10:21 am
Anyone have opinions on these two softeners and/or the sellers?

http://www.waterworkcompany.com/water-softeners_6.asp for $1100 installed
Vs
http://www.aquatell.ca/products/fleck-2 ... 9622851589 for $1200 (no install.)

Are the systems comparable? Is there a difference between them as far as brand reputation or build quality? Should I just forget and buy the cheapest softener I can find?
IMHO, buy the cheapest one. When the valve and controller needs fixing in 10 years, the zeolite will likely need to be replaced as well. Since Fleck and Clack no longer sell parts directly to consumers, the price of replacement is pretty close to the price of a new unit. Technology marches on and the new units will be better. For example, a 10 year old controller uses 60w of power while the new ones use 14w. 46w of per 24/7 adds up.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
rf134a wrote:
Jun 7th, 2016 12:26 pm
I bought the Lowe's 44k grain unit for $649. I had it installed for $350. Lowe's installation is $550. The install included bypassing the 2 exterior hose bibs, 1 bypass for the kitchen faucet and the manifold included a spare. Bypass to the fridge for the ice maker was optional, which I declined. The manual says soft water produces better quality ice with less build up. An interior bypass is always recommended so that you can water your plants.

I've noticed that soap works substantially different with soft water. It seems to be more difficult to wash off but suds up with less effort. The shower doors are much cleaner, virtually no residue between cleanings.

Before other people say how big box store water softeners are crap, the same company makes something like 15 different brands in the same factory. Canadian Tire sells a Whirlpool 40k for $599 on sale while Lowe's has a 44k for $649. The same factory also makes the Kenmore, which is significantly more expensive. Any difference in price is essentially linked to the brand name and not the product.
Thanks for that. How long have you had it?

C
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3 months. I put in 2 bags of salt and it has barely moved. We use around 10m3 of water per month.
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There are no apostrophes in plurals! "I have 1000 posts" = correct. "I have 1000 post's" = incorrect!
Could've, would've, should've. It's simple English, people!
Voila: French, meaning "There it is!" or "Look!" Viola: A medium-sized stringed instrument Wala: An island of Vanuatu.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Edmonton
rf134a wrote:
Jun 7th, 2016 12:33 pm
3 months. I put in 2 bags of salt and it has barely moved. We use around 10m3 of water per month.
Good to know. So it seems to work fine, and get it installed by someone other than Lowe's...

We're a two person household, so not high water demands. We'll want a bypass to the outside (front and back) and the kitchen sink, I guess. Not sure what to do about the fridge, which will have both a water dispenser and ice. We also have an RO unit to plumb in somewhere too. My initial thought was to get the RO unit to feed the fridge, but not sure if that should be fed softened water or regular. I'm guessing the installer can recommend what to do.

How about clothes? One of my co-workers mentioned that softened water can make white clothes turn yellow over time. I know you've only had this unit for a short time, but have you had any issues?

C
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CNeufeld wrote:
Jun 7th, 2016 12:53 pm
Good to know. So it seems to work fine, and get it installed by someone other than Lowe's...

We're a two person household, so not high water demands. We'll want a bypass to the outside (front and back) and the kitchen sink, I guess. Not sure what to do about the fridge, which will have both a water dispenser and ice. We also have an RO unit to plumb in somewhere too. My initial thought was to get the RO unit to feed the fridge, but not sure if that should be fed softened water or regular. I'm guessing the installer can recommend what to do.

How about clothes? One of my co-workers mentioned that softened water can make white clothes turn yellow over time. I know you've only had this unit for a short time, but have you had any issues?

C
Fridge should be fed softened water. Calcium buildup is the enemy of every appliance. You need to be careful with RO water. Pure water is highly corrosive so you want to minimize the pipe runs and use polymer between the tank and the tap.

I haven't had any issues with discoloured clothes. Part of the problem may be the detergent used. I use ECOS from Costco and have used it for around 5 years. The problem may be caused by other things in the water according to this post:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/24 ... t-cleaning

Interesting article about detergent use, as it applies to cloth diapers:
http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/how- ... oft-water/

The science of the cleaning capacity of hard vs soft water, from some university out of India...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDRFGyJAuKU
↑, ↑, ↓, ↓, ←, →, ←, →, B, A, START

There are no apostrophes in plurals! "I have 1000 posts" = correct. "I have 1000 post's" = incorrect!
Could've, would've, should've. It's simple English, people!
Voila: French, meaning "There it is!" or "Look!" Viola: A medium-sized stringed instrument Wala: An island of Vanuatu.
[OP]
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Sep 11, 2007
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Waterloo
rf134a wrote:
Jun 7th, 2016 12:33 pm
3 months. I put in 2 bags of salt and it has barely moved. We use around 10m3 of water per month.
Lets see what you think of the softener in several years. Big box store all-in-one softeners are garbage. I have photos from several customers that had all-in-one systems and had flooded basements. Not to mention pressure loss issues.
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Blitzo wrote:
Jun 9th, 2016 11:53 pm
Lets see what you think of the softener in several years. Big box store all-in-one softeners are garbage. I have photos from several customers that had all-in-one systems and had flooded basements. Not to mention pressure loss issues.
Yes, I cheaped out by not installing a $5000 separate tank system. My dog will get raped and my flowers will try to kill me. It's this instillation of fear that really turns me off from "proper" water experts.

I know someone whose Kinetico system failed in 6 years and received no support. Every system had weak points and it's up to each buyer to assess them. A proper install is just as important as the unit. The function is fairly basic, it's not rocket science.
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There are no apostrophes in plurals! "I have 1000 posts" = correct. "I have 1000 post's" = incorrect!
Could've, would've, should've. It's simple English, people!
Voila: French, meaning "There it is!" or "Look!" Viola: A medium-sized stringed instrument Wala: An island of Vanuatu.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2005
913 posts
48 upvotes
Woodbridge
Blitzo wrote:
Jun 9th, 2016 11:53 pm
Lets see what you think of the softener in several years. Big box store all-in-one softeners are garbage. I have photos from several customers that had all-in-one systems and had flooded basements. Not to mention pressure loss issues.
I'm curious to know more about the pressure loss you mentioned. Why would there be pressure loss assuming that they didn't install the unit with smaller piping than what you have now?

Lobo
Sr. Member
May 3, 2005
913 posts
48 upvotes
Woodbridge
I'm thinking of adding a water softener for our home but I'm curious what the level of hardness is for the Woodbridge area in Vaughan. Anyone know the value or where they post it?

Lobo
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Mar 21, 2002
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You should be able to just phone your local water utility and they can tell you the numbers.
[OP]
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Sep 11, 2007
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Waterloo
lobo wrote:
Jul 11th, 2016 10:45 am
I'm curious to know more about the pressure loss you mentioned. Why would there be pressure loss assuming that they didn't install the unit with smaller piping than what you have now?

Lobo
Lower grade of resin (low cross linked resin) is more prone to degredation from chlorine in city water. The resin balls become soft structurally and water has difficulty traversing through the media. This is what gives you a pressure loss in your home. As soon as you bypass the softener, normal water pressure returns. This is assuming the plumbing size was maintained. This can happen with big box store softeners that use cheap resin in their media tanks.
Sr. Member
May 3, 2005
913 posts
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Woodbridge
Blitzo wrote:
Jul 14th, 2016 7:15 pm
Lower grade of resin (low cross linked resin) is more prone to degredation from chlorine in city water. The resin balls become soft structurally and water has difficulty traversing through the media. This is what gives you a pressure loss in your home. As soon as you bypass the softener, normal water pressure returns. This is assuming the plumbing size was maintained. This can happen with big box store softeners that use cheap resin in their media tanks.
Thanks for the explanation. Anyone know if the Whirpool ones sold at Lowes are manufactured like this?

Lobo
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Sep 9, 2004
388 posts
33 upvotes
lobo wrote:
Jul 11th, 2016 1:12 pm
I'm thinking of adding a water softener for our home but I'm curious what the level of hardness is for the Woodbridge area in Vaughan. Anyone know the value or where they post it?

Lobo
I was advised that Woodbridge is 15 PPM
Newbie
Jan 13, 2008
2 posts
Oakville
Does anyone have a service provider they recommend for Oakville?
I got a quote from Water Depot $1900 Refinosoft installed and $563 for 4 stage Reverese Osmosis. Total would be $2300.

I need to get other quotes to compare. Any recommendations?
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