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Thread: Choosing a new Water Softener

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member ChiScouter's Avatar
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    Default Choosing a new Water Softener

    First of all I want to thank you all for the knowlege you are sharing here. I wish I could have figured out what I should do by reading numerous threads, but frankly the more I read the more confused I am getting.

    I recently moved in with my mom, she is in her 80's and her health is failing. Her house is in NW Indiana. It is still using the original well and pump from the early 1970's. I installed the larger Waterboss model about 10 to 12 years ago. The reason for the waterboss is it had a favorable review from James Dully who was writing a home improvment column in the paper. I also liked the fact that the waterboss was the only softener advertising a built in sediment filter that flushed itself when the softener cycled. Previously I had a whole house filter ahead of the softener and it had to be replaced often and it built up a lot of iron in it that was a pain to clean out. Several years into the waterboss it was overflowing the brine tank. They sent me out a valve which I replaced, but the water level was always higher than specified in the owners manual. It never overflowed though. The tank on the waterboss is deforming and I fear that it it will crack soon. It doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to. We are getting water spots on the glasses, I am getting black sediment in the toilet, and my mom says the whites arent as white as they used to be. I like the idea of the built in filter, waterboss seems to be the only company advertising as having it. After doing research I have read much bad about the waterboss as well as the other brands sold at the big box stores. I have a undersink charcoal filter for drinking water that improves the taste.

    I have taken water samples to 4 different local softener companies including Culligan and Hicks. Everyone of them gives me different numbers from the samples. The highest reading given are 32 hardness and 2.75 iron, the lowest 24 and 1.5. The prices I was quoted ranged from $950 installed to Culligans $1245 installed. Warranties ranged from 3 years parts 1 year labor to cullignan who said their warranty was 10 years parts and labor.

    The box stores are selling whole house filters that are self cleaning. Are these even necessary with a softener? I installed a new water heater last summer, it had very bad sulphur odor until I replaced the anode with an aluminum one. I was told by one of the softener companies that I should use 1 bag of iron remover salt every 3 bags, is that a good idea?

    Thanks for your patience, sorry if I gave too much info, but I figured the more I give the more accurate any answers may be. Please give me some recomendations on how to proceed.

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member ChiScouter's Avatar
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    If it helps my feed is 3/4" copper and I have no problem with ordering a system online. Its 2 people in a 2 bathroom house, usually 1 load in the dishwasher every day, 1 load of laundry every 2 days, the primary toilet is a low flow.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member ChiScouter's Avatar
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    Im crossing one company off my list. Eenigenburg Quality Water was the 1st company I stopped in to talk to. The first salesman there said I was borderline on using the iron romoval machine and quoted me $2427 for both installed. After work today I went back to clarify some things and find out the warranty which wasn't discussed at all the 1st time. I didn't have my original paperwork but remembered my water readings. The new guy today really pushed hard for using the iron machine and quoted me $2978 for both units installed. Their components are from Aqua Systems. He said warranty was 7 years parts and labor, but when I went home and read the literature he gave me the warranty from Aqua Systems was 7 years, but the form showing Eenigenburgs labor warranty the form only showed up to 5 years labor. Of the local people im leaning more towards Culligan but I am still open to recommendations about ordering online and installing myself.

    The salesman today said if I don't get the iron removal machine I need to have a cartrige filter upstream of the softener. That was disappointing to hear because previous to the waterboss I had a upstream cartrige filter and didn't like having to soak it in Iron Out a couple of times a year due to all the iron deposits clinging to the inside of it.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Cool rent one and be happy

    you really want to stay away from culligan....
    stay away from the hardware store junk too.....

    if you get something from clack you will do ok...
    if you have a lot of iron and you need both of them
    I would suggest that you RENT one from someone.....
    perhaps on a trial basis to see if you like it with an option to buy

    it would probably cost you about 30 bucks a month....

    with high indiana iron, sometimes it is best to rent because it is their problem to fix the unit down the road... for free of course....

    . a Clack unit will do up to 5parts per million in iron...
    the 950 price is ok if it is either a clack or an autotrol unit.....

    aqua-systems is another one you should look into


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