(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Will a water softener solve our problem?

Hybrid View

  1. #1

    Default Will a water softener solve our problem?

    We have been told by three different appliance repair guys that hard water is damaging our hot water heater and dishwasher, both of which are 4 years old. We have had to replace the heating element on both, and we now have to replace the upper spray arm on the dishwasher (we may just buy a new dishwasher).

    We've decided that we definitely need a water softener before we have to make more repairs and before our washing machine is the next victim. But I've asked a few of my neighbors if they've had the same issues, and they have not. We all have the same water - city water drawn from wells as well as the Delaware River. So why would they not have the same problems as us? Is it possible that the hard water isn't the problem after all?

    (Our water company's annual water report indicates that our water hardness is in the range of 3.6-14.3 gpg. I used a test that I got from Lowes and got basically the same result.)

    Thanks in advance for any advice...

  2. #2

    Default

    I would say that at least one of my neighbors does use at least as much as we do, but certainly we have different appliances.

    I guess I'm just wondering if something else could be mimicking the "symptoms" of hard water.

  3. #3
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Posts
    460

    Default

    I suggest you order a full chemical test from a local lab. The water company may be giving a huge range depending on the source of water and what side of town you live on. You need an accurate hardness number anyway to properly set-up the system so it is money well spent.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by missuswayne View Post
    I would say that at least one of my neighbors does use at least as much as we do, but certainly we have different appliances.

    I guess I'm just wondering if something else could be mimicking the "symptoms" of hard water.
    Since no neighbors have the problems, I think your appliance guy is wrong and it isn't the water actually causing the problems but, a softener will extend teh life of all water using appliances, water heaters, all fabrics laundered in hard water etc. etc..

    Maybe all or some of the neighbors have a water softener.

    To size and set up a softener you must use the highest hardness in the city water system or when they send your house harder water your softener removes the additional hardness but it is not set up to regenerate the additional capacity that was used. Then you get hard water through the softener. And eventually you have to do two regenerations at the max salt dose for the volume of resin in the tank or the you consistently get hard water through the softener.

    I suggest a correctly sized softener for your family size, number of bathrooms and the type of fittings in them and the max hardness in your water system. I suggest a Clack WS-1 control valve.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,624

    Default elements

    The OEM elements on most water heaters are a very inexpensive "high watt density" model, and they can go bad in a matter of weeks, regardless of the type of water you have. So replacing one after 4 years is not necessarily an indication of premature failure. Therefore, I also am not sure whether the diagnosis is correct. This area has water a lot harder than yours and water softeners are not a very common item in houses, but they do not have your problems.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Posts
    6,790

    Default

    Missuswayne, since you say; "We all have the same water - city water" you don't need to spend money getting someone to test your city water because the water company tests their water frequently to be in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. And they test for hardness although they do not have to for any regulations, they need to know the hardness.

    Yet if you wanted to test your water, you can do it yourself or have anyone of your choice do a hardness test, including the local pool, plumbing or pump supply houses, SEARS etc. but, if the test result is less than the maximum hardness in the city water system, your softener will not work correctly for long.

    So you may want to ask anyone telling you to get the water tested why they want you to, and what other than hardness they suggest you have to know to be able to buy, set up and use a water softener on your city water.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NY Capital District
    Posts
    604

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    Don't play the guessing game and get a potability water analysis form a certified lab.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    Also, talk to the water dept. to get an explanation of the variability. If it's like my town water, it's seasonal variation, as they buy water from an adjacent municipality during the summer peak. Thus, we have the high gpg some times of the year, and the low at other times, and a middle number at others. I still had to size for the highest to ensure proper performance.

  8. #8
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    Posts
    460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    One of the most important and basic things that i have learned through the years installing water treatment and studying for my WQA Certified Water Treatment Specialist Exam, is the importance of getting a good water analysis from a certified lab. Your test results for 3.6-14.3 gpg does not tell you exactly how much hardness you have, but only tells you what you could have. Seeing that you are on city water, it is also very important that you test for chlorine to determine if Carbon pretreatment is needed. Any level of chlorine that is present in the water can ruin the ion exchange resin in your water softener.

    Don't play the guessing game and get a potability water analysis form a certified lab.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com
    Dido Sammy ... I totally agree with you.
    Setting up the softener for the worst case reading reported by the water company could very well cost you plenty of money due to excessive salt and water usage caused by unnessary regeneration cycles ... there is no way to properly set this equipment up if you do not have an accurate report (such as from a reputable lab). Don't settle for anything less.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •