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Hard or soft: what water to feed into Hydronic heating system
I'm currently installing a simple hydronic system at my house, using steel panel rads, Lochinvar WHN055 gas boiler, Grundfos Alpha 15-55 ECM pump, and copper piping. Using a direct feed (no hydraulic separation). No indirect DHW tank (since I have a separate Rinai RC98i tankless solely for that purpose).
My water is quite hard in my area (24 grains) and I have a brand new water softener delivering water for washing and the tankless water heater.
I also have a separate water line for drinking water, which is connected to an activated carbon filter device (backwashable, warrantied for 5 years) - to filter out the chloramine.
We haven't installed yet the water feed line for the Lochinvar.
Now, I have a big dilemma: which is the least worse water line to connect:
(1) Un-softened, with high limestone content, but not salty and without chloramine.
(2) Or softened water, but potentially a bit salty due to water softener's principle of operation (resin bed propagating a bit of salt in the water).
With option #2, I'm basically concerned that some salt concentration in the water may shorten the life of the steel panel radiators, rusting them on inside?
So, the dilemma is: limestone precipitates inside the hydraulic circuit, gaskets and thermostatic valves vs. salt in rads?