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Water Softener

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:30 am
by SKM23435
About to have a water softener fitted at home. We live in SE England so the native water is very hard.
I was just wondering if anyone had been given ant advice on water softeners and kidneys (I'm transplanted). I understand that natural soft water is different to softened water, as water is artificially softened using salt (sodium).

Re: Water Softener

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:20 pm
by Soobee
Hi,

When we looked into water softeners (and UV filters as we have a well for our water supply) I was told that no one is supposed to drink softened water, they usually put the water softener after your kitchen sink cold inlet to give you a cold 'unsoftened' drinking water tap and then you are advised not to drink water from the other cold taps in the house eg bathroom cold tap.
The other option is a third tap on your kitchen sink for cold unsoftened water (which my Granny had in the 90's when she had her water softener installed....

Re: Water Softener

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:44 pm
by wagolynn
Hi Soobee,

As I understand the problem.

The cheapest water softening system use an ion exchange resin, the resin eventually stops working and is restored by flushing with a brine (salt) solution.
A small amount of this brine solution tends to remain in the resin granules, and gets carried over into the water passing through the resin system, and therefore into the softened water output.
The resulting high sodium content of the water will cause high blood pressure.
The high blood pressure will tend to injure kidneys.

Another thought is, if your water comes from a well you probably have a septic tank for disposal of human waste, and waste water.
As this is a biological process it will stop working if it is subject to large amounts of brine solution.

I think, though I have not had time to confirm this, there is something called the blue baby syndrome, which is caused by soft water.

Drinking water softened in that way appears to be very risky.

There are some ceramic filters that claim to filter the calcium carbonate, and bacteria out of the water but I would expect the running costs to be high in terms of replacing the ceramic filter elements.

Re: Water Softener

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:20 am
by Dixie1
Hi SKM23435 - yes, softened water is different to soft water and you definitely can't drink it (transplant or not). We had one at our last house (also SE England). It was brilliant in terms of limescale in showers and the need to use less shampoo/detergents etc etc, but you couldn't drink it as it is softened by using salt. We had a separate drinking water supply, which came straight off the mains, in the kitchen.