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Old 01-28-2010, 12:20 PM   #1
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Water softener or RO filter?


I have very hard water in the house. Did not measure it yet but pipes clog up very quickly. So I figure I need either a water softener or an RO system. The difference in up-front cost is about 10X and I would be OK with dropping 10000 on an RO system with 6000 GPD flow rate but I worry about on-going service costs. Also, I am unsure what kind of treatment stage I need before the RO system because they do not work well for very long with very hard water.
Can I get clean water with minimal metal content of any kind for less than $2K per year with about $10K up front? What would you recommend (please no magnetic or electric filtering suggestions)?

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Old 01-28-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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Water softener or RO filter?


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Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
I have very hard water in the house. Did not measure it yet but pipes clog up very quickly. So I figure I need either a water softener or an RO system. The difference in up-front cost is about 10X and I would be OK with dropping 10000 on an RO system with 6000 GPD flow rate but I worry about on-going service costs. Also, I am unsure what kind of treatment stage I need before the RO system because they do not work well for very long with very hard water.
Can I get clean water with minimal metal content of any kind for less than $2K per year with about $10K up front? What would you recommend (please no magnetic or electric filtering suggestions)?
You need a water analysis before you do anything.

You do not want a POE 'whole house' RO system because RO water can not be run through metal plumbing or fixtures unless you post treat it. The maintenance would be very high and expensive plus you would need a huge volume of stored water and that calls for post treatment and maintenance.

Hardness is not the only cause of "blocked pipes". Sulfates, chlorides and high TDS would be more likely and you wouldn't use RO to remove hardness because RO doesn't do well on hard water.

Unless you are on 'city' water get water tests for hardness, pH, iron at least and manganese, sulfates, chlorides and TDS would be nice if you can but not necessary.

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Old 01-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Water softener or RO filter?


Would have to agree with him I have 4 houses with whole house RO systems and it is quite the little project to keep them up and running correct! I have to feed constituiants back in to the water after treatment after the RO process like Gary said or else the copper would be shot in no time at all . Like Gary said get a test and go from there if you can avoid the whole house RO do it all four houses I maintain have unique needs for RO two are right next to a abandon town salt shed one guy has way to much money and the fourth has unique health problems. Also agreeing with Gary you will most likely need pretreatment such as a softner and one other thing to consider RO membranes dont last forever and are not cheap.
One house I installed and maintain has the following set up : well water to the pressure tank --> sediment filter --> softner -->3 membrane RO system with integrated booster pump and pre filters -->450gallon holding tank -->mineral injection along with poly coats--> repressureization system ( jet pump and pressure tank ) -->house main line --> YOU
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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Water softener or RO filter?


I am on "city" water but the city runs a bunch of local wells so it really is a local crapshoot.

So what would be the optimal water cleansing approach. I do not want high sodium even in hot water, so it would seem to me that RO filtering with pre-treatment and post-treatment is still the most attractive option.
Does anyone sell lime/ash plants for the home?
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:39 PM   #5
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Water softener or RO filter?


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Would have to agree with him I have 4 houses with whole house RO systems and it is quite the little project to keep them up and running correct! I have to feed constituiants back in to the water after treatment after the RO process like Gary said or else the copper would be shot in no time at all . Like Gary said get a test and go from there if you can avoid the whole house RO do it all four houses I maintain have unique needs for RO two are right next to a abandon town salt shed one guy has way to much money and the fourth has unique health problems. Also agreeing with Gary you will most likely need pretreatment such as a softner and one other thing to consider RO membranes dont last forever and are not cheap.
One house I installed and maintain has the following set up : well water to the pressure tank --> sediment filter --> softner -->3 membrane RO system with integrated booster pump and pre filters -->450gallon holding tank -->mineral injection along with poly coats--> repressureization system ( jet pump and pressure tank ) -->house main line --> YOU
Thanks. For me it is a combination of (maybe) too much money and unique health issues (skin). So now, I will do some tests soon but meantime I would love to know the cost of your system, how much space it takes, and how much time per year does it take to operate.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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Water softener or RO filter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
I am on "city" water but the city runs a bunch of local wells so it really is a local crapshoot.

So what would be the optimal water cleansing approach. I do not want high sodium even in hot water, so it would seem to me that RO filtering with pre-treatment and post-treatment is still the most attractive option.
Does anyone sell lime/ash plants for the home?
Then you find out and use the highest hardness in the city system and use that figure.

What do you consider high sodium?

A water softener adds 7.85 mg/l (roughly a quart) per grain per gallon of ion exchange.

I.E. 20 gpg hard water would have 7.85 * 20= 157 mg of sodium plus the sodium in the raw water if any. So you'd have to drink a quart of your softened water to get 157 mg of sodium but, if you look at a loaf of white bread you'll see a serving is one slice and the sodium content per slice will range from 120-169 mg of sodium. V8 juice an 8 oz glass usually is like 500+ mg of sodium and other beverages and food, especially snack foods, have much more.

BTW, you should not ingest hot water.

Atmospherically stored water has a high probability of eventually having microbiological problems and you will need to sanitize the tank or treat the water before use; I would strongly suggest both.

Why would you want to do more than softener your city water? Softened water usually clears up many skin problems.
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Water softener or RO filter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sumdumguy View Post
I have very hard water in the house. Did not measure it yet but pipes clog up very quickly. So I figure I need either a water softener or an RO system. The difference in up-front cost is about 10X and I would be OK with dropping 10000 on an RO system with 6000 GPD flow rate but I worry about on-going service costs. Also, I am unsure what kind of treatment stage I need before the RO system because they do not work well for very long with very hard water.
Can I get clean water with minimal metal content of any kind for less than $2K per year with about $10K up front? What would you recommend (please no magnetic or electric filtering suggestions)?
Why don't you get a water test done and get back to us. If hardness is the major issue I would go with a good quality softener alone, but there may be other issues as well.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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Water softener or RO filter?


Thanks guys.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:27 AM   #9
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Water softener or RO filter?


well if you are complaining about to much money we should talk ... just kidding . But without the test results its a guessing game but something’s to consider is you don’t need to use salt you can always regen with potassium chloride, it require a little higher dosage than regular salt to regen and is more expensive and a little harder to get a hold of but still a option, I deliver 3 pallets of pot chl. as compared to 16-23 of salt a month .
The other thing to consider is a Carbon tank ahead of your softener to further reduce “stuff " in your water such as the trace hypochlorite in your water, if your municipal supply uses it

Then a small point of use RO system in the kitchen for further H20 " filteration " .
Anything after that is "usually " over kill and not recommended unless there is a specific need, the carbon tank boarders on over kill in my opinion in most cases but if you have skin issues ... might not hurt I have the above mentioned system installed in my brother's house, there are no health concerns there but I kind of figure for the little bit of extra work/ money I like to know my nephews and brother are taken care of.

It will make it easier if you can get find out the:
Hardness of your water
Iron content
Ph
Tads
Total ppm of chlorine

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