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Old 03-12-2023, 05:51 PM   #1
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Water Softeners and Pre-Filter configurations

I did a search on water softeners, but I didn't find any threads or posts. In our old coach, we had an RO System from the RV Water Filter Store. When it worked, the water we had on the coach was almost completely free of particulates to the point where the shower never spotted. Unfortunately, we don't have room for such a system on our new coach, but I think there might be adequate space for a water softener and pre-filter configuration. Does anyone have experience with water softeners and pre-filters that they would be willing to share? While I have lots of questions I guess the 3 most important ones are,
1. What components do you have?
2. How well does the system work to provide clean, safe water even in the worst of situations? Put another way, how free is the water of harmful contaminants and particulates?
3. How easy/difficult is it to maintain, primarily servicing the water softener?

We are going to Newfoundland this summer and I have read that the water there is pretty hard. And, next year we are heading out west to visit campgrounds in the 4 "corner" states and from all I have read the water there is really hard.

Thank you for any information you might be willing to share and/or please let me know if there are already threads that have addressed this topic.

Regards,
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Old 03-12-2023, 06:10 PM   #2
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I use this:

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available here: https://www.homedepot.com/p/PRO-AQUA...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

as a pre-filter before an:
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On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener

One benefit of the ProAqua pre-filter is that it makes the necessary regeneration of the water softener easier.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 03-12-2023, 06:13 PM   #3
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We use a Clear Source Ultra filter ahead of an OnTheGo double softener. Very hard water in the 4 corners area , and this setup did a good job. The softener does have to be flushed to recharge the media bed , more often the harder the water. It would be fairly simple and cheaper to build the filter , but theirs come in a nice framed package.
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Old 03-12-2023, 06:22 PM   #4
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Your Ventana should have a large filter in the water bay. On my Dutch Star with a filter in the water bay, I added an On The Go water softener, the same one noted in Post #2. They're heavy and with a bad back, I knew I it would soon get old taking it in and out of the coach. I didn't order a tray in the pass thru bay when we ordered our coach, so I mounted the water softener in the driver's side of the pass thru bay and plumbed it back to the water bay, after the filter.

The photo is before I added a large pie pan under it in case it leaked. I plumbed it with quick connects and can slide it out and service it. We've had a water softener at our house for 40 years, but never one in the coach. However, we were getting a lot of scale on all the faucets and finally gave in.

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Old 03-12-2023, 06:39 PM   #5
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OWV-

Our setup, since sold or given away, worked well. Components listed below, except for hoses.

Outside the coach, starting at hose bibb:
Adjustable regulator set to 65 psi
10-inch filter sump with 30-micron sediment filter
On-the-Go Double water softener

In the coach (wet bay):
Fixed regulator (Fairview), 55 psi
10-inch filter sump with 5-micron sediment filter
10-inch filter sump with high-flow 0.5-micron carbon block filter

The nice part about this set up was that I could use the "permanent" system in the coach when on the move, and add the filter-with-softener when staying a while in one spot (with hard water). My coach was too small to have a permanent location for the softener. I stored the softener and its filter in the toad when not in service.

Some folks put all their filtering before the softener. That didn't seem the best idea, which is why I arranged the softener and filters as I did.
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Old 03-13-2023, 08:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
OWV-

Our setup, since sold or given away, worked well. Components listed below, except for hoses.

Outside the coach, starting at hose bibb:
Adjustable regulator set to 65 psi
10-inch filter sump with 30-micron sediment filter
On-the-Go Double water softener

In the coach (wet bay):
Fixed regulator (Fairview), 55 psi
10-inch filter sump with 5-micron sediment filter
10-inch filter sump with high-flow 0.5-micron carbon block filter

The nice part about this set up was that I could use the "permanent" system in the coach when on the move, and add the filter-with-softener when staying a while in one spot (with hard water). My coach was too small to have a permanent location for the softener. I stored the softener and its filter in the toad when not in service.

Some folks put all their filtering before the softener. That didn't seem the best idea, which is why I arranged the softener and filters as I did.
Curious why you didnít think it was a good idea to have all the filtering before the softener - wouldnít you want to keep all the particulates out of the softener that you can? Itís easy to change filters, removing any buildup of particulate matter from the softener would be a problem, wouldnít it?

I have a travel trailer so no place to put anything inside. I canít lift a 16000 grain softener, so I have the smaller 8000 grain On The Go one. Iím solo so the smaller size isnít as big of a disadvantage that it would be for a couple (more often regenerating), I keep it in the pick-upís bed when Iím traveling.
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Old 03-13-2023, 09:14 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fpmtngal View Post
Curious why you didn’t think it was a good idea to have all the filtering before the softener - wouldn’t you want to keep all the particulates out of the softener that you can? It’s easy to change filters, removing any buildup of particulate matter from the softener would be a problem, wouldn’t it?
In the end, I decided it was better to have softened water hitting the fine sediment and carbon filters than having hard water hit the same filters. Considering how fast minerals built up on the shower walls without the softener in place, I think that was a reasonable approach.

I figured the 30-micron filter was enough to prevent clogging of the softener. I have no indication, after 10 months of use in a hard water seasonal site, whether the filter succeeded at that task or not. The filter was fairly clean when I took it out of service. Two common explanations for this are:

a) little sediment in the water supply, or
b) at 30-microns, the filter was too coarse

I forgot to list an inline pressure gauge in my prior post. It sat between the coarse filter outlet and the softener inlet. I expected it would tell me when the coarse filter was clogged. Consistent with the "fairly clean" filter (second paragraph, above), the gauge never showed more than a psi or two drop at full flow.

I never saw a large pressure drop across the softener, which might indicate sediment-contaminated resin, but that isn't conclusive, either. I did get in the habit of back-flushing before each regeneration, just in case.

As a final note, once I got it down I regenerated about every three weeks or so. That's a function of:

a) the hardness of the water supply, and
b) cumulative flow through the softener, and
c) one's tolerance for remaining minerals,

so "your mileage may vary."
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Old 03-13-2023, 03:30 PM   #8
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Rust and chlorine is enemy of softener resin. Rust/iron fouls resin , chlorine can etch resin. I wouldn't attempted to try to remove chlorine pre softener etching is slow process, softener resin is not that expensive. A wound prefilter is cheap and good to remove iron and sediment.
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:02 PM   #9
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We have a home water softener and knew at some point we would have to get one for the coach. After having to replace the shower valve in the coach (due to scale deposits and corrosion) went with the Pro+aqua softener. Also purchased the filter/regen housing with sediment (5micron)/carbon filter. System has been working great.

Like DSD indicated in his post, the softener is a little heavy to move in and out of the coach so I may look at mounting it in one of the adjacent bays in the future.

Note: I also looked at the On-the-go system as many on this forum have had great success using it. Same capacity for hardness removal but ultimately I found the Pro+ a little cheaper as it was on sale at the time.
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:50 PM   #10
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How does the regen work? Looks to be an empty housing, pour salt in, invert and slowly let the brine flow into the softener tank, then at some point rinse out? Is there any sort of special valve in the filter housing head?

I have a softener tank and an external brining method would be useful.
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Old 03-13-2023, 07:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnhicks View Post
How does the regen work? Looks to be an empty housing, pour salt in, invert and slowly let the brine flow into the softener tank, then at some point rinse out? Is there any sort of special valve in the filter housing head?

I have a softener tank and an external brining method would be useful.
Here's a .pdf of the regeneration process using the PRO+AQUA Premium Dual RV/Marine Water Softener Regeneration Kit and Water Filter: Water Softener Regeneration.pdf

That pretty well explains the process.

OBTW, the blue Camco filter that is popular with the RV crowd is a 20 micron filter and sells for ~$20 on Amazon. The filter cartridge for the PRO+AQUA is a 5 micron element and costs $16 on Amazon. The clear case on the PRO+AQUA gives you an opportunity to visually inspect the filter element while in use.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:09 PM   #12
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Here's a thought. We installed a whole coach RO system in our 2021 Entegra Esteem 27U. The attached picture shows everything except for the routing of the tubing for the incoming city water, the RO water to the fresh tank and the discharge water to where it can exit the coach. We had a whole coach system in our '06 Dynasty for about 10 years and loved it!!

All of the hardware was purchased from the rvwaterfilterstore.com.

The white (RO) line runs to an area in the wet bay where it "Tees" into a line that runs to the fresh tank. The blue (City water) line runs to that same area where it gets connected to the shore water hose. The blue (discharge) line runs to the same area where it exits and can be routed to the adjacent sewer dump, or even just into the grass or landscaping, nearby.
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Old 03-13-2023, 10:33 PM   #13
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This is what We use.. Much easier to find space for the 5" tube water softener than the upright ones.. lasts 5k gallons before needing to be re-charged.. Filters are the Camco sacrificial 20 micron, followed with the 5 micron and then a .5 micron filter.
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