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harvey lee

Water softner

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I have a friend that moved into a different house. He say that when he takes a shower, the water is very soft and the soap lathers well. The only issue is his wife says the water burns her eyes.

Is there anything in a softner that could cause this?

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I don't believe too soft should imply salty water. The salt is used to clean the system and recharge the ionization but part of the process includes rinsing the salty, mineral laden water out of the system when done.

With that said, my guess is that if you have salty water then your softner is rinsing properly.

Will saline water cause burning of the eyes?

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Here we go, ion exchange 101.

Softeners are nothing more than an ion exchange vessel. The resin inside the vessel is very attractive to various ions....Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, and some different variations of iron. As water flows across the resin the calcium and magnesium ions kick the sodium ions offa the resin (They have stronger ionic bonds). The removal of the calcium and magensium is what makes the water "soft."

When the resin is saturated with calcium and magnesium ions, or close to saturated, it goes into regen. During regen large amounts of sodium are flowed over the resin after a backwash. Even though the sodium ions have weaker ionic bonds, there is just so much of it that they boot the calcium and mag ions offa the resin and take their place. Kinda like going to war with China. They may be way more primative but they'll just people you to death.

After the brine soak there will be a fast rinse and slow rinse to get rid of the excess salt water in the resin and re-settle the bed. If you have salty water then you are not getting enough fast/slow rinse and there is raw brine remaining in the vessel.

Saline is sterile water and is used to rinse eyes out. Bob I think you may be thinking of salt water. Yes, salt water can cause burning of the eyes. Water that is "Too Soft" aka 0ppm calcium and mag will not cause eye burn. So, if your pals gal is getting the burning eyes I'd say take a peek at the head of the softener. Is it an older one with the cams??? If so one of the timer cams may be worn. If it's a newer style there could be some debris caught up in the internal porting of the head.

Or, I'll ask if your pals gal has ever used soft water before? Sometimes switching from hard to soft water is something people are not used to. I've been asked to repair softeners that wern't broken. When the water is good and soft then when you're in the shower things should lather up real good. Many times it's actually the soap doing the eye burning.

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Thanks for the clarification, boilerguy.

I reread my post and I fat-fingered a little. This is what I wrote:

With that said, my guess is that if you have salty water then your softner is rinsing properly.

This is what I meant to write:

With that said, my guess is that if you have salty water then your softner isn't rinsing properly.

Your explanation was a lot more informed than mine, that's for sure.

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