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Water Softeners Ideas?

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I need a bit of help here folks. I just finished listening to a very enthusiastic sales pitch from my local Culligan salesman. The day before yesterday? It was Kinetico's turn. Apparently my new well,(installed last spring) draws its water from the very bowels of hell. It is unbelievably hard 19 total Iron is 5 TDS is 234. How does it even get through the pipes. On the plus side? No bacteria or nitrates (I may live another day). Now, if I spend $3397.00 or close to $ 4500.00? Even the lord himself will be able to "touch" it. Or, I can rent either of these for around $ 100.00 per month.Salt is extra of course. Oh yeah.They have to deliver and install the salt to make sure it is being put in. You know, to save their equipment. Enough with the sales rubbish. I am actually thinking about a Morton 45000gr softener with a pre-filter set up. What do you all think? Anyone have pros. or cons. on these? Any other kind of softeners you have used that you may recommend that won't require my first born or a loan from opec? 

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OPEC is broke. The more research you can do the less likely a Mr. Haney will get to you Mr. Douglas. Remeber Green Acres

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Can't help much as I have a Kinetico system with R/O for drinking water. My system is 16 years old and never had much of any problem with it. That's my experience with water softners.

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We got the same line from Culligan years ago.  By their standards our water was a mess.  I got an independent test that said the only problem was a slight acidity.  Nothing major.  I'm not against water softeners, I have one, but I would just pick up one from Lowes or Home Deport and install it.  Salt is cheap at Walmart.

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All that I can tell you in that when I was in the home improvement business, I replaced many Culligan systems for one simple reason. Parts. Replacement parts are only available from Culligan, and they will insist on installing them at ridiculous prices . I found the same to be true of EcoWater.

 

My solution was to use a systems from Lancaster Pumps. They are just as good as any name brand, and cost about 1/4th  the price of a name brand, and are available from many plumbing supply houses. I recently installed one for my daughter, Total cost was under $900.00

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I paid to have one installed years ago. After seeing how little skill and value i received, I swore if ever repeat need in future came up, I would buy and install myself.

 

Most who frequent this forum are handy enough to manage the install. The Salt based system requires a drain so power, water line and drains need to be considered.

 

I also decided to use potassium pellets rather than Salt......just in case using salt might raise sodium levels. Not sure if that was irrational but gave me peace of mind.

 

This one looks pretty decent on the internet warehouse site: 

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 grain water softener digitial sxt metered whole house system

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Your first call should be to a reputable well driller in your area, they may be able to provide better water by going deeper or perhaps pulling the head up a few feet, don't know the situation in your area but this worked for me in Florida. They put a blasting cap down the well, pulled the pipe and went into the same hole about twenty feet less and improved the situation considerably. They knew where the best water was in that area.

16 hours ago, Kurt-NEPA said:

I got an independent test

If you do need a system then take the advice @Kurt-NEPA gave you, the independent lab has no profit motive and just wants happy customers. Like @rmaynard said, installing water treatment equipment isn't brain surgery, you can do it for a quarter the price and service it your self. There are "Green Sand" ion exchanges that are very effective for iron and simple enough to service annually. The people from the testing lab have a wealth of knowledge and don't cost too much, mine was $ 75.

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I had a system installed that was manufactured by WaterSoft back in 1991 when I moved into my current home.  It cost $1100 back then.  It was not so much that the water was hard, but the iron content is high here and if you add bleach to water with iron in it, all your whites become brown-permanently.  Also, your toilet bowls will have brown stains  (Wink or Tang is good for getting out the iron stains).

 

Well, I had that system for 23 years and only the timer motor had to be replaced.  Never replaced the media tank although I was told it was good for only 7 years.  I replaced the entire system two years ago with the same brand at a cost of $2300 (including install and haul away of the old one).

 

If you are going to put in a water softener, independent of brand, I strongly recommend to put an inline particle filter before the softener.  You will not believe the dirt that the pump can pass and it will eventually clog your softener system.

 

Finally, following up on a point by Aldon.  These do need a drain.  Make sure you check local codes.  Back in 1991 during the original install, the drain was into the septic tank.  In MA, that is no longer allowed.  When I inquired as to why (I thought it was because the salt would plug the leach field), the answer was that the salt would attack the concrete septic tank.  Also, do not just drain the system onto your lawn-salt kills grass (and flowers)

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I'm no expert on this, but I'm with the guys who recommend having an independent lab test your water for you, and then take it from there.

 

And your TDS of 234 might be considered OK.  My latest test results advised that a TDS of less than 500 is acceptable.  An independent lab would be able to confirm this for you, without trying to sell you some expensive equipment.

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