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Thread: whole house water conditioner

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    yzf600's Avatar
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    whole house water conditioner

    I'm wanting to condition/soften the water going into my house, including the pool feed line. I was thinking about getting a water conditioner like the pelican or apex system. These systems don't remove calcium by ion replacement, but have some sort of catalyst that causes the calcium to crystallize slightly in the water. These crystals prevent a lot of scaling issues by easily washing away.

    Does anyone have one of these on their pool fill line? I'm curious if the crystals are large enough to get caught by a DE filter. DE filters claim to filter 2-5 micron and above particles. I can't find any info on what size particles these "TIC" systems produce.

    These systems are about 3x the price of a salt water softener, but I like them for the lack of the regeneration cycles (and the lack of sodium in the water). I could convince myself to get one if it can help keep my pool's calcium levels low from fill water. If not, the premium is hard to get over.
    15k gallon, salt water, plaster, Pentair IntelliFlo pump, Hayward 48 sq ft DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor, hayward Aquanat 200 pool vac ultra located in Phoenix, AZ

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    I'm sorry I can't answer this thoroughly right now as I am not familiar with that product. I know there are similar systems I've heard of that make outrageous claims. What I can tell you to look at now is what kind of capacity can they handle. How hard is your water, and how much makeup demand your pool will have? In addition to your home as you mention. I'm guessing in AZ, you have very hard water. Post back with your numbers, and I will look at this later and give you an opinion if you care to hear it. It is most likely that they won't have a unit that can accommodate such use (if it works) and be affordable...or reasonable in cost terms.
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    yzf600's Avatar
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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    These systems seem fairly legitimate. Arizona State did a study on several systems. The Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC/TIC) performed the best. They sell systems that can do 10-15 Gallons per minute. That ought to be more than enough to handle my house + pool.

    That study shows the hardness of the water around here. It's 10-17 "grains".

    Seems like manufacturers are charging a premium on them, though. I can get a nice salt system with electronic meter and brine tank for around $500. The tank alone (without Crystallization medium) for the salt-free systems is 2x the price of an entire salt system. Seems to me that the water tank for a salt-free system should not cost that much more than a salt system.

    I would like to help reduce the sodium that goes into the effluent water. I guess I just have to figure out if that is worth the 3x price.
    15k gallon, salt water, plaster, Pentair IntelliFlo pump, Hayward 48 sq ft DE filter, Pentair Intellichlor, hayward Aquanat 200 pool vac ultra located in Phoenix, AZ

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    Ok, assuming they do work, what level of hardness can they "soften" at 15 GPM? Or more importantly, your hardness level. You need to see what it is before you buy either unit, so that you buy plenty of capacity.

    If you have only 17 grains, there is no need to have it supply your pool.
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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    The source water in the study used city water, ranging from 180-250 mg/L, which is typical for out here. The TAC coils look amazing. We're having a pool built now, and I'm considering this over salt as well.

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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeChris View Post
    The source water in the study used city water, ranging from 180-250 mg/L, which is typical for out here. The TAC coils look amazing. We're having a pool built now, and I'm considering this over salt as well.
    We have the water guy coming tonight, so I'll report what he says. The pool building superintendent said not to use soft water because it will leech calcium out of the pebbletec. However, I'm not sure that applies to TAC systems; the super wasn't familiar with that technology.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: whole house water conditioner

    Using softened water to top off will not leach calcium out of the pool is the CH level in the pool water is already in the acceptable range. The softened water will just slow down the rate of CH climb.
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