Avoid softening hot water lines???


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Old 11-04-07, 08:05 PM
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Avoid softening hot water lines???

I was told when installing a water softener it is best to not run it to hot water-using appliances, such as the dishwasher. Also, I was told you're not supposed to drink softened water. (like from a refrigerator). Anyone ever hear of this???
 
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Old 11-04-07, 08:32 PM
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Many people will cite the sodium content as a reason for avoiding the soft water. I'd chalk this up as a myth. It does contain more sodium than unsoftened water but a glass of orange juice or milk contains more sodium.

But softened water is more aggressive at leaching heavy metals out of your plumbing system. The copper from the pipes, and the lead content from solder joints and brass fixtures. These are not things I'd want to be drinking but it's not like it's a huge risk.

I haven't heard about the dishwasher thing. If anything it should make it clean better.

By the way you never want to drink or cook with warm tap water, softened or not.

In my last house we had softened water and the house had an undersink filter with a separate drinking water tap. Not sure how much good it really did but we used it.

-core
 
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Old 11-04-07, 09:54 PM
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Water softeners are placed on the incoming water supply. The soft water is then supplied to every appliance, faucet, or point of use in the house. Sometimes, an outside hose bib or two are installed to provide un-softened water for garden use, as well as a softened water bib for car washing. As for drinking softened water, I'd be more worried about all the other garbage in your water. Google on over to your city's water quality report and see what else you should be worried about, that's more likely to cause you problems than a minuscule amount of sodium.
 
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Old 11-04-07, 10:42 PM
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No health reason to avoid drinking softened water, but many don't like the taste.
 
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Old 11-05-07, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by core View Post
But softened water is more aggressive at leaching heavy metals out of your plumbing system. The copper from the pipes, and the lead content from solder joints and brass fixtures. These are not things I'd want to be drinking but it's not like it's a huge risk.-core
Core, I must disaggree with you in that softened water is more aggressive. Naturally soft water may be aggressive due to high levels of CO2 and low pH. But softened water is no more or less aggressive than the water it is treating. It will not leach copper and other metals as numerous studies have shown.

Why would you never want to cook with warm tap water? Not that I do, but I wonder why not.

dcolucci, quite the contrary, your hot water shouldbe softened to benefit the water heater. In many applications, only the hot water is treated and the cold left alone.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 11-05-07, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
Naturally soft water may be aggressive due to high levels of CO2 and low pH.
Hmmm I shall take that into consideration. I'll definitely be looking for more recent studies before putting a softener in this house.

Why would you never want to cook with warm tap water? Not that I do, but I wonder why not.
Ah, I should have said "water from a tank type water heater". Doesn't matter if it's actually hot, and if you have a tankless then this doesn't apply. Last time you drained your water heater tell me you had an urge to drink the crud that came out of there.

If you're thrifty and have your WH set below 140F then it becomes potenially worse. Rinse your pasta with warm tap water and you've got a nice bacteria sauce right there.
 
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Old 11-06-07, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by core View Post
Ah, I should have said "water from a tank type water heater". Doesn't matter if it's actually hot, and if you have a tankless then this doesn't apply. Last time you drained your water heater tell me you had an urge to drink the crud that came out of there.
.
Well, OK, yes, for those who haven't taken care of their water, yes, hot water can cause aesthetic problems resulting in changes of appearance, taste and odor. I wouldn't go so far as to raise alarms concerning health (without further testing) as the bacteria most often found in water heaters is hetrotrophic and non-pathological.

Go to that back of you toilet tank and scoop out a glass of water. As I have seen in almost all cases, it LOOKS a lot worse than drawing hot water from the tap. Would you drink that? Well, yes, you probably are drinking the same water as that water is fed by your cold water lines, right? The environment of the toilet tank causes develpment of existing issues.

Yes, I remind all my customers to flush their hot weater tanks after a new softener installation. I don't even draw water from them as too many times the gunk has clogged the valve and water keeps dripping out. But I do caution them that water heaters need minor maintenance, too.

Most of those problems can be reduced, if not eliminated by proper water treatment. Tankless water heaters can be a benefit in numerous ways, including storage/retention problems.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
 

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