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Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

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  • #16
    Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

    i used to think that soft water would raise the sodium level in the water....IT IS A MYTH...the salt is used to clean the resin in the tank which is what actually softens the water...then once the resin is cleaned with the salt that water is discharged into the drain...only if the softener malfunctions does it add salt into the water...you will get more sodium out of a slice of bread than a glass of soften water....we have tested softened water and un-softened water--the lab concluded no additional sodium is in the softened water...the only reason people put the hydrants on un-softened water is so their not wasting soft water...the reason the drinking water is un-softened is because soft water frankly taste awful....
    Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
    You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

    Derek

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    • #17
      Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

      Dcman, you are right on.Salt doesn't soften the water--the mineral in the softner does. All the salt does is clean the mineral of the impurities it has gathered in the softening process. And soft water doesn't kill plants, either.

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      • #18
        Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

        Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
        Dcman, you are right on.Salt doesn't soften the water--the mineral in the softner does. All the salt does is clean the mineral of the impurities it has gathered in the softening process. And soft water doesn't kill plants, either.
        Right on...its called zeolite and its a man made resin...next time you get a old softener cut it open...it looks like bronze sand...spread it on a sidewalk and its like snot on a doorknob!!!
        Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
        You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

        Derek

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

          Originally posted by orcuttal View Post
          Why would you go through all that trouble? Not to mention how nasty that is but then again i dont do much service work....Is this to save the customer some money or only on your own toilets? I like to remove and replace myself
          I clean the rim holes, because when a customer calls me for a weak flush, I'm there to fix it to the best of my ability. I show them how it's done and I charge them for it. Toilets are not supposed to be "disposable" like q-tips, as they should last for many decades.

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          • #20
            Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

            For what it is worth, back in the fifties, softening only the hot water was quite common. Reasons: Most dishes were done in the sink--hot water (cold hard would rinse nicely) Many, if not most wash machines were NOT automatic--filled with hot water; baths were more common than showers-filled that cold cast iron with hot water; and probably the most important, it was considered a total waste of money to soften the cold when so much of it went down the drain without needing suds. People were much more frugal than they are today.

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            • #21
              Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

              My house was originally plumbed with the softener on the hot side only. The previous owner told me he did it to save the hot water heater. Other reasons to do this are because hot water precipitates a lot more calcium and magnesium than cold water, because some folks don't like the feel of soft water, and because of the fear of salt in the drinking water.

              I think it works to help the hot water tank. Lasts longer and less noise.

              The hot side is responsible for more crudding up of the fixtures that the cold side. But you'll get nasty white buildup on the cold side, too - it will just happen a little slower.

              I like the slick feeling. It's an easy and very reliable way to know that the softener is working. If you have basically any hardness at all, you don't get that slick effect. A properly sized and operating softener will remove it all.

              It's important to look at the flow rate when sizing the sofener... some of the new fancy shower setups with multiple body sprays flow more than the softener can handle. So if you have any setups like that, you can't just size the resin tank using the common total usage method.

              If you don't have both sides softened, you get no benefits in terms of less laundry soap use.

              Soft on both sides makes a noticeable difference in how hair feels (much better with soft). No benefit with soft on the hot side only.

              It's an ion exchange process. The sodium ions do in fact get in the water. Every calcium or magnesium ion removed is replaced with a sodium ion. That's how the system works. It's popular on the internet to use the "slice of white bread" comment but it's really not a good way to look at it. The amount of sodium that is in the water is not a fixed amount. The harder the water is (more Ca+ and Mg+ ions) the more sodium you will get in the water. The amount you can stand from a health standpoint depends on how much dietary sodium you consume from other sources. If you tend towards lots of pre-processed stuff, then any additional sodium isn't a good thing. If your diet is all fresh stuff with little added sodium, the little bit from soft water is less likely to matter.

              What is true is that for most typical hard water, the level of sodium isn't a problem for normal healthy people. Those with high blood pressure, kidney problems or other sodium-sensitive issues should NOT believe anything they read on the internet, but should follow their doctor's advice.

              Some advise using potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride for those that should restrict their sodium. I have heard that extra potassium is good for heart patients. I'm not a doctor, so I would talk to one before choosing that option. I do know that a 40 pound sack of sodium chloride here is $4 at Costco and the same size potassium chloride is $21 at Lowe's. Yikes!

              I find that soft water doesn't taste good. It's not the salt... it's the lack of calcium and magnesium. If you look at bottled water, you'll see that they add minerals to improve the taste. The softener does the opposite... and the water isn't great tasting.

              If your soft water tastes salty at all, then your softener is either not working well or you need to re-program the regeneration cycle to increase the post-brine rinse cycle(s).

              Some icemaker manufacturers advise against use of soft water, and it may void their warranty. I know Whirlpool/Kitchenaid does this.

              If you have soft water AND use a reverse osmosis under the sink (as a lot of folks do this to remove the sodium) then chemically speaking, you might not want to use copper lines to the icemaker or water-in-the-door fridge, even if your icemaker allows soft water. The softener and RO together create a chemical condition that might cause the copper to not last long (pinholes). This is highly ph dependent. You might want to use polyethylene or stainless steel line ($$). Plastic tubing under constant pressure is a little scary.

              Sodium takes a long time to dissipate in the ground. So if you irrigate your lawn with soft water, after several years you'll get a build up of sodium. Your grass will look crappy and it will be hard to fix the problem. I don't know what potassium does to the lawn.

              I re-piped and have soft everywhere except irrigation, hose bibs and refrigerator. I ran one soft water hose bib out to the driveway (in addition to a hard water bib) for car washing (almost no water spotting). In my area, the city water is well water and it's pretty hard - 23 grains per gallon - and cruds up everything. I would never want to be without a softener.
              Last edited by Andy_M; 02-19-2011, 04:53 PM.

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              • #22
                Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                Okay.... that's all true I just didn't go into that much detail...the "white bread statement" is just used as an average...about 75 mg of sodium is added to a liter of water from the softener...the average slice of bread had 110 mg....and since most people don't drink a liter of water a day, then saying that you can't have a softener because of your health is bogus...these numbers will vary but they are an average....thanks for detailing...i just don't like typing that much!!!
                Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                Derek

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                  Good thread. Learning as I don't install or service softeners much.

                  A few things I have been told though by the actual manufacturers. I was wondering about others' opinions that do it more.

                  1) More than 1 has stated that it does put a small amount of sodium into the water.

                  2) They recommended anyone that this may effect consult their physician.

                  3) I recall them saying to not make baby formula with water from a system for small infants of certain months age.

                  4) Different soil scientists/inspectors of septic systems have stated to NEVER discharge the waste into the septic system. Others with the same credentials say it is OK
                  .


                  Thanks for any opinions.


                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                    Good thread. Learning as I don't install or service softeners much.

                    A few things I have been told though by the actual manufacturers. I was wondering about others' opinions that do it more.

                    1) More than 1 has stated that it does put a small amount of sodium into the water.

                    2) They recommended anyone that this may effect consult their physician.

                    3) I recall them saying to not make baby formula with water from a system for small infants of certain months age.

                    4) Different soil scientists/inspectors of septic systems have stated to NEVER discharge the waste into the septic system. Others with the same credentials say it is OK
                    .


                    Thanks for any opinions.


                    J.C.

                    Like I said about 75 mg of sodium is in a liter of water....if you figure how much sodium is in EVERYTHING else then that is nothing...some doctors I know will tell u that in the health of things softened water is better than bottled water because THEY DO ADD minerals that are not needed...the waste per say is brine water and I have not seen any unwanted side effects...and lawns here with softened water are actually greener than others...so for me the proof is in the pudding!!!
                    Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                    You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                    Derek

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Was planning to soften everything but

                      front and back yard hose bibs and sprinkler.
                      Also run a line to the refrigerator before the softener.

                      Can't isolate toilets.
                      Can soft water help the bowls clean better?

                      Plan to soften a hose bib I am installing in the garage to wash/rinse the car. (A friend gave us an electric pressure washer which uses much less water.)
                      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Was planning to soften everything but

                        Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                        front and back yard hose bibs and sprinkler.
                        Also run a line to the refrigerator before the softener.

                        Can't isolate toilets.
                        Can soft water help the bowls clean better?

                        Plan to soften a hose bib I am installing in the garage to wash/rinse the car. (A friend gave us an electric pressure washer which uses much less water.)
                        Yes! Soft water makes a huge difference in the bowls for the better!!!
                        Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                        You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                        Derek

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Was planning to soften everything but

                          Originally posted by Robert Gift
                          Can soft water help the bowls clean better?
                          Originally posted by dcman View Post
                          Yes! Soft water makes a huge difference in the bowls for the better!!!
                          I meant, will the toilet'soft flush water clean the bowl better?
                          Less using my Walmart white vinegar?
                          Thank you.
                          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Was planning to soften everything but

                            Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                            I meant, will the toilet'soft flush water clean the bowl better?
                            Less using my Walmart white vinegar?
                            Thank you.

                            Yes sir!!!!
                            Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                            You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                            Derek

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Was planning to soften everything but

                              [QUOTE=Robert Gift;333463]
                              Can't isolate toilets.
                              Can soft water help the bowls clean better?
                              QUOTE]

                              I agree with dcman completely. With my very hard water I was getting rock hard scale buildup from water coming from under the rim down to the bowl. It was bulding up in a week! Then other "more colorful" substances would stain the scale. Needed a pumice stone to get it off, every week. It was just too much work, way too often.

                              With soft water? No issue at all.

                              By the way.... all those magnetic gizmos etc. don't remove hardness, don't "change the molecular structure of the water", and don't do anything else except make your wallet lighter... and ultimately cause you to be the butt of jokes for being so gullible. There are technologies that do work and are used in industry, but they aren't practical or cost effective for homes. Good old ion exchange softener is the way to go.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                                those magnets have made me a lot of money by clogging up the water line where they attach...I get to remove them, cut out the water line clog and install a softener!!!
                                Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
                                You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

                                Derek

                                Comment

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