Water Softener Advice Needed

Old 09-20-02, 09:26 PM
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Water Softener Advice Needed

We are in northern Illinois on a private well and have hard water with clear water iron. My wife had a salesman here from Hauge (sp?) water here. He recommended a softener with a separate iron filtration system. Cost was a bit out of our range ($1600) and I wanted a second opinion. I went to Sears and had my water analyzed. Here are the results:

Water Hardness: 12 gpg
Iron: 2 ppm

Salesman at Sears told me that their Kenmore water softener (400A) could handle the hardness and the iron. The cost was $499 plus installation (estimated at $250). It seems that this would be the better choice but I'm looking to some of the forum members here for an objective opinion.

Do I need the separate iron filter?
Does Kenmore make a decent softener?
Does the price seem reasonable?

One other question. Our water has an undesirable taste unless it is through our refridgerator which uses a filter.

Will the softener help with this?
Is there any reason to have hard water for drinking?

Thanks in advance for your responses!
Old 09-21-02, 05:30 AM
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Most water softeners exchange calcium and magnesium ions (which make water "hard") for sodium ions (salt) in media.
Kenmore makes good softeners.
If they have one that is designed to remove iron, as well as calcium and magnesium, then you probably don't need a separate iron filter.
Softened water will taste slightly better than plain well water in many cases, but it may have a light salty taste, too. No particular reason to have hard water for drinking.
Softened water helps soaps (laundry, bath, shampoo, dishwasher, etc.) sud much better, and helps prevent mineral build-up on faucets, showerheads, tub spouts, etc., and it's easier on water-using appliances.
The Sears price seems reasonable to me. Many softeners will run over $1,000 installed.
Good Luck!
Old 09-23-02, 09:17 AM
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Softners do remove iron but in doing so, the resin can get fouled. 2.0 ppm is a bit on the high side for a softner to handle. My brother was faced with the same problem and he decided to try just the softner and, for the past 6 years, its worked well. The downside is, if you do foul the resin, it will have to be replaced. Alternatively, they do sell a product called "iron out" that is added to the brine tank of a softner to aid in removal of the iron from the resin. I do not have any experience with this material.

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