Home & Garden

water softener - worth it?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 17th, 2019 10:39 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 26, 2015
349 posts
165 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 Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 23, 2008
8949 posts
5242 upvotes
Toronto (Markham)
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.
Tis banana is IRIE :razz:

10% off is cold, 50% off is warm, 75% off is hot, but FREE IS RFD!
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
10467 posts
4672 upvotes
Brampton
Get your water tested first
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
1382 posts
354 upvotes
Toronto
chimaican wrote:
Jun 9th, 2018 6:57 am
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
1382 posts
354 upvotes
Toronto
nagooro wrote:
Jun 8th, 2018 11:26 pm
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.
Moderator
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
23827 posts
3388 upvotes
DIrty-D wrote:
Jun 9th, 2018 9:41 am
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
Member
User avatar
May 28, 2007
338 posts
98 upvotes
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.
Deal Addict
Sep 11, 2006
1382 posts
354 upvotes
Toronto
Shaner wrote:
Jun 9th, 2018 12:10 pm
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.
http://www.triangularwave.com/f7.htm
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2011
1573 posts
476 upvotes
GTA
Shaner wrote:
Jun 9th, 2018 12:10 pm
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
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
14211 posts
3553 upvotes
London
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
349 posts
165 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
30497 posts
5037 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
nagooro wrote:
Jun 9th, 2018 6:16 pm
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.
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2010
2008 posts
1008 upvotes
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.
[OP]
Member
Sep 26, 2015
349 posts
165 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).

Top