Two vs. one tank water softeners


  #1  
Old 12-09-04, 04:12 AM
Hankus
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Question Two vs. one tank water softeners

I am about to choose a home water softener for a brand new house. Why are two-tank water softener systems considered better than one-tank systems?
 
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Old 12-09-04, 11:01 AM
G
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For better clarity... two tank means one resin tank and a brine tank, whther the resin tank is inside the brine tank or not; which is called a cabinet model but still a two tank. The other type, and what I think you are asking about, is a twin tank. Meaning two resin tanks and a brine tank. They regenerate immediately as opposed to two tank softeners that delay regeneration until no other water will be used, such as 2:00. The twins do that by taking the just exhausted tank off line and putting the Standby tank online and then immediately regenerate the exhausted tank using water from the tank that is online. That doesn't make any type better than the other type unless there is a proven need for one type over the other two. Agreed?

But then when we get into marketing, we see twin tanks being 'sold' as better. IMO the 'better' part is for the benefit of the salesperson unless there is a real need for 24 hour/day soft water, or IOWs, no time available during 24 hours when a two tank softener can use water for 1.5 to 2 hours without other water being used. Which if other water is used, it is hard water.

So, in that marketing, many folks are told many things but in most cases no disadvantages of having a twin tank model. Disadvantages like you get to share your water flow with the softener as it regenerates, you have two resin tanks and only use one at a time and they take up more roomand the part about no need for a reserve.... they should tell you that regenerating with soft water uses capacity and just about as much salt as having a reserve does.

What make/model are you looking at?

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 07:03 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-09-04, 01:52 PM
Hankus
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I phrased my question incorrectly

Pardon my error -- this will be my first water softener, so I'm not very knowledgeable. I guess I should have asked whether it makes much difference to have an all-in-one unit (e.g., ECOWATER ECR 3000R30) or one with a separate brine tank (e.g., ECOWATER ESD 2502R30). Is a system with a separate brine tank easier to service? I'm also considering a somewhat comparable Sears (Ultrasoft 280/275) unit and two from Culligan (the Medallist and the Gold).

There are 2 adults, no children, and 1937 sq. ft. of finished living space.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Last edited by Hankus; 12-09-04 at 02:58 PM. Reason: I need to add information
  #4  
Old 12-09-04, 09:24 PM
G
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Cabinet models are very hard to work on when compared to a two separate tanks or twin tank softeners. They usually cost more than a two separate tank model.

The brands you mention are high priced and proprietary equipment; meaning you only get service and parts from their dealer. I'll suggest that that is not a good position to be in and why pay more when you can get an industry standard Clack, Fleck or Autotrol valve beased softener that you can buy from many internet or local dealers and get parts from any of them? Anyone with the desire can install their own softener with 30 minutes to assemble it and another 30 minutes to learn to solder if needed. Or, hire someone to install it and still save hundreds to maybe 2k and IMO have better equipmnt. If I'm right, all of the brands you mention don't use industry standard tanks!

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 07:03 PM.
  #5  
Old 12-10-04, 02:50 AM
Hankus
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Question The depth of my ignorance is truly astounding

Gary's comments (which I very much appreciate and value):
1. Why pay more when you can get an industry standard Clack, Fleck or Autotrol valve based softener that you can buy from many internet or local dealers and get parts from any of them?
2. If I'm right, all of the brands you mention don't use industry standard tanks!

My answer is because I don't know:
1A. Which softeners are based on these valves, and
1B. Where to get them locally (Lowes, Menards, a plumbing supplier???)
2. Which brands use industry standard tanks?

Even at an online site such as CAI Technologies, there are so many models and choices (capacity, jacket option, style) that it is truly mind-boggling for a completely naive water softener shopper.

I am totally unfamiliar with plumbing and soldering, so I do not know how to intall a water softener. I don't even know how to tell whether I have 3/4" or 1" supply piping. Thanks again for any help you can provide.
 

Last edited by Hankus; 12-10-04 at 03:10 AM. Reason: To add information
  #6  
Old 12-11-04, 08:12 PM
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It's easier to find those that don't use industry standard components by asking everyone selling softeners.

I suggest independent dealers and you find them on the internet and in your local yellow pages. All big box store brands are proprietary equipment with non-industry standard tanks and control valves. Sorry to say but most plumbiners only know how to install equipment and little about how it works etc..

I've taught many people how to solder and practice. All you need to learn how is the desire, a soldering kit for about $50 and $20 worth of plumbing parts. And I'm sure there are books about soldering.

Gary
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Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-11-05 at 07:02 PM.
 

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