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water softener - worth it?

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  • Feb 17th, 2019 10:39 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 26, 2015
461 posts
218 upvotes

water softener - worth it?

Thinking about getting a water softener installed. For those than have them, do you notice a difference? Any brands to look into? Approx price I should expect to pay?

Have read a lot of positives about having a water softener, but are there any downsides besides the extra cost?

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks
21 replies
Deal Guru
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Oct 23, 2008
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You will have to change out the sacrificial anode rod in your hot water tank a bit more often. So instead if every 5yrs, consider doing it every 4yrs.
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Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
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Get your water tested first
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
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Toronto
chimaican wrote: You will have to change out the sacrificial anode rod in your hot water tank a bit more often. So instead if every 5yrs, consider doing it every 4yrs.
If OP has hard water, getting a softener will actually extend the anodes life.
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
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Toronto
nagooro wrote: Thinking about getting a water softener installed. For those than have them, do you notice a difference? Any brands to look into? Approx price I should expect to pay?

Have read a lot of positives about having a water softener, but are there any downsides besides the extra cost?

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks
if you do get one, be sure to bypass the main kitchen water faucet and outdoor taps. You don't want to drink softened water or water your lawn with it.
Deal Expert
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Jul 5, 2004
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DIrty-D wrote: if you do get one, be sure to bypass the main kitchen water faucet and outdoor taps. You don't want to drink softened water or water your lawn with it.
Softened water is just fine to drink. It adds very little sodium to the water. Not to mention that will likely result in the dishwasher and fridge (if your fridge has a water dispenser) operating with hard water, which isn't good for them
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May 28, 2007
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Peterborough
As mentioed, how hard is your water now. If you are not having issues then it will not make anything better. Are your appliances staining? Is there excessive build-up of deposits on your fixtures? What is the problem you are trying to solve?

Issues with drinking softened water is an urban myth.
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Sep 11, 2006
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Shaner wrote: Softened water is just fine to drink. It adds very little sodium to the water. Not to mention that will likely result in the dishwasher and fridge (if your fridge has a water dispenser) operating with hard water, which isn't good for them
You're right, the added sodium shouldn't be an issue for most healthy adults. However, we already intake too much sodium and there is no need to add more to our diets. Dishwashers use the hot water line, I should have made it clear to bypass the cold water for the kitchen faucet only. Hard water kills icemakers but again, adding softened water is not making things healthier for our bodies and health>ice maker longevity imo.
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Sep 22, 2011
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Shaner wrote: Softened water is just fine to drink. It adds very little sodium to the water. Not to mention that will likely result in the dishwasher and fridge (if your fridge has a water dispenser) operating with hard water, which isn't good for them
it depends on the salt though, there are some that those Rust Remover water softener salt pellets remove 15 times more iron, also there are some POTASSIUM CHLORIDE salt
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Jun 12, 2007
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Calgary water seems pretty hard - 12 to 17 , so a water softener will produces a noticeable improvement

http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/Water/Pages/D ... eters.aspx

While big box store water softeners are cheap and easy to install, they are mostly made by the same company under various brand names. The brains of the unit are the control valves. The cheap big box store units use a single rotary valve made from plastic. The plastic valve parts wears quickly (over a few years), but replacement parts are hard to find and expensive.

There are also other softeners like culligan that made using proprietary parts which can only be serviced by that company ($$$)

You are better off getting a softener made using industry standard valves (branded "fleck" or '"clack"). These valves are long lasting, have widely available inexpensive parts and can be serviced by any company
[OP]
Member
Sep 26, 2015
461 posts
218 upvotes
Thanks for the input everyone.

We do notice alot of "stains" on our dishes after running a cycle, also have a glass shower door which has the same issue.

I've read about drinking softened water as well, seems like it has very minimal impact so will likely just run the water throughout the house. For the exterior garden hoses, will see if they can run a bypass for that.

If you decide to run with salt or potassium, can you flip flop back and forth at all? or once you start on one type you should continue with that?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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nagooro wrote: If you decide to run with salt or potassium, can you flip flop back and forth at all? or once you start on one type you should continue with that?
Potassium costs more than salt. I would skip that. If you’re concerned about the drinking water, get a reverse osmosis system added to the water softener.

I’ve owned one for years and would never go back to using hard water. Invest in a good system and I don’t mean Culligan. I have a Kinetico, unfortunately, it costs a small fortune, but you can’t put a price for your family’s well being.
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Feb 4, 2010
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If you have hardwater (take a sample to any Culligan outlet and they'll test it for free but try to sell you their product) yes it's definitely worth it. And I would agree on getting a bypass line for kitchen tap for drinking water. Yes it's fine to drink but doesn't taste good IMO. That means you will need a separate faucet, but it's worth it IMO. Outside tap goes without saying as it's quite unnecessary and wasteful.
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[OP]
Member
Sep 26, 2015
461 posts
218 upvotes
Any input on Fleck 5600SXT? Based off online reviews I think I'm leaning towards that one.

Will probably do more research regarding the reverse osmosis and whole house filters (someone suggested 30 micro one in a different forum).

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