Water Softener Recommendations?


  #1  
Old 11-18-06, 12:11 AM
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Water Softener Recommendations?

If anybody can either recommend, or point to any site that has any sort of review I would be very appreciative.

10 gpg
1 ppm iron

2 people eventually adding 2 more

Kinetico has been here and given me their salespitch, but I feel there are similar systems for less cost out there. Is it me, or is the fleck 9000 system that ohiowatersystems offer the exact same thing as kinetico systems?

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 11-18-06, 12:44 AM
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A Fleck 9000 from Ohio Pure Water Co is a defacto industry standard. Assembled from the best quality components and materials it will last a very long time with minimal maintenance. Tech info and parts are EZ to come by and the Fleck 9000 is a proven control valve. I favor the 9100 which is the Noryl version of the 9000. This is a great choice for a DIYer at a very attractive price. Remember though, by definition buying long distance means that there is no on-site service and warranty replacement parts are UPS or FedEx away.

The Kinetico has the advantage that it does not require electricity. Due to that Kineticos can be used in some really unique installations. Kinetico has an extensive dealer/service network and is a fine choice for people who don't want to DIY.

Don't overlook shopping around at local independent water treatment pros. Most will supply Fleck based softeners at competetive prices, do the install, and offer a parts and labor warranty. A good local dealer that provides timely service after the sale and stocks parts is a GREAT value add and worth paying more.

As far as a site where you'll find review and recommendations ... forget it. Places that try to rate softeners know very little about them and are not in a position to intelligently comment about them.

Forums like this one and other INDEPENDENT forums, without an agenda, are a wealth of info for prospective water treatment customers. Just cruise around and see what brands people are always needing help on and what brands people ask about servicing when they are 10-15-20 years old. That speaks volumes.
 
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Old 11-18-06, 12:55 AM
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What does the noryl version add? Where can I find this version? It comes with a noryl yoke, is that the same thing?

Also, is there a large difference between resins? I understand the fine resins for iron, but what about purelite vs ionac or an option that ohiopurewater offers is sst60. How do these resins compare to what kinetico uses?

What does the controller need electricity for? I thought it was metered. Apparently not a mechanical meter?

I have also seen a bit about prefilters. Is this needed? What does this consist of?
 

Last edited by over0066; 11-18-06 at 01:05 AM.
  #4  
Old 11-18-06, 09:03 AM
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First, you need to have a complete water test from an independent lab. 10g and 1ppm iron doesn't tell the whole story of your water conditions. Are you on a well or a water system?

The Fleck 9000 control valve body is brass and the 9100 control valve body is Noryl. Noryl is completely inert and can not corrode or rust. Both valves are available with either Noryl or brass bypass valves and yokes. I prefer the Noryl over the brass. Any dealer that offers the 9000 can also supply the 9100 if you ask for it.

All control valves, other than the Kinetico, require electricity to run either a timer (inefficent design) or a clock, circuit board, and motor. The circuit board counts gallons used (using a little turbine wheel in the water flow) so it knows when to regenerate based on water usage (more efficent). Then the motor turns the piston or stack through the stages of regenration. The Kinetico does not use elctricity. It uses the same water power that filled the Roman aqueducts, turns the turbines at the Hoover Dam, and cut out the Grand Canyon.

As far as resin, the best choice depends on your water conditions. Purolite C-100 is very common and Ionac C-249 is common also. Fine mesh resin is used when higher iron content is a consideration. Don't be overly concerned about resin. A good dealer knows what resin you need based on the water conditions. That's why it's so important for YOU to supply results from a COMPLETE water test.

Kinetico chooses their resin based on water conditions, the design of their control valve, and the configuration of the softener tanks. If you opt for a Kinetico then leave the design and choice of components to them because they know what they are doing and will stand behind their recommendations. That's why people pay them a premium price. You get a premium softener, sano install, premium service, and premium support. Kinetico has built up great brand loyalty over the years.

Prefilters depend on the water conditions. In some instances they are installed and in some they are not. If a prefilter is installed, the company should put a pressure gauge before and after the filter so you can easily see any pressure drop and will know that's the time to replace the filter element. Also, the prefilter needs to be large enough to not create a pressure loss to the entire house. The little 10" filters won't do the job. You'd want a BIG 20" filter and maybe two of them in parallel.

If you're shopping on the internet for a DIY softener and you're found www.ohiopurewaterco.com then you arrived at the right place. Get a complete water test done at a local independent lab and call C.K. Moore at Ohio Pure Water Co. Ask him your questions. He's a real nice guy and knows his stuff.

You need to be asking these questions of the people you plan to do business with and get them to explain the answers. If you don't understand, then ask them again. The time and care they take educating you BEFORE the sale is a great indicator of how you'll be treated AFTER the sale.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 11-18-06 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 11-18-06, 10:52 PM
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Thanks for the info. I am feeling more and more confident that I am capable of going the DIY route. However, first things first...water testing. I am not sure who or how to get this done. Searching qwest dex, it doesn't appear that any independant labs exist in this city. Grand Forks ND. I will contact the city on monday to see if they do any testing. Any suggestions on where to look for this type of service? Specifically what other testing should I be doing? Hardness, Iron, Manganese, chlorine, ?, ?. I just want to make sure whoever I find will test for the relavent chemicals.

Again, thanks for your help. Once I get my water tested, I will be making that phone call suggested.
 
  #6  
Old 11-19-06, 12:01 AM
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Usually city or county or state environmental health departments know where the labs are and the labs know what to test for.

If you're on a municipal water system water treatment is less complicated than if you're on a well.

If you're on a municipal water system the city can supply general test results that reflect the water quality system wide BUT if you want to do this right and do it one time get your own independent tests of water at your house.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 04:38 PM
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Well, I have had no luck with finding a lab yet. The municipal water system I am on only test for bacteria, and referred me to a place that need to know specific tests. I have more phone calls to make, but it is more difficult than expected.
 
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Old 11-21-06, 05:08 PM
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You do know that you can FedEx a water sample anywhere?
 
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Old 11-23-06, 02:07 PM
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I can attest to the fact that anything connected to the water supply should be a highly reputable, quality unit. On my last house my wife bought an RO filter from costco. I could tell that it was not high quality but we went ahead with it anyway, putting it under the sink. Well, one night as we were just about to nod off to sleep my wife heard a bang downstairs. She pushed me out of bed to investigate and boy was I lucky I did. Turned out one of the plastic filter cannisters broke at the threads and was letting copious amounts of water onto the floor. Even with me getting to it in less than 2 mins water had run underneath the hardwood floors. I was able to get away with no real damage but I shudder to think what would have happened if we were not home or I did not get up!

Also, I understand that if you make an insurance claim on water damage chances are the house will be blacklisted and selling the house may be impossible.

I know that softeners are usually in the garage but still you cannot be too careful.
 
  #10  
Old 11-28-06, 12:22 AM
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Ok, so I have contacted Ohiopurewaterco. It looks like I will be getting the 24000 grain twin tank fleck controlled system. However, they do not offer the noryl version of the fleck (9100), only the brass (9000). What reputable site sells this? Is it truly that big of a deal?


Also curious about thoughts on the mechanically metered vs the microprocessor metered fleck. ie ec vs the se versions.

Thanks again.
 
  #11  
Old 11-28-06, 07:39 AM
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Brass or Noryl, same valve. Make sure you get it with the "bypass" and the yoke. I also like to plumb a 3 ball valve bypass so that if the softener bypass ever requires repair I can bypass the entire softener installation and still have water until the repair is made.

I prefer the "SE" simple electronics version. Both versions require AC power so that's a wash but fine tuning the softener is much easier with the "SE" version. With the non "SE" version the settings are a little coarse and not as easy to fine tune.

Controlling a softener control valve is a job that microprocessors are very well suited to.
 
  #12  
Old 11-28-06, 12:45 PM
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Out of curiousity, justalurker, do you work for a water softener company? If so, who?
 
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Old 12-02-06, 10:38 PM
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Over I sent you a PM. Let me know if you need any more help. Later, Tom
 
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Old 12-03-06, 11:40 AM
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Over0066

justalurker does not work for, represent, deal in, or benefit from any particular brand, company or manufacturer. He is a person deeply interested in water conditions and treatment and, from what I have come to know, is essentially self-taught through perserverance, research, and an uncommon desire to help others.

He posts here on this board (and others) with a delligence and openness to give assistance and advice at no profit to himself.

~~justalurker, forgive my taking liberty in addressing this on your behalf.
Andy

ps. there are some, on the other hand, who use this forum to promote and profit themselves and often attempt to make private contacts in that same regard. The spirit of this forum is well defined and should be kept in the light. Please beware of unsolicitited attempts to conduct business from others.
 
  #15  
Old 12-13-06, 12:19 PM
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new water softener researcher

Any advice on the best branded water softeners out there for DIYers? We found a GE GXSF30H water softener at Home Depot. It is not out of the box yet because I really wanted to do some research with the brand. Does anyone have any reviews on it? Also if there is a better brand out there for around the same value?

Thanks so much!
 
  #16  
Old 12-13-06, 02:14 PM
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Rosebud,

First of all, you should have started a new thread with your question.

Second, my fingers are bleeding from repeatedly answering the same question you and others have posed MANY times.

If a pre-built softener from Sears, GE, Waterboss, Morton, North Star, et al can be avoided they should be. Real industry standard softeners are the same or less money than the pre-builts, especially for the DIYer.

Pre-builts are not designed to go the distance, are more difficult to repair, are not made of the best quality materials, and parts are expensive and only available from limited sources.

If you search this and other forums you'll find more people trying to solve problems with box store softeners then all the other softeners combined.

If you search this and other forums you'll find recommendations for better quality softeners at less or the same money as a disposable box store softener.

Sucessfull water treatment starts with a complete water test from an independent lab. A quickie water test from Sears is too limited to be of any real use.

Here's a place to start ...
http://ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179
 

Last edited by justalurker; 12-13-06 at 04:06 PM.
  #17  
Old 12-13-06, 02:21 PM
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water softeners

thanks for your feedback. i tried starting a new search. i am new to forums and i just could not find "where" i could start a new thread.

so you are saying that box water softeners like the one i have is of no use, or they don't last as long as one from where? like a culligan man type home servicer?

sorry i am very new to this world. also i did do a quick search but to sift through everything would have taken forever! yikes!
 
  #18  
Old 12-13-06, 02:41 PM
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Rosebud,

To start a new thread hit the "new thread" button on the upper left of the stack opposite the horizontal page numbers.

The answers to your questions are here on the forum Grasshopper. Use the seach engine and find the answers to your questions. When you can take the o-ring from my hand it is time for you to install.

The time you spend finding these answers on the forum is well spent if you are a true DIYer.

This thread on another forum may be of interest to you ...

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/plumbing/msg120153138228.html?3

You have to "cut & paste" as HTML is turned off on this forum.

Ok, here's water softener 101 ...

First, get a complete water test from an independent lab. This is a MUST DO because without it everything is a guess. A quickie water test from Sears or a water softener company won't be complete. They only test for the "profitable" stuff.

Second, hit the Yellow Pages and call at least three local water treatment pros. Make sure you call at least one of the big dogs like Kinetico or Culligan and at least a couple independent pros. DON'T TELL THEM YOU HAD YOUR WATER TESTED.

Give each an opportunity to offer suggestions and provide you with a quote to meet your water treatment needs. IGNORE ANY THAT DON'T TEST YOUR WATER THEMSELVES as they can't speak intelligently to water treatment without knowing what needs to be treated.

Ask lots of questions. Warranty, parts & labor, how long? Install, permits required, licensed plumber? Routine maintenance and costs? Do they stock parts? Response time for emergency (water leak) calls? The time and care they take educating you BEFORE the sale is a great indicator of how you'll be treated AFTER the sale.

After they've gone use your water test to compare with their's. Are all your treatment needs being addressed?

Ask your neighbors if they have any water treatment experience. They might tell you who's good or who to avoid.

Come back here and post the specific recommendations and hardware with the costs and we'll give you our opinions.

If you're a DIYer then you have other options ...
http://ohiopurewaterco.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=179

These other threads may interest you ...
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=275074
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=284967
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=285326

You have to "cut & paste" as HTML is turned off on this forums.
 

Last edited by justalurker; 12-13-06 at 04:07 PM.
  #19  
Old 12-18-06, 12:09 PM
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If I could ask what might be a somewhat naive question -

What are the advantages of a softener?

I like to hear from experienced users since the sellers "might" be over hyping this stuff.


One issue I have noticed in my house is heavy accumulation of deposits on fixtures and what seems like an excessive failure rate of o-rings and valves. I installed a top of the line Kohler faucet 2 years ago and the base o-rings are already shot.

Also, the Lime Away/CLR products really only seem to work on light films. When I take the faucet apart for repair is soaking it in one of these products a good idea to remove deposits from the chromed outer surfaces?


Thanks
 
  #20  
Old 08-26-07, 01:18 PM
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Water Softeners.

Water Softeners are an outdated technology. They displace very few of the pollutants in water by substituting salt. You can't even water plants with softener treated water because it will kill them. See www.haguewater.com for a solution that doesn't use 40 year old technology.
 
  #21  
Old 08-26-07, 02:14 PM
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zerochance says "Water Softeners are an outdated technology".

Really? Ion exchange water softening is the most cost effective and enviromentally considerate method of removing calcium, manganese, and iron from potable water.

zerochance says "They displace very few of the pollutants in water by substituting salt".

Not true, ion exchange softening removes calcium, manganese, and iron by exchanging SODIUM or POTASSIUM ions for calcium, manganese, and/or iron ions. Sodium or potassium alone is not salt. Sodium chloride or potassium chloride is a salt. If the ion exchange softener is properly sized, installed, and setup it will produce "0" hardness water... otherwise known as SOFT water. That is removing ALL the hardness causing pollutants NOT just a "few".

zerochance says "You can't even water plants with softener treated water because it will kill them".

Not true. Water softened by ion exchange with potassium chloride (KCl) is safe to water plants with. See http://softeningsalt.com/page8.html for facts on this subject.

Sorry zerochance, but there are ZEROFACTS in your post.

FYI, the Hague Watermax IS an ion exchange water softener.
 
  #22  
Old 08-26-07, 10:07 PM
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Water softeners

Although a 100-year old technology, ion exchange (Na/K) is still the most effective and economical way to soften water.

Other technologies are developing that have potential, but ix is still the simplest, cheapest and most reliable technology out there.

Ditto on justalurker's comments.

People buy softeners for a host of reasons, but the most common are:-

Soap savings
Faucet protection
Fixture protection
Appliance protection
Laundry protection
Pipe protection
Energy saving on water heating
Cleaner laundry

Some others that many people don't think about:-
Less bacteria in washing machine
Less grease accumulation in waste plumbing
Clother last longer
Less toxic/harmful chemicals required for cleaning
Positive environmental impact
Intangible - water feel
Intangible - health perceptions
Intangible - keep the home looking cleaner longer
Intangible - labor savings


The list goes on...

I do work for a company that makes/markets the things, but I also own one and would never go without it.
 
 

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