09:40AM | 05/18/09
Member Since: 05/10/09
13 lifetime posts
As a CWS-II, you know that for the vast majority of homeowners, a water softener IS the only "PRACTICLE" system readily available for removing or exchanging-out "minerals". R.O. is necessary to provide potable drinking water with a softener but R.O. water is low ph, R.O. systems waste a significant amount of water and, unless you re-pipe in CPVC or PEX, is not good for copper plumbing.

De-ionization is effective but not a practicle system for the average homeowner.

Wax or other sealants, works. Plumbers have used it for years. Jet-dry or LemmiShine works in dishwashers and there are many other products readily available to resolve various annoyances.

I agree that independent testing and certification (NSF, WQA, UL) is the ONLY way to determine what a product actually does. If we could get rid of the un-certified systems the public would be well-served.

Ken Hoffmann


07:00PM | 05/18/09
Member Since: 04/01/05
32 lifetime posts
Of course, with RO water dedicated plumbing must be there due to the aggressiveness of RO water on any existing plumbing, particularly galvanized, as well as other metals. But an RO used for drinking water purposes comes with all the appropriate plumbing and fixtures needed to complete the system.

You're right, DI water is not practical or even recommended for residential use. I was responding to your definitive and emphatic reply that a softener is the ONLY.... Nuff said there.

Jet dry, Spot-free and all the other cleansers/detergents contain high amounts of phosphates, bi-phosphates, polyphosphates, silicates, etc., to 'soften' water chemically, many of which will never break down in the environment. In fact, a large number of states are currently banning such detergents which rob ground and surface waters of oxidation and directly affecting both flora and fauna. Dead Zones off the Maryland coast are, in part, caused by these man-made, synthetic pollutants as well as other contaminants.

That is why there is a Moms’ smuggling ring in Spokane that travel to Idaho to illegally transport TIDE, ALL and other controlled substances back to Washington.... Do you know about that?

I am not sure why there is always someone who throws the “Oh my God, it has low pH’ argument. My water comes in at 7.5 before the RO and 6.6 after the RO. What’s the problem? Besides milk and a few alkaline drinks, water has one of the highest pH levels we consume.

milk 6.8

coffee 4.9

orange juice 3.8

carbonated beverages 2.6 (WOW!!!)

even pure rainwater as combined with CO2 from the atmosphere is 5.7

distilled water 7.0

So I feel pretty good about my 6.6 (slightly acidic) water.

I think it is important to look at the full scale of comparisons before making blanket statements that are meant to influence others.

You say RO “wastes” water. Well, not really unless the auto-stop is malfunctioning. ROs have concentrate that go down the drain. This concentrate carries with it the elements that are separated by the membrane. Although that is waste water, it is not “wasted” water.

All water used in the home becomes waste water. But I try to confuse “waste” water with “wasted” water. Wasted water is the hose running in the yard as you soap down the car, or the three minute shower warm up before you step in, or the running toilet or letting water run as you brush your teeth. Water used WITHOUT purpose or function is wasted. Water used WITH purpose and function becomes waste water. This is a basic differentiation in waste water management.

Just like the water that flushes down the toilet, out of the washer or dishwasher, rinsing out the garbage disposal, etc., all have function and purpose, namely to take away what you don’t want to remain. Exactly what an RO does...for me anyway.

Now then, there are efficient toilets, washers, dishwashers and ROs as there are those that are not as efficient to do the same (or even lesser) work.

The concentrate from an RO can, arguably, be the most important waste water you produce because it affects what you consume into your body. After all, virtually 100% of the water you use since birth is either waste water or wasted water. By avoiding wasted water, you are managing your waste water. My question might be: does your waste water contain elements that destroy the environment such as those found in Jet Dry, etc.?

The best way to deal with waste water is to be able to USE it again. While I lived in a location with very limited water, my shower water was collected in a large drum that I stood in. That waste (gray) water was then used for the toilet, doubling its effectiveness and reducing total waste.

And of all the waste water you produce in the home, the RO water may be the easiest to recover and use for other purposes such plants, pets, washing, toilets, etc., if you really have a true philosophy to maintain and willing to take the simple steps and become an example to follow. My RO water goes into a five gallon bottle and we have a variety of uses, and looking for more always.

I’m trying to understand and better appreciate water, its uses, and how not to waste it. I highly value an efficient and functioning RO to provide excellent water for drinking, beverages, and recipes. Taking shorter showers, letting yellow mellow and just plain turning the water off is something all of us can do to contribute. I use ozone for my laundry which helps me avoid all detergents, soaps and hot water.

I understand your arguments, I just don’t agree with the substance, foundation and facade of the points you set forth. I’m not saying that your choices are inappropriate, dissatisfying or wasteful. I’m just concerned with my water quality and try to be aware of shortcomings as well as benefits of different water treatment systems whether for an individual, family or a whole community.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II


10:13AM | 05/20/09
Member Since: 03/27/07
4 lifetime posts
With some trepidation, I'd have to say that perhaps we at last are beginning to get somewhere. I have not detected a sub-rosa sales agenda in this post, which is quite a step in the right direction.


08:59AM | 05/21/09
Member Since: 05/10/09
13 lifetime posts
We can write until we're blue in the face about concepts and possible solutions to various water problems. However, the reality is that the vast majority of homeowners simply don't want to think about their water system and won't pay to have one serviced one until it breaks.

My point is that a buyer should receive sufficient information about a product before they buy one. Every system has negatives and positives. The problem for the homeowner is that every company offers real or contrived "proof" that their system is best...and their is NO "best" for every situation.

I look for practicality, value, environmental responsibility, and independent testing & certification.

Ken Hoffmann


06:53AM | 06/08/09
Member Since: 06/07/09
1 lifetime posts
I think most of us are more concerned with reducing scale and residue to save our appliances and reduce cleaning.

I lived in France for three years and we paid good money to drink water with the minerals in it.

I am less concerned that it can be called "soft" and more concerned with how it acts. I also would like the minerals to remain....without the salt.

I am just getting tired of the monstrosity in the garage and the sound of the "jet plane" it makes every other night around midnight. The salt and unit rental are just getting too expensive as well.


04:57AM | 06/23/09
Member Since: 06/22/09
1 lifetime posts
So not to get even further off subject. But I recently decided to just go ahead and buy a whirlpool salt based softener. I have well water that I won't be drinking either way, and the salt softeners seem to work really well at preventing build up. I went with a higher end model because it removes iron as well, and I've been having a problem with rust stains. I've been pretty happy so far.


06:02AM | 06/23/09
Member Since: 04/25/07
25 lifetime posts
"Higher end" Whirlpool softener is an oxymoron. There is no such thing.

These box store softeners definitely work but do not work indefinitely. The control valves are manufactured out of lesser quality materials than those used in industry standard softeners.

More difficult to work on than industry standard softeners and the parts tends to be expensive.

These softeners do not do well on hard well water especially with iron in the water and are the most often complained about water treatment devices on the internet.

With a little homework you could have purchased an industry standard softener that would have provided decades of reliable service for about the same price.

With iron, any softener is better than no softener... do your routine maintenance and hope for the best.


07:18AM | 08/04/09
Member Since: 08/03/09
1 lifetime posts
Andy C. I just want to thank you for keeping this thread real. There are others that will want to mislead people for their own agendas. I appreciate your open and straight forward posts.


10:20AM | 12/30/09
Member Since: 12/29/09
1 lifetime posts
I have seen several of these salt free systems using the term water softening and also utilizing the wqa seal. It is importaint to know that there is not a salt free system except for R.O. or DI that will actually soften the water. The WQA seal on these systems simply state that the water is safe to drink after water has been run through them. Systems like magnets have been around for decades, the science behind them is interesting, but usually require a constant flow and temp to work properly. If you are looking for a system that is salt free that has some real date behind it, it would be next media. It is the media used in the Watts OneFlow system and does show some impressive results, but is honest in stating that it does not soften the water. Systems like this and the pelican system create a catalist for scale creation in the flow of water and send the scale out to drain. This does not remove the hardness from your water, but will have some benifits for you hot water heater, dish washer, etc. Also some of these systems are simply glorified carbon filters that will make your water taist and feel better but again do not soften it.

When looking for the correct system it is importaint to research these systems as much as possible, and a good rule of thumb is to look for the NSF seal and WQA seal specific to what you want, ie drinking water, softening, etc.
Click to reply button Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon