Electric water conditioners - any plumbers or engineers care to opine?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by kchacker, May 13, 2014.

  1. kchacker

    kchacker Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    Considering the engineering population floating around here, this seems like a good place to float this hot button topic (though I doubt it's cave worthy).

    I moved to Phoenix and the calcium buildup on faucets is like something I've never seen before. Yesterday I saw a "ScaleBlaster" listed as Home Depot's deal of the day and I had never heard of such a thing. It's not a water softener but is instead an alternative which they call a "water conditioner".

    It sounded appealing. I don't care if the water is actually hard or not, but the scaling on faucets was awful when we moved in and I don't know if I will be able to keep up with regularly cleaning them...it happens fast. It also makes me nervous to think of what it is doing to my pipes, my dishwasher, my water heater, etc. After some intergoogles research I couldn't pull the trigger.

    Here is what I was looking at (currently $500, was $300 yesterday):
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/ScaleBlaster-Deluxe-Electronic-Water-Conditioner-0-19-Grains-per-Gallon-SB-175/203600634

    Does the plumbing or engineering contingent have an opinion on these things?
     
  2. ruxCYtable

    ruxCYtable Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2007
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    Glad you asked this and I'm interested in seeing responses too.

    Had some plumbing done recently and he suggested one of these systems. I live in Marion which has notoriously hard water. We have a softener but it doesn't get rid of the calcium deposits and rust stains. He said a water conditioning system would, but it was going to cost like $1800.
     
  3. kchacker

    kchacker Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    I'm plumbed for a water softener already but there isn't one here. I believe both an electric conditioner and a softener can be run in tandem as well, and the install for the conditioner looks pretty simple. I see the condition was a Home Depot deal of the day in April as well so keeping an eye on it may reveal a cheap solution.

    Doing some research made me skeptical...I want it to work, but that doesn't mean it does. Considering Home Depot's return policy is so good and the simple install, I may give it a try anyway.
     
  4. 00clone

    00clone Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2011
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    If you are getting scale on your faucets and you don't have a water softener...step 1 is to get a water softener. Whether or not the other thing works, water softeners do remove scale.
     
  5. kchacker

    kchacker Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    I'll probably end up there, but we just bought the house and are evaluating our options. $300 with little maintenance seems like a more appealing option than $700-1100 and spending money on salt or chemicals every 3-6 months. Even if I bought the conditioner and it worked but the water still had too hard of a feel and I ended up putting in a softener as well, I wouldn't be disappointed.
     
  6. kchacker

    kchacker Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    Surprised this thread isn't getting more traction. Reading what the engineers and plumbers on other sites had to say was...well, intense.
     
  7. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    I don't miss Marion's hard water. CR does not have the issue so why Marion?
     
  8. cyclone618

    cyclone618 Member

    Feb 3, 2011
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    As a chemical engineer (ISU, 1984) experienced in water treatment, my advice is to not buy the water conditioner. It will not take care of your problem. A properly working water softener should take care of it and you can buy one for less than $500 if you put it in yourself. Annual salt cost should be $50 or less for normal water usage and quality.
     
  9. Swanson10

    Swanson10 Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2008
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    Regardless of what you have read, installing a softener prior to see how much that helps is the better idea. I am not very familiar with conditioners, but a softener will be beneficial to your home regardless of the conditioner. Prolongs the life of many things and should be your first move.
     

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