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Old 01-16-2022, 11:52 AM   #1
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Potable Water Softener

I recently spent a month and a half in Old Town, FL (Yellow Jacket RV Resort - great place!) and, although I knew the water was hard at this particular location, it was really driven home when I washed the coach.
I spent the next 2 days polishing out the water spots. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Wax 3-in-1 Detailer worked pretty good for this but still, that's 2 days of activity that I could have done without!

Inside the coach, I had the expected mineral build ups on the dishwasher and plumbing fixtures and I used vinegar to remove them.

I don't plan to be back in Florida for a year or so I've got some time to shop around - the question is - who's got a recommendation for a portable water softener? Are there other regions of the country that have particularly hard water that I should be aware of? (Yellow jacket is on a private well - not municipal water).
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:14 PM   #2
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All of the portable water softeners are basically the same. They all run water over resin beads. Size is about the only difference. You do want one that uses table salt for regeneration. The old style that you had to make a salt slurry are a real pain to regenerate. I have the original On the Go as they were the first on the market. I have the single and it is now 19 years old and still working great. I did have to change the resin beads as they aged out, but the softener is still doing the job.
If you move a lot, the single is easier to handle. If you stay in one spot for long lengths of time, the double for less regenerations.


It's not just FL water, the entire SW has terrible water as well. Also RV parks with well water often have very high mineral content. I connect my softener on every stop. It really saves the plumbing, especially toilet valves. Hard water will destroy those in no time, as well as faucet cartridges.
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Old 01-16-2022, 12:41 PM   #3
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Chuck has pretty much explained the solution.

I've been happy with this one: https://www.portablewatersoftener.co...TG4-VM-DBLSOFT

One other aspect of water treatment that a softener doesn't completely solve, that you made reference to, is water spotting following washing.

Here's an excerpt from this website (https://www.portablewatersoftener.co...-and-deionizer) that explains the difference between a water softener and a de-ionizer:
__________________________________
Our water softeners produce high quality soft water, and they remove harmful minerals like calcium, magnesium, lime, and iron that make water hard. By removing these minerals, buildup in pipes, on fixtures, and in your RV water heater is eliminated. Removing these minerals also improves the taste of your water, and helps eliminate odors. However, there are still some remaining minerals in your water, as water softeners do not remove all the dissolved solids from water; some of our customers use the water softener for washing because it can reduce spotting, but it will not be spot free. Finally, a softener uses simple table salt to regenerate the resin.

Our deionizer (DI) systems remove all the dissolved solids and produce laboratory-grade water for a spot free rinse. The process takes out all of the solids in the water, so there is no nutritional value and the water can have a different taste and smell. DI water is also more expensive than regular water. Our deionizers use new virgin (not regenerated) resin. This resin cannot be regenerated like our water softeners. The total dissolved solids (TDS) and model/resins determine around how many gallons of water your DI can produce. DI water is used in the process of making whiskey, tooling, laboratory testing, manufacturing, car/solar panel washing, and food safety testing, to name a few, as these applications need more than a simple water softener.
__________________________________

If you're washing vehicles or distilling spirits, you might want to invest in a de-ionier rather than a water softener.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:12 PM   #4
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I also use an OTG softener. Super easy to hook up, recharge and backwash. They recommend a 5mic carbon filter pre softener. I use a 3 filter combo all before the softener
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Old 01-16-2022, 06:36 PM   #5
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Been using the smaller OTG filter for a year and a half. Takes one box of salt to regenerate - 50 cents or so at Walmart.

When we bought our rig there was quite a bit of evidence that it had spent time in the Southwest. Tempering valve was almost completely plugged with scale. The filter doesn't completely eliminate the minerals but greatly reduces them. I'd get even less if I regenerated more often.
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Old 01-17-2022, 05:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
All of the portable water softeners are basically the same. They all run water over resin beads. Size is about the only difference. You do want one that uses table salt for regeneration. The old style that you had to make a salt slurry are a real pain to regenerate. I have the original On the Go as they were the first on the market. I have the single and it is now 19 years old and still working great. I did have to change the resin beads as they aged out, but the softener is still doing the job.
If you move a lot, the single is easier to handle. If you stay in one spot for long lengths of time, the double for less regenerations.


It's not just FL water, the entire SW has terrible water as well. Also RV parks with well water often have very high mineral content. I connect my softener on every stop. It really saves the plumbing, especially toilet valves. Hard water will destroy those in no time, as well as faucet cartridges.
This has been on our TODO list for some time now. We are in FL now for the season and we feel the single will be fine for us.

Are there any other accessories we may need for this?

Thanks.
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Old 01-17-2022, 05:35 AM   #7
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I use Softcell water softener. Softcellwater.com.

We spend the winter in Florida and the summer in Northern Minnesota. Both places have exceptionally hard water. Northern Minnesota also has high concentrations of iron. My Softcell handles all of it. Excellent company to work with and, an excellent product.
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Old 01-17-2022, 06:20 AM   #8
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Most water softeners are built upright design, and they are heavy to lift. I purchased a Marine water softener which is designed horizontally and it fits in my RV easier than an upright one would. Other than that, they are all about the same for water softening.
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Old 01-17-2022, 06:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyAnn View Post
This has been on our TODO list for some time now. We are in FL now for the season and we feel the single will be fine for us.

Are there any other accessories we may need for this?

Thanks.
I do have a sediment filter before the softener. It really prolongs the life of the resin. If I was doing it again, use the clear canister to be able to view the filter. I had one filter get plugged in 2 days with rust from well water in Colorado, we left 4 days early after seeing that.

Also all of my fittings including the hose from the MH are on Harbor Freight brass quick connects. https://www.harborfreight.com/garden...-pc-62615.html
I have since put a new handle on the old softener. That one had seen a lot of use.
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Old 01-17-2022, 06:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
I do have a sediment filter before the softener. It really prolongs the life of the resin. If I was doing it again, use the clear canister to be able to view the filter. I had one filter get plugged in 2 days with rust from well water in Colorado, we left 4 days early after seeing that.

Also all of my fittings including the hose from the MH are on Harbor Freight brass quick connects. https://www.harborfreight.com/garden...-pc-62615.html
I have since put a new handle on the old softener. That one had seen a lot of use.
I like the idea of the hose quick connects.

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2022, 06:52 AM   #11
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I like the idea of the hose quick connects.

Thanks!

Thanks, I have a large 1/2 "Y" hose connection that goes on the campground faucet. Make sure it is not the small everyday Y connection. I only see the large ones in the spring at the box stores. Both of the hose ends of the "Y" have quick connects in them. All of my other hoses etc. all have quick connects on them as well. Makes it easy to bypass the water softener to back flush the black tank or connect my pressure washer hose on the second "Y" port.
I also carry a spare pack of quick connects. If I add anything water related to the MH a disconnect is attached. Also if a disconnect starts to leak, it is quickly replaced.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:01 AM   #12
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I found the On-The-Go Double (16,000 Gallon) works great and prevent scale buildup on the shower walls, faucets, and clothes come out fresher. I do however refill with fresh resin each year ($64 on Amazon) rather than using salt. I think we find the resin works a bit better but that is our opinion.

For De-ionized, Simple Chuck is a great solution that is quick and easy. I would recommend dual water filters feeding the DI which will prolong the life of the cartridges. I wash cars, RV and windows and its nice not to have water spots.

Trying to decide on a Berkey Water Filter .... anyone use one of these? I hate plastic bottles.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cr8havoc View Post

For De-ionized, Simple Chuck is a great solution that is quick and easy. I would recommend dual water filters feeding the DI which will prolong the life of the cartridges. I wash cars, RV and windows and its nice not to have water spots.

Trying to decide on a Berkey Water Filter .... anyone use one of these? I hate plastic bottles.

Thank you for the compliment. Here is the link for building your own, small, easy to carry DI unit for those that are interested. The links are outdated, but the names are the same to re-Google. Read the entire post as there were some nice updates submitted by other. https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/if-...it-339615.html
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cr8havoc View Post
I found the On-The-Go Double (16,000 Gallon) works great and prevent scale buildup on the shower walls, faucets, and clothes come out fresher. I do however refill with fresh resin each year ($64 on Amazon) rather than using salt. I think we find the resin works a bit better but that is our opinion.

For De-ionized, Simple Chuck is a great solution that is quick and easy. I would recommend dual water filters feeding the DI which will prolong the life of the cartridges. I wash cars, RV and windows and its nice not to have water spots.

Trying to decide on a Berkey Water Filter .... anyone use one of these? I hate plastic bottles.
I am considering the smaller version due to space considerations, for normal full time use how often would you estimate I would have to recharge it? BTW the Berkey is great we use it for all cooking/ drinking water has traveled with us for 10 years.
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