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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
ANTI SCALD VALVES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHEMICAL ODOR SOURCES
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
FAUCETS & CONTROLS, KITCHEN & BATH
FAUCETS, OUTDOOR HOSE BIBBS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD IN DRINKING WATER, HOW to REDUCE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
PIPING IN BUILDINGS, Clogs Leaks Types
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
PLUMBING NOISE CONTROL
PLUMBING VENT DEFINITIONS & CODES
PLUMBING VENT DEFECTS & NOISES
PUMPS USED in BUILDINGS
PUMPS, WATER REPAIR
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVES - TP Valves on Boilers
RELIEF VALVES - STEAM TP VALVES
RELIEF VALVES - Water Heaters
RELIEF VALVES - Water Tanks
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
METHANE GAS HAZARDS
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMPS & TANKS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SOURCE ALTERNATIVES
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE, WELL PUMP
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Water Softener Salt Effects on Drinking Water & on Septic Systems - water softener salt problems: this article explains the effects (and potential damage or harm) of water softeners on septic systems.
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Salt or Water Loading of the Septic System: Will the Water Softener Salt or Water Volume Damage the Septic System?
Some septic system experts assert that salt discharged into the leach field is an important factor in shortening the life of the biomat which forms below the leach field (to treat effluent as part of the sanitizing process for septic effluent).
Certainly high levels of salt can kill septic tank or drainfield bacteria.
But a normally-operating water softener is unlikely to harm the septic system.
We start by agreeing that a malfunctioning water softener may damage a septic system in two ways:
His opinion was that in a normally-working home water softener system the level of water softener-produced salt in the septic tank was so diluted by other water flowing into the tank that in his experience it never reached a level that was harmful to septic tank bacteria.
We are not sure if this same conclusion applies to bacteria in the drainfield biomat. Gayman and others have conducted research on salts in drainfield soils and their role in drainfield life.
More details about salt in wastewater are at WASTEWATER BIOCOMPATIBILITY.
Normally water softener water volume should not be a problem for the septic system.
See REDUCE IMPACT of SOFTENER on SEPTIC and then be sure to read
SOFTENER ADJUSTMENT & CONTROLS to be sure that your water softener is operating properly.
Water Softener Maintenance Tip: Should You Use Potassium Chloride (KCL) ?
Some water softener manufacturers such as for the Sears Kenmore electronic water softener recommend using potassium chloride "salt" (KCL) instead of standard sodium chloride (NaCL) which is standard or ordinary salt. and remark that potassium chloride salt will give longer equipment life and will permit lower hardness settings on the water softener control.
Kenmore explains that if you are not using KCL in their water softener you might need to increase the equipment's hardness settings by 25%:
Watch out: Sears-Kenmore warns:
Reader Question: slimy scum water softener problems along with septic system failure - due to water softener?
Since I installed my water softner, I've noticed a few changes.
I suggest following the procedures at SOFTENER CLEANING & SANITIZING, followed by a test of your water supply (ahead of the water softener) for contaminants. It also sounds as if you have two problems: unsanitary water in the home and a failing septic system.
A relationship between the water softener & septic could be that the softener's regen cycle is flooding the septic system tank & fields, but a puddle over the septic tank could be caused by other septic problems too. So also see SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR.
For more depth of understanding of the possible issues, also see REDUCE IMPACT of SOFTENER on SEPTIC
Reader Question: does a water softener let salt water into the plumbing system?
Why does softner let salt water into lines - Anonymous 5/23/12
Reply: a review of water conditioners & salt effects
(See SALT OR WATER INTO SEPTIC and also REDUCE IMPACT of SOFTENER on SEPTIC).
Details are at HEALTH RISKS & WATER SOFTENERS.
Effects of Water Hardness or Softness on Plumbing & Heating Equipment, Heating Boilers, Water Heaters, Tankless Coils
Effects Hard Water (high in mineral content) on Building Piping, Water Heaters, Heating Boilers, Tankless Coils
The effects of water that is too high in mineral content are widely understood to lead to mineral deposits in building plumbing systems and heating equipment.
The percipitation of minerals out of hard water into or onto plumbing and heating components is generally more rapid and extreme at points of highest temperature in the system, but the effects of hard water on building mechanicals are also a function of the volume of water moving through the system. In sum, for hard water, the effects on building piping, heating equipment, water heaters, and tankless coils is a function of
Tankless coils used on heating boilers to product domestic hot water are particularly prone to clogging from minerals in hard water, as we discuss in detail atClogged Pipes / Tankless Coil De-Scale
Hydronic heating boilers themselves are less affected by hard water because except in the case of chronic leakage, the water placed into a hydronic heating boiler system is static - we are not normally constantly introducing new water and more minerals. However water chemistry is nevertheless important in some heating system applications, and special additives may be used to protect the system. Discuss this quesiton with your heating service company.
Steam boilers, unlike hydronic heating boilers, may indeed suffer from high mineral content in hard water, as new or makeup water is regularly requried and added (manually or by an automatic fill valve) in steam heating boiler systems. And as we just cited, water chemistry is nevertheless important in some heating system applications, and special additives may be used to protect the steam heating system.
Effects of Soft Water (very low in mineral content) on Water Heaters & Heating Boilers
Lochinvar® LLC, a producer of high efficiency boilers, water heaters, and pool heaters, has produced an interesting technical bulletin that warns installers and building owners about special considerations when their equipment (and most likely that of other manufacturers when the heat exchanger is made of copper) is installed in buildings served by a water softener.  Quoting:
The company's technical bulletin includes a table that relates heater BTU Input Rates (between 90,000 & 500,000 BTUH), and Delta T at 0-7 grains of hardness compared with Delta T at 8-25 frains of hardness. We note that the higher the BTUH firing rate of the heating equipment, the higher is the required Delta T (temperature rise). For example,
So you can see there is a significant change in temperature requirements for high-BTUH equipment.
Extensive quotation & technical review requested of Lochinar 12/15/12
Continue reading at REDUCE IMPACT of SOFTENER on SEPTIC or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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SALT / SOFT WATER IMPACT on SEPTIC, PLUMBING, HEATERS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.
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