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Saltless water softeners

Post in 'The Green Room' started by pdboilermaker, Jan 10, 2008.

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  1. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Due to the ever increasing price of softener salt, the hassle of it all, the fact that the brine kills the bacteria in septic tanks and potw's, I am interested in gaining knowledge about the saltless watersofteners such as the EASYWATER that has been all over TV. Does anyone own a saltless? What brands? Do they work well? Do they remove iron?

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I was intrigued by this so I called the company (Todd at ext 104).

    The info that he gave me is that they have 2 home units, one for up to 20 gr of hardness and one for up to 220 gr. The small one uses 13 watts and the large one 20 watts. The small one costs $849 and the large one $1299. The collar wraps around the supply pipe and the pipe does not have to be broken. Alas, there is no way to tell objectively, as in a test, just to see the lack of scale. Apparently it also breaks down existing scale. The web site says it doesn't work on iron, but I thought standard salt-based softeners didn't do that much on iron either.
  3. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Dont have the drain go into your septic system for one.

    My water was too high in iron and manganese. It is filtered with Diatamaceous earth then runs through CaCl, salt is used to flush out the system for the next cycle. The salt I need to buy says IRON FIGHTER or RED OUT on the bag so I say it does do something as far as the iron goes.

    20 watts, per what? Hour?
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    constant 20 watts, i believe.

    Some places in CA and CT for instance are banning salt-based water softeners.
  5. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Many states are banning salt use because of the havoc on the microbes at the potw
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    In CA it's the runoff affecting rivers and streams which are already have been depleted by people using the water.
  7. granpajohn

    granpajohn Minister of Fire

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    Here in the Chesapeake region at least, there shouldn't be much softened water going to the POTW. A user buys municipal water and sends it back to municipal sewer. Well water users OTOH need softening (badly in some cases) and then outflow to residential septic systems. The exception is low coastal areas, (usually historic), where the County has provided sanitary systems but the houses are still on wells. I'm not sure how those people are billed exactly.

    And yes, there is plenty of iron in our aquifer, and the softener helps get most of it out; even if not using Red Out salt pellets. (But of course we do.)
  8. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    OK, we are getting a bit off topic here, the laws are the laws. I just want to know if someone has one of these and they work
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    There seems to a few of these types of sytems around, all being somewhat sketchy in their descriptions.
    If I recall, California, or some community there, did a survey of these sytems.
    I'll look to see if Consumer Reports did something.
  10. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    No it is just 20 watts.
    1 watt is 1 joule per second

    So watts already contains the time factor, dividing by time a second time gives at best an acceleration, 20 w/hr would indicate that the POWER is increasing by 20 watts for each hour of operation, after a few days it would take its own nuclear generator to feed it.

    watt is a unit for power
    watt-hr is a unit for energy
    watt/hr is the rate of use of energy (power) is increasing

    Down at the bottom they describe how the units for power and energy are commonly confused.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    The only thing CU had was under sink models and things like the Brita.
  12. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I found this thread interesting, but doing some looking on the net, it seems like the jury is still out on the impact of water softeners. Lots of interesting theoretical arguments, but no real smoking gun objective studies.

    I do know that I use a lot less detergent (about 1/3 what I used to) since installing one which is a good environmental outcome of having the softener. We also use a metered regeneration that only runs when you've exhausted the resin - not timer based.

    We use about 1 40 lb bag of salt per year. I find it hard to believe this would cause any level of significant pollution or septic damage in a total of a few thousand gallons of annual water through the house.

    -Colin
  13. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Your water must not be very hard my friend, my family of 6 uses a metered system and we go through about 4 80 pond bags a month. That is why I am looking to get info on saltless systems to save time, money, hassle. But if they dont work you dont really save.
  14. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Holy cow - I can't imagine even hauling that much salt around, and I see your motivation. What is your water hardness setting for the softener?

    We certainly had problems before putting it in because a few months after moving in, I had clogged up shower heads and my tankless coil was not heating as well due to scale.

    Do you have a front-load washer or anything else that can cut down your water use? That will probably help in more ways than just salt. As well as some of the other obvious stuff like 1.6 gal toilets, and a hose connection before the softener so outdoor use doesn't consume any salt.

    -Colin
  15. pdboilermaker

    pdboilermaker New Member

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    Its a metered system, I have a fron load washer and all of my outdoor water is taken before the softener. I am average for the are with 49 grains of hardness and 20 of that is rust
  16. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I'm just thinking something must be off if you're using 4 80-lb bags of salt every month and wonder if the softener is acting up.

    If you have a typical 35,000 grain capacity softener, then I think you should be getting about (35,000/49)=715 gallons between regenerations. And a softener usually takes about 8 pounds per regeneration. So if you have (320 lbs per month / 8 lbs per regen) = 40 regenerations a month, that would suggest you're using over 28,000 gallons of water a month.

    I hear teenage girls can be bad, but that is really hard to do without watering a very large yard... I think that was about our annual use when we last lived in a place with city water, including watering a yard in Austin, TX.

    -Colin
  17. termv

    termv Member

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    I have a generic model electronic scaler remover. I don't know if it works but I wouldn't pay the high prices some of the companies charge for these since their effectiveness is debateable. A local shop here in PA wanted over 600 for 1 installed. I found one on Ebay for under $100 and installed it myself, just wrap wires around a pipe.
  18. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I use about 8 lbs of salt a week. Literally 10 times less a month. I do have rust problems on occasion, but noting serious. I also use the green salt, or anti rust salt for 1/2 of the salt I throw in the tank.
    I use very little water(I can't measure how much) 7-13 gallons of softentend water a day probably. I use more unsoftented water.

    I agree with NY something is likely wrong. Is there a reason why 80lbs a week might be considered normal?
  19. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    If this thing just wraps around the pipe, then I can't imagine how it could do anything. In order to soften water, you have to physically remove the dissolved minerals. There are pounds of them, and they have to go somewhere.

    Unless there's a scientific basis, I'm filing this along with the magnetic fuel mileage enhancers.
  20. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I'm in the same position as NY Soapstone. My water is not all that hard, 4-5 grains typically, not much but enough cause issues over time. The house had been without a softener since construction in 1999 until we bought it in late 2004. Every shower valve failed within two months, faucets were clogged, etc. Our metered softener runs about every two weeks. It never really runs because the meter indicates it is time to regenerate, partly due to the low hardness and partly because we only use about 120 gals / day. The softener almost always regenerates because it hits the maximum time between regenerations. My installer recommended going no longer than 14 days between regenerations to inhibit bacteria films forming on the resin beads.

    We consume very little salt annually. I did the same research and found the same lack of data about the impact of the salt on the septic, etc. We are using a lot less soap, that is certain. Since we use so little salt we're betting we're ahead.

    Victor
  21. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I ended up putting in a 48K grain unit for 2 adults and 2 kids. Use about 1 40 pound bag a month and possibly up to 2. I looked hard at the saltless systems. I came to the conclusion that they are just marketing. I have NEVER talked to anyone who has one and it worked...just complaining it doesn't (although few). I have a hardness of 22 and iron hardness of .5, and you multiply iron by 4 so the overall hardness is 24. Mine works great...it is metered and charges about every week and a half. If it is running right what will a bag and a half of salt do? 8 bags, wow!!! I would have that checked!!!
  22. pluto168

    pluto168 New Member

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    hello, I'm a newbie here. Found this forum when I was resarching on saltless water softener for my home.

    I came across a saltless softener product from the following : http://www.pelicanwatertechnologies.com/natursoft_series.php

    It sounded good. But I'm no nano-technology expert and would welcome anyone's comments on this type of technology and product. Thanks!
  23. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Finally, someone said it! I don't want to be the only skeptic here.

    A few years ago, I endured a sales pitch from a rep from a company that was selling very strong magnets for water treatment. Basically, the magnets were supposed to "align" the calcium and magnesium ions so they would pass harmlessly through our heat exchanger and wind up in the sump of the cooling tower. I asked him if he could guarantee the HX and he said he'd check with his boss. Never heard back...

    Chris
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