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Water Softeners - Costing More Than You Think

Updated on December 27, 2009

I know many people that simply can't live without their water softener because of their dry skin problems.  This is, by far, the most widely used comfort appliance ever sold.  That being said, they can be extremely inefficient and that of course costs you money.  Let's break it down:

Timed Water Softeners

These water softeners cycle the water from inside the tank and replace it with new water 1-2 times per week.  The timer is set either by you or a water treatment technician.  No matter what, that cycle happens the same days every week, whether it needs to or not.  This is where the inefficiency comes in.  If the water in the softener has been cycled out already, why do I need to have it cycled again?  The answer; you don't.  This is simply a low maintenance way of having the softener take care of itself for you.  However, these softeners can waste about 30-80 gallons of water every time they cycle.  This is 10950 gallons a year on the low side!

Demand Water Softeners

These water softeners work smarter, not harder.  Some manufacturers boast 10 times less water waste.  That is incredible!  Keep in mind that this figure will vary dramatically by household and could be as little as 2 times less water with a family of 4 or 5. 

This water softener simply senses when the water should be cycled and cycles it through when the unit demand controller calls for it.  This is a similar concept to the tankless water heater.  However, a demand water softener still needs a tank as the water needs to be able to mix with the sodium for a minimal amount of time.

So if your water bill seems a bit high these days, it may be time to replace that old timed softener with a demand unit.  Comfort and energy savings.  Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?


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