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Old 01-10-2018, 06:34 AM   #1
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Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


I have a recently-purchased water softener sitting in my basement still in its box. We have moderately hard well water and we dislike its taste - 7 PPM hardness plus some dissolved iron. We have noticeably orange water when a unused faucet is turned on.

Last night I had a realization - my wife uses a little PUR water filter attached to our kitchen faucet. I never use it, but last night I did. I noticed it COMPLETELY removed the hardness from the tap water. Why didn't I check this before shelling out for a softener (also, why didn't my wife mention this...)?! This thing is a $20 faucet attachment from Amazon. So, now I have dilemma. I'm pretty sure I could return the $500 softener to Lowes. It's still in box, I have only opened one bag to read the manual. The softener will be a ***** to set up. It needs a drain, it needs electricity etc... all things I need to plan out and set up... I'd love to just screw in a big blue carbon filter every few months.

Couple of Q's:
1. Are my observations correct? Do carbon filters remove hardness? Or are they just disguising it?
2. Are their whole-house carbon filters with decent GPM? This faucet attachment has a dribble of water coming out of it.
3. Would a whole-house carbon filter prevent orange-colored water building up at unused faucets?

Last edited by joed; 01-10-2018 at 09:54 AM. Reason: spelling correction per OP request
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:53 AM   #2
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a HH carbon filter?


Obviously, the filter improved the taste. I don't know if a water softener would do the same thing. If the installation is that hard, I'd return it too & consider a whole house filter. If you want to take it to the next level do some research as to what's in the local water & what filters correct it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a HH carbon filter?


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Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
Obviously, the filter improved the taste.
The carbon filter improves taste, but what is it doing on a molecular level? Is it actually trapping iron and other minerals?
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:03 AM   #4
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


Yes....I see a catch 22 here. Your plumbing fixtures (faucet seats, discharge openings) over the long haul are going to get build up scale from that much hardness.

Whole house filters are good too, priced anywhere from $300 -$1200 + ..

But one must consider the cost of replacing these whole house filters also as time passes. JMO
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
Your plumbing fixtures (faucet seats, discharge openings) over the long haul are going to get build up scale from that much hardness
Won't a WH carbon filter remove the hardness and prevent this scale build up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
But one must consider the cost of replacing these whole house filters also as time passes. JMO
But the softener needs maintenance too - brine refills, softener cleanser etc...

Last edited by tom_poconos; 01-10-2018 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:19 AM   #6
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


carbon filters do NOT remove dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium. in other words, they will not lower the hardness of the water.

soft water is not so good for taste but is great for your pipes, water heater, faucets, dishwasher, etc. etc.

put in a water softener and then use a fridge with a built-in filter or one that you attach to a faucet. they do different things and in my opinion are both necessary, but the softener is for the house and the carbon filter for drinking water.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


You purchased a whole house water softener specifically for drinking water? Return it.

They make drinking water filters that mount under the kitchen sink. They have multiple filters - ones that remove particulates, and ones that remove contaminates that affect odor and taste. Waaay cheaper than a whole house softener.

The whole house softener will improve the life of your plumbing system and appliances that connect to it, so it wouldn't be a waste if you still wanted one for this reason. Do some Googling on home water filters, there is a ton of info out there.

*FYI, some hardness(dissolved minerals) makes the water taste better, and is actually better for your body. Chemicals, like chlorine, are what taste funky.
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Last edited by Bret86844; 01-10-2018 at 01:10 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:52 PM   #8
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Re: Should I return my water softener and use a WH carbon filter?


Your water hardness is 7ppm? That's it? And your wondering if you need a water softener? Well, lets see. Yours is 7ppm, mine is 1041ppm. I need a water softener, not sure if you do. I have a whole house string wound filter that filters out the iron, and usually turns orange instantly, then the water softener, then another whole house carbon filter and iron taste filter. I think the water tastes fine but the wife and kids don't so we have a reverse osmosis filter until the kitchen sink with a separate faucet.
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