Any body use a portable water softener for your RV?

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 01:25
ThreadID: 139380 Views:626 Replies:1 FollowUps:2
I see some portable water softeners designed for RV, just wonder if any of you use a portable water softener for your RV? Any recommendation? Thanks.
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Reply By: Dave B18 - Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 03:48

Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 03:48
Initially I thought this post must be a yuppie wind up - but then thought, probably yes in the USA, sadly true, and no shortage of brands and models.
https://www.smartrving.net/best-rv-water-softeners/
Didn't find any for sale in Australia in a quick search, not surprising, and didn't expect too. No doubt some Australian RV manufacturer will offer a water softener as a sales gimmick.

I expect most would do what we do, that if the local water is not the best, they buy 5L/10L of water for drinking. Same as when travelling into areas we know the water is not the best or not treated for drinking throw in a 10L or even perhaps two.

We are buying 10L containers of water for drinking at home at the moment because of the drought and fires. The water in the water tanks is tasting so smokey, and where we can fill with town water, the town water supply is so low in the dam the water quality taste is not the best. First time ever bought drinking water for home use.
Water softeners are not a common item in homes in Australia. Australian town treated water supplies are generally of a high standard. Not many locations in Australia town treated water has so much calcium and iron etc. that people use water softeners. Reverse osmosis units are more popular for domestic use and superior to water softeners. In towns where the town treated water is higher than is desirable in dissolved minerals, they would generally install rain water tanks, and have an extra tap in the kitchen and/or bathroom for drinking water.
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Follow Up By: Member - Warren H - Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 16:50

Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 16:50
Hard water is usually fine tasting, softening is generally only for other uses, e.g. protection of boilers, scale in lines, laundry use. There are some towns with very hard water say >200 mgCaCO3/L. Jabiru in the NT for example is one of them. Coffee dripolators lasted about 1 month before becoming blocked due to scaling. Kettles had to be descaled regularly. I used to clean ours by boiling about 10% acetic acid, the old wire wound jug heating elements lasted a couple of days. Hot water systems were on a regular maintenance schedule. The water tasted fine, but you never boiled water in the jug twice unless you wanted foul tasting tea. Some towns I have visited eg Springsure (40 years ago not sure about now) had a town water supply laden with iron. Can't see the need for treatment for RV use perhaps in hot water systems and if you were staying in a hard water town for an extended period? As Dave B18 said nowadays RO would be the way to go, softening for drinking water would be a two stage process, addition of sodium carbonate (aka washing soda) to precipitate calcium, then ion exchange to get rid of the sodium. Many older houses in Adelaide had water softeners for laundry water and for swimming pools, not sure what the situation is currently.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 19:55

Sunday, Dec 01, 2019 at 19:55
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Hi warren,
I was born and raised in Adelaide. Water softeners were very common in houses during the 1950's and 60's. It was a period when Adelaide began supplementing their water supply with water from the River Murray and I even remember some bores feeding into the mains.
By the mid 70's filtration and treatment plants were established which improved the situation and the clumsy household water softeners were discarded. Still not the best water in the world but.
Cheers
Allan

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