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Is my hard water so bad it has disabled my dishwasher,do I need a water softener

Is my hard water so bad it has disabled my dishwasher,do I need a water softener

Old 10-27-08, 09:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Royal Oak, MI
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Is my hard water so bad it has disabled my dishwasher,do I need a water softener

I bought my home here in Indiana which was built new and which I moved into about a year and a half ago. It was a spec home so I wasn't part of the process when options were picked, the dishwasher came with the house a water softener didn't but it's easy to see where provisions have been made for one if the owner made the choice later to install one.

Of course, it's on city water. Being from the metropolitan Detroit area, I've never had the experience that city water isn't already soft.. From the deposits on the shower heads, I'm gathering it would be good to have a water softener.

But the dishwasher is doing much worse. It got to the point where I could check mid-cycle and observe that the top rack was wet but the bottom rack was dry. I took everything apart to clean out everything I could and I've gotten it working somewhat, but I'm not convinced the sprayers are really rotating like they should.

In the process of cleaning out everything, I took out a lot of crap that really reminded me a lot of cleaning out buckets from spackling.

My question is this: Is city water really that bad that it could clog up a dishwasher after 18 months of use, or is there possibly another explanation - like builders used the dishwasher to clean off their paint brushes and trowels??? The dishwasher never worked that great, but it definitely didn't start out as bad as it is now.
Old 10-28-08, 10:17 AM
biermech's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: USA
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Sounds like hard water to me. Call your water department and ask them the hardness of the water. If they quote it in PPM times it by 17.1 to get to GPG. The ranking of hardness is <1 to 10.5 Anything over 3 is consider hard. Over 10.5 and you have real problems.
Old 10-28-08, 10:39 AM
Shadeladie's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
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We've got VERY, VERY hard water and altho there is calcium buildup on shower heads and faucets, we've had the same dishwasher for the past 20 or 25 years and it has not affected how it runs or sprays and we've never had to clean any buildup, so I don't think hard water is the cause, and especially after only 18 months.

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