Welcome to the The Garage Journal Board forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   The Garage Journal Board > The Garage > General Garage Discussion

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-14-2017, 10:01 AM   #1
dtbingle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: dearborn, mi
Posts: 126
Default Water Softener and Filter Advice

Just moved into a house that's on a community well and previous owners had a Culligan water softener and basic whole house filter (I think HDX 5 micron sediment filter). Setup below:



The sticker on the Culligan units says 2005, so it's 12 years old. The brine tank looks absolutely disgusting, so it's assumed that the only thing ever done was add salt as needed. Water overall isn't bad, but definitely a bit of rust when purging main line pre-filter. Questions:

1) Brine tank seems simple to remove and clean, however, is there anything in the resin tank that should be replaced/cleaned periodically? How long does resin last before needing to be changed?
2) How long do these units typically last before needing to be replaced?
3) The two lines going to outside faucets are unfiltered. I'm wary of washing cars with containing iron/rust sediment as it's already a battle to keep rust away with road salt in winter. Is this a concern? How do people address this?
4) What would be a recommended "upgrade" for current water softener and filter set up?

-Water has a little taste of it being well water that I would like to address
-It also leaves white marks when drying, but guessing this is due to no salt in brine tank (don't want to refill before cleaning)
5) I like the idea of a RO system for kitchen sink and fridge water lines, however, I don't like the need for a separate faucet on the sink from the RO tank. Is there a way to get similar quality of water and have it plumbed to normal kitchen faucet?
dtbingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 10:45 AM   #2
gungatim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: west mich
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

outside is unfiltered for watering plants/lawn. I plumbed a separate soft filtered line in my garage just for washing cars.

if it's culligan, you are likely renting it and they should do any maintenance. add up the cost of rental and salt delivery and you can buy your own unit in 6 mths...unless the convenience/worry factor is important to you.

I don't know if you can plumb the RO unit straight to the faucet or not, probably can, but I just run the separate faucet. no big deal really, only use that faucet for cooking or coffee, which is maybe once or twice a day. you will go through filters pretty quick if you run the entire kitchen on it, you don't need it for washing hands/dishes, etc.

do yourself a favor and send a water sample in to your county or pretty much any water softener place and they will run the analysis for free and you will know what you are REALLY dealing with...

I am on 20 yrs. on my softener, I did replace the seals in the head 17 yrs. ago though. easy to do and cheap as well.

hope that helps.
gungatim is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-14-2017, 10:57 AM   #3
Sluggo0018
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Long Valley, NJ
Posts: 6
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

I'm not an expert on these systems, but have one in my house that was recently replaced due to leakage from a crack in the resin tank. I have city water that is fairly hard. The tech that replaced it suggested that the resin does have a limited life span, but did not offer a specific time frame. Mine was in service for over 15 years and was still working fairly well. I do notice that the water is softer with the new unit, and there are no gaps with the soft water like there was with the old system. Plus the salt tank is a lot bigger on the new unit. You can replace the resin, but the new models have better control heads, more accurate water usage meters, and are more efficient. Since my resin tank was cracked, it made more sense for my to replace the entire system.

I have one hose bib connected to the softened water for car washing. It does make a difference with water spots. It is simple to plumb the hose bib piping from one side of the softener to the other. I don't feel that the iron in the wash water is a corrosion issue for the car. Softeners mostly remove calcium, which result in the white rings you notice when dry. I don't beilive that they are specifically designed for iron removal, although they may provide limited effectiveness with iron.

I also have a whole house sediment filter that I don't change as often as I should.

The brine tank is simple to remove and clean.

If it were my system, I would clean the brine tank, add a single bag of softener salt and activate the system. You may get lucky and find that the system works fine. If it doesn't work at all, you can use the salt in the replacement system.

Good luck.
Sluggo0018 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 11:01 AM   #4
Firebrick43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: West central Indiana
Posts: 883
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Culligans are ok systems, looks like yours is just a timer model?

As far as resin life, it really depends on usage, how hard your water really is, and how well the brine and flush cycle is set up

The unit can be rebuilt fairly easily DIY (and resin recharged) and probably is due. Mine is a few years newer and I had to replace the valve cartridge aleady last year. Mine is the electronic model but they share the same valve/motor as the dumb timer models. Warning, many culligan dealers won't sell parts to the public as they want to service it. Mine does however. Resin is available from several sources. Be careful as I have heard several people say that culligan resin tank rings (where the valve body mounts) can be cracked upon disassembly as things are usually struck and require persuasion to get apart.

If replacement is your plan I would purchase a fleck 5600. These are really good units, probably the most common valves, and have the metered recharging but it's mechanical as opposed to a computer. They are available online for half the cost of a culligan and a quarter of the cost of a kenetico. Dual switching resin tanks are available from them as well.
I have put several in for family members and they have performed very well. One replaced a kenetico and has performed just as well.

Put a cartridge filter on your hose bib, don't hook it up to you softener. It will help with spotting but there is some salt in softened water, and chlorides are the worst thing to put on your car. If you did you would have to use an RO system to remove the sodium chloride. Also watering plants over time can kill them with salt. The rust(and minerals) in hard water won't promote more rust, just causes water spotting.
Firebrick43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
rattle_snake
Senior Member
 
rattle_snake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 559
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

You can test the effectiveness/function of your softener system by measuring hardness. Any pool supply has kits or you can take a sample. Even (some) home depots has test strips for free.
If the brine tank is empty, the system should not be doing anything as the resin can't trap any more calcium carbonate.
1. Measure hardness in this state.
2. Clean brine tank and put a bag of salt in
3. run a regen cycle
4 Measure hardness again. Did it change?

This is a very good forum for water softener systems;
https://terrylove.com/forums/index.p...nd-answers.22/
__________________
Justin
Toy list
04 Mustang Cobra supercharged + Nitrous
14 Powerstroke CCLB, 37s
09 Yamaha Raider 113ci
97 Baja 232 454mpi
72 F-250 Explorer 390

My new shop thread
My garage thread
rattle_snake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 01:02 PM   #6
steveo1o9
Senior Member
 
steveo1o9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern MD
Posts: 136
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Not sure if it works or if it is just snake oil but I ran a bottle of resin conditioner through my 12 year old softener when I purchased my house last year. Remember you are not actually drinking the water that runs through the brine tank so it doesn't have to be spotless, but a good idea to scrub it out if you can.
steveo1o9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 01:39 PM   #7
ripperd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 433
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo1o9 View Post
Not sure if it works or if it is just snake oil but I ran a bottle of resin conditioner through my 12 year old softener when I purchased my house last year. Remember you are not actually drinking the water that runs through the brine tank so it doesn't have to be spotless, but a good idea to scrub it out if you can.
Yes... You kind of are. It gets rinsed through the resin, and the backflush dumps it out the drain. But it still touches the resin and resin tank where your drinking water then go through later...
ripperd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #8
TractorJeff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Elkhorn, WI
Posts: 1,235
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

A water well sample should be sent in and tested for "Safe to Drink" as a condition of Sale. Request it be tested for hardness while they have it. As far as iron, there are "Iron Curtains" that reduce/eliminate Iron in water. My water has so much iron in it that I change my whole house filter every 30 to 35 days. If not the water will start to stink. As far as a single RO faucet, I don't believe you can get and under sink type of system that will flow out of a regular faucet? Mine is a 1 gallon pressure tank under the sink. Get a bottle of "Iron Out" and pour that into the salt tank water when you regen the first time. The dust from it will burn your nose so it is pretty potent! Regen at least once if not twice on that, then pour salt into the tank and regen a 3rd time. This should clean any lack of usage contaminants out of the resin!
TractorJeff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 01:57 PM   #9
steveo1o9
Senior Member
 
steveo1o9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern MD
Posts: 136
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripperd View Post
Yes... You kind of are. It gets rinsed through the resin, and the backflush dumps it out the drain. But it still touches the resin and resin tank where your drinking water then go through later...
I understand this... If the tank has sludge and mold then absolutely clean it out, but it doesn't necessarily need to be scrubbed with bleach weekly. Think of the bulk salt you dump in there and how sanitary that is... full of impurities and stacked on a pallet and left wherever is convenient (sometimes outside). I struggle to find bags without rips most of the time....
steveo1o9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 04:18 PM   #10
kbs2244
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,926
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

You are trying to solve problems you do not have yet.
Just live there a while and see what, if anything, you need to do.

If it bothers you, take the brine tank out to the driveway and hose it out.
There will be some very salty muck best sent to the landfill.
They were probably using raw salt, the blocks or treated crystals will be cleaner.

IMHO: RO is oversold and problematic with copper plumbing systems.
kbs2244 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2017, 09:27 PM   #11
dtbingle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: dearborn, mi
Posts: 126
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
if it's culligan, you are likely renting it and they should do any maintenance. add up the cost of rental and salt delivery and you can buy your own unit in 6 mths...unless the convenience/worry factor is important to you.

I don't know if you can plumb the RO unit straight to the faucet or not, probably can, but I just run the separate faucet. no big deal really, only use that faucet for cooking or coffee, which is maybe once or twice a day. you will go through filters pretty quick if you run the entire kitchen on it, you don't need it for washing hands/dishes, etc.
Well the previous owners left all of the manuals and didn't mention anything about a rental when showing us the system. If it is, I guess a Culligan guy will be showing up at some point to reclaim it haha.

Fair enough! Separate faucet it is. What RO system do you use and would you recommend it or another one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firebrick43 View Post
Culligans are ok systems, looks like yours is just a timer model?

The unit can be rebuilt fairly easily DIY (and resin recharged) and probably is due. Mine is a few years newer and I had to replace the valve cartridge aleady last year. Mine is the electronic model but they share the same valve/motor as the dumb timer models. Warning, many culligan dealers won't sell parts to the public as they want to service it. Mine does however. Resin is available from several sources. Be careful as I have heard several people say that culligan resin tank rings (where the valve body mounts) can be cracked upon disassembly as things are usually struck and require persuasion to get apart.

If replacement is your plan I would purchase a fleck 5600. These are really good units, probably the most common valves, and have the metered recharging but it's mechanical as opposed to a computer. They are available online for half the cost of a culligan and a quarter of the cost of a kenetico. Dual switching resin tanks are available from them as well.
I have put several in for family members and they have performed very well. One replaced a kenetico and has performed just as well.

Put a cartridge filter on your hose bib, don't hook it up to you softener. It will help with spotting but there is some salt in softened water, and chlorides are the worst thing to put on your car. If you did you would have to use an RO system to remove the sodium chloride. Also watering plants over time can kill them with salt. The rust(and minerals) in hard water won't promote more rust, just causes water spotting.
I have no idea if it's just a timer model...still trying to figure this thing out. Maybe will have to read the manual! This filter setup for outdoor faucets makes sense. So basically just plumb in like a GE whole house water filter to the outside faucet lines and call it a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattle_snake View Post
You can test the effectiveness/function of your softener system by measuring hardness. Any pool supply has kits or you can take a sample. Even (some) home depots has test strips for free.
If the brine tank is empty, the system should not be doing anything as the resin can't trap any more calcium carbonate.
1. Measure hardness in this state.
2. Clean brine tank and put a bag of salt in
3. run a regen cycle
4 Measure hardness again. Did it change?

This is a very good forum for water softener systems;
https://terrylove.com/forums/index.p...nd-answers.22/
Thanks! Great advice. Yeah the brine tank is completely empty and who knows for how long. Didn't know they sold hardness kits - looks like $10 at HD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs2244 View Post
IMHO: RO is oversold and problematic with copper plumbing systems.
Why are they problematic with copper plumbing?
dtbingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 07:17 AM   #12
gungatim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: west mich
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

for the sink faucet, I don't use RO, I have an eSpring unit, uv light kills the bacteria and the patented carbon filter is the best out there. not cheap by any means but the best there is.

for the softener, I do dump some resin cleaner in once a year and occasionally some bleach if the brine tank gets grungy.
gungatim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 07:30 AM   #13
artrem
Member
 
artrem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 71
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

We have a softener system as well. Here's my understanding of the resin issue: The resin is a crosslinked porous polymeric material which provides the sites where sodium ions sit, and are exchanged with calcium. The brine wash removes the entrapped calcium, replacing it with more sodium. So the effectiveness of the resin depends on the integrity of those pores.

If you have chlorinated water, chlorine will over time, oxidize the resin crosslinks, turning the porous resin into mush, which no longer does the ion exchange and can increase backpressure. This is a slow process and there are formulas to estimate resin life based on average chlorine content. Typically, with about 1 ppm of chlorine the resin is predicted to last about 5 - 7 years. A carbon filter placed in front of the resin bed will remove the chlorine and protect the resin bed from this degradation.

I don't know about other factors that determine resin life but that's what I know about typical city water. The carbon filter eventually needs to be recharged but I think that's more on the order of 10+ years.

Regardless, you might want to get Culligan in and evaluate your system.
artrem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 10:51 AM   #14
ard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sierra Foothills... California
Posts: 1,204
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
for the sink faucet, I don't use RO, I have an eSpring unit, uv light kills the bacteria and the patented carbon filter is the best out there. not cheap by any means but the best there is.

for the softener, I do dump some resin cleaner in once a year and occasionally some bleach if the brine tank gets grungy.
The AMWAY Multi Level Marketing eSpring Unit??????

HAHAHAHAHA

"Best there is"? I'm sure. Don't bother defending it OR doing any research - the Internet is filled with reviews from people selling it (but failing to disclose) mixed in with thos calling out the high priced rip off.

I've always bought generic filters, generic softener components, and generic RO systems/components. Fleck valves on the softener. Buying brand name stuff just means you will pay more. And you will pay more for filters and replacement parts....
ard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #15
bbrz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: E. Central IL
Posts: 24
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

RO water is extremely aggressive to metals, plastic tube is required on the outlet side.
Think about this, the spot free rinse at some car washes is RO water.
bbrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 02:12 PM   #16
ard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sierra Foothills... California
Posts: 1,204
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrz View Post
RO water is extremely aggressive to metals, plastic tube is required on the outlet side.
Think about this, the spot free rinse at some car washes is RO water.
Right. So when the water evaporates there is no residual minerals to leave spots.

You are not suggesting that RO spot free rinses might damage cars, are you? The water is gone long before any electrolysis/breakdown can occur

I do RO rinses on my dark car. I wash with softened water, but after it is all rinsed of soap a final pass with RO to rinse the residual softened water off...
ard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 02:40 PM   #17
ripperd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 433
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by artrem View Post
We have a softener system as well. Here's my understanding of the resin issue: The resin is a crosslinked porous polymeric material which provides the sites where sodium ions sit, and are exchanged with calcium. The brine wash removes the entrapped calcium, replacing it with more sodium. So the effectiveness of the resin depends on the integrity of those pores.

If you have chlorinated water, chlorine will over time, oxidize the resin crosslinks, turning the porous resin into mush, which no longer does the ion exchange and can increase backpressure. This is a slow process and there are formulas to estimate resin life based on average chlorine content. Typically, with about 1 ppm of chlorine the resin is predicted to last about 5 - 7 years. A carbon filter placed in front of the resin bed will remove the chlorine and protect the resin bed from this degradation.

I don't know about other factors that determine resin life but that's what I know about typical city water. The carbon filter eventually needs to be recharged but I think that's more on the order of 10+ years.

Regardless, you might want to get Culligan in and evaluate your system.
I did a valve rebuild and resin replacement myself on my fleck 5600 based softener and it came back to life. Wasn't too expenaive either, especially compared to a new unit.
ripperd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 02:46 PM   #18
bbrz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: E. Central IL
Posts: 24
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

You got it, ard, and no I am not saying damage from spot free rinse happens. maybe.
bbrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 02:57 PM   #19
bbrz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: E. Central IL
Posts: 24
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

For those of you that use filters, with softeners. Every time water passes through a device,
volume drops. (GPM). One filter reduces the GPM greatly, so I always installed two in parallel before the softener, with a tee and gauge on the inlet and outlet side. The pressure drop shows when filter changes need to be done. No guess work.
bbrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2017, 03:57 PM   #20
kbs2244
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,926
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

RO water reacts with impurities in the copper pipes.

The town my FL condo is in went to whole system RO.

Ever since the plumbing contractors have been doing whole house re-piping with PEX.
It starts as a 'weeping" wet spot on a pipe, but can graduate to a pin hole under pressure.
I have done 2 patches at my place with PEX and am on a waiting list.

There is nothing wrong with the copper piping.
The pipes meet all specs and were fine for 30 years.

One contractor old me that, for some reason, it happens on horizontal pipes more often.
Both of mine were in the middle of long horizontal runs.

Last edited by kbs2244; 07-15-2017 at 04:00 PM.
kbs2244 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2017, 05:47 AM   #21
gungatim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: west mich
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ard View Post
The AMWAY Multi Level Marketing eSpring Unit??????

HAHAHAHAHA

"Best there is"? I'm sure. Don't bother defending it OR doing any research - the Internet is filled with reviews from people selling it (but failing to disclose) mixed in with thos calling out the high priced rip off.

I've always bought generic filters, generic softener components, and generic RO systems/components. Fleck valves on the softener. Buying brand name stuff just means you will pay more. And you will pay more for filters and replacement parts....
why would you chime in just to be a jerk? OP asked me specifically what I used. I didn't hype it or try to sell it. having been in the industry for over 10 years now I happen to know a little something about water filtration, which is obviously more than you if you actually think a generic filter is doing you any good.

and I don't need to defend it or research it, it is no secret where I work and what I do. I happen to know every component and supplier related to the unit as well as the engineers who designed it, not to mention worked on the DOE and statistical validation for the filtration tests the independent labs use.
gungatim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2017, 07:37 AM   #22
LS6 Tommy
Senior Member
 
LS6 Tommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 10,555
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by artrem View Post
We have a softener system as well. Here's my understanding of the resin issue: The resin is a crosslinked porous polymeric material which provides the sites where sodium ions sit, and are exchanged with calcium. The brine wash removes the entrapped calcium, replacing it with more sodium. So the effectiveness of the resin depends on the integrity of those pores.

If you have chlorinated water, chlorine will over time, oxidize the resin crosslinks, turning the porous resin into mush, which no longer does the ion exchange and can increase backpressure. This is a slow process and there are formulas to estimate resin life based on average chlorine content. Typically, with about 1 ppm of chlorine the resin is predicted to last about 5 - 7 years. A carbon filter placed in front of the resin bed will remove the chlorine and protect the resin bed from this degradation.

I don't know about other factors that determine resin life but that's what I know about typical city water. The carbon filter eventually needs to be recharged but I think that's more on the order of 10+ years.

Regardless, you might want to get Culligan in and evaluate your system.
Interesting. My system is over 20 years old and softens perfectly. I have a service call in for Tuesday to have a leak at the button valve in the control box. I'll have to speak to the tech about it then. I'm considering upgrading to a self regulating unit anyway, as the timer unit we have now is , well, over 20 years old.

Tommy
__________________
The older I get, the faster I was...
LS6 Tommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-16-2017, 09:30 AM   #23
reader2580
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 3,788
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbs2244 View Post
RO water reacts with impurities in the copper pipes.

The town my FL condo is in went to whole system RO.
Why did the town choose to go with RO water for the entire water supply? It seems like waste. RO on a small scale wastes three to four gallons for every gallon of usable water. Waste water is less on a large scale system, but still not a cheap way to process water.

My RO system is piped with plastic, but I figured that was to save money over copper.
reader2580 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2017, 01:55 PM   #24
ard
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sierra Foothills... California
Posts: 1,204
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
why would you chime in just to be a jerk? OP asked me specifically what I used. I didn't hype it or try to sell it. having been in the industry for over 10 years now I happen to know a little something about water filtration, which is obviously more than you if you actually think a generic filter is doing you any good.

and I don't need to defend it or research it, it is no secret where I work and what I do. I happen to know every component and supplier related to the unit as well as the engineers who designed it, not to mention worked on the DOE and statistical validation for the filtration tests the independent labs use.
Didnt know you were an amyway salesman.

Not a fan of MLM scams. Thats all.



Oh you did 'hype it':

Quote:
Originally Posted by gungatim View Post
for the sink faucet, I don't use RO, I have an eSpring unit, uv light kills the bacteria and the patented carbon filter is the best out there. not cheap by any means but the best there is.
.
How is it that nobody else offers this same amazing level of technology other than Amway? Amazing.

In fact, it seems to be a pattern- Amway just seems to have the very best technology for a bunch of things- always 'expensive but the best'

Anyway, sorry for not being very "GJ friendly". As I said, I have a blind spot regarding MLMs
ard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 06:39 AM   #25
gungatim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: west mich
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

first I am NOT an Amway salesman. I am not a fan of MLM business models in any shape or form, which is why I don't hype their products or business model. it works for some and that's great.

That said, working for the side of the business that creates and manufactures the products, I do know what goes into them. we have a TON of proprietary tech, walls and walls of patents. the technology on the water filtration is out there, we just happened to patent many aspects of it first. there are other units with many of the features, but they too are expensive. you can't build in all the tech cheaply unless you have the volume, and this is a limited high end market we happen to "own".

Try getting your share of carbon (which comes from coconut husks) in the optimal particle size you need and get a manufacturer to make the filter block. not that many suppliers out there even capable, as it is not as easy as it sounds (which is why those cheap cartridge filters at the box store are fairly useless).

and yes the stuff is expensive, and is overkill for most people in the US. we sell most of these units in countries that do not have anywhere near the water quality this country enjoys.

Would I pay a grand for one of these? heck no. I use it because it was free and I get the filters for next to nothing.

but water filtration is one of those things that is fear based. people are afraid of what they can't see, and always want the best for their family. that's why there are so many units out there.

do you really need UV to kill bacteria? most people don't. (actually the UV radiation mutates the cells so they can't reproduce and die).

do you need to filter out all the toxins, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc. that this unit does? again, not likely.

just don't hate on the unit because you don't like MLM's. the business model only works if the products are extremely high quality/not available elsewhere.

MLM's pop up all the time and fail because there is no point in buying overpriced product you can get at the corner store.
gungatim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 07:29 AM   #26
bugnut
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

I too moved into a well water home with a similar setup. Rental softener unit did not do a great water hardness reduction-as tested post softener. Tired quickly of the rental fee. Did a wee bit of research and replaced all with the following: post pressure tank a 10" canister filter 5 micron with charcoal wrap-to help with smell/taste, I change the filter every other month. Post filter a waterboss brand softener-local make made at that time by the same company that makes hague water softeners-15 years later 1 malfunction and parts are available locally. For drinking, ice, cooking and coffee a GE ro system (cheaply made would not buy GE again). When completed had another test and system was much better than old existing-too many years ago to remember ppm's. Hope this helps.
bugnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 09:33 AM   #27
dtbingle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: dearborn, mi
Posts: 126
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Thanks for advice everyone! Obviously many different routes to take.

Softener:
For the softener at this point, the plan is to do a thorough clean of the brine tank and do a before/after hardness measurement to see how well the system is currently working. When it reaches the point that the resin needs replacing or something else breaks, the whole unit will probably be swapped out for that popular fleck 5600 unit mentioned above to have a new unit with readily available parts (and get away from culligan).

Outside Faucet:
Will leave the lines plumbed outside unfiltered.

Couple of questions left:
1) What's the difference between a Home Master 2 or 3 stage whole house filter (here or here) and a Pelican PC600 type whole house filter?
Sure the Pelican is ~$800 and the 2-stage and 3-stage Home Masters are cheaper at $350/$550, but the Pelican seems to have a nice warranty, media lasts 5 year between changes, and the only other filter is a pre-filter for larger sediment. This seems preferable maintenance wise (pre-filter only vs 2-3 for other systems).

2) Some of the whole house filter systems, such as the Pelican PC600 claim to produce "better than bottled water from every tap in your home". If these work that well, would there even be a point to add a RO system for drinking, cooking, coffee, etc?
Similar to #1, it would be preferable to have one unit to maintain that produces good tasting water and prevents build up in sinks, showers, dishes, etc. Consider this against a cheaper whole house 5 micron sediment filter and then having to plumb in and maintain lines and filters for a 5-stage reverse osmosis system for sink and fridge. Seems like RO systems would only be needed with certain cases of water supply (removing lead or high levels of fluoride, etc).

Last edited by dtbingle; 07-17-2017 at 10:15 AM.
dtbingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 12:03 PM   #28
myredracer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 393
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

Before wasting $$ on new filters or treatment, the prudent thing to do is take a water sample to a lab for testing. Go there first and they will give you a bottle or two to fill up and there is a procedure when doing this. If it's a community based system, it should meet gov't water standard regulations but I'd still get it tested so you know for sure what might be in it. The water quality can sometimes change by the time it gets to the point of use too. You also want to ensure to use a filter to remove contaminants that you may not know are present.

RO water may be very pure but can taste awful or strange because of the minerals that get removed. Also, a human body needs some of the minerals that are removed. As noted above, RO setups are very inefficient and waste as much as around 5 gallons for every gallon produced. Can use a multi-stage arrangement in some cases to recirculate discharge water for further purification and to reduce waste.

A 5 micron filter may seem pretty fine, but you might want to consider a 1 micron cartridge depending on the water test. Could be installed under a kitchen sink for cooking & drinking only. Doulton makes a nice ceramic cartridge that can be easily cleaned numerous times and re-used.

We use a 50/5 combo cartridge in a 10" housing on our well at home. Particles finer than 5 microns are getting through and we can feel a coating inside the bathtub after draining it. Planning to install a 1 micron filter under the kitchen sink. We're high in calcium which may be good for the body but faucet aerators eventually plug up and need cleaning.

When buying filters, get ones that are NSF certified otherwise you won't know what you are getting. Beware of manufacturers claims... I'd use multiple filters in series rather than a single combo. filter for longer life and bigger is better for longer life too. As well, there are some filter cartridges for specific contaminants that may be present.
__________________
Gil
Langley, BC

Last edited by myredracer; 07-17-2017 at 12:10 PM.
myredracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:29 PM   #29
wardljc
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 5
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

There seems to be a lot of recent innovations in water softening technology lately, is anyone aware of other systems which do not use the Ion Exchange Resin? The sponsor of the Force India F1 Team is a company involved in water softening. Is anyone aware of any new, non-resin water softening systems?
wardljc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2017, 02:32 PM   #30
Pipanski
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Toledo, OH
Posts: 20
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

I second the thought of getting your water tested to know exactly what you are dealing with. I have a well and the previous owners had a water softener system for many years but took it out for some reason. We have really high iron and that is the only "issue" with our water. When we had a company come in to test the water he confirmed the iron and told us that a lot of companies will sell... Or rent... Softeners when people really don't need them. I installed a whole house iron filter myself and the media is good for 10+ years and I've done nothing to it since i installed it two years ago.

My point is... Just make sure you actually need a softener.
Pipanski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2017, 09:03 AM   #31
dtbingle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: dearborn, mi
Posts: 126
Default Re: Water Softener and Filter Advice

As many of you have suggested, the water has been tested. This is from the community well:




From private test:


What water tests would you look at to determine what micron size filter would best suit
the household?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pipanski View Post
I second the thought of getting your water tested to know exactly what you are dealing with. I have a well and the previous owners had a water softener system for many years but took it out for some reason. We have really high iron and that is the only "issue" with our water. When we had a company come in to test the water he confirmed the iron and told us that a lot of companies will sell... Or rent... Softeners when people really don't need them. I installed a whole house iron filter myself and the media is good for 10+ years and I've done nothing to it since i installed it two years ago.

My point is... Just make sure you actually need a softener.
Like you, I may also have an iron issue. When purging at the main line and changing the typical 10" 5 micron filter, there is a pretty heavy orange'ish rust presence. As for needing the water softener, there is a bunch of mineral build up on faucets and the like. With my brine tank being empty, this makes sense and I suspect that a water softener would help. However, the above tests really only test for the water being safe to drink and omit hardness and iron levels.

Hopefully iron levels are low enough that the water softener can reduce them to an acceptable level and avoid the need for a separate iron unit.

Last edited by dtbingle; 07-18-2017 at 09:10 AM.
dtbingle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:49 AM.