Water softener question

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Alexdc99, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. Alexdc99

    Alexdc99 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Can I switch to patassium from salt on my Culligan softner. Will it damage anything?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Potassium chloride......sodium chloride.....both are salt. It is the SODIUM ion used by the demineralizer resin. Check with Culligan....they may recommend a slightly different regeneration schedule or different setting on the unit.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Sure, all ion exchange softeners can use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride but.... you may have to increase the salt dose. If and how much depends on the salt efficiency setting of your salt dose/pr cubic foot of whatever type resin in the softener. For 6 lbs/cuft, raise it 12% and for 4 lbs/cuft and higher efficiencies (less than 4 lbs/cuft), raise it 30%.

    If you have a salt grid/platform, you should remove it.

    If you are wanting to do this because of added sodium with the use of regular salt. Multiply your hardness in grains/gallon by 7.85 mg/l. That gives you the added sodium in roughly a quart of your softened water. Then check your loaf of white bread, glass of skim milk or V8 juice and other food/beverages and compare the sodium in their serving size to your quart of softened water. You'll see that usually there is less sodium in your water than common things you ingest everyday. And do you drink a quart of your water per day?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  4. Alexdc99

    Alexdc99 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the info. I am not really doing this for the sodium intake, it seems over the last year my Wife and I are getting iritated hands from the salt. We get very dry hands and rashes, it;s very strange. A while back the softer broke and I had to put it in bypass mode for a week and both our hands cleared up. Once it was fixed and back softening water our hands started to react. The only thing I can think of is that the sodium in the after water is the problem, I figured I would try potassium to see if it solved out problem.

    Alex


    Oh almost forgot, my softner is set at 15lbs for salt.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    What cuft size is the softener?

    Does your water have any odor to it?

    I've never heard of your symptoms being caused by softened water, just the opposite, hard water causes those problems, but not on just the hands. If the softener is not very old, it could be 'bad' resin causing this. My guess would be by adding acid to the water from incomplete rinsing of the resin when it was manufactured. I had a new softener customer about 6 weeks ago with an odor problem after he installed his softener. But his water had a bad smell to it, they didn't have skin irritations etc. and it was the resin.
  6. Alexdc99

    Alexdc99 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    No strange oder from the softener nor does the water have a smell. The softener was installed 3 years ago. I say this is a softener but it only takes the stain out of the water, I have a clorine injection system with turbitity filter before the salt part. I have a test taps before and after each part and when I used the test strips before the salt the water is fine. No chlorine and the PH level and such are in the good zone.

    It is totally possible the resin may have gone bad, any way to test this? I can call Culligan to come out and take a look, everything is still under warranty.

    Is it possible something could be going on inside the hot water tank, bacteria or??? Is it worth while doing a chlorine rinse on it?

    Thanks for the help
    Alex
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Due to the age of the resin, the problem I mentioned with the new resin not being sufficiently rinsed is not your problem.

    I'd call Culligan and have them check things out and get their ideas as to what could cause your skin problem. Possibly something else in the water or due to the chlorine. Or nothing to do with the water at all, but maybe a soap detergent etc..
  8. Alexdc99

    Alexdc99 New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I'll give them a call in the morning, thanks for the help.

    One other qeustion though, it is possible to have more stain in the water than what a softner can remove.
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes you could have more iron and/or manganese in the water than a softener can remove.

    You could also be using more water in gpm than the softener can treat; if so then the softener is too small, meaning there is not enough resin to do the job.
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