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Water softener for hot only??

JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,315
Would there be any issue to install a water softener to feed the hot water heater tank only?  So we would have "hard" cold and soft hot at all fixtures. Don't want to redo 5 wall hydrants.  Water is actually very good but if Mother is happy everyone is happy and Christmas shopping is done.  Existing 120 gal tank is 20 years old fed by heat exchanger FM mod-con boiler.  This would be only the maybe the second softener in town.  40 to 50 year old water heaters are not uncommon here.  Any suprises down the road that anyone can think of??  Thank you for all input.


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Water Softners:

    Have you had your water analyzed? How many GPG (Grains per gallon) do you have? What is the PH of the water?

    It is MY experience that if you don't REALLY need one, you're better off without one.

    Any water filtration device proves the axiom of "The Unintended Consequences". That "No good deed goes unpunished".

    If the PH is low, you will have to correct it.

    If Iron is your problem, it won't solve it entirely. The added sodium can increase the conductivity of your water.

    A water treatment salesperson can promise you the moon and all the cream cheese you can spread in your lifetime. It won't include the multitude of bagels you need to buy.

    Get the water tested.

    Why do you think you need one?
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    edited December 2013
    Yes you can

    If like ice said you think you need one. My water is 28 grains very hard. I only did the hot water. Some do an outside spigot to wash cars, but don't water your yard or plants with that spigot.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,784
    If you do this...

    ... then be sure to check the anode in your tank more often.  I'd check it when you add softening and again in six months to see how fast the anode is being used up.

    Yours,  Larry
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,315
    5 Grains

    Yes, 5 grains here.  I am the plumber (+35 years), the salesman and perpetual caretaker for this unit.  This will be the 4th softener that I know of in town on this city water system. This is the Christmas present for the wife.  We do have the DW spotting glass ware and some mineral build up on plumbing fixtures.  I will make a point to check the anode rods or maybe a smaller tank is in the future anyway.  120 gallons is a lot for just 2 people.  Hopefully shopping is done for me.  We are blessed with The Ogalala aquifer under the Sand hills.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Five grains

    I would expect long-lived water heaters from that, unless there were other issues with the chemistry.  Our well in Reno had 8.5 grains; we added a softener to reduce the iron staining (4.7 ppm there.)  If you do have small amounts of iron, a cup or two of anhydrous citric acid in the brine tank every six months or so will help keep the resin clean.
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,315
    Thanks for all input!

    The really old water heater tanks here (30-40 years) started to leak when the water company installed meters with back flow preventors.  Expansion was no longer available into the service line anymore and for the lone senior resident who didn't use much water their ancient tanks would give up.  It was for the better as most had bad or no PRV.  So Santa is on his way!! Thanks and Merry Christmas!
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