Water Softener

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SKM23435
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:39 pm

Water Softener

Post 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).
Started APD July 2014
On transplant and paired exchange lists.
Transplant 9/5/15
Soobee
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Re: Water Softener

Post 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....
wagolynn
Posts: 1357
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: Water Softener

Post 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.
Dixie1
Posts: 283
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Re: Water Softener

Post 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.
wagolynn
Posts: 1357
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:49 pm

Re: Water Softener

Post by wagolynn »

Starting with hard water - hard water has large amounts of calcium carbonate dissolved in it, this prevents soaps and detergents working, and where the water is heated the calcium carbonate will come out of solution, deposit on the hot surface.

Soft water - is water without the calcium carbonate dissolved in it but water that is too soft will attack any brass fittings in the plumbing.
JMan
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Lives in a slightly weird bit of Shropshire called Telford!

Re: Water Softener

Post by JMan »

You'd need to put the water through an RO & filtration as well to get pure water. A water softener

Reject water from a dialysis system is perfectly safe for drinking and irrigation. Maybe not feasible on a domestic scale, but in hospitals it makes sense.

This is one reason why most heamodialysis systems include filters, a reverse osmosis system and often a water softener.

In hospitals they will have a massive room doing all this, as opposed to a setup for home dialysis.
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