Advice Needed: What to get?
I live in a city, a suburb of Philadelphia, and we have municipal water that is hard. The water company says the hardness is 12-15 grains per gallon. We don't have a problem with sediment or chlorine, just with hardness. Our sinks, bathtubs, and showerheads all have ugly scale on them. So, a water softener should do the trick, right? Not so fast...
High blood pressure runs in my family, so I don't want to add more sodium to any food or drink if I can avoid it. A water softener exchanges sodium for calcium and magnesium, so a water softener would add sodium to our water. I calculated the amount of sodium that a water softener would add to our water, and it turns out to be about 100 milligrams per liter of water. The EPA recommends a sodium level of 30-60 mg/L, so we'd be about double that. That makes me hesitant to buy a water softener.
I've looked at filter systems, but reverse osmosis systems seem to be point of delivery only. Since the hardness affects the entire house (I'm afraid to think about what it's doing to our washing machine.), I'd like to get a whole-house system. What are my options for a whole-house system that reduces hardness but doesn't add too much sodium?
Your info is essentially accurate. Compare how much sodium is in a couple of slices of bread, for example. Unless you are on a strick low sodium diet, which means your meals (food intake) are monitored and checked., I wouldn't worry about the amount of sodium from you water intake--especailly if your softener is set up prpoerly at on 12 gpg.
I recommend a softener followed by an RO. This will cover all your bases and give you and your family excellent water leading to greatly improved daily life with anything dealing with water in your home, on you body and, of course what you consume.
There are both quality units and cheap ones. Do yourself a favor and don't take shortcuts when it comes to something as important as your water.
Andy Christensen, CWS-II