Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

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Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by TOM KAN » Sun, 06 Jun 1999 04:00:00



My brother just installed a small, simple automatic watering system for his
annuals. He has a water softener, and has no water available that has not been
processed in the softener. Should he go to the trouble of bypassing the
softening system to get un-processed water for the sprinkler, or will the
softened water be OK for watering the plants?
tom kan pa
 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by Zhanata » Sun, 06 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
>tom kan pa

Tom, if he has orchids he should bypass the softener or
collect rain water.  We have a softener system.  You don't
drink Florida water, you chew it.  I have lots of house
plants and plants in containers, that I bucket with house
water.  The only ones I noticed a difference on is the
orchids.  One other thought, if he is watering his whole
Garden with softened water he will spend a whale of a lot of
money on salt blocks.

Annuals are up, flowered, and set seed before softened water
has a chance to affect them.  IMHO

Zhan

 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by Wendy B » Sun, 06 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Quote:
>Should he go to the trouble of bypassing the
>softening system to get un-processed water for the sprinkler, or will the
>softened water be OK for watering the plants?

Please don't water your garden with softened water. Over time, softened water
will poison the earth, unless you get lots of rainfall to leach the soil.

The reason is that the softener takes out calcium from the water, and replaces
it with sodium. The sodium clings chemically to the soil tighter than calcium
does. Over time, it could build up to the point that it would be too much for
the plants.
Wendy

 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by Nancy Milliga » Sun, 06 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Water softeners can also take, I think it is, potassium instead of salt.  This
is what I would use if I had one (which I hope to someday).  I don't know if
they can all take it, or just some.  It's more expensive than salt, but it
should solve the sodium/salt problem.


Quote:
>>Should he go to the trouble of bypassing the
>>softening system to get un-processed water for the sprinkler, or will the
>>softened water be OK for watering the plants?
> Please don't water your garden with softened water. Over time, softened water
> will poison the earth, unless you get lots of rainfall to leach the soil.
> The reason is that the softener takes out calcium from the water, and replaces
> it with sodium. The sodium clings chemically to the soil tighter than calcium
> does. Over time, it could build up to the point that it would be too much for
> the plants.
> Wendy

--
Please remove the -bogus- in order to reply.
 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by IrisCoh » Mon, 07 Jun 1999 04:00:00


<< Should he go to the trouble of bypassing the
softening system to get un-processed water for the sprinkler, or will the
softened water be OK for watering the plants? >>
He will have to bypass the softener. It will kill the plants. He is watering
them with salt water.

Iris, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"That lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne"
Hippocrates quoted by Chaucer

 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by Sharege » Mon, 07 Jun 1999 04:00:00


It depends what type of water softener. But it's not a question of goor or
bad...it's more like how bad. We have a softener and 2 of our 3 outsisde
faucets bypass it. The builder warned us not to run the sprinkler through the
softener because such prolonged use would damage the softener. In decent
weather I also go out to get unsoftened water for my indoor plants.
 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by L. Patterso » Mon, 07 Jun 1999 04:00:00


I've been reading this thread with great interest, and have now decided to
voice my opinion. I think there has been a lot of mis-information posted
concerning water softeners. I really feel this is because of a lack of
knowledge.

In the early 80's, we bought a new house. The water was so hard that the
elements in the hot water heater shorted out in 3 months. Time to get a
water softener (in 9 years, had to get two of them, the water was so hard).
It had a by-pass valve on it. Push it, and the water by-passed the filter.
Both of my softeners had them. I would guess most of them do. I have seen
by-pass valves that connect to water softeners with standard threaded
fittings. The water pipes then connect to them. Depending on how your
plumbing was run, it might be a simple, few minute process to add one.

The salt in a water softener is used to clean the 'hard' stuff out of the
resin tank that the water goes through so that you have soft water. This
resin tank is flushed out  (usually in the middle of the night) by the brine
solution. When this flushing process in finished, the tank is flushed and
back-flushed several times with clean water. There is no salt left to get
into your tap water. Salt in highly corrosive. The copper pipes in houses
would be failing (with time) left and right if they were constantly filled
with even a weak salt solution. When we washed dishes, the glassware would
dry crystal clear. If there were salt in the water, you would have dried up
salt crystals that would be seen as white deposits.

This has been my real life experiance. If my doctor told me to limit my salt
intake or risk serious health problems, I would not hesitate to use a water
softener, if I needed it. Luckily, the water were I live now is so soft that
I actually have to add stuff to it to make it harder whe I refill the spa.

Larry

 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by Michael Stricklan » Mon, 07 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>The salt in a water softener is used to clean the 'hard' stuff out of the
>resin tank that the water goes through so that you have soft water. This

You are correct here. The SODIUM from the salt replaces the CALCIUM in
the hard water - thus softening it since hardness measures calcium
content not sodium content.

Quote:
>resin tank is flushed out  (usually in the middle of the night) by the brine
>solution. When this flushing process in finished, the tank is flushed and
>back-flushed several times with clean water. There is no salt left to get
>into your tap water. Salt in highly corrosive. The copper pipes in houses

During the flushing process, the resin releases the calcium and absorbs
sodium so that it can later release the sodium to replace the calcium
in the hard water. It's a simple replacement, not removal. Softened
water has a high sodium content as opposed to what it had when hard - a
high calcium content. I believe that there should be some information
that comes with the softener that explains the exchange process - there
was with the resin that I bought to soften the water in my aquarium. It
uses the same brine rinse process to recharge as the household water
softeners do - it's just done manually in a jar or bucket.

Quote:
>This has been my real life experiance. If my doctor told me to limit my salt
>intake or risk serious health problems, I would not hesitate to use a water
>softener, if I needed it. Luckily, the water were I live now is so soft that
>I actually have to add stuff to it to make it harder whe I refill the spa.

You should ask  your doctor about this subject - I think he might
change your mind......sodium is sodium whether you get it from salt or
softened water.

Later, Mike
USDA Zone 7, Sunset Zone 32 AHS HZ7 (Villa Rica, GA)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 
 
 

Good/Bad? Watering plants with *softened* water.

Post by IrisCoh » Wed, 09 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Thank you for the clarification. However, it is my understanding that tapwater
from a water softener still might have a trace of salt in it, not enough to
cloud the dishes or corrode the pipes, but perhaps enough to damage a sensitive
plant eventually. I would still bypass it for watering plants. I would like to
know the actual ppm of dissolved salts in the water from the softener you
described.
Iris, Zone 5a, Sunset Zone 40
"That lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne"
Hippocrates quoted by Chaucer