need water softener advice


  #1  
Old 01-19-07, 10:02 PM
L
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need water softener advice

hello,

i am going to be moving to a house with hard water (the water company's report says it ranges from 21-24 grains per gallon). i am completely new to the world of water softeners.

i have done a lot of research and found that culligan was one of the brands to be highly regarded (and had a dealer in my city). long story short, i have been completely turned off by the pushy sales tactics - i haven't even moved yet and already have heard too much from them.

in my research, it seems that fleck for the most part is considered to be a good brand, and there were good things to say about ohio pure water co. (online). my question is this - in getting together a few people with some basic plumbing knowledge and armed with explicit directions from the dealer, is it reasonable to expect that the water softener can be installed without professional help? if it's a bit much to ask, are there contractors out there that will install an already purchased system and know what they're doing? the fleck system seemed to me to be the best deal, it's just the concern of the install.

hope this question makes sense.

thanks!
-l
 
  #2  
Old 01-20-07, 09:22 AM
J
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This is my weekend project

I recently purchased a water softener online.. Took 3 days to deliver and everything appears to be good quality (Would be happy to recommend them, but do not want to give the appearence of advertising.. PM if you would like...) Regardless I paid $600 vs the $2400 Culligan wanted, and the $1800 the well driller wanted...

I have basic plumbing skills and dont think there is going to be anything overwhelming... The model I got has a stainless steel bypass which is directly mounted to the softener.. Really looks like all I have to do is attach two 1 inch male nipples to the bypass, then sweat the pipe into he mainline....

The biggest issue is what to do with the backwash.. Luckly I have a laundry sink in my basement, but if I didnt have that available then it would be a bigger plumbing project (and I hate plumbing!!!)

Something to remember is that softeners also need power.. So if there isnt an outlet nearby then your plumbing project just became an electrical project as well..

I will let you know how it turns out Sunday...
 
  #3  
Old 01-20-07, 01:14 PM
J
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L,

do your research.....yes, anyone can install a softner........it's just like anything else........you get what you pay for.......and not to sound to abrupt, but not all softners need electricity............good luck
 
  #4  
Old 01-20-07, 02:22 PM
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I stand corrected.. But all of the fleck valves I researched did need power... Just wanted to point out that in most cases electricity IS needed, and if they may be some electrical work needed...
 
  #5  
Old 01-20-07, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by joka View Post
The model I got has a stainless steel bypass which is directly mounted to the softener.
Before you spark that soldering torch or open the glue here's something to consider...

If you plumb directly to the Fleck bypass then how do you bypass the Fleck bypass if and when it needs servicing or repair? Want to live without water till your mail order dealer sends you the necessary parts?

Spend a few bucks and plumb in a 3 ball valve bypass and then connect that to the Fleck bypass. If you ever need to remove or work on the Fleck bypass you'll still have water to the house with a flick of the wrist. It will be raw water but that's better than no water at all, especially when waiting on a UPS parts delivery from across the country.

JMO
 

Last edited by justalurker; 01-21-07 at 07:47 AM.
  #6  
Old 01-20-07, 05:23 PM
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all good advice...

i do know that kinetico doesn't require electricity - if i can find a dealer in my area (so far i can't), i'll add that to the stack of "to be considered".

justalurker gave me the important tip that the work involved with this project increases greatly if there isn't plumbing in the water entrance for the softener. i move in a few weeks so i know that i will be certain of this at that point. i know i also have to get the water tested - right now i just know the hardness levels, not much else.

joka, i'll pm you to find out how it goes.

thanks again,
-l
 
  #7  
Old 01-20-07, 06:15 PM
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Do not consider the Kinetico. You will deal with another high pressure salesman. It will cost more than the culligan and i would prefer electricity for a valve with actual settings. Stick with the Fleck 5600,5000, or 7000. Se(digital) or mechanical. Make sure it is metered or on demand. 48,000 grain.
As far as installation, check your yellow pages for local independant water treatment companies. It is worth it to have someone do it professionally. I value my time with my family rather than wasting time doing something that i do not do every day. Sure you can pull it off, but how long will it take you and what if you do something wrong? more lost time trying to figure out what to do. Most areas do basic installs for 200-500. You saved a great deal of money if you bought a fleck online. Why not have it installed easily with no headaches. In case your wondering, I install all brands every day and i would not try it unless you do so as well.
good luck and enjoy your soft water.
 
  #8  
Old 01-20-07, 07:43 PM
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Actually, Kinetico is an excellent valve and provides many advantages over conventional valves.

At 24 gpg you have some challenging water abd some kind of treatment will be needed. Get all the info from all angles and make an informaed choice.
Andy
 
  #9  
Old 01-20-07, 08:12 PM
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yes, i knew that with that kind of hardness i had to take it seriously.

i will continue to do my research...thanks!
 
  #10  
Old 01-21-07, 06:00 PM
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Good idea on the bypass

I was considering it, but unfortunatly the hardware store was closed.. I do need to add a prefilter on the waterline, so will probably tackle that at the same time.. Before its an emergency..
 
  #11  
Old 01-21-07, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by joka View Post
I do need to add a prefilter on the waterline
Prefilter for what and why? did your water test indicate a specific need for a prefilter?

If you do, don't install one of those toy 10" filters. It will restrict your flow and cut down pressure. A minimum 20" "big blue" is necessary and sometimes two of them in parallel if the SFR requires it.

If you do install a prefilter it's prudent to install pressure gauges before and after the filter housing so you can monitor pressure loss. When there's a sustantial pressure drop after the filter time for a new element.

Get a good look at them here...
http://www.pwgazette.com/wh.htm
 
  #12  
Old 01-21-07, 09:08 PM
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Water tests were good except the items which the softener was going to address.. Really it was because I am on a well it seemed like a good idea to have a sediment filter... Plus when emptying out the lines from the pressure tank to sweat the lines, was a little disturbed at the lack of clearness in the water.. Probably just jostled everything loose.. Regardless will probably see how the is after the softener.. Been on such bad water for a year, anything would be an improvement..
 
  #13  
Old 01-23-07, 08:28 PM
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Most brand name units will work well, but there tends to be more pressure to buy now. Independent dealers have units that will work well also. The fleck units are easy to work on and do a good job. the parts are also available at most independent dealers. what ever system you get make sure you size it properly.

And yes there are dealers out there that will install your system, Local plumbers can also do the job.
 
  #14  
Old 05-19-07, 10:04 PM
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thank you!

just wanted to post a thank you to this whole forum. i ended up getting a fleck 7000 from ohio pure water company and between my father's and my very limited plumbing skills, we were able to install it - no problem.

ohio pure water company was very responsive to all my questions (some of them really stupid, which i now realize) and i feel confident that i got a great softener without all the hard sell tactics and without emptying my bank account.

i never would have known about any of this if it weren't for this forum, so a big thank you to everyone here!

-l
 
  #15  
Old 12-03-07, 03:19 PM
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Problem with Fleck5000

Hi, I have a Fleck 5000 which was installed six years back. Suddently it has stopped working as the salt level in the tank has not gone down in last few months and the water quality got hard. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
 
 

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