Newbie needs water softener advice

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by rocks911, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. rocks911

    rocks911 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    I'm a 53 year old firefighter in the Dallas area that is looking for water softener advice.

    What started this search was the remarkable deterioration of my kitchen faucet. I installed a brand new faucet in my kitchen four years ago and the thing barely trickles any more. It was a good faucet, I forget the brand but for sure it wasnt cheap. There are white (Calcium I assume) deposits all over the thing and it barely swivels (my sister-in-law actually thought it was stationary) which made me wonder about the general condition of all my plumbing, that is in and beneath my slab foundation particularly.

    I have some basic info: there is no detectable Iron, Manganese is .00125 PPM and TDS is 264PPM or 15.4 Grains/Gal.
    My city water is delivered through a 3/4" line from the front of my home.

    I'm wondering, well a bunch of stuff, but lets start with where is a water softener supposed to be "set up", I mean where would it physically be? The garage...or outside somewhere? If outside does it need to be protected from freezing?
    My city supply comes from the front of my home with my garage with water heaters in the back. I've got a pretty big house, 4 1/2 bath, 1 garden tub and a pool and hot tub out back, but just the wife and me there most of the time...how big a system do I need?

    Mostly I wonder is there a link to a professional organization that could supply the name of a reputable plumber who could install a system for me? I dont really thrust this process in general cause I've had any number of kids pushing water purification snake oil, so I wonder is there a way to find someone to contract this in the Garland Tx area?

    I'll leave this initial post at that...thanks for any help.
  2. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    I would look in the phone book under water treatment and start calling. If they are not willing to give you a price over the phone, most likely they will be very high priced systems. Look for a Fleck or Clack system. They are very well built and will give you years of good service.
  3. rocks911

    rocks911 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the reply.

    Lets say I'm gonna do this myself, I suppose the first thing I will need to know is where does this arrangement go, out in the garage?
    Are the water heaters in a home typically the first place that the water supply is tied in?

    If I've gotta tap into the main supply from the street that might be a pain to get done.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    1,883
    Location:
    IL
    You normally feed the outside hose faucets with unsoftened water for lawn watering. A few have one softened outside tap for washing the car. You probably want to have an inside faucet with unsoftened water for watering plants or maybe for human drinking. Drinking softened water is usually OK, but some may prefer drinking unsoftened for various reasons.

    People with water as hard as yours should run soft water to most of the cold water lines, including to the toilets.

    Yes, you must protect the softener from freezing. The softener also need to drain water during regeneration, and that needs to be protected from freezing.
  5. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    There are no set standards for running water line thoughout the home. So you can not just tie into a water heater and expect to soften all faucets in the home. If the home is not pre-plumbed for a water softener, you would have to find the main water line before it enters the home and tie in there. Doing this, all the hose faucets will be soft water.
  6. rocks911

    rocks911 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the replies,

    I've have never heard of a home plumbed for a water softener and have never seen such plumbing. Every residence that I have ever owned in the Dallas area and the vast majority of those I have been in (maybe every single one) have city provided water running from the front curb. So it would seem to me that in order to tie into the "main water line before it enters my home" I would have to do that in the front yard and have my softener installed there (maybe thats why I have also never seen a water softener installed in any home I've been in) in some sort of weather resistant enclosure. Is that what people do or are they lucky enough to have their house pre-plumbed? Or maybe tap in and trench around to a more desirable place?
  7. mialynette2003

    mialynette2003 Member

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Ocala, Florida
    Spent 13 years in the Austin area. In some sub-divisions every home was preplumbed for a softener and in others it was an option. It's possible to install it in your garage. Reroute the main line to the softener and back again. The pipes would be underground except where it goes through the garage wall. I have routed pipes all the way around a house on many different installs. If you do not want to do the work, hire another to do it. It can be done.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,789
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Softener installation location depends on climate too. In areas where freezing is not a concern, outdoor installations are common. On the sides of houses, backyards, non climate controlled garages etc. I install systems regularly and have just finished one that required I cut 40' of concrete so I could re-route the main line from the front of the house to the garage. I then did a back feed at the water heater. I will try to post some pictures later this week. I have buried many softeners at the main line in front of a house in order to save from having to trench extended lengths, and a simple fake rock from home depot covers the exposed water softener control valve quite nicely. I also use a stainless steel sleeve around the softener to make it easier to replace the softener tank in the future if it is needed. Do a little investigative work, you should find a shut off other than at the street meter. Is your house a raised foundation?
  9. rocks911

    rocks911 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Texas
    My home is a slab concrete foundation. I'll have to look to see if I can find another shut off. Thanks for the reply.
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