OneConservative wrote:Don't understand the comment about the appliances. Some of our friends have lived here for better than 15 years w/o either an RO or water softener and they don't seem to have any issues with appliances failing prematurely. Perhaps someone would have more of an explanation.
The valves in appliances such as ice-makers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc tend to be small-flow devices generally made from plastic. The high calcium content in the water (here) plugs them up over time necessitating replacement. If your friends have not had to deal with this, well, they are very lucky.
My house is less than 6 years old. I have already had to replace every valve (shower/faucet) in the house. I have also had to replace all of the major appliances (which I did **after** installing a water softener).
Bottom line: Water softeners are a good thing, but you are right, the salt usage is a real PITA (I go through about 40lbs/mo because the water here is so brutal).