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It's a whole new generation of equipment.
Old 11-08-2004, 06:19 AM   #61
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It's a whole new generation of equipment.

Hey, Telly, gimme a break. I spent two decades with submarines and valves are my life (such as it is). Because of that heritage, my spouse is one of the few on earth who's been dragged on sightseeing tours through every plumbing specialty store on Oahu.

Modern conditioners are largely a standard design and, even though it's only been 15 years, your experiences are reminiscent of driving a Model T. Most conditioners even use the same timer valve, although the evolution from analog to digital may spread that out again. The overflow drain is standard, too; you should've applied for a patent on it. If you still could find a place in your home for a simple, reliable water conditioner then it might be time for a stroll through your local Home Depot or Sears.

Ours have bypass valves outside the entire system. The entire conditioner (timer & controller valves included) can be disconnected and carted away for work, leaving the bypass manifold in with the piping. But again I haven't had to work on either conditioner for seven/two years, and checking injector screens can be done in place with a small screwdriver. (Not that I've found anything in the screens to make it worth the effort, either.)

I never fill a tub full of salt since it'd have to be removed in the event that the system had to be moved for repairs (as TH has reminded the board). A 40-lb bag gives us about four-six weeks (depending on usage). While your block salt may have been cheaper, it sounds like it was dirtier. The Morton stuff leaves little enough residue that I haven't had to clean a tank in at least four years. And the Iron-out is included in one variety. At $5 a month Morton's not high enough on my radar screen to care.

I can't taste anything in conditioned water-- certainly not salt-- but I can sure taste the sulfur & chlorine in some Mainland locations. And I'll only drink bottled water in Central/Gulf Florida, especially after seeing what it does to glass coffeepots. But perhaps the cancers in that branch of my family are due to other lifestyle choices.

The submarine force spends far more taxpayer dollars on monitoring & maintenance (and premature replacement) than on actual repairs. Considering how much it costs to train & maintain the submariners themselves, I guess that's a good investment. Of course every valve in our house is in my small-valve maintenance program, including annual cycling & grooming (WTE of overpressure reliefs). My spouse claims that it's cheaper to indulge me than it would be for the psychiatrist's expenses. It saves a lot on sprinker repairs, too...


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Re: Working Wives & Retirement
Old 11-09-2004, 06:49 AM   #62
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Re: Working Wives & Retirement

I grew up with hard water. That was just the way it was! It was later that we got into the water softener thing, the first house we bought had one. Pulled old pipes out of houses back there, galvanized pipes had just a narrow water path down the center. They had become lime-lined over the years!

Here surface water is the source, rather than wells into limestone, so water softeners are extremely rare. In fact, I only know of one person who has one. He wasn't up to putting one in himself, and he had a tough time finding anyone that sold/installed them, since there is no demand. He wanted one because he always had one in another state. With slab on grade construction here, I wouldn't want to think about how to get access to the waterline at the right point.

since the topic of the original post many pages back was "Working Wives & Retirement", shouldn't your wife be the one to exercise all those valves per your maintenance schedule?

I've seen (elsewhere!) that water softeners have become packaged differently. Rather than plumbing equipment with a welding-tank look like they used to be. But underneath, I think the basic process is the still the same. Still have to have valves either mechanically or electrically activated.

Many years ago I remember at a house next door back there the Culligan Man bumping a resin tank carrier up and down their basement stairs. "Hey Culligan Man!"

-- Telly, the D-I-Y guy --
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