Will softened water kill plants?

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by devsd, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. devsd

    devsd New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    California
    It would be very difficult to bypass my planned water softener installation location and run a line for un-softened water to my outside spigots. Will softened water eventually kill my plants in the garden. I don't have any grass, just palm trees and plants.
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,314
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    No, It will not hurt them.

    It just gets a bit expensive if you use a lot of water.


    Have Fun.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It depends on how much ion exchange is being done and that depends on how much hardness, iron and manganese is being removed because that determines how much added sodium will be in the softened water. You get 7.85 mg/l or ppm of sodium per grain per gallon of compensated hardness removed. Over time vegetation can be harmed.
  4. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,314
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I guess that is correct, If 100 years is a problem.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,401
    Location:
    IL
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  6. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,314
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    So for best performance you use Epsom Salt in the Softener ?


    I have a few gardens and use water before and after my softener, And I really see no difference, but it has only been 25 years.

    I do see a big difference using Rain Water.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It is quite rare for well water to have a TDS content that low. Especially those where a water softener is beneficial.

    And softening the water usually adds a bit to the TDS and what is added is sodium, while the hardness minerals are removed. So as I said, softened water is usually not good for vegetation and the OP says he has no way to use non softened water to water with so he is not flushing any sodium out of his soil as DonL is by using both softened and non softened waters over 25 years plus.... the two may have very different soils.
  8. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    Many years ago we did extensive studies on the affects of soft water on plants, and the results were exactly as expected. Some plants are affected, most are not under normal hardness conditions. We have even done studies on softener waste distribution onto lawns to see what the affects were. Most lawns were not affected, some were killed. Soil type has a lot to do with it. I had a customer draining his softener onto his backyard for 20 years, his lawn was just fine. All this being said...

    Make an effort to bypass the irrigation, even if it will take some time. Cutting concrete and repairing it is not that difficult nor is it overly expensive. You can rent the cutter from Home Depot or the local rental yard for a reasonable price. If your palm trees or plants are priceless, then use extreme caution. If your house is on a raised foundation, then bypassing the plumbing should be fairly easy. If the plants start to show problems with the softened water unlikely but possible), then you can always bypass the softener at the bypass valve when you water the plants. You can also set up a very simple solenoid bypass that is actuated from your irrigation controller. Let me know if you need more information on this.

    Let us know what you decide.
  9. devsd

    devsd New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    California
    It took a lot of arm twisting to get my wife to go along with the softener installation. She was worried about sodium intake in our diets. But I was going to run a separate line to the kitchen sink and she was OK with that. I pretty much had my mind made up to just bite the bullet and run a separate line to the garden which would have been a nightmare to get it up to the attic and clear across the house and back down a couple stories. So my wife and I starting weighing the differences between salt and potassium and think we might give potassium a try. Everything I have read about it seems like it's fine for the plants and our health. Any negatives other than cost?
  10. ditttohead

    ditttohead Water systems designer, R&D

    Messages:
    1,858
    Location:
    Ontario California
    It needs to be adjusted properly for effectiveness. I have finally put together a "white sheet" for potassium chloride, it will be finalized next week and I will post it.
  11. devsd

    devsd New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    California
    Great timing, I look forward to the read.
Similar Threads: softened water
Forum Title Date
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r PH of softened water Jul 21, 2014
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Can you drink softened water? Dec 18, 2013
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Is Softened Water Safe to Drink? Apr 26, 2011
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r Softened water turns hard after water heater Sep 7, 2010
Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r valve between hose bib supply - softened and untreated Aug 19, 2012

Share This Page