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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-28-2004, 04:30 PM   #41
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

They do have 3" tablets for pools...I've seen the buckets over at sams club...50lb bucket for $71.

The usual tablets price ~ $1 per oz...these 3" tabs price out at 8c an ounce...gee...a little cheaper...

First I have to unload all these 1" tabs...
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-28-2004, 04:42 PM   #42
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

I haven't noticed a difference in the way they work, though I didn't try the 3" tabs in the toilet. I ran out as we were moving from the house with the pool.

Also, I was afraid it would eat the plastic parts.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-28-2004, 05:25 PM   #43
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Easier to replace the tank parts than to clean the damn thing
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-28-2004, 06:00 PM   #44
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Good point !!
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-28-2004, 06:29 PM   #45
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Just swish it out once a day, and have no need to do anything else unless I want to feel extrahygienic.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-29-2004, 08:18 AM   #46
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Heh, heh, heh

Back to the crap - I've used the 3" swimming pool tablets for twenty years - goes into a small lagoon and patch of Cat-tails and cane - the best crop in my end of the swamp by far. The cholrine does require replacement of the toilet innards more often though. *
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-29-2004, 03:31 PM   #47
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

In 8 years I've had to replace a $3 flapper in each of 3 toilets.

Oddly, they LOOKED fine, but leaked a little. Must have been hardened or something.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-30-2004, 08:06 AM   #48
 
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

There is an old story in my family that my dad replaced
a "$3 dollar flapper" back in the 30s.
I think that was before he met my mom

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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 10-30-2004, 08:47 AM   #49
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Groaner but a good groaner
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Remove the dirt before it enters the house.
Old 11-04-2004, 10:33 PM   #50
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Remove the dirt before it enters the house.

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned water conditioners yet.

The water supplied to our house isn't considered "hard" by any stretch of the imagination but our water conditioner saves a lot of cleaning labor. Its ion-exchange resin uses rock salt to exchange the water's calcium & magnesium ions with sodium. No more deposits on the toilet bowls, bathtubs, or shower doors. Less soap on/in everything. I swish a toilet brush once a week and don't use anything in the flush tank. Bathtubs & sinks are rinsed every use and only need cleaning once every few months.

Water conditioners used to be hard to find on the Internet and expensive to ship, but now even Home Depot carries a generic GE model. Our 2002 version cost $500 on sale at Sears and another $100 of copper pipe. Labor was free. And of course the payback in cleaning avoidance has been priceless...
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-05-2004, 06:19 AM   #51
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

"Water Conditioner" must be the new marketing name for water softener

Ahhh, I remember those days... lowering big blocks of salt into the brine tank, or hefting bags of salt pellets and pouring them in... regeneration cycles... sticking valves or timer problems... the time it overflowed...

You don't want to be drinking the high sodium content water. We put in a separate water line and added a small auxiliary faucet onto the kitchen sink to have unsoftened water available for drinking/cooking. Got that idea from my father inlaw. He did that with his well water. Also want outside water faucets to be connected pre-softener to avoid using up all your softened water, and soft water probably wouldn't have been good for trees, etc.

We get a little calcium buildup here, but nothing like where we used to live.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-05-2004, 08:03 AM   #52
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Water Conditioner THis morning i would have settled for a @!#!$%& pump that worked. OH Well. Four Hundred Dollars and four hours of hard labour later I have water again.

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Telly, it's a new millenium.
Old 11-05-2004, 09:53 AM   #53
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Telly, it's a new millenium.

Sorry, Telly, DIY is dumbed-down more than ever before. But it's still a water softener.

I've had a second one operating for seven years (still going strong) and I've never found anything in the inlet screen. Its mechanical timer has never had a cycling problem and it's never overflowed. Our newer conditioner uses an impeller and a solid-state controller, and we've had no problems for the last couple years. I don't lift salt bags anymore because we outsourced the task to our kid. (I wonder if block salt is cheaper than Morton pellets!) We can even buy iron-removing salt for about $5/month. I'm willing to pay that to skate out of toilet patrol.

"High-sodium content water". I'm not sure you or your doctor's lab technician can tell the difference. For a taste-test comparison, salt water is 35,000 PPM sodium. Human saline is about 0.9% or 9,000 PPM. U.S. Dept of Interior's "moderately-hard water" category is 60-120 ppm. Our local utility's water-quality report lists our hardness at 80 ppm and I've confirmed that with a conductivity meter. So chugging an entire liter of our water containing 80 PPM Na would be the same as imbibing 80 mg of the ion. That's only about 2.5-7% of the USDA's recommended daily "safe & adequate" limit of 1100-3300 mg and it pales in comparison to a can of Pringle's.

Some purists even connect a conditioner before their outside faucets so that they're not washing their cars in hard water. But I don't wash cars either so I don't care about that.

And I'm sure glad I don't have a well!
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-05-2004, 12:57 PM   #54
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

I routed a hot and cold "softened" water pipe to the garage and installed a sink there with a hose hookup for washing cars and other "soft water" tasks. Just took the lines from the washing machine thats in the laundry room right next to the garage. Pretty easy. That way the irrigation and outside water keeps the minerals, which are at least a little beneficial to the plants.

Sams and costco have the bags o' salt for half what you can get them for at other stores, btw. Havent seen blocks of salt, but I think you need a certain amount of surface area exposed to the water for optimum salination.

Drinking softened water does add some salt to the diet and people that must strictly limit salt should consider drinking bottled water. However, the intake is modest...one analysis I saw said that saltwise, drinking all your water from a softener every day was the equivalent of eating a slice of bread each day.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-05-2004, 01:21 PM   #55
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

I lived most of my life in Portland where the water is so soft it is bad for your teeth (until they put floride in). A few years ago we moved to Bainbridge Island. Innocent us, we did not consider the posibility that there is hard water in the northwest!

Now, today, hubby is installing a water softener (hot water heater failing so the time is right). We need salt, my research and the softner manufacturer recommends Diamond (Cargill) products. Does anyone know where the Cargill softner salt is sold? Costco, Lowes, Home Depot?
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Some is cheap and some is expensive...
Old 11-05-2004, 11:26 PM   #56
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Some is cheap and some is expensive...

... but it's all salt.

Morton sells 40-lb bags of the stuff, with big chunks or little chunks or even iron remover, for about $5. I wouldn't spend any time searching for specific brands unless you can get it cheaper than that.

And now that our local salt-stocking KMart has been sold to Sears, I'm gonna have to check our local CostCo. I haven't seen it there before but we can always ask for it!

Good move on replacing the water heater. Buy a high-efficiency model, loosen up the anode rod & wrap its threads with teflon tape, and go wild on heat traps & piping insulation. Because with the water conditioner feeding it, the water heater will last well beyond 20 years.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-06-2004, 08:23 AM   #57
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

We are buying a Polaris. It is three times the price of the others but it is more efficient, has better recovery, and much longer warranty. The replacement cost of the heater is more than the hardware, if you aren't handy you pay a plumber.

We think the reason why our current heater failed is the anode wore out. Every serious boater knows to change their zink plate periodically but I have never known of a similar discussion about water heater anodes.

Our hot water pipes are really well insulated. To increase hot water capacity during peak use periods the system has a timed circulator, also during those times I don't need to purge the line of cold to receive hot.

It appears that water softner salt is cheap enough. The softner manufacturer recommends Cargill (Diamond) products. My web-based research surfaced a former chemist at Morton who wrote that the Cargill softner salt was better. I suspect that I am seeing marginal differences so will purchase the sodium chloride product I can find.
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-06-2004, 12:28 PM   #58
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

We installed one of the tankless Bosch heaters at my wifes old house. I'm impressed with how well it works. Hot water comes up as fast as the old 40gal tank heater, and you can leave the hot on all day long and still get hot water. This is their smallest unit and since this is a 1 bath house, it suffices. I dont think you could do laundry, dishes, and take a shower all at the same time, but who does that anyhow? It was about $400 and did suffer from some installation follies, such as the flue vent needing to be 5" instead of 4", and in a different place since this unit mounts to the wall. Since we had the whole house skinned down to the rafters, it wasnt that big of a deal though.

The larger one that supplies enough for 2 or more bathrooms goes for $1000 and up. I dont think I'd have bit on that price...I might have installed two of the small ones in series, which some people have done with good results.

Regardless of the condition of the water, this unit should go for 20+ years, and each component can be replaced a la carte as it wears or breaks.
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Re: More on Water Softeners
Old 11-07-2004, 09:10 PM   #59
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Re: More on Water Softeners

Nords, back on the Water Softener topic

I've been softener-less for over 15 years now, so some of my info is dated:

Block salt was cheaper than Morton pellets. But the blocks were hard to get into the brine tank (our tank was over 4 blocks high). And letting them drop down to the bottom through the water didn't fill me with confidence that sometime the plastic tank, loaded with salt water, might burst from the dislocation. Dissolving salt blocks tended to go bump in the night as they settled. The blocks also left a bit of residue, which built up after a while requiring a take-down and cleanout. The Morton pellets were easier, quiet, and didn't seem to leave a residue.

We added something to the brine tank every couple of months for rust removal, don't remember what it was any more.

Had the timer motor die once, in the brine tank refill cycle. So the tank kept filling, and filling, and filling...

After replacing the timer motor, I added an emergency drain. I drilled a hole a few inches down from the top of the brine tank. And twisted into the hole a piece of polyethylene hose (the whitish stuff) which then lead through a hole in the floor and then outside. Filled up the tank, then tested it by putting an empty bucket into the tank, and pushing it down hard with both hands to suddenly displace a lot of water. Worst case test. With the vertical drop in the hose, it created a real fast syphon when the inlet got covered with water. Worked great. Got used once later when a valve stuck in the brine tank to resin tank movement, when water through a venturi creates suction to pull the brine out. With the stuck valve, the water went INTO the brine tank instead!

I hope you have valves in the pipes to/from the softener, and a shunt valve that you can open between them. So that you can completely isolate the softener. Some softeners have an internal valve that you can do a manual bypass with, but that doesn't help if the softener itself has a problem, or has to come out. I like separate isolation valves. I also learned that those isolation valves need to be worked every year or so, or they may seize up.

We all could taste the salt in softened water. Not only at our house, at other peoples too. yuck!
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-08-2004, 01:54 AM   #60
 
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

Soft water? I almost forgot there was such a thing.
Can't recall the last time we had it and after reading Telly's post I am more than ready to soldier on without it.

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