Water too soft, need mixing valve...

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Kamisn

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Hi all, I have a 1.5cft Vortech tank with Clack WS1, using crystal salt and the city water hardness is 11 grains. I am having trouble getting the soap washed off my hands no matter how little soap I use, also glassware are coming out of dishwasher all cloudy etched ( Confirmed that happens with soft water per owners manual of dishwasher). I tested my water and is zero grains after softener.

I am thinking maybe I need to put a Clack mixing valve to introduce 3-4 grain of hardness to help with getting the soap washed from skin and dishes easier. Any opinion? Also wondering if someone on the forum can supply the part?

Thanks!
 

WorthFlorida

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As for the glasses and dishwasher you need to use less than 50% of dishwasher detergents than what the cup holds. Too much detergent it will etch glass. Another is if they are old glasses that were washed before the water softener, the glasses were already etched. If you use tablets, you'll need to cut them in half. Buy a new set of glasses and give it a try with using far less soap. You may notice that the dishes are not cloudy or etched.

The hand soap issue is normal for soft water. There is no soap on your skin. Soften water gives that slippery feel. Quite normal.
 

Bannerman

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The hardness minerals in hard water (calcium and magnesium) will combine with soap to form sticky curds (ie: bathtub ring) that will also stick to clothing, skin and hair. Soft water will actually rinse the soap away more thoroughly and there will be no new sticky residue being formed.

The sticky residue you are accustomed to feeling on your skin is no longer there so you are actually now feeling the natural oils and softness of your own skin. This is now a new experience but if you allow it, it will become the new normal which you will quickly become accustomed to.

Remember to also reduce the amount of laundry and dishwasher detergents being used. Depending on the quantity of detergents you originally were using to overcome hardness, you may want to start off using only 1/4 the amount as that may now be sufficient.

Even with a reduced amount of laundry detergent, you may find there will be excessive suds initially as any soap residue remaining in the fabrics from previous, will become released by the soft water.
 
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Kamisn

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As for the glasses and dishwasher you need to use less than 50% of dishwasher detergents than what the cup holds. Too much detergent it will etch glass. Another is if they are old glasses that were washed before the water softener, the glasses were already etched. If you use tablets, you'll need to cut them in half. Buy a new set of glasses and give it a try with using far less soap. You may notice that the dishes are not cloudy or etched.

The hand soap issue is normal for soft water. There is no soap on your skin. Soften water gives that slippery feel. Quite normal.
I agree that the already etched glasses are irreversible, however we have new Pyrex dishes that are getting cloudy as well. We etched to liquid cascade detergent to be able to control the amount of soap.
 

Kamisn

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The hardness minerals in hard water (calcium and magnesium) will combine with soap to form sticky curds (ie: bathtub ring) that will also stick to clothing, skin and hair. Soft water will actually rinse the soap away more thoroughly and there will be no new sticky residue being formed.

The sticky residue you are accustomed to feeling on your skin is no longer there so you are actually now feeling the natural oils and softness of your own skin. This is now a new experience but if you allow it, it will become the new normal which you will quickly become accustomed to.

Remember to also reduce the amount of laundry and dishwasher detergents being used. Depending on the quantity of detergents you originally were using to overcome hardness, you may want to start off using only 1/4 the amount as that may now be sufficient.

Even with a reduced amount of laundry detergent, you may find there will be excessive suds initially as any soap residue remaining in the fabrics from previous, will become released by the soft water.
My issue with slippery feeling/sensation of skin is that it feels that soap sticks to my skin and I say that because my hands feels sticky after washing with slight sweating and I actually tasted them after rinsing thoroughly and I could taste the soap.

It also seems that there are two opinions going around for the soft water slippery sensation, one being that soap is washed away and you are feeling your own skin oil and the other one is soap actually sticks to your skin rather than being washed away due to lack of heavy ions of calcium and magnesium https://www.thoughtco.com/difficulty-rinsing-soap-with-soft-water-607879. "The sodium or potassium in soft water makes it much more unfavorable for the sodium stearate to give up its sodium ion so that it can form an insoluble compound and get rinsed away. Instead, the stearate clings to the slightly charged surface of your skin. Essentially, soap would rather stick to you than get rinsed away in soft water."
 

Reach4

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My issue with slippery feeling/sensation of skin is that it feels that soap sticks to my skin and I say that because my hands feels sticky after washing with slight sweating and I actually tasted them after rinsing thoroughly and I could taste the soap.
New test for you: Wash your hands with that same soap at an outside hose bibb (not soft water). Your hands will not feel slippery. But then taste your hands. No taste, or do you taste soap?
 

Kamisn

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That doesn't sound right. How about a direct quote from the manual?

See https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?posts/579337/
I meant with normal amount of soap usage. The other thing is that the dishwasher may have gone old and not washing that well either, because we had the water softener since 2018.

Here is a snapshot from the dishwasher manual:
63579463990__1D236FEC-9654-4B62-A34E-E76280AFB573.jpeg
 

WorthFlorida

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That doesn't sound right. How about a direct quote from the manual? See https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?posts/579337/

Mixing some hard water after the softener is possible but the problem will be how much do you bypass? I once had an O-ring dislodged in the bypass valve and it took me a while to find the cause why I wasn't getting hardly any soft water. The only area I bypassed was the kitchen sink. I had a basement so it was easy to run the cold water line before the softener to the kitchen sink and outside spigots for irrigation. Macaroni cooked in soft water turned to mush in a few minutes. It was also better for drinking. Washing your vehicles with soften water leaves no spots. Essentially, do not bypass to mix hard water and give it a try to get used to it. Then make some changes to fine tune it.

If they are old glasses and were washed with hard water they get scratched up with use. The scratches fill up with minerals, grease and oils and you may not see them. When washed in a dishwasher and especially with soft water, these scratches get cleaned and then are visible. Dishwasher manufactures had to put a statement in their manuals so not to get claims that the new "dishwasher scratched my glasses". The majority is the detergent as from the manual.

https://www.carterservices.com/blog/2018/july/is-your-glassware-etched-/
 

Reach4

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Thanks. Looks like that was written for powdered dishwashing detergent. I see you are now using liquid. Looks like you should use about 1/4 of the the amount detergent that you would with hard water.

Note that silica is not removed by a softener. A way to reduce new silica deposition, if your water has much, is to use Jet Dry etc more.
 

Reach4

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Here is the link to our city water test results by the municipal water (Page 13). Would an independent water testing may help to figure out if I need additional filtration?
Silica is not mentioned in that report. That report is a lot more informative than the average report. It is not easily searchable however. They did show hardness on page 19 with a max of 164 ppm.

I suggest calling the water department and asking about silica content. Not harmful to drink. Expensive to remove. I see no indication that your area has high silica. My point is that expensive testing the water for silica is unlikely to tell you something useful.

Try some new Libbey glasses.
 
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LLigetfa

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I suggest hand washing glassware if you're concerned about etching. Etching can still be a problem with hard water.
 

ditttohead

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What valve do you have? The Clack valves have a simple hardness bypass available that is fairly easy to install.
upload_2021-3-22_16-42-44.png
 

Bannerman

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The mixing valve shown in Ditttohead's photo, provides a small diameter flow path from the softener's inlet connection, to the outlet connection. A small manually adjustable inline valve controls the amount of hard water flowing through that pathway which will allow you to control the amount of hard water that will bypass the softener. If the valve is fully closed, no hard water will bypass the softener so the resulting water will be the softest possible.

Because water will always follow the path of least resistance, expect the amount of hardness to home faucets will be greater when the water flow rate is low as a greater portion of the total flow will be flowing through that bypass pathway.
 
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Kamisn

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The the bypass valve in Ditttohead's photo, provides a small diameter flow path from the softener's bypass valve inlet connection, to the bypass valve outlet connection. A small manually adjustable inline valve controls the amount of hard water flowing through that pathway which will allow you to control the amount of hard water that will bypass the softener. If the valve is fully closed, no hard water will bypass the softener so the resulting water will be the softest possible.

Because water will always follow the path of least resistance, expect the amount of hardness to home faucets will be greater when the water flow rate is low as a greater portion of the total flow will be flowing through that bypass pathway.
Thank you, that was exactly what I was looking for.
 

Bannerman

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I changed my comment as the path and adjustment valve is already built into that mixing valve and so no external tubing or additional adjustment valve will be needed.
 
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