Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Water softening. Latest thoughts

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Water softening. Latest thoughts

Old 15th Sep 2008, 17:52
  #1 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 79
Posts: 4,485
Water softening. Latest thoughts

The Rivetess mentioned water softeners this morning. I've recently thrown one away cos it was just too big for the house we're in and although it cost me nowt, would have been difficult to install cos of the salt drainage. Anyway she mentioned those electrical ones.

"They simply can't work." says I. "How would they keep selling the huge and costly to run ones, if a diddy thing and a torch battery would do the job?"

Anyone had any experience with softening. (I've used the old type for years in Essex) Are there any new ideas out there?
Loose rivets is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 18:04
  #2 (permalink)  
Uneasy Pleistocene Leftover
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gone, but not forgotten apparently?! All forums marked "Private"...
Posts: 316
Anyone had any experience with softening.
Ask the guys at Gitmo...?!

IMHO, you're confusing water-softeners that rely on an electical supply (for the valves) to switch between housings and/or regeneration and some water-softeners that rely simply on available water-pressure and a flow-meter when 'regenerating'.

So far as salt for water-softeners go, I've seen prices range locally from 0.75 per kg for a 25kg sack to 5 times as much. All depends where you buy from I guess (and how far away you're from the neighbours - like with Guantanamo), I guess...?!
airship is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 18:23
  #3 (permalink)  
Warning Toxic!
Disgusted of Tunbridge
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 4,011
I installed a cistern-type non-electrical one earlier this year in my own and daughter's house. Elementary plumbing done in a day. Works very well, and until you've felt the results, you wouldn't believe how different it feels. I cannot believe a bit of coiled wire makes any difference whatsoever, and there is no proof at all it does. The one I have is like a desktop tower computer. Salt consumption is not large, the difference is evident in this hard water area.
Rainboe is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 20:15
  #4 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 79
Posts: 4,485
No, it was really to see if there had been any development in the little coiled wire devices -- or an advance in the science of same, that I was wondering about.

One the one hand, salt ion-exchange machines have been going before I was born and are still being sold. So, no other system could work...right?

Back on the first hand, these little devices are still being sold, after many years of people trying to debunk them. They would have been hauled up before the judge of fair-play if they were a total scam....wouldn't they?

I once ported water slowly through a magnet that just hapend to have a 15mm hole through the centre. This magnet had had an exotic valve in that hole, generating radar power emf. It would pull you off your feet if you were holding it near steel closer than 4". It did absolutely nothing to the water condition (tested by boiling a given amount away and weighing the residue.) The minute pulses are supposed to work because they are...erm, pulsing.

Perhaps one of the most sarcastic articles I have ever read was in a trade magazine about these devices. They ridiculed them, yet claims are still made.

It is said that the residue forms in the bottom of the attic tank -- and is re-absorbed, thus nullifying the result. This would be easy to post filter...if it worked in the first place. Anyway, the Rivetess argues for the device based on years of sales pitch. I argue against based on a general feel for physics. I just don't believe it works, and never have done. It's just that I have to try to explain this to a ... hee hee Vegetarian.
Loose rivets is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 20:26
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 117
Bad news - good news

Bad news: The judge of fair play is probably a vegetarian.

Good news: The science proves it takes as much calcium out of your bones as it does out of the water. Or is it vice-versa? Best not to risk osteowatsit.
Rightbase is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 20:29
  #6 (permalink)  
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: On the western edge of The Moor
Age: 62
Posts: 1,099
Just move to a soft water area
west lakes is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 20:40
  #7 (permalink)  
Resident insomniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: N54 58 34 W02 01 21
Age: 74
Posts: 1,859
Then there's those 'fuel miser' devices that claim tremendous economy from a questionable process.
If such 'snake-oil' systems really worked they would be sold in major stores and merchants rather than only direct from the 'manufacturers' IMO.
G-CPTN is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 20:53
  #8 (permalink)  

Controversial, moi?
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,539
In my last house I had no room nor money to fit an ion exchange water softener (that is the type which needs salt) and I fitted the wire around the pipe attached to a box of tricks type.

It did work to a noticeable degree in that it made the build up of scale slightly less and the water felt slightly 'softer' however I came to the conclusion that it was not really worth the money or effort.

I now have an ion exchange unit which is a fine investment if you live in an area with diabolically hard water, which I do!

What I have noticed is that we no longer get lime/calcium build up in the bathrooms or kitchen but the fainter and minor deposits we do get are almost impossible to shift and do not respond to the conventional 'limescale removers'. I am guessing that the deposits are a different chemical composition due to the ion exchange and require something else entirely to dissolve and remove them.

Concentrated nitric acid perhaps?
M.Mouse is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 21:02
  #9 (permalink)  
Resident insomniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: N54 58 34 W02 01 21
Age: 74
Posts: 1,859
A UK version:- Dealing With Hard Water & Limescale

'Conventional' watersoftener:-
This means that treated water has substantially raised sodium levels. Experts advise that this water is not suitable for drinking, so an alternative source of drinking water should ideally be arranged (separate tap in kitchen). This is particularly important if you have children in the house, as they should consume even less sodium than an adult, and on no account should a baby's formula milk be made with water treated by an ion exchange water softener.
This probably means that the calcium carbonate is now sodium carbonate or maybe sodium bicarbonate . . .
G-CPTN is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 21:10
  #10 (permalink)  
Warning Toxic!
Disgusted of Tunbridge
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 4,011
The science proves it takes as much calcium out of your bones as it does out of the water.
Not a factor. You plumb the kitchen sink cold tap direct from the water supply upstream of the softener, so your drinking water is completely unsoftened. You then try to remember not to drink from the other taps. Just remember to take a glass or jug of unsoftened water up to the other taps.

I'm impressed people still think these magnetic coil 'softeners' are anything more than hot air. It shows a triumph of optimism over experience. Much cheaper, but crap I am quite sure!
Rainboe is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 21:29
  #11 (permalink)  
Resident insomniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: N54 58 34 W02 01 21
Age: 74
Posts: 1,859
The major drawback (when I contemplated fitting one in 1977) was the space required (and the location of the rising main). Considerable piping alterations would have been needed to supply bathroom and kitchen yet leaving one tap unsoftened . . .
I never considered one of the electric gizmos.
G-CPTN is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 21:38
  #12 (permalink)  
Recidivist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,239
Slightly off topic but there is a full-page advert in the local paper for a drinking water machine that provides "100% pure drinking water" out of the air!

Claimed to provide around 7ltrs a day (IIRC) with "no connections to pipework".

How does that work?
frostbite is offline  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 21:44
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Currently within the EU
Posts: 311
It's simply a de-humidifier. Re-cycles your sweat.
Sallyann1234 is online now  
Old 15th Sep 2008, 22:31
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: England
Age: 56
Posts: 238
Tried the coil device and could not tell any difference.

Installed a silliphos system 2 years ago and it really work; I have had not had to de scale the kettle in 2 years and it used need doing once every 2 months. Not sure of how or why it should work, just know that it does.
Don Coyote is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 06:07
  #15 (permalink)  
Psychophysiological entity
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 79
Posts: 4,485
Strange thing is, when I got my house in Essex, it had a vast plumbing system that circulated all the time the water was being heated. While setting about this uneconomical state of affairs, I was horrified to see that some pipes were very silted up. The house was only 8 years old.


Long story short, I got an old Permutitt from the local adds for 60 quid and installed it in an outbuilding. After installing this, and several intentional boil-ups, I got bucket loads of (curved shaped bits) of calcium out of the bath taps. Within five years all the pipes were clean as a whistle inside. ( you know these things when you're always messing with the plumbing.) When I scrapped a washing machine after nearly 20 years, it was like new inside.


Strangely, I used to drink the water (post filtered, but that wouldn't have taken any salt out) It was beautiful. Mind you, I used a LOT of salt in those days so perhaps I didn't taste it, but my hair was very 'fluid' after showering.


For some reason, I shelled out on a new machine. It was supposed to be commercial size and a goodun, but the water was terrible. My hair was worse that after swimming in the sea. That was the quick test. The boiling thing was to back up what became an unpleasant argument with the vendor. He caved in at the mention of Small Claims court.


This is when I experimented with other ideas, but I never shelled out on one of the pulsing gizmos. By the sound of it, I'm glad I didn't. Nothing worked. Having just spent some time in the lake district, I'm reminded just how lovely soft water is. The house was cut into a hill and had a well that was at the back door. Coming home pi$$ed was a challenge, as they hadn't covered it very well yet.


Anyway. Here I am back in Texas, and drinking rock. Flavorsome, but never the less, hard enough to set me in stone in five years. So, does drinking hard water cause kidney stones? That's my next thought. Just where does all that rock go to. BTW, I'm of the opinion that the only way to keep fittings and tiles nice is to dry them every time. Sounds difficult, but with some of these cheap towels that are available now, I wipe things dry as a matter of habit.

Timing it out, it probably gives a net saving of time over the years. Sheeesh I'm rambling tonight. Met a lovely neighbor in a store a while back, she's really nice. When I saw her backing away with eyes staring, I realized that I'd been talking about plumbing practically the whole conversation. That's really sad how age creeps up on one.

Last edited by Loose rivets; 16th Sep 2008 at 06:22.
Loose rivets is online now  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 07:01
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Heart
Posts: 812
Has no one tried rain water harvesting?

That should do wonders for your machines and toilets.
Miserlou is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 08:34
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Swindon, Wilts,UK
Posts: 563
fish

As for toilets in lieu of fitting a water softener I recycle the Siliphos crystals. After they've done a stint in the Combimate they go into a plastic milk bottle with holes punched in it positioned under the ballvalve silencer pipe. It's taken a while but I no longer have scale under my rim any more.
For drinking I've fitted an industrial Liff filter unit which takes a dual cartrige activated carbon and wound polymer partical filter. It's not as good as Teifi pools water but a damn sight better than it arrives from Thames Water.
Eventually I'll replumb and fit a softener but till then.
Windy Militant is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 10:16
  #18 (permalink)  
Tabs please !
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Biffins Bridge
Posts: 702
Slightly off topic but there is a full-page advert in the local paper for a drinking water machine that provides "100% pure drinking water" out of the air!

Claimed to provide around 7ltrs a day (IIRC) with "no connections to pipework".
I have a bucket in the garden that does just that. I don't fancy a condenser in the house that liquifies stale breath, sweat and farts
B Fraser is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 10:17
  #19 (permalink)  
Warning Toxic!
Disgusted of Tunbridge
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 4,011
And don't think you can get away with it drinking bottled water. Apart from being outrageously extravagant, it is not healthy. Too much calcium (kidney stones apparently), and banned for babies bottles.

I have found tap water smells and tastes foul. the answer is to use a fridge water filter- those Brita things do the job well and cheaply, removing all smell and taste, and out of the fridge- lovely! You will enjoy water all over again- it is the best drink!
Rainboe is offline  
Old 16th Sep 2008, 12:14
  #20 (permalink)  
Recidivist
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Essex, UK
Posts: 1,239
If you want smelly water, just boil the same water in your kettle more than once - gets really sulphurous!
frostbite is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.