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Thread: Salt Free Conditioners vs. Tradiional Softeners?

  1. #1
    DIY Member Designie's Avatar
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    Question Salt Free Conditioners vs. Tradiional Softeners?

    I am looking for some feedback on treating my well water for my new house. I am just about to buy a softener and have been trying to research as much as I can about these things.

    I know I will be OK with a conventional salt softener, I've read many good threads on this forum. My water has 0.066 iron, 0.016 manganese, and a hardness of 120 mg/L. I came up with a harness of 7.3, which I round up to 8, correct? Also I have a TDS of 1500, which I think is getting up there.

    So it seems my water isn't particularly hard from what I've read. It's nice and clear and has no odor right out of the well. I also saw a few things online about the salt-free conditioners, which work differently than salt softeners.

    Does anyone have any feedback on these units? Or should I stick with a quality salt softener?

    Thanks for any and all advice!!

    Ron

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    there is another thread on here that addresses your question over and over and over and over again but if you want to save some time let me just say that if I thought I could live with the guilt I would gladly take your money and ship you a collection or wires and crap that will do absolutely nothing.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    No salt "softeners" do not soften water and most do not work and the few that do make the water suds a bit better and reduce water spots some but nowhere as well as softened water does.
    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.

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    In the trades WellWaterProducts's Avatar
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    So a TDS of 1500 and only a little of that is due to hardness.....

    Is this water salty?
    Last edited by WellWaterProducts; 02-27-2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: typo

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    TDS is total disolved solids. Maganese, iron calcuim are all total disolved solids. So with the numbers you posted (120+.066+.016) don't add up to the 1500 TDS you quoted. Typically hardness will be the biggest make up of tds. Either you misquoted or there is something else in the water to bring the tds to 1500. I have family in Detroit.

  6. #6
    DIY Member Designie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WellWaterProducts View Post
    So a TDS of 1500 and only a little of that is due to hardness.....

    Is this water salty?
    The water has a sodium content of 514 mg/L. It doesn't taste salty, is that a high content?

    Quote Originally Posted by mialynette2003
    TDS is total disolved solids. Maganese, iron calcuim are all total disolved solids. So with the numbers you posted (120+.066+.016) don't add up to the 1500 TDS you quoted. Typically hardness will be the biggest make up of tds. Either you misquoted or there is something else in the water to bring the tds to 1500. I have family in Detroit.
    The test I had done lists all of the minerals and contaminants. I just gave the 3 values that were used in the hardness score. Total Dissolved Solids is listed as 1500 mg/L though.

    Where about's in Detroit?

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    In the trades WellWaterProducts's Avatar
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    I consider both a tds of 1500 and sodium of 514 to be high. I think chlorides make the salty taste though. Something's not adding up....

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    DIY Member Designie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WellWaterProducts View Post
    I consider both a tds of 1500 and sodium of 514 to be high. I think chlorides make the salty taste though. Something's not adding up....
    The test results also show Chlorides at 620 mg/L. Not sure if that helps.

  9. #9
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    With TDS that high it will be hard to get rid of all the hardness but you would have a large improvement with a softener.

    The MCL (max contaminate level) for chlorides is 250 ppm, I don't recall sodium but I think it is the same and TDS is 500 ppm. All are unenforceable, more suggestions really because they are not health related, but salt is not good for you. So an RO with a booster pump for up to 100-200 psi and a TFC membrane that can handle up to 2000 ppm of TDS reduces all that stuff.


    You should test for Coliform bacteria, sulfates, pH and alkalinity too.
    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.

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    DIY Member Designie's Avatar
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    I did test for all of that stuff, Gary. It was a very in depth test I had performed by a local lab.

    I can't remember when I posted it, but I had put the entire test results in a post in the well forum.

    There was no Coliform, Sulfate is 170 mg/L, PH is 7.7, akalinity is 210 mg/L.

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    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    I have installed the salt free units then tested the water. No change at all. Don't waste your money on one. There are many good softener systems on the market. Clack, Fleck or Autotrol are all built well. Stay away from the big box store models. Family lives at 17 mile and Garfield. Planning a trip at the end of May.

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    DIY Member Designie's Avatar
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    Alright, it appears as though the salt free conditioners are not the way to go.

    I have found a few softener systems online that look pretty good. I think I would go with the Fleck 7000 valve after reading what Gary had commented in a previous post. I noticed you cannot buy the Clack systems online anymore.

    Gary, just so I'm clear, is Quality Water Associates non existent as of now? Just wanted to know for sure because I liked everything you said and your company page and wanted to inquire about ordering from you.

    So after all that..... with the numbers I previously posted from my water test, what system would suit me well? I was thinking a Fleck 7000 electronic metered 32000 grain system. Would I want a filter anywhere? Anything else I am missing? This is my first trip into this realm of water softening!

    Thanks,

    Ron

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