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Plumbing Pro
Plumbing Pro, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 1284
Experience:  Licensed plumbing contractor state of Il, & Chicago
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Is a water softener hard on copper pipes, and can you tell

Resolved Question:

Is a water softener hard on copper pipes, and can you tell me if the pipes in the picture are copper (the pipes in my house)?

I heard that adding a water softener can increase the acidity of the water.

I can't put the pictures into this question, but if you give me an email address I will send them.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.

well you can only send pictures in here, buts its hard. the way you can tell if its copper is it will look green in some areas and when you scape it with a knife it looks cooper or the color of a penny. So just take a old penny and a new penny and compare. IF its metal iron water pipe it will be magnetic and a magnet should stick to it. All a water softener does is remove the iron in the water , that is it, if you looking to clean the water then you filter it with different types of filters then go threw a softener. So a softener is very good for you and your pipes.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
A water softener removes the iron secondarily right, it removes the calcium and magnesium primarily.

Will it damage copper pipes or not?
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.
Your basic every day water softener only removes the iron. To remove the calcium and magnesium you will need a hole house carbon filter.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
That's funny. Most internet sources say that water softeners work by removing calcium and magnesium. Here's two out of several websites that disagree with you.

"The idea behind a water softener is simple. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium ions. Since sodium does not precipitate out in pipes or react badly with soap, both of the problems of hard water are eliminated."

"Water softening is the act of reducing the dissolved calcium, magnesium, and to some degree manganese and ferrous iron ion concentration in hard water. A common water softener is sodium carbonate (Na2CO3)."
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.

think what you want and read what you want do what you want, water with heavy calcium needs a filter , water with high iron still needs a filter . so thats up to you to decide how bad your water is and what you want to spend on a system. A good system is like 2-3000 installed. Also depends on what type of unit and manufacture , some softeners work different than others.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, anyways, you never answered my original question: Will softened water damage copper pipes?

The city already removes the iron from the water before it reaches me by adding polyphospahtes, so will the following filter do no good:

I did a chemical test and I have medium levels of calcium and magnesium, no iron.
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.

No soften water will not damage copper pipes, out of 100% people with soft water 80% of people have copper water pipes. water is under pressure in the pipe and little 2 no oxygen inside to react to the pipe, so in a sealed system then minerals don't bother the pipe. If you install a water softener it wont matter because it wont run if you already have soft water so its point less to get. What you would need in the case of high calcium is a hole house filter 2 part 1 part paper or fiber filter then into a carbon filter then into the house. these filters will remove the heavy minerals that you are asking about, if you don't believe me call a local water and perfection company and ask them.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay, I believe you.

So where do I buy a whole house filter from and how much does it cost, is a whole house filter part of an expensive water softener, NOT the ~$500 you get a Sears or Lowes, etc?

Is is cheaper to rent a whole house filter system from a place like Culligan and pay $20 a month plus installation fee?

Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.

Menard's has a hole hose filter that is about 300.00 they are nice and i have one in my home. it cleans itself once a day and never needs a filter to be replaced. its in the plumbing section and looks and is the size of a small softener but its a hole house filter. Also you can get ones like these but Kenmore , sears , and culliagn all make similar models and cost about the same. they are easy to install but should be installed by a local plumber to insure proper installation and warranty


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will a reverse osmosis filter work, is this what you are talking about?$Ntt=reverse%20osmosis$y=0$x=0

I will have a plumber install it of course.
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.
Reverse osmosis are for the smaller particles in the water and remove 99% of everything in the water , but if you use copper pipes with this type of filter then the water picks up the minerals in the metal pipe as it flows threw the pipe after it is cleaned.most all softeners remove Iron ,calcium and magnesium. there are many different types but all serve the same purpose. Then A hole house filter is used to remove the big particles out of the water , to all plumbing in house. Then if you want on top of all that a reverse osmosis system under the kitchen sink for drinking water, because reverse osmosis take 2 gallons of water to make one clean gallon of drinking water , and take up to 24 hours to produce just one clean gallon of drinking water.
Expert:  Plumbing Pro replied 7 years ago.
You might have a naturally high acid level in the water before it gets to the house. you had the hardness tested , but whats the ph level? you might need a ph balancer.
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