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School me on water softeners...

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Goldsburg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:41 am    Post subject: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am needing to buy a new water softener and would like to hear your positive and/or negative comments about different brands. I know that I want a demand based unit but after that...tell me what I need to know!

P.S. I am looking to spend ~$1000 roughly and also know that I will not be buying a "twin tank" system because of the cost and no need for "continuous" soft water.

Thanks!

Goldsburg
 
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ss55
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've had a Rainy (spelling?) brand for 15 years now, never had a problem with it yet. On-demand regeneration is a real salt saver.
 
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Dick2
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We had a WaterBoss for 15 years at our old house; We installed a new WaterBoss at our new house. Very compact unit that works very well. I recommend getting the larger size if you use much water. Check them out on their website.

Sometimes Home Depot has them in stock, but can order a unit if they don't have it in stock. Also available through Ace Hardware online; they will send it to your nearest store.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:21 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote


I used to buy water softeners from a friend who had worked for one of the national companies and then started up his own business. He was much more reasonable than the big name companies. There are probably some independents in your area.
 
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fixerupper
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Whatever you get, make sure you can get parts and service ten or twenty years down the road. One of the reasons the main brands are higher is because they service them when something goes wrong. We rent one that's sold and serviced by a small local company, and when there's trouble their man is out here fixing it within a couple of hours after the phone call. Will a big box store do that? The one we have uses more salt than we think it should, but we're reluctant to change brands because we're unsure if we'll get the same good service from another company. Jim
 
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Mike Groom
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have had a Water Boss for 20 years,on demand and very easy to service,comes with a manual with parts and service instructions,I would highly recommend one.
 
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Mike M
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Mom has the Peck twin tank units. Always had problems until she went to these. It always keeps a tank soft ready to go and regenerates with soft water too. With the single units you can run out until it regenerates.
I know she won't go back to the single tank ones.
 
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Ted in NE-OH
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have your water tested to see exactly what you need.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Mike M wrote:
(quoted from post at 08:45:55 01/09/13) Mom has the Peck twin tank units. Always had problems until she went to these. It always keeps a tank soft ready to go and regenerates with soft water too. With the single units you can run out until it regenerates.
I know she won't go back to the single tank ones.


pretty much all of the single tank systems sold now will be set to regenerate at around 2:AM of the morning following the time when they have used up 95% of their capacity. capacity in gallons is calculated from grains/ gal in your water and number of grains the unit can remove. The independent guys assemble their systems from off the shelf brine tanks, cylinders, and control valve-head assemblies. so even if they go out of business you can still get a new controller and replace one that stops working.
 
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Mike M
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That didn't work for Mom. She could be up at any hour doing something !
 
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cd1
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My plumber friend tells me to buy one built with generic parts, that way any plumbing place can get you parts. He says parts for one like a sears can only come through sears. Kinda like York or Heil central air systems, they make their own special compressor so you can't just throw a cheap generic in, you have to use theirs.
 
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Chuck Heck
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:33 pm    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Ditto on Water Boss for me. I have had good luck with them.
 
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Goldsburg
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have three different water conditining companies coming out: Hellenbrand, Culligan, and a local manufacturer who builds systems with Fleck valves. They all state that they will perform water testing to determine my needs.

I just wanted to know whom I should definitely stay away from and what other features might be desirable. Based on the posts so far, I think that I am on the right track. I am looking for addiitonal input though!

Thanks,

Goldsburg
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I purchased a system from Ohio Pure Water. I saved at least half over what it would have cost to have a local company come out and install identical equipment. The system has a Fleck demand control valve and has been trouble-free for several years now.

Note that the bigger the softener resin tank, the better the flow. And it's better to get a short, fat tank than an tall, skinny one of the same capacity.

Note that the way the demand softeners work is to meter the amount of water through unit, then when the capacity has been used up, it will wait until the timer says it's time for regen. So they always regen in the early morning, assuming you keep the timer adjusted properly.

Softeners are normally set up to only regen about half their capacity. That way salt isn't wasted since the softener is never completely regenerated. Based on the grains of hardness and number of people in the house, you adjust the demand meter. If it's just right, you'll never run out of soft water. I try to keep mine adjusted so I occasionally get hard water in the morning. If my shower smells like iron, I check to see if the softener regenerated overnight. If so, then I figure it's adjusted about right.

While you're at it, you might want to also install a reverse osmosis unit for drinking water. That will take out sodium that the softener added to the water, as well as arsenic and other nasty stuff that can get past the softener.
Ohio Pure Water

 
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Hal/Eastern WA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: School me on water softeners... Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There might be some parts for Sears water softeners that you only could get from Sears, but most of the wear parts are available from other sources for a lot less money. I read once that Sears manufactures almost nothing, but has other companies build most of their products.

My Sears Kenmore water softener is about 16 years old. My well water is fairly hard, but the main problem with it is the iron. The softener deals with the iron problem pretty well.

Unfortunately the iron particles must be a bit abrasive, as the softener has needed a new seal for the rotor to slide across for awhile. I took the valve body apart and it was apparent that the iron in the not yet treated water had coated the seal and made the rotor stick in one position. I cleaned off the iron deposit and it worked again, but I wanted to try a new seal.

I looked up my water softener on the Sears parts site, and was SHOCKED at how much they wanted for the seal, which is just a little bit of rubbery material and some harder plastic. So I did some hunting on the internet, and found parts that work just fine for less than half of what Sears wanted for their replacement parts.

I originally bought the Sears water softener because the whole unit was available at what I thought was a reasonable price, and it appeared that most any homeowner with a little bit of plumbing skill could install the Sears unit successfully. I cannot fault the performance of the Sears Kenmore softener. And the few problems I have had with it have been things I could diagnose and fix myself. Service calls have become ridiculously expensive, in my opinion.

But I DO fault Sears prices for replacement parts. They are way higher than what I found I had to pay for the same part (probably made by the same manufacturer). I don"t like feeling like I have been ripped off...and think Sears parts are way higher than they should be.

Would I buy another Sears water softener? Probably, but I would get the least complicated one I could find.
 
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