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Discussion Starter #1
Recently noticing mild buildup of surface crud on tableware when dishwasher has finished. Beginning knowledge search for in-garage softener and thought to mine the collective for suggestions, do's/don'ts, independent knowledge source. Thanks in advance - PMs will be fine.
 

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Dick said:
Recently noticing mild buildup of surface crud on tableware when dishwasher has finished. Beginning knowledge search for in-garage softener and thought to mine the collective for suggestions, do's/don'ts, independent knowledge source. Thanks in advance - PMs will be fine.
That surface crud is due to phosphates being eliminated from all detergents - it has the dishwasher sales people at Sears running around smacking their lips and doing back flips. :lol8:

Although it is relatively expensive you may want to try some Lemi Shine. Also make sure you use a good quality rinse agent and heated drying.

Just call me Martha. ;)
 

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RonKMiller said:
That surface crud is due to phosphates being eliminated from all detergents - it has the dishwasher sales people at Sears running around smacking their lips and doing back flips. :lol8:
Turn up the water temperature. It solves this problem....no kidding.
 

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Dump in 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the bottom of the washer before you start the cycle. It will keep your glassware from getting the streaks and will take off the streaks that are already there.


John
 

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Not sure how hard your water is, Dick. Ours was 22 grains back when the MUD was on well water. Now that we're on City water it's about 12 grains of hardness. Home Depot, Lowe's, and most plumbing supply houses sell test kits so you can check. I replaced my old water softener a while back with a Whirlpool (bought at Lowes) because it was the same mfg. as my previous ECCO water systems softener and was much less than Culligan, etc.

If your water isn't 10 grains of hardness or more, I wouldn't go through the trouble of installing a softener but might get a whole house filter for the garage. Good luck!
 

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what is the hardness of your water???...we installed a softner for the whole house in the garage...use less soap for everything...showers feel soooo good...installed a reverse osmosis for drinking water and automatic icecube maker...we use potasium not salt...

Jim
 

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Used them in my condo and my house with great results. Culligan is the best known brand and they can tie a system into your house in such a way so you don't send soft water outdoors into the yard (a bad thing) but will supply the entire house with soft water. I even had them add a bib in the garage so I would have soft water for washing the cars and bikes, so no water spots. I miss having one where I am now.
 

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I think my Whirlpool from Lowes is at least five years old and not a moments trouble. Rinsing off in the shower takes longer, things from the dishwasher are spotless, and it takes 1/2 the soap to do laundry. All you need to do is set the water hardness and keep it supplied with salt. The only drawback I'm aware of is a little added salt in the water. If you have old galvanized plumbing a softener may cause some leaks in your pipes as it dissolves the deposits off the inside of the pipes. Also my experience is that the hardness number means very little. Mine is supposed to be an eleven but I have to keep the system set at twenty for it to keep up.
 

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Dick,
WS operation is simple.. The 'softener' has a "resin bed" of plastic media (beads). The beads are "charged" (RECHARGE CYCLE) with IONS by running BRINE from a nearby salt tank over them, then rinsing(backwash) to remove most of the BRINE. The valves continue turning until water, fresh from passing over the "resin bed" where IONS are picked up is fed into the house. This allows the water to attract and suspend more "dirt/soap" on the water molecule.

As water passes over the resin bed, available IONS are carried off to do their work. When the number of IONS has diminished to a determined level, another "recharge" cycle begins and IONS are replaced to the resin bed by the introduced BRINE.

So, if a WS can handle say, 15 GRAINS hardness, you water has a hardness of 30, you will run out of IONS once HALF of the specified water has passed through the WS... and a RECHARGE will be needed for the water "softening" to be effective.

Now,using similar numbers, if your WS you are looking at is rated at, say 10,000 gallons and 30 grains hardness, with your incoming water being a 15 Grain Hardness, you will potentially have 20,000 gallons of "soft" water per "recharge".

Key to this is water movement through the resin bed. If your system is too "big"/ too much capacity, you won't have enough water moving over the resin bed to have an effective ION transfer to the water.

So, it is recommended you "size" the softener "grains" of hardness and water volume so that you "regenerate" weekly based on your "average" daily usage.

Most systems have a "manual" recharge capability... that way, if your dogs need extra baths and you notice the "softness" is running out, you can kick off a recharge.

During recharge cycles, 'unsoftened' water is supplied to the house, bypassing the WS through a series of valves all turned by the WS motor... It is recommended that this cycle run about 2AM so there is little chance of the average homeowner encountering a need for a lot of untreated water.

"Demand" systems will meter your water usage and RECHARGE based upon your usage, water hardness and system capacities...they usually meter using a small impeller in the inflow stream. Some systems have the capability of setting WHEN regeneration occurs, to minimize untreated water introduction to your home.

There is a residual of sodium in these systems that is transferred to the water.. and may be a problem for folks with "salt intake" issues....the manufacturer will provide these specs.

Wherever you install the system, a "waste" connection to your sewer system will be required. Ideally, the WS is installed hear the clothes washing machine and the backwash water can easily be dumped where the washer waste connection goes. Also, an electrical connection will be needed for a transformer to power the WS circuitry and valve motors. Space can also be a factor as the brine/salt tanks take up a lot of room. There are "self contained" units which have the "resin bed" tank sitting inside the brine tank. This limits your salt storage a bit, but if tight on space, it may be ideal.

Finally, ensure a "bypass" and "water cutoff" valves are plumbed into the lines... you'll be glad you did...

Freezing in our area usually is not a problem, but I have had it happen. The whole system needs to be protected from this.

If your home has "irrigation", make sure your softener doesn't feed that feature.

WS providers like "Culligan" will even arrange salt pellet delivery... for a nominal fee... making the whole "ownership" process fairly painless.


I've owned 5 WS during my homeownership days..... Today, they are mostly very reliable.

Should you have other questions, gimme a ring..
 

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Not sure about Texas but here in northern Illinois the cold water to the kitchen sink must NOT be soft water to pass inspection codes. Please don't ask me why but suspect concern about to much salt in drinking water.....
Also water softener must be installed above ground or if in basement it must be considered living space. No softeners are allowed in crawl spaces even if they are heated so pipes won't freeze. Again don't ask me why.

I have been using Kinetico brand for over 20 years with one service call to replace the main controls under warranty. These models use the metered water method to determine when to cycle or regen. Current model I have provides around 230 Gallons soft water per cycle and supposedly never allow hard water into your house. Uses around 9 gallons of water on each regen cycle so if you are on city water this may add some water useage / cost to your bill.

Roy
 

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Question for all you water softener experts out there. My current home utilizes a well and septic system. The water is pretty good but definitely somewhat on the hard side. I was considering installing a softener but am concerned about running the discharge from the regeneration cycle into the septic. Any thoughts as to whether tis would present a problem?
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Lynn..
I only have personal experience on this... There was no negative impact on any septic system.

People I know in the "honey wagon" business also have seen no issues associated with the WS use and regeneration.

Of course, adding some septic care additive is usually advised.
 

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Lynn_Keen said:
Question for all you water softener experts out there. My current home utilizes a well and septic system. The water is pretty good but definitely somewhat on the hard side. I was considering installing a softener but am concerned about running the discharge from the regeneration cycle into the septic. Any thoughts as to whether tis would present a problem?
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In some areas it's against building codes to discharge the softner water into the septic system. Otherwise, all you're doing is adding more water to your septic system. If you have a lift pump that will put more usage on it. It will also increase the flow of water into your drainfield. For the most part, if you pump your septic tank every 2-3 years and switch the alternating valve (if your drainfield has one) every year and don't water the lawn over the drainfield too much you should be fine. Garbage disposals are much harder on septic tanks.
 

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Where the heck do you hang the hose off the bike? :confused: Do they come in self contained sizes to fit in one of the panniers? :think:

never mind.....once I got to Chann's note it cleared it all right up for me! :histerica

:stupid:

We experienced the same thing with our DW.....applied what Scottly said and it all worked out fine....much to the chagrin of the retailers! :wave
 

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BlauBeeMr said:
....applied what Scottly said and it all worked out fine....much to the chagrin of the retailers! :wave
Agreed. The only issue we have is when the water is to cold!

I laugh at the clowns going door-to-door, through my ghetto, trying to sell sheeple $2k water "softeners."
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow -- thanks all. Learn't more than I thought I needed to know. Raised my eyebrows on a coupla suggestions, and I'm game to listen to the end-users a lot. Y'all done good.

You can rest assured that thang won't have a red ribbon around it, with a card under the tree. Bad Santa!!!! :histerica

Thanks again - appreciate y'all bunches.
 

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One last input...I heard on the radio NPR, that the dish washer detergent companies have taken the phosphates out of the detergent... Dick, you are not the only person noticing a change in the cleaning of their dishes...
 

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+1 on the Whirlpool from Lowe's. I've had several conditioners over the years and the guts are mostly the same, probably all made with the same parts, if not in the same plant.
The Whirlpool was far less costly than anything else I looked at, around $400 on sale for the largest one made. Compare that to $3k+ for Culligan or other professionally installed systems. I have no doubt you can install it yourself in an afternoon.
There are services that will bring salt and dump it in for you on a schedule but in my opinion it would be a waste of money. At most you'll have to dump in 2-3 40# bags of salt 3-4 times per year. I only use probably 4 bags total for the year with 2 people & 15 grains of hardness.
 
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