Water softener advice needed

I have decided to get a water softener, but I do not know much about them other than their function is to remove hard water.

Is there anything I should look for or avoid? When I was looking there is a common thing about how many grains a water softener has. I have no idea what this means and why it is important. Also there were salt free ones, and a bunch of other options.

Any advice would be appreciated.

I’ve been looking into this too add I just moved and want to add a filter to my home.

At my old home I had a Rainsoft system. The salesman was a jerk and the machinery was expensive and required maintenance but it actually worked really well. There was a outdoor unit that softened water for the whole house and then an under sink reverse osmosis system to make even purer drinking water. The RO water was especially great, so much better than city water.

But those were old systems. The outdoor unit needed regular resupply of salt pellets since the system was essentially replacing some of the hard water elements with sodium. The RO unit needed annual repressurization and bi-annual filter replacement.

Today things are better. I’m not sure about the whole house systems as I haven’t looked into newer developments there yet. But you don’t have to put up with expensive systems from jerk salesman for the under sink RO units anymore. Amazon has several to choose from and they’re all less expensive than the unit I had years ago and they need less maintenance and don’t need to be pressurized. They’re mostly designed for self install so that saves some money and the better ones have cheaper filters than the ones my old one used and they only need replacement annually. I’m probably going to pull the trigger on the Apex 75 gallon unit that includes a filter that puts good minerals back to the filtered water. There are even cheaper units from iSpring and a few other vendors but a few of the reviews have called them out for cheaper Chinese parts and/or leaking.

I’ll also be looking into an in line filter to use with my fridge for the ice maker since the filters on refrigerators are typically just taste and smell filters that don’t really filter out yucky stuff like the RO or carbon filters do.

That’s the quick summary based on my recent research. The Qt3 crowd is pretty sharp though, so someone else might be able to give us both even better information.

I did a little research, but got confused.

The reason I wanted a water softener is because I noticed that when ice melted, I would get this white powdery substance in the bottom of my glass. Its odd, because it only comes from melted ice. I can fill a cup of water and let it sit all day, and none of this white stuff appears.

Before my fridge made ice from filtered water and this stuff would appear with the filtered water. Then the ice make broke and now I use tap water and the same thing happens. As it turns out, minerals from hard water can not be filtered out, so any kind of water filtration system can’t remove these minerals (and much less efficient). The solution is a water softener.

Then looking at theses, there are a few kinds and they need salt although some of them use other things that are far more expensive. Then I read something about issues with people with low sodium diets and salt-based water softeners. Will the water taste salty? I can’t have that. Then there are secondary things like reverse osmosis filters you can use and so on.

Hopefully we can get some good advice.

Well I can’t give too much advice, as my parents replaced their water softener with city water when I was in high school (about 20 years ago). However the water had a strong sulfur and iron taste pre softening, but did not have a salty taste after. City water was still better, as there was still the iron after taste, but it was markedly improved.

You may want to get a water hardness testing kit (I got mine at a hardware store) and actually determine if your problem is hard water before investing in the water softener.

The sodium based system I used to have did not make the water salty, and the documentation I had claimed the sodium content was no worse than drinks that qualified as low sodium.

El Chaco is correct, you can get water testers for relatively cheap, around $20 on Amazon. Most of the people that reviewed the RO systems that had access to testers say that the city water rated above 100 to 500 TDS and the systems brought then down to around 20 or lower. That alone is reason enough for me to want one, plus my personal experience with my old RO system.

Good point. Ill pick one up at a hardware store this weekend. However, if hard water is NOT the problem, then there is something definitely wrong with my water supply.

when I is got me a movie. to slicing up eyeballs.


We still have a Rainsoft system in the basement (well water enters there via the pipe from the well) that dates back to the Carter administration I think. Seriously. And it hasn’t worked about fifteen to twenty years. But no one up here works on them any more, not that we can find, and the cost to get rid of it or replace it seems astronomical compared to the benefits.

You use well water as your drinking water? Or do you mean the system is a legacy system?

If you are using it for drinking water, I would at least have the water tested to see if you might need filtering/softening. If just for washing, etc. not as big a deal.

It’s our only source of water, for everything. Everyone here has a well, as there is no town water or sewer. Routine testing is on my list of things to have done once the pandemic stuff calms down.

How does the water taste? I’ve tasted artesian well water that was wonderful, but most well water I’ve ever tasted tasted strongly of either sulphur or of iron.

Probably why we have a custom filtration system specifically for sulfur and iron.

Tastes fine, really. Better than any tap water from city systems I’ve experienced. Though of course that doesn’t mean it’s not full of horrible things, just that those things at least taste good.

Even though I live in town, I have a whole-house filter going to get the chlorine out of the water. I can’t stand the stuff.

You need the chlorine filter BECAUSE you love in town, most likely.

Well, the chlorine has been in the water from water treatment plant to my house, so it should have done its job by then.

Yeah, I’m just saying being on city water brings its own issues sometimes.

Indeed. I can stand taking a shower and smelling all that chlorine floating in the air in the shower stall.

Oh yeah, definitely reported.