Very HARD well water

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by QBVII, May 16, 2006.

  1. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    How do you deal with very hard well water?

    Do any of you have very hard well water - what do you do? Do you buy one of those units you attach to the faucet? Our water smells like metal and where the water dripped into the SS sink while we were gone, it is brown...sort of rusty looking. Before we went to AZ, we got water from MIL in plastic jugs....is there anything you can do to soften water --- and if you use a filter, which one do you recommend?
     
  2. Shagbarkmtcatle

    Shagbarkmtcatle Hillybilly cattle slaves

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    If you have hard well water, you need a softener. But first of all, and this is what we do for all of our customer's and it's free, have your water tested. Then you will know exactly what is in your water, how many grains hard it is etc. You have to know how many grains hard it is in order to size the softener unit. If you get too small of a unit, it won't soften your water enough. Too large of a unit and you wasted your money. Call your local plumber and get a water test done first.
     

  3. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    We had to get a water softener too. We're lucky, we don't have any iron or sulphur in the water. From your description, it sounds as though you have iron as well as lime in the water. A water softener will soften, then there are other filters that will take the iron out.
     
  4. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    We recently had our well water tested (new well). Our hardness is a 2 - we figured the cost of a water softner wasn't worth it for a "2". We have no metal pipes in hte house. We were lucky enough to have nothing else in our water (phew)!

    I find it fascinating that our well is 500' deep and our neighbors 600' away is
    only 120'. We are up a little higher than he, but he is getting like 20 gallons p/min. Why the difference - we get about 3 gal. p/min. very interesting stuff.


    The culligan guy game to our house and tested for free and of course tried to sell us a water softner for our "2" hard water. He claimed the units you would buy at lowes/home depot wouldn't last. Make sure you do your research.
     
  5. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Our water hardness is off the charts. We have a water softener which helps. But we also needed a filter for the rust. It clogged up so fast that dh will be adding two more filters this summer. He'll be putting them in a cabinet in the downstairs bathroom so there is easy access to change the filters. It's too much of a pain to crawl through the crawl space to change the filters. He will be adding them before the water gets to the house so our outside water is filtered as well.

    We got them at our local Menards. They have a decent selection for different purposes. They filter out metals, bacteria, sediment, and other things.
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    My water tested low on iron but high for hardness. It has an iron odor and rust shows if I don't have an iron filter. Thus, the only thing to really reduce stains is to have a heavy duty backflushing iron remover system AND water softener system in place. Anything less is a stop gap system that will always occupy your time 'cleaning up' water you won't like. It's not cheap, but it's not cheap to wreck good clothes in the laundry with stains or to repair/replace plumbing fixtures either. I'm considering also to do some shock or iron treatment directly in the well periodically to tie up iron more before it enters the house system.
     
  7. ChiliPalmer

    ChiliPalmer Well-Known Member

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    When my grandparents bought their house, Grandma thought the kitchen came with a porcelain sink. After years of scrubbing it out after supper, she discovered the sink was in fact stainless steel. That convinced Papa that they really had to have a water softener.
     
  8. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    Our water is awful and even after several thousand dollars of equipment, I still wouldn't drink the stuff. We use it to bathe and wash clothes....just don't leave anything to soak in it!
     
  9. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) I read this thread with interest. I think we are talking about two separate issues here. Hardness, which I think is the amount of Calcium and Magnesium in the water?..and PH which is a scale of alkaline to acid.

    In Vegas where I live for over 30 yrs the water was hard and alkaline(about 250 ppm)...and alkaline(about 7.5)it tasted great, laundry came out beautiful and I could raise some super species of plants and fish in it which I cannot duplicate here in the northwest. It was very low in other contaminants and that was a big factor in making it nice water. I still long for that water!

    On the other hand it took more cleaning products to get things clean but bleach helped with that, both dry and liquid.

    Here in the Northwest the water is softer, and on the acidic side so it takes much less detergents to get laundry(and me..LOL) clean. This water also has other contaminants in it, the aforementioned iron and sulfa being the two I really detest. You cannot use liquid bleach in these conditions but the powdered does OK.... Oxyclean is better. It's still more difficult to get cloths clean here.

    The water does indeed leave those iron deposits in your sinks and tubs from the iron bacteria but that can be dealt with easily. It's quite drinkable but not nearly as delicious as the water I left behind.

    I could get filters and all that stuff but I don't feel I need them. I can raise different plants and gave up raising fish. :)

    So, I don't think that hardness is so much the issue(unless it is off the charts and ridiculous of course like some have problems with... :help: ), it seems to be more to do with most of us as to what other contaminants are in the water as to how useable, drinkable etc your water is. and whether you need to filter it etc. ;)

    LQ
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    similar here.
    I've tried many things over the years, different filters, etc. The taste is horrible and I drink bottled water. Water here is acid and not alkaline with iron, calcium, magnesium. No tannin, thankfully... The iron binding resin in the backflushing system works fine to keep out stains, and the water is soften via the salt pellets which is fine for other use except drinking. Distillation can remove taste, and I've done that too. Reverse Osmosis might work okay, but the taste probably will still remain. Tried multiple charcoal filters also. meh. I'm sticking with bottled water to drink.
     
  11. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    I bought a water softener at sears, they tested my water for free. it was almost $600. my water has alot of iron in it though I don't remember how high it tested (but it will leave an orange residue overnight).

    expensive up front but cheap to run. I fill it once a year with salt and that's it. but I'm single so probably don't use that much water even with laundry. the water tastes fine but you can immediately tell it's time for the softener to refresh as you can taste the iron again.