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Anyone Know Water Quality Stuff-House Softener Related.

water softener

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#1 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 10:19 AM

Ok, my mom's house where we are moving has really bad water, I mean, really bad. I had a local company come and test it and they gave me an estimate, $5600 worth OUCH!

So I found a free online testing company, sent them some water, then talked to a technician on the phone and he gave me his opinion and what I should do. He said he's been in the business for almost 30 yrs and he couldn't remember seeing water as bad as ours.

So now I am more confused and not sure what direction to go. I know the water is bad, it has so much sodium or calcium, it tastes like ocean water. The hot water heater valve I removed actually was completely covered with a salt crystal like substance that I can only assume leached through the solder joints as there were no active leaking, many of the joints through out the hosue also was getting buildup.

 

Here are my values that got tested....

 

pH  7.2

Iron content  2.5ppm

Hardness  80 grains

here is the kicker......Total dissolved solids  3100 , most likely sodium.

 

So the online guy stated standard iron filter and water softener would work, but I would be going through a ton of salt and the water would still be very "harsh" and have high sodium content.

He suggested total house reverse osmosis, but after doing some reading that's only about a 5-15% recovery, for every 100 gals of water treated, I could only use 15 gals, that's a lot down the drain.

cleaning this water up looks like it's going to be expensie up front and also on a continual basis.

 

 

I am so back to square one again.

 

 

Any water experts out here????

 

 

 

 



#2 bh115577 ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 10:41 AM

Not an expert but I did install filters and a softener in a house I had about 10 years ago. No pics though. It worked very well and I had less than $750 into the setup.

 

I used 2 of these filters.

 

http://www.farmtek.c...productId=62251

 

And this water softener.

 

http://www.homedepot...m-900/100206494

 

I'd recommend either figuring out a schedule to purge or flush the filters, such as daily or weekly depending on your water, or using an irrigation timer to do it for you. The more crud you keep out of the softener the better.


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#3 GlenPettit OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 10:43 AM

I'm NOT an expert, but have had problems in the past:

 

Q1  -  If the house and water has not been used in months, the junk in the pipes may have made the water quality much worse.  Run the water for hours (outside dump).
Q2  -  Contact the local 'Extension Agent" or "Building Inspection Office" to see if this is a common problem in your area, they can look at Soil Maps, elevations & soil types and water quality/levels in your area on their maps.
Q3  -  Talk with close neighbors, to see if they have had this, and what they did.
 
•  If your sample was taken from a 'hot water' line, it might be that tank, or from an old pressure/storage tank.  Also, the depth of your well can be a factor, water can be found at many different depths, deeper is usually better quality.
•  Old pipes can store all kinds of bad stuff, my Mom's 1889 house needed a total replacement of ALL pipes/valves/faucets and ground pipes.
•  How close is the sewage field, trash dump, animals.  Water comes from an 'aquafier' which can pick up junk from great distances, it does tend to run or flow in a direction? What's upstream (the Soil Maps will show this)?
•  One of our continued problems is 'Nitrates' from local farms, it's in the aquafier for years to come, so all of us around here have to "shock" our well yearly with Chlorine & run the well for at lest 8 hours, dumping water, we still can't use this water to bath babies or drink, but it's OK for bathing and washing.  We use an osmosis for drinking and cooking.  To save a lot of salt, buy an "on-demand" water softner, in our case, we use about 1/4th of the salt we used to (just 25%, or 50#/month).
Good luck, and let us know how you come out.

Edited by GlenPettit, February 26, 2014 - 10:59 AM.

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#4 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 10:54 AM

Well, I'm certainly NOT an expert, but I can relate what I have been told over the years.  ...Hopefully, someone can confirm or correct these statements.

 

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water.  .....The brine wash (salt) strips the calcium & magnesium from the resin bed in the softener, and replaces them with sodium ions.

 

Reverse osmosis systems sold to carwashes claim a 50% treatment. - 1 gallon of treated water to 1 gallon of wastewater.  .....Water from an RO system needs to be stored in a tank, then re-pressurized to provide pressure throughout the system.  .....Flow rate through an RO system is usually low.

 

Chlorine in the water attacks the membranes in a RO system, so additional apparatus to remove the chlorine before the RO is needed.

 

At our carwash we used the de-ionizing process ( aka D.I.) to produce "spot-free" water.  .....A cation tank and an anion tank are installed, and the water passes thru one tank then the other.  ...There is no wastewater, but the tanks need to be exchanged periodically, depending on the volume of water consumed and the quality of the incoming water.  ....It was recommended that the water not be run through a softener first.   .....The tanks were on an "exchange basis" and it was cheaper to rent the tanks on a monthly basis than to buy them. 


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#5 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 10:58 AM

The house I grew up in hard bad water, we used a whole house filter, a softener, and a R/O system for drinking water.

 

With the amount of sodium in the water you are describing, using potassium chloride pellets in the softener would work better than salt. I have used a system that included two pre-filters and a softener. Warning, it kicks the crap out of your pressure.


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#6 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 12:56 PM

Q1  -  If the house and water has not been used in months, the junk in the pipes may have made the water quality much worse.  Run the water for hours (outside dump).
Water gets ran regularly, I just replaced the entire system with PEX line from the pressure tank out. Sample was taken from a spicket directly off the pressure tank, there is a 4 way split, in /out, one in to tank, then spikot out the front. Entier system has pretty much been flushed in the last 2 weeks.
Q2  -  Contact the local 'Extension Agent" or "Building Inspection Office" to see if this is a common problem in your area, they can look at Soil Maps, elevations & soil types and water quality/levels in your area on their maps.
My sister is in college taking some ecology lcasses, she found out there has been wells going "sour' due to a bad flood in 2003 or 2004. This well was dug in 1992 and had hard, but not slaty water. I thikn the saltiness caem bfore the flood, but not sure. It went bad pretty quick though.
Q3  -  Talk with close neighbors, to see if they have had this, and what they did.
The only neighbor did have a Culligan system so she could use it, but did not have this level of salt in hers, she just had iron and hardness.
 
•  How close is the sewage field, trash dump, animals.  Water comes from an 'aquafier' which can pick up junk from great distances, it does tend to run or flow in a direction? What's upstream (the Soil Maps will show this)?
•  One of our continued problems is 'Nitrates' from local farms, it's in the aquafier for years to come, so all of us around here have to "shock" our well yearly with Chlorine & run the well for at lest 8 hours, dumping water, we still can't use this water to bath babies or drink, but it's OK for bathing and washing.  We use an osmosis for drinking and cooking.  To save a lot of salt, buy an "on-demand" water softner, in our case, we use about 1/4th of the salt we used to (just 25%, or 50#/month).
Good luck, and let us know how you come out.
We do have a large river and some tributaries within 1000-1500 feet maybe along with about a 1000 acre active corn/bean farm on the other side of that. Water was checked last year for nitrates/arsenic/coloforms, all came back at 0 levels. Mom used to shock the well yearly, it will help the saltiness a tad, but then come right back. It is recomended now not to shock them with chlorine anymore. Chlorine is not an issue for me other than if shocked. I know you have to remove if using RO with city water.
 

Water softeners remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water.  .....The brine wash (salt) strips the calcium & magnesium from the resin bed in the softener, and replaces them with sodium ions.

 

That's one of the problems we have if using standard iron filter then a softener, we would still have a super high amount of sodium in the water after softening, this causes the "harsh" water which then is as bad or worst on going through a RO system afterwards. The softener uses the salt to clean the resin beds and adds low amounts of salt into water, I would be cleaning resin bed all the time LOL

 

From my research and what I was recommended, I will need a large almost commercial size RO system to do everything with probably at least a 200-300 gal reserve tank with a pump, then I would need a mineral tank afterwards to replace some of the good minerals. Drawback is excessive use of water, the large storage tank and costs. I orginally had about a $1400 system setup using small RO for drinking lined out, but this high salt content really screws that up.

 

It's overall really wierd, mom's neighbor ( within 250 ft up rooad) doesn't have this big of an issue and I live 1/4 mileby the crow flies around the corner and I have great water using a softener, my water is hard, but no rust and my softener regenerates every 3 days with family of 4. We have city water, but most of my neighbors are all on wells and no issues i know off other than slightly hard stuff. Even mom's old well had rusty/hard water, but this salty thing seems to be a thing of it's own.

 

I'm at 2 water tests and recommendations, may call someone else and get a third opinion.


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#7 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 01:32 PM

Have a new well drilled?



#8 671050 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 03:03 PM

You might want to also put in a uv water light to kill any bacteria or anything.



#9 ckjakline OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 03:42 PM

My grandparents have a UV set up.I'm not sure what all was wrong w/there water but they  had it tested by 2 different companies and they both said it was unfit to drink.After they've been drinking the water for the past 60 years.I think the UV set ups are mostly for bacteria though.



#10 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 04:09 PM

Drilling a new well puts us in same water table so not sure that would help. There is plenty of water there, just really bad condition.

Still will be hard water and we would have to address iron and softener again even if we could get past the salt issue.

 

UV is for bacteria, previous testing shows no bacteria or coloforms so that's not an issue.....unless they can live in salt water!



#11 WNYTractorTinkerer ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 06:02 PM

My grandparents have a UV set up.I'm not sure what all was wrong w/there water but they  had it tested by 2 different companies and they both said it was unfit to drink.After they've been drinking the water for the past 60 years.I think the UV set ups are mostly for bacteria though.

Maybe they tested the Septic tank by mistake?!?! :(   J/K!

 

I've got a Water Boss and it seems like time to get another one..  I've had it in service for 10 years now..  The Sodium content would make me think you need to start a salt mine!  This winter dour local mine is selling everything it can mine out!  My dad had a R/O system as well..  Luckily the iron is low..  Use the 'Rust-remover' pellets and you won't have a problem unless you work on the well or pump..  Good Luck!



#12 Username OFFLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 06:09 PM

I thought I heard about people drilling past bad water into good water and casing off the bad water.How deep is the well?



#13 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 07:38 PM

How far from City?  Maybe locals should look into City Water?  Maybe county needs to be involved for such an idea. I live in area that had Tank Farm for fuels and they wrecked the area water with leaks/spills. The City/county ran water to surrounding areas of households there. Not sure who got that Bill tho. 



#14 TAHOE ONLINE  

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Posted February 26, 2014 - 09:36 PM

I thought I heard about people drilling past bad water into good water and casing off the bad water.How deep is the well?

 

Yea possible maybe, I dunno. I think they hit water at 35, 40 feet maybe then drove it down to 52 or 55.

Well was okay for 10 yrs or so then went salty so not sure what happened.

 

How far from City?  Maybe locals should look into City Water?  Maybe county needs to be involved for such an idea. I live in area that had Tank Farm for fuels and they wrecked the area water with leaks/spills. The City/county ran water to surrounding areas of households there. Not sure who got that Bill tho. 

CIty water about 1500 feet around the corner, not enough houses on mom's road for them to "justify" bringing it around the corner.



#15 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 27, 2014 - 05:46 PM

I know this doesn't help because I can't remember.

My grandparents had terrible well water. Tasted nasty and would actually discoloration whites in the wash. They bought a system from rain dance or rain systems. Something like that. He spent a lot of coin on it but it solved their problems.
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