Best way to recharge the in-tank water softener - Page 2

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Wescott

#11: Post by Wescott »

about dishwasher salt conditioner. Manufacturers of these chemicals can safely bank on the fact that no one will ever drink dishwasher runoff.
An intriguing point, sunnyu. I'll take that as a medium-grade squelch. However, I'll have to see what my choices are here. Kosher salt is not something I have yet seen, although I've never looked. "Sea salt" is sold very expensively for cooking in certain stores, and any locally packaged or produced salt is likely to contain a bunch of impurities. Imported dishwasher salt might work out to be my best compromise.
watch out for the fragrances which are sometimes added to such material
Agreed, barry. I don't like those fragrances in general and always avoid them. I can get Calgon and European brands, but often one can't find the same product twice in any store.

So far, the question is academic since I'm on the verge of upgrading my Gaggia Classic. There's a good chance that I'll plumb in with an in-line softener and filter. I've been using a Brita on the Gaggia with some occasional citric acid flushes. I've not been too obsessed with eliminating scale because (per Jim Schulman) it can protect the aluminum boiler from corrosion if the alkalinity is in a certain range. So far, this seems to have been working in my favor. But my habits will have to change with an HX or double-boiler replacement.

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Ken Fox

#12: Post by Ken Fox »

Wescott wrote:An intriguing point, sunnyu. I'll take that as a medium-grade squelch. However, I'll have to see what my choices are here. Kosher salt is not something I have yet seen, although I've never looked. "Sea salt" is sold very expensively for cooking in certain stores, and any locally packaged or produced salt is likely to contain a bunch of impurities. Imported dishwasher salt might work out to be my best compromise.

I doubt there is anywhere other than maybe in the third world, that "Kosher salt" isn't available. It is used for many many things outside of the name it goes by here. I'd imagine the same product is sold in different places under different names, such as "rock salt." There is no reason to use sea salt; it confers no advantages for this use.

I recently acquired a set of salt and pepper mills. You read this right, the salt thing is a mill also. Regular table salt falls right through. I put "Kosher salt" into it and it works fine. Kosher salt is regularly called for in cooking.

ken
What, me worry?

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Wescott

#13: Post by Wescott »

Thanks for your willingness to help, Ken.

You are absolutely right that coarse kosher-style salt is available here, and cheaply. It's used for pickling. However, I'm not sure whether this locally packaged version would have less chance of impurities than the imported dishwasher salt (that no one expects anyone to consume). If I do find import kosher salt, it will probably be at a prohibitive price in some of the fancier supermarkets here. But I will check for imported kosher/coarse salt.

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cannonfodder
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#14: Post by cannonfodder »

The important thing is that it should be pure salt. No iodine, anti clumping agents etc... Sea salt is way too expensive, I was going to send you some kosher, then I noticed you location, Moscow. A 3$ box of salt would probably cost $30 to mail and who knows if it ever makes it out of customs.

Regardless of what it is labeled as, as long as it is pure salt you should be OK. Avoid something like rock salt (unless it is cooking rock salt). The raw rock salt contains a LOT of extra minerals because it is unrefined and not intended for human consumption.
Dave Stephens

Wescott

#15: Post by Wescott »

Thanks for the generous urge, cannonfodder.

You are right about things sometimes not emerging from Russian customs, and you judged the freight about right too.
I get my green beans from Sweet Maria about 22 pounds at a time. If the value of the package is under $100, it comes in without customs. (Before I knew this, I once ordered about $109 worth. The customs amount was trivial, maybe $4, but time in customs was as long as the time in the mail, which was already six weeks.) By USPS, the cheapest way, my package costs about $50 in postage.

Using salt without additives is something I will definitely do. I've just got to find a reasonably priced and reliable kind.

sunnyu (original poster)

#16: Post by sunnyu (original poster) »

wait a minute...moscow, russia?? Are you an American living there?

Wescott

#17: Post by Wescott »

Yes. Exactly. Been here over eleven years. Brought my Gaggia back from Italy in my luggage. That was before the commercial side of things here was really developed. Now I've got upgrade fever, and even here I've got too many choices to make the decision simple.

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ChrisC

#18: Post by ChrisC »

Sorry to bring back an old thread, but I just bought an in-tank water softener (this one), and it didn't come with any instructions.

Questions:

- Did I buy the right thing?
- Is soaking it in salty water enough, or do I need to run the salty water through it as per Mark/Dogshot's post above?
- If soaking, for how long? If running water through, how much water? Just one reservoir worth? (I have a Silvia.)
- Assuming water should be warm (salt mixes better that way), but are there any temp recommendations? Like, don't go too hot or anything like that?
- Do I need to do this before I use it for the first time?
- Do you rinse it after this before reattaching it to the machine?
- Do I really need to do it every two weeks? I make 10 or less doubles a week, and water in Montreal is I believe about 7 grains (water report here).

Thanks to all in advance for your help!

Chris

ChrisC

#19: Post by ChrisC »

Okay, no responses, but I did find some more info over on CG here, so I just went ahead.

I learned that I had to charge it before installing, so I used hot tap water (not near boiling), 3 tablespoons in a 10- oz. glass. I drew water into the softener by sucking on the small tube end, then let it sit in the salty water in the glass for 10 minutes or so. Then I rinsed by sucking water through until it no longer tasted salty. I'm planning on doing this every two weeks or so.

As I was also rinsing from descaling when I installed this, I was paying attention to water flow, and noticed two things that concerned me:

- First, that my Silvia's flow rate only seems to be 500 ml/min under no pressure, instead of the normal 650.

- Second, that with the in tank softener attached, that drops to 400 ml/min.

Should I be worried about either of these?

Thanks again in advance,
Chris

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jesawdy

#20: Post by jesawdy »

ChrisC wrote:- First, that my Silvia's flow rate only seems to be 500 ml/min under no pressure, instead of the normal 650.

- Second, that with the in tank softener attached, that drops to 400 ml/min.

Should I be worried about either of these?
Chris-

I don't have a softener on Silvia, but I wouldn't be too concerned given those numbers.
Jeff Sawdy