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Home Water Conditioning, the Next Generation – Part One

I’m excited to document our journey to cleaner water in the family household.

We live on well water. Fortunately, the water quality is decent–but, I knew it could be better! Skipping to the final setup for a moment…

New Water Filtration System Fully Installed

We had three basic issues: Slight iron content, decently hard water, and the occasional sediment.

Sediment is easy to solve with a filter or two. Iron is more complicated and could use its own write-up. Iron was only slight so we felt we didn’t need the full iron removal system–the type of iron we have (ferric iron) can be solved with a special iron filter. Lastly, the water hardness…

I like the feel of hard-water and the taste of hard-water. But, not the scale / lime deposits that form around all of our fixtures.

Our solution? We added a Poly Salt Free Water Softener to our whole-house water filtration system: https://www.filterwaterdirect.com/products/poly-salt-free-water-softener

While it does not soften water in the traditional sense, this unit does preserve the beneficial minerals by suspending calcium in the water, no more crusty faucets and aerators due scale build-up.

A salt-based softener (ion exchange) will remove the calcium carbonate, but the chloride from the process remains. Not to mention the physical task of carrying 40 pound bags of salt to the basement on a frequent basis.

The water conditioner that we purchased uses a catalytic core and polyphosphate dosing to convert calcium carbonate into harmless aragonite. The minerals are in suspension, not removed.

My research can be whittled down to two lists: environmental benefits of the Salt Free water conditioner and the reasons I selected this model.

Environmental Benefits

  • Salt-free “Green” water conditioning (PolyPhosphate Crystals and Electro-Mechanical Catalytic Technology)
  • No waste water from regeneration cycle (i.e., from traditional water softeners)
  • Reduces energy consumption (i.e., not powered by electricity)
  • Minimal footprint (10” x 6.5”)
  • Low cost to run (10.5 ounce recharge kit versus 40 or 50 lbs bags of salt)

Why I choose this unit

  • Unit won’t rust (manufactured with high quality BPA-free plastics and stainless steel)
  • 30 GPM
  • 1” inlet and 1” outlet
  • Includes a 50 micron scale
  • Includes purge valve
  • Newest version allows for vertical flow installation. Though, horizontal installation is still preferred

Current Water Quality as tested by KAR Labs out of Kalamazooo, MI

Calcium : 49.2 mg/L
Iron : .20 mg/L
Lead : .02 mg/L
Sodium : 25 mg/L
Alkalinity : 268 mg/L
Bicarbonate : 267 mg/L
Carbonate : 1.26 mg/L
Chlorine : 3.7 mg/L
Nitrate / Nitrite : < .10 mg/L
Sulfate : 83 mg/L
Total dissolved solids : 430 mg/L
Hardness : 279 mg/L
pH : 7.7

 

Unboxing

There are no surprises here… The outer box is somewhat flimsy. However, box contents nicely secured and enshrined in plastic. Box contents include the unit itself, one refill of media, two brass nipples, a bracket, and instruction sheets.

Unboxing the Poly Salt Free Water Softener

I received the latest generation unit that has a cartridge versus using the loose Poly-Phosphate media. The cartridge is meant to be opened and refilled.

Installation

The provided directions were clear and the unit was an easy install… I would only highlight the embossed arrows on the device indicate flow of water (don’t install backward).

We also opted to not utilize the included bracket as the salt-free conditioner was secured on both sides by the system.

Water flows from well to the water heaters in this direction of components (via 1″ copper pipe):

  1. Pressure Tank
  2. 74 micron sediment screen pre-filter
  3. Three Big Blue 20” water filters
    1. Sediment Block (5 micron)
    2. Coconut Carbon Block
    3. Iron Reduction Cartridge
  4. Poly Salt Free Water Softener
  5. Water Heaters

Installed Water Conditioner

While probably overkill, we placed a pressure gauge between each component. In theory, this allows us to see the pressure drop across the individual filter and gives us an indicator of when it needs replacing.

Final Thoughts

So far so good!

We’ve de-scaled our faucets and shower heads, this now gives us a benchmark.

The manufacturer recommends refreshing the media every six months. We plan to update this posting following our first refill.

The full adventure can be experienced by our pictorial documentation : https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecycler/albums/72157667972591377/

 

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