I rent one and they come and take care of it. I am wondering, to save money, if I can get along without it? Will it plug water lines up and hot water heater? HOw many don't have one and get along fine? It is around $20 a month.
It depends on the hardness of your water supply. Ours goes off the scale , so, we rent a watersoftener for use on the hot water line before the hotwater heater. Cost of the softener is offset by savings on heaters.
We have two, plus a sediment filter before the softeners plus another carbon filter after the water softeners plus a reverse osmosis unit for drinking water. It took us 9 years to come up with that combination to finally make our water look, taste and smell good.
I suppose you could shut the softener down for a week and see if it makes a difference with washing, etc. Or perhaps have the water tested sans softener (About $60?), and go from there. Like ksfarmer said, it really depends on how hard your water is.
We have one, and need it. Otherwise... Just nasty. We spent a ton of money on new toilets, a tub and fixtures after DH's ex moved out... She lived here for a couple of years without one. Eeew. No really... Gross.
A few years back our well water "turned" hard. After many years of no problems so perhaps the water table went up or down ?? Yes we do get the white mineral deposits inside the tea kettle and do need to keep up on the minerals on the faucets on the tubs and sinks...but the taste has always been good. Since we homestead and cost is always an option we just deal with it. Never noticed any difference with laundry or bathing and figure I can live without this luxury. If it was the taste of the water I would consider it.
At one time I had really hard water. It had a lot of iron and sulfur smell in it. You couldn't use iron pipes because they would be eaten through in a month. What I did was put down the bottom of a storm shelter and filled it with 2 foot of gravel and the rest with sand then I put an aerator above it to break the water up into a fine mist. It worked great. The water was soft and was good looking water even made good ice tea. I used this set up to supply 5 houses and a farm shop. :bouncy:
I don't understand, why do you have one if you don't know you need it. You only need a water softener if you have hard water. Hard water can cause scale to build up in your furnace and hot water heater, ruining them. It also makes you use more soap and detergent. You get more soapscum with hard water.
A water softener replaces calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. If you don't have hard water, all you are doing is adding sodium to your water for nothing. Yes, you could be wasting a whole lot of money. Get your water tested, then treat accordingly.
If your water is hard with lots of iron it would save money on the amount of soap and cleaners needed. Your appliances and plumbing will last longer. The most important thing for me, as my hair is white, is rust stains in my hair. These stains show up in light colored, blonde, hair. I always thought my children had reddish hair when they were small but it was just rust stains. Even dark hair absorbes rust but it doesn't show but you can feel it. It feels heavy, dry and brittle.
We are on rural water, but it's quite hard. As to taste, our cold water to the kitchen is not run through the softer. All our "outdoor" water is also non-softened. The icemaker on the fridge comes off the cold kitchen water.
All other water in the house is softened. We went for about two years without the softener (until we replaced all the plumbing) and it makes a big difference for us.
We have extremely hard well water so a few years ago DH installed a used one someone gave us. He had to do some rebuilding but it works great. We add 2 bags of salt a month so it is less than $10. It is amazing how it even cleaned the showerhead, the coffee maker etc. not to mention the washing machine. DH ran a drinking water line just for me because I did not like the taste of the softened water. Isn't he a sweetie
Lots of iron in our water. If we run out of salt we end up with orange whites and orange bathroom fixtures. Our softener has lasted 15 years. We think it's starting to go because the soft water just doesn't last as long as it used to, and the recirculation dial gets stuck. Manufacturer no longer exists so no way to get parts. We will be buying another softener.
Iron does affect the taste of drinking water. Plus it ruins pots, pans, tea kettles, and water heater elements.
I hate showering in 'softened water' never needed one when I lived rural or city, thank God. My only problem rural was that I had to replace the bottom element in my water heater and there was a bunch of mineral buildup there -- had I drained it monthly like the owners guide said I probably would have avoided that.
My in-laws - who live in a city (using city water) and don't really need one - have one cause some salesmen told them they should have it. When we stay there I hate showering - I feel slimey afterwards.
"I don't understand, why do you have one if you don't know you need it. You only need a water softener if you have hard water. Hard water can cause scale to build up in your furnace and hot water heater, ruining them. It also makes you use more soap and detergent. You get more soapscum with hard water."
It was in the house already when we bought it and we just kept it. We had one in our other house,too. But now we are retired, and am wondering how to cut costs.
I will have to find out how to test the water and see if it is hard.
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