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Water softeners, need info and pricing in the GTA

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  • Jan 20th, 2007 2:35 pm
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Sr. Member
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Jul 1, 2003
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Water softeners, need info and pricing in the GTA

Hi all,

Am thinking of getting a water softener installed in my home but have no clue where to start. Anyone have any GTA info (companies, links) and general pricing? Is it something one can install themselves or does it require professional installation?
21 replies
Deal Addict
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Feb 22, 2005
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Sonic Temple
Most companies who sell this stuff will acutally come out to your home for a free water test to see how hard your water actually is. The farther away you are from Lake Ontario (if you live in GTA), the harder your water will be. You can also call you government office where you get your water bills from and they can also tell you what the water hardeness thresholds for your area are.
Newbie
Dec 10, 2006
40 posts
Nobody in the GTA needs a water softener. If you think you may need one because a salesperson tells you so.....look in your kettle....if you see lime caked on....then maybe you could use one. I don't know anybody in the GTA that has a heavily scaled kettle. Most of the time water softeners are useful for people on well water. The water from Lake Ontario is not very hard (low to moderate calcium content). People with hard water will be de-scaling their kettle, coffee pots, etc about every 3-6 months.

The main problem is that if your water is not hard enough, then the benefits from a water softener is marginal at best. Just seems kind of useless to spend $2000-$3000 on something that will give you little benefit.

If you want more info 5ead the Resources,FAQ and documentation sections on this site:

http://www.watervalue.com/index.html
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2006
653 posts
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Gotassman wrote:
Jan 3rd, 2007 7:41 pm
Nobody in the GTA needs a water softener. If you think you may need one because a salesperson tells you so.....look in your kettle....if you see lime caked on....then maybe you could use one. I don't know anybody in the GTA that has a heavily scaled kettle. Most of the time water softeners are useful for people on well water. The water from Lake Ontario is not very hard (low to moderate calcium content). People with hard water will be de-scaling their kettle, coffee pots, etc about every 3-6 months.
This is not true! There are areas in the north part of the GTA that do not draw the water from Lake ontario and use groundwater instead. These areas have very hard water with a grain count of greater then 30!

Jay
Sr. Member
Jul 8, 2005
869 posts
90 upvotes
Sears has their softeners on sale this weekend.

Their entry model, the Kenmore Ultra Soft 100, is on for $599.99 from $799.99. This doesn't include installation.

The Sears flyer indicates that all of their softeners are on sale.

Their top model, the Ultra Soft 800, is on from $1500 to $1170, which seems like a decent deal . . .

The Kenmore models from Sears seem to be decent but I am not sure if they are the best deal for the money or not . . . for a small family I think the entry level unit would suffice.

Waterboss softeners are available here in Kitchener and I am sure elsewhere. I have read mixed things about them . . .they had some issues but apparently cleaned up their act a couple of years ago.

Buying a water softener is harder than other appliances/etc. because there are no independent reviews or research on them!!
Newbie
Jan 4, 2007
34 posts
Simpleton, Ontario
Dear Folks;

I bought my Sears Kenmore Ultra Soft 400 water softener at one of their half price sales almost 7 years ago. It's a nice unit with no problems to report. One thing I like is the light inside the salt tank which allows you to see how low the salt level is. Apparently very few softeners have one.

We run Potassium salts in our softener (KCL) which are better for your health than the regular softener salt. Regular salts raise the sodium level in your water while potassium is an electrolyte your body needs.

While our water was not excessively hard we do find that clothes washing soap lasts longer than before and my wife says her skin feels better using softened water.

In our previous home in Mississauga the softener made a big difference in scale build up. Kettles are not the big issue, the softener protects the water heater and humidifier as well which are expensive to replace if they get clogged up.

We also use a whole house carbon filter installed before the softener. The water clarity is remarkable. You can actually see the rust and crap buildup on the filter when you change it.

As they say, you can buy a filter, or be a filter...

Best Regards
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2006
653 posts
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adrian1170 wrote:
Jan 8th, 2007 9:13 pm
Dear Folks;


We run Potassium salts in our softener (KCL) which are better for your health than the regular softener salt. Regular salts raise the sodium level in your water while potassium is an electrolyte your body needs.

Best Regards

You might want to read a bunch of literature before you use Potassium salts in your water softener.

IE. Windsor Salt:
http://www.systemsaver.com/windsor-w...-chloride.html

Here is something from the new england journal of medicine:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/339/24/1790


From http://www.mortonsalt.com/faq/faq_wate.asp?id=12


Quote:

What are the health implications of using a potassium chloride-based product?
The level of potassium contributed from potassium chloride softened water is safe for normal healthy people. For healthy individuals, potassium from the diet is absorbed slowly from the gastrointestinal tract and the excess potassium is excreted. However, in certain individuals with medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, the body may not excrete excess potassium. Individuals with these conditions must consult a doctor prior to consuming potassium-softened water. If you have any questions as to whether your health condition allows you to use potassium based water softener products, please consult your doctor.



From http://oto.wustl.edu/men/water.htm


Quote:
There are types of water softeners that do not add sodium to the water. Alternatively, if the ion-exchanger type of water softener is regenerated using potassium chloride, instead of sodium chloride, then potassium would be added to the water instead of sodium as the water was softened. However, in some patients with renal or cardiac disease, diabetes or high blood pressure, there can also be complications due to increased potassium intake so this should only be performed in consultation with your physician.



From http://www.yourhealthbase.com/database/a86d.htm


Quote:


Water softeners and kidney disease
ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA. Water softeners are used to soften hard water (water containing relatively large amounts of calcium and magnesium). Hard water is generally healthy to drink, but can cause difficulties in laundry and dishwashers. Water softeners work by exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with sodium or potassium ions. Depending on the hardness of the inflow water the treated water can end up containing significant amounts of sodium or potassium. Although softened water was not originally meant for human consumption many people now use water softeners to clean up their water and then use it for both drinking and cleaning purposes. Dr. John Graves, MD at the Mayo Clinic describes a recent case where a 78-year-old man with hypertension and diabetes suffered acute renal failure and hyperkalemia (abnormally high blood level of potassium) shortly after starting to drink large quantities (3 to 4 liters/day) of water, which had been treated in a potassium-based water softener. One of the reasons why the patient was drinking this water was that he thought it would help his hypertension. Dr. Graves estimates that the man consumed about 1000 mg (21-28 millimol) of potassium a day from water alone. Dr. Graves concluded that this extra intake of potassium was a major cause of the renal failure and suggests that patients with kidney disease, diabetes or hypertension be warned against drinking water treated in potassium-based water softeners.
Graves, John W. Hyperkalemia due to a potassium-based water softener. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 339, December 10, 1998, pp. 1790-91 (letter to the editor)

Jay
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Oct 10, 2006
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Georgetown
feminazi wrote:
Jan 6th, 2007 1:41 pm

Their top model, the Ultra Soft 800, is on from $1500 to $1170, which seems like a decent deal . . .

We switched to that model about 5 years ago and are very happy with it! We also purchased the extended warranty and have someone come out annually to maintain it for us, although I have to say it always passes with flying colours.

We are a family that lives in a 3600 sq ft, home with 3 and a half baths. HTH

See this button :confused: :confused: Learn how to use it PLEASE ;)
Sr. Member
Jul 21, 2006
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adrian1170 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2007 12:53 pm
Thanks Jay;

Good info but I'm sure drinking 3-4 liters of salty water a day is not good for you either. Or regular tap water for that matter.

Everything in moderation

Best Regards
3 Litres is only 12 cups of water, there are people out there that definately drink that amount in a day.

Just making people aware of the potential health hazards of potassium based water softeners.

If you have a high end system like a Kinetico, the salt content will be much lower then a low end system.

Jay
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Feb 15, 2005
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Jay1234 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2007 2:21 pm
3 Litres is only 12 cups of water, there are people out there that definately drink that amount in a day.

Just making people aware of the potential health hazards of potassium based water softeners.

If you have a high end system like a Kinetico, the salt content will be much lower then a low end system.

Jay
Kinetico usually has a sale twice a year (Boxing Day & Canada Day) where their system includes basic install and no GST. Or at least that's what Trail Appliances offers. That's roughly a $400 savings on a $2200 system.
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2005
987 posts
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Can anyone recommend some brands to go with? I've been looking at the Kientico and Culligan ones, but they are a fair bit pricer than those at Sears. Are they worth the added cost?

Any websites that review models and such?
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