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

    I have two bathrooms in my house.
    When I shower in one bathroom it has that typical feel of a shower with softened water: slimy skin and soap that won't rinse off.
    But the shower in the other bathroom has a great clean feeling: the soap rinses off well and your skin feels squeaky clean.
    I went in the basement and found that second shower is plumbed differently.
    The hot water supply line is softened water just like the rest of the house.
    But the cold water supply line branches off the main water supply before it goes to the water softener and feeds the outdoor sillcock and this bathroom's cold supply line.
    So the hot side is soft water but the cold side is hard water.
    Was this common in the 1950's?
    Does anyone still plumb a house this way?
    It really makes for an ideal shower.

  • #2
    Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

    i would suggest that you not do that on any of your renovations with out written approval from the women. just a hint. probably done by someone that was either to lazy to hook it up properly or water softener person was unqualified. was this common in the fifties? not by anyone that knew what they were doing, at least around here. does anyone plumb a house like that now? same answer. if that makes an ideal shower hell just put water softener on bypass. think of the money you will save. breid......................

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

      Not normal here...used to be whole house softened except outside faucets and maybe a single cold water tap to kitchen faucet...now they just soften the whole house...but here is a softener is really needed because of hard water....
      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


      • #4
        Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

        Originally posted by dcman View Post
        Not normal here...used to be whole house softened except outside faucets and maybe a single cold water tap to kitchen faucet...now they just soften the whole house...but here is a softener is really needed because of hard water....
        This is dead on imo.^^^^^

        But I've seen some water softeners claim that you should bypass all cold water lines used for drinking, and I'm not sure I agree with that theory at all.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

          Originally posted by Flux View Post
          This is dead on imo.^^^^^

          But I've seen some water softeners claim that you should bypass all cold water lines used for drinking, and I'm not sure I agree with that theory at all.
          Right... like I drink the water out of my toilet...or shower...i have seen people soften just hot water to save water heater but just seems like waste of time...
          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


          • #6
            Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

            Originally posted by dcman View Post
            Right... like I drink the water out of my toilet...or shower...i have seen people soften just hot water to save water heater but just seems like waste of time...
            I only bypass the kitchen sink and outside faucets. Everything else gets soft water imo.

            But I've never seen anyone around here just soften hot water side.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

              years ago i did a big hotel and only the hot was soft water. there were 2 huge culligan softeners that once we installed them, i had to hand load the resin and sand beds with pallets of product.

              hot only to not waste it on toilets and drinking water in the sinks.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                We have calcium problems here in my area, and that's why the toilets get soft water.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                  ya..if u don't do the cold water the toilets don't last long and look like crap and everyone complains how hard they are to clean...
                  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


                  • #10
                    Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                    Originally posted by dcman View Post
                    ya..if u don't do the cold water the toilets don't last long and look like crap and everyone complains how hard they are to clean...
                    I hate breaking out the coat hanger and unclogging each rim hole, and the siphon jet. Not sure down there where you are, but the siphon jet can be block solid, and it's like concrete trying to dig it out.

                    Some guys acid toilets for extreme calcium build up, but I have not tried that yet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                      Originally posted by Flux View Post
                      I hate breaking out the coat hanger and unclogging each rim hole, and the siphon jet. Not sure down there where you are, but the siphon jet can be block solid, and it's like concrete trying to dig it out.

                      Some guys acid toilets for extreme calcium build up, but I have not tried that yet.

                      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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                        Originally posted by Flux View Post
                        I hate breaking out the coat hanger and unclogging each rim hole, and the siphon jet. Not sure down there where you are, but the siphon jet can be block solid, and it's like concrete trying to dig it out.

                        Some guys acid toilets for extreme calcium build up, but I have not tried that yet.
                        U can use muratic acid but after about two times it starts to etch the throat of toilet and then that starts to collect paper then its no good...I don't like to do it...but with a softener put in after the fact and a good cleaning of the jets I have seen the toilet savable...and yes I hate being a spulunker of the toilets!!!
                        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


                        • #13
                          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
                          A lot of times customers want the "get me by fix'' and then later I will have you replace it...but if they don't have a water softener then I try to talk them into getting one...
                          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


                          • #14
                            Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                            Originally posted by Dairylander View Post
                            I have two bathrooms in my house.
                            When I shower in one bathroom it has that typical feel of a shower with softened water: slimy skin and soap that won't rinse off.
                            But the shower in the other bathroom has a great clean feeling: the soap rinses off well and your skin feels squeaky clean.
                            I went in the basement and found that second shower is plumbed differently.
                            The hot water supply line is softened water just like the rest of the house.
                            But the cold water supply line branches off the main water supply before it goes to the water softener and feeds the outdoor sillcock and this bathroom's cold supply line.
                            So the hot side is soft water but the cold side is hard water.
                            Was this common in the 1950's?
                            Does anyone still plumb a house this way?
                            It really makes for an ideal shower.
                            Makes me think the installer was just lazy.... The other shower had both hot and cold soft, so it's not like they meant to only run the hot soft.
                            Ideal Plumbing

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Shower supply lines - hot side is softened, cold side isn't

                              Whole house Softeners are normally installed to bypass outdoor hose bibs and drinking water sources (Kitchen sink faucet, etc..). The reason for the hose bib bypass is because outside water is usually used for irrigation purposes and salt-softened water will eventually kill your plants. The Kitchen faucet is also usually skipped due to health reasons. Salt-softened water is high in sodium and can cause complications for heart patients or those with high blood pressure issues. (These are just rule-of-thumb issues and current technology such as potassium softeners-albeit expensive-have provided good solutions to these challenges and allowed whole-house coverage).

                              Looking at the OP's statement, I suspect that we have a common situation that plagues most homeowners when hard water is making life difficult. The problem is that when a water softener is added into a home after it has already been built, it's not practical to isolate the outdoor hose-bibs at a reasonable cost. So the next best thing is to just add the softener to the hot side supply at the Water Heater. If you think about it, it makes pretty good sense. The dishwasher uses hot water and most of people's water that they use to wash with is mixed with >75% hot water so the efficiency factor isn't lost there either. That may explain why some homes have the hot water side softened only while the cold side is left alone. Food for thought.....

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