I am thinking of putting in a tankless reverse osmosis system but I see

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Kim Klein

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At least one brand (waterdrop) says not to use the system with a water softener. This is the rationale, and frankly it doesn’t make sense to me: https://www.waterdropfilter.com/blogs/buyers-guides/connect-a-water-softener-with-an-ro

does this make sense to you, and assuming it does, are there any that you can use with a softener? I want/need a tankless system because there is very limited space under the sink, and the house is build on a slab so there’s no basement to house a tank system.
Thanks for any advice you might offer!
 

Taylorjm

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The reverse osmosis systems I've seen recommended using softened water verses hard water. I don't really understand the idea that soft water tastes salty. The salt doesn't go in the water, it's used to backwash the softener, then it's rinsed with clean water. So why your softened water would taste salty, I have no idea.
 

Kim Klein

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The reverse osmosis systems I've seen recommended using softened water verses hard water. I don't really understand the idea that soft water tastes salty. The salt doesn't go in the water, it's used to backwash the softener, then it's rinsed with clean water. So why your softened water would taste salty, I have no idea.
That’s what was puzzling me too! It just didn’t make sense - had a softener for years and never tasted salty, so the info from that company threw me for a loop. I think I’d be totally good using soft water with a RO system. Thanks for your help- I appreciate it.
 

Taylorjm

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That’s what was puzzling me too! It just didn’t make sense - had a softener for years and never tasted salty, so the info from that company threw me for a loop. I think I’d be totally good using soft water with a RO system. Thanks for your help- I appreciate it.
Everybody assumes since they are filling the container with salt, that they are drinking salt water.
 

Reach4

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Well, when you drink softened water, there is sodium salt in the softener water. During softening, the water has the calcium and magnesium ions in the water replaced by sodium ions. Its not the salt that was used to regenerate, but during regeneration, the calcium and magnesium ions in the exhausted resin get exchanged for sodium ions. And the cycle continues.

So the question is not whether it is better to have salt in the water to the RO, but rather, is it better to have sodium salts or magnesium or calcium salts in the water to the RO membrane.

IMO, TAC is not what it claims to be. It is not a softener. Check the hardness before and after TAC, and the hardness will not have reduced. Measure softness after a real softener, and the hardness will have gone way down.

"Salt-free water softeners (water conditioners) are alternatives to the ion-exchange models. They use a softening process called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) " BS. Not a softener.

Notwithstanding that university test they report, I am torn about how subtle to be. I am not an expert. I am a cynic. Fraud, or biased rose colored glasses? I cannot be sure.
 
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Bannerman

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Softened water will assist to extend the useable lifespan of the RO membrane, but membranes have become less expensive so extending the lifespan may not be as critical as it had once been.

Salt (sodium chloride) is most commonly utilized to produce brine to regenerate the resin's hardness removal capacity. During regeneration, sodium from the brine will adhere to the resin beads whereas hardness mineral ions (calcium & magnesium) that had adhered to the resin beads while water was being delivered to the home, will be released and will be flushed to drain along with the chloride from the brine. During Service mode, hardness mineral ions will adhere to the resin beads which will cause sodium ions to be released into the water flowing to the home's faucets & fixtures.

Because the quantity of sodium within softened water is proportional to the amount of hardness being removed, and because RO membrane is so effective in removing sodium, an RO system for drinking water is usually essential when the softener is removing a substantial amount of hardness such as 50 GPG or greater.

Here is a brief writeup regarding the quantity of sodium within softened water. How much sodium is in softened water

Because so little water can pass through a typical undersink RO membrane per minute, without a storage tank, it would require an excessive amount of time to fill even 1 drinking glass.

An 'undersink' RO system does not need to be located under the kitchen sink. Our laundry room is located in the basement directly below our kitchen. For better space utilization and ease of access for RO system maintenance, I located our RO system in the laundry room.

Because of the extended distance, and because our system supplies both the sinkside faucet and refrigerator ice/water dispenser, I utilized 3/8" tubing instead of the more common 1/4" tubing so as to reduce any flow restriction caused by the longer supply line.
 
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