Hard Water vs Water Softener - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-30-2004, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi
We have very hard well water from minerals. I know that it is safe b/c I have had it tested for everything under the sun, bacterias, arsenic, lead, etc. etc. If we put it in a glass pitcher in the refrigerator the taste is fine but I am really worried about our appliances and pipes b/c of the hard water. We are toying with getting a water softener. I know this means we would be consuming some salt in our water. Please tell me health risks of this vs risks to my stuff from the mineral buildup. Thanks so much! I just don't want to compromise our health with the salt if there are risks. Links would be greatly appreciated.

Amy

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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#2 of 9 Old 07-31-2004, 09:15 PM
 
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nak
Amy- I was told the the risks of the sodium in the water are more worrisome to those on sodium restricted diets. That said we choose a system that uses potasium and we love it! The water tastes great and we use less soap in everything. The system we have is by Anderson and I believe they are based in Rochester, NY.

HTH
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#3 of 9 Old 07-31-2004, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, I will look into this as an option. I will do a google search for potssium based water softening and check them out! I'll see if it is available in my area too. We are over near where VT,NY and MA all come together so a bit far from Rochester.

amy

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#4 of 9 Old 08-01-2004, 03:55 AM
 
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we have a water softener. i asked 'the Culligan man' about sodium vs potassium. He said the same thing about sodium restricted people. He also said people get potassium if they have an outside spigot that will be dispensing the soft water. Saltwater will kill your lawn and most plants. Thats the main reason, he said, why people get potassium over salt. It doesnt make a difference in our house, so we do salt (its cheaper - but only by a hair). Also he said that potassium doesnt leave the slimy feeling quite as much (some people really hate that.)

That said, he said we could use the same unit and just fill it with salt or potassium. he said it wont hurt. he even suggested trying both to see if we had a preference. the tank is still full, so we havent tried the potassium yet. (weve only have the softener for a month).

nak

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#5 of 9 Old 08-01-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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We have very hard water too. It is ruining our pipes! :
Is the cost worth it IYO? We got a quote of $1000 to install the softener. It has cost us quite a bit to have pipes replaced and a lot of time patching leaks. Not $1000 worth of $ and time tho i dont think (yet). How much is the upkeep? How much stuff (cost wise) is it a month?
How much less soap do you use with it on? What "slimy feeling" do you mean MamaBlue? Will my hair feel/look better if we dont have such hard water? Will the clothes come cleaner? We water the garden with the well water, and the outside tap is run thru the filter too. If we get a salt filter I cant use the water on the garden?
I am so gald you posted about this Amy! of course, by the time I choose the township will want to put in city water all over

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#6 of 9 Old 08-01-2004, 07:29 PM
 
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We lived with a salt water softner for awhile. My hair couldnt handle the water.

We have moved and I must say it sooo nice to be able to rince soap off ones body :LOL
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#7 of 9 Old 08-01-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serenetabbie
Is the cost worth it IYO? How much is the upkeep? How much stuff (cost wise) is it a month?
How much less soap do you use with it on? What "slimy feeling" do you mean MamaBlue? Will my hair feel/look better if we dont have such hard water? Will the clothes come cleaner? We water the garden with the well water, and the outside tap is run thru the filter too. If we get a salt filter I cant use the water on the garden?
nak

I'll try and answer your questions. My answers though are based on the water softner that is potassium not sodium.

The cost is well worth it to me. We paid $3,400 for our unit and have had it since January and it is more then worth it. I have extremly dry skin. My hands crack and bleed badly. My oldest has really dry skin and we have had to try all sorts of stuff on her and pretty much nothing worked. After the softner was installed our skin got better.

We use half the amount of dish soap, laundry soap and shampoo. If I'm careful about how much soap I use I never have a residue problem. Wejust purchased a pallet of potasium(they store it and deliver it free) and the cost was $400 but it will last us at least a year.

As far as watering your garden our unit has a bypass switch. If we want to run water on the outside spickits(sp) we can turn the switch to the off position and the water won't be softened. They recommend that you don't run any hot water anywhere in the house because then your hot water heater will fill up w/ unsoftened water.
HTH
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#8 of 9 Old 08-02-2004, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of this valuable info! It will really help us in our decision making!

Doula, Wife and mom to A (11/23/01) and O (5/7/09)
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#9 of 9 Old 08-02-2004, 06:24 PM
 
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Is the cost worth it IYO? We got a quote of $1000 to install the softener. It has cost us quite a bit to have pipes replaced and a lot of time patching leaks. Not $1000 worth of $ and time tho i dont think (yet). How much is the upkeep? How much stuff (cost wise) is it a month? We are renting our equpiment for now. We never have had a softener before, we are are trying it out. If we like it, we will buy it after a few months. Its $34 or $42 (cant remember) a month for the water softener. We also got a reverse osmisis unit for the kitchen that is $25 a month. The first month was free. If we decide to buy what we are renting, they take two months rent off the price. I think it is going to cost around $1700 for the water softener and $650 for the ro unit. This is going off memory, dh takes care of the money aspect of stuff for us.

How much less soap do you use with it on?1/4 to 1/2.

What "slimy feeling" do you mean MamaBlue? Kinda hard to explain. When I take a shower, wash my hands or otherwise use soap, the water kinda feels slippery.

Will my hair feel/look better if we dont have such hard water? Mine does.

Will the clothes come cleaner?Mine are. Theyre much sofeter too. Totally awesome for cloth diapers.

We water the garden with the well water, and the outside tap is run thru the filter too. If we get a salt filter I cant use the water on the garden? Um... I don;t know. : The man who came to my house said there can be a fifference to the setup of equipment if you are on a well. Also, he said the type of hard water you have can change what you need, too. FOr example, my water is hard because of calcium and magnesium. For those in the midwest, they have lots of difficulties with iron.

nak

Married to my high school sweetheart. We have four awesome kids.
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