Looking for a water softener pitcher recommendation

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1rider
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#1: Post by 1rider »

Hello, I have tried to find a pitcher that softens water but the search has been frustrating with Amazon trying to sell me everything they have when doing a google search that includes "water" and "pitcher" in the search terms.

Any recommendations?
Cheers,
Patrick

Jeff
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#2: Post by Jeff »

Look at the threads here on ZeroWater.

Many of the big names deal with taste and appearance primarily. Check your needs.

Bulk deionized water (sometimes RO/DI on the dispensers) of may be cheaper compared to filter cost.

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yakster
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#3: Post by yakster »

ZeroWater works well as long as you don't have really hard water. Here in San Jose, my water is 500 ppm and the filters don't last very long and it starts to taste fishy after a couple of weeks so it's not very economical. The ZeroWater site does a pretty good job explaining this.
-Chris

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homeburrero
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#4: Post by homeburrero »

Probably worth pointing out that Zerowater is much more than a softener. It's a mixed bed cation and anion exchange de-ionizer that removes everything, not just hardness cations. If you use it for espresso machine water you probably want to at least add some bicarbonate back in.

If there is a jug filter out there that just does softening I'm not aware of it. I suppose you could make your own by putting a conventional softener pouch (OsCar/Bilt/Rocket) in a jug and giving it plenty of contact time after water is added to the jug.

Most jug filters (Brita, Pur, Soma, BWT) contain a WAC resin along with the charcoal that does some softening, along with reducing the alkalinity to about the same degree that they reduce hardness. But their softening performance is variable and not specified as to capacity.

The new Brita 'longlest' is an example of a charcoal jug filter that does NOT contain a WAC resin and does not soften at all. That can be a plus if you want a filter that does not reduce the alkalinity and does not acidify your water.
Pat
nínádiishʼnahgo gohwééh náshdlį́į́h

K7

#5: Post by K7 »

I've been using ZeroWater for a little more more than 6 months now and am pretty happy with it. My local water is usually about 250-300ppm and the filter (~$12.50/pc) lasts about 18 gallons. I use it only for coffee (~4 Americanos per day) and 18 gallons are good for about two months. So that's about $0.70/gal. I believe grocery store RO water dispenser ($0.50/gal?) is a little cheaper, but ZW convenience trumps the $2/month saving in my case.

YMMV significantly depending on your coffee machine's water usage and your local water hardness.

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homeburrero
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#6: Post by homeburrero »

K7 wrote:I've been using ZeroWater for a little more more than 6 months now and am pretty happy with it.
I use it also, as a source of purified water when I run out of de-ionized that I get from the refill station at my grocery store. In my case (tap water at appx 250 ppm TDS) the Zerowater is a little more expensive than the de-ionized that I get at my store for 40 cents a gallon.

BUT , I don't use this water straight in my espresso machine. It has zero alkalinity and a low pH that would not be good for the machine. That issue can be easily fixed by adding a tiny smidgen (appx 0.3 - 0.4 gram per gallon) of sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate.
Pat
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K7

#7: Post by K7 »

Oh yes, I forgot to add that important part! My machine is Cafelat Robot (no boiler, no pump) so I don't worry about the corrosion risk, but for most other machines, one should definitely add some alkalinity.

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yakster
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#8: Post by yakster »

I add a pinch of baking soda to my ZeroWater that I use to brew in my BraZen. I picked up a set of tiny measuring spoons from Amazon labeled dash, smidgen, pinch, drop, etc. use the smallest one, the "drop" to scoop out the powder.

I originally purchased a milligram scale to weigh out the powder but found it too inconsistent for use.
-Chris

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1rider (original poster)
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#9: Post by 1rider (original poster) »

Thanks for the replies and good conversation. I had called Zerowater and they told me straight up to not use the water as is from their pitchers.

I am not sure what I want to do about my water fro brewing. I'd prefer not to add more process to our coffee (rather my wife might stop talking to me). But proper water is very important for the finish product in the cup and the lifespan of my brew equipment.
Cheers,
Patrick

Jeff
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#10: Post by Jeff »

I bought some one-gallon, glass bottles with good screw closures (the kind with a soft cone inside) and premix a gallon at a time. That's generally enough for more than a week for me. If you figure 100 ml per shot, that's something like 35-40 shots.