How do I shop for water softner?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by polocash, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. polocash

    polocash New Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    House: 1600 sq. ft. 2 bath dishwasher, washer, 40 gallon water heater,
    People: 2 adults and child. See

    thought this might be OK. Would like to stay under $500 though.

  2. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity be caring and loving to a
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    autotrol water conditioner

    these metered on demand units are pretty good ....

    Stay away from the little ones get at least a 45,000 grain on demand unit

    always go with a big one,
    the bigger you get ,
    the less times it has to regenerate during the month.,
    the less water you have to use to regenerate,
    the less salt it uses overall

    the autotrol is very easy to work on and is very easy to get parts for.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2005
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego
    They way to evaluate your requirements , you need to know your hardness number. Available from your water department. Here in San Diego, it is 14 grains per gallon. SO, your Kenmore unit would soften 3000 gallons of water per cycle. Just picking a random usage like 100 gallons per day per person, you use 300 gallons per day; you would go 10 days between regenerations. That is a good figure. This looks like a good unit for you.

    If your hardness was much higher, or your usage was higher, the statistics would change.

    Similar units are available at al the "big" stores. Prices are in that ballpark. Installation cost could be all over the map.

    As discussed by MP mark, you always want to choose demand regeneration. I would stay away from the so-called compact units because no matter how you slice it, they have to regenerate more often which costs you $$$.
  5. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    I've had 3 different Sears softeners in 2 different houses. They work well and parts are available through Sears. Just be aware that every 2-4 years you may need to do some work on the unit (replace seals and the "rotor disc"). If you're at all handy you can do it yourself for $40. If not, it may cost $200 or more to have someone come out and do it for you.
  6. polocash

    polocash New Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    I live in San Antonio and here our water ranges between 15 and 17 in hardness.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    I suggest you do a search for "softener sizing chart" and learn how to correctly size a softener. There are two parts and the capacity is the least important part.

    I also suggest you buy a softener with the best quality control valve. IMO that is a Clack WS-1 or Fleck 7000SE. The Clack WS-1 is the best for a DIYer that would replace a part if needed. The parts are the lowest price of all major brands and can be replaced in roughy 15 minutes by the most inexperienced DIYer.

    Quality Water Associates
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