Water Softener for RV- Here What You Need to Know

Introduction

Do you want to travel to point B from point A in a luxurious way? Do you miss your home when you are on the road? Then a recreational vehicle (RV) is the motor vehicle that will provide you the ultimate satisfaction of your own house even on the road. But when you are on the road with your RV, the problem you will face most-is the proper supply of water. From my personal experience let me tell you- a journey in your RV with a tank full of hard water is the last thing you want. So, if you are unable to find enough volume of soft water, you have to find a way to convert the hard water. And the best way to convert water is to use a water softener.

By the time you have finished this article, you will get the benefit of saving thousands of dollars. This is the money you used to pay till now on plumbing, basins and the all other appliances of the RV- ruined only by hard water.

What Is Water Softener and Why to Use

Before you want to know what, a water softener is, you must know- ‘What is Hard Water’

Hard water is that kind of water that contains more minerals as well as more Calcium and Magnesium ions.

This type of water makes life harder by spoiling every industrial and home appliance in which the water flows. Also, soap and detergent refuse to lather in hard water easily. This costs some more from your pocket for buying unnecessary soaps, shampoos, and detergents.

To get rid of these kinds of problems you need Water Softener. A water softener removes the extra Calcium and Magnesium ions and makes the water soft for daily uses. 

How to Install Water Softener in Your RV?

Installing a water softener is very simple. Maximum water softener today has a ‘Y’ type valve for regeneration. Here is a step by step guide to installing a water softener in your RV.

  • Step 1  (Shut off source water)

The first and the foremost task is to shut off the source of water in your RV. The task of the source is to supply water to the inlet lines. This step helps to stop all the water flow and to ease up your work.

  • Step 2   (Install ‘Y’ valve)

Then you have to install the ‘Y' valve on the other side of the top of the water softener. The ‘Y' valve usually consists of two parts. The drain & the outlet. The drain part helps you to regenerate more quickly and efficiently. The outlet is directly connected to the supply line.

  • Step 3  (Connect the main supply line to the inlet valve)

The main supply line of the system should be connected to the inlet water line of the water softener. The water from the source will now pass right through the inlet line of the softener.

  • Step 4  (Turn off drain part ‘Y’ valve)

Turn off the drain part of the ‘Y’ valve. Now the system should be flushed for a few minutes. To flush the system, you have to open the inlet valve and allow the outlet water to drain.

  • Step 5  (Close both inlet and outlet valve)

Then you have to close both the inlet valve and the outlet valve. Put the water softener in your RV where it is best suited. Link the outlet line to the supply line, it would then take the water in the taps, basin, and showers.

  • Step 6  (Set the water softener vertically)

Set the softener vertically with the ground. That’s it. The softener is ready to go. You can now enjoy the flow of soft water throughout the whole time when you are on a road trip with your RV.

Impact of Water Softener on RV

Without a water softener, you will have hard water flowing in every equipment like the plumbing, taps or your RV’s water filters. This can never be good for any of these appliances. Here are the reasons why you should use a water softener in your precious RV:

  • Saving The Cost Of  Soap

As I have mentioned before, hard water needs a lot more soap for making the same kind of lather produced in soft water. When you use the water softener, it would need much less soap and detergent thus saves a lot of your money.

  • Saving Your Plumbing

Many of our customers have faced different kinds of problems in the plumbing and taps of their RV's. They needed a great amount of money each time they went to repair them. Later it was discovered that most of the problems were occurring because of using hard water in the RV. So, by using water softener you can save all your plumbing and save the money other wasted.

  • Less Expenditure On Maintenance

Every year an average RV user have to spend a huge sum of money in maintenance. Why add more to it? When you do not use a water softener, you need to spend more money on your maintenance than the average. The water heater replacement alone is very expensive. So, a little consciousness would help to save you a huge sum of money for maintenance.

  • Reduce Unnecessary Troubles on The Road

A journey is very joyful and pleasant. But if there is obstruction in every step of your journey would you still think the same? When you are on the journey in an RV, you may face some unexpected troubles with the engine, the air cooler, the compressor etc. A water softener will reduce the needless difficulties on the path of your trip.

  • Removes Odor From Drinking Water

Without using the water softener, the water in an RV emits a bad odor. A filter may filtrate the water but it would never change the chemical components. As a result, the odor will remain the same. By using a water softener, you can get rid of this problem.

  • A Fresh Bath Every Time

A journey may be thrilling but it is also tedious and exhausting. When you are using an RV that means you want the taste of home in the way of your journey. A perfect bath can help you to remove the tiredness of the road. But when salty hard water comer out of your shower you will feel dry and clingy feelings to your skin. Water softener helps you to remove this sticky feeling.

Cautions You Need To Follow

A water softener is a device that offers you some of the greatest benefits, right? But when the softener you buy is not perfect for your RV, it can backfire. So, you should follow some instructions before buying a water softener, especially for RV.

  • Immobility

Whenever you are buying water softener for your RV, your top concern should be given on the mobility and transportability of the softener. There are different types of water softener for various purposes. Most of them are for home usage. But you should buy the one which gives you full freedom of moving one place to another without any problem.

  • Too many Expensive Softeners

A water softener may save you from a lot of trouble. But if you are thinking you have to spend a ton of money to get this feature, you are absolutely wrong. The water softener comes in a definite price range. Though different kind of company supplies some softeners of a fat price, you do not need to buy their expensive softener. The mid-range water softener will work as same as the expensive ones.

  • Low Water Flow Rate

You must check before buying if the softener can handle the water used by you and your family daily. We measure the flow of water in the unit in gallon per day per person (gpd/person). If it can’t handle properly, there will be a huge drop in the flow of water and hard water will pass through. The main purpose of buying a water softener will then go in vain.

  • Slow Regeneration

When you are planning to buy the perfect water softener for your RV, you also have to consider about the frequency and duration of regeneration of the water softener. The less time it takes to properly regenerate, the more it will be count as the best softener. A regular softener will be regenerated in usually 20-30 minutes and becomes ready to start its work again.

  • Irregular Maintenance

You may have bought the perfect water softener for your RV after a lot of research and choices. But not a single thing would run if it lacks the proper maintenance. Different problems may occur after installing the water softener in your RV. You should provide a proper routine check for keeping the product running without any problem.

Verdict

Travelling from one place to another always gives us a thrill. But the proper gear should be packed on the way to the journey. In a road trip, there always remains the scarcity of proper drinking and usable water. And you know what? Hard water is never friendly towards your expensive RV.

It is impossible to maintain a good water supply for the plumbing while constantly fighting with the water. An RV may cost you some money. At first, it may seem as an extra cost to install a softener but it isn’t any unnecessary expense. Rather, this is the gadget that will protect you from wasting your precious money and the plumbing of your RV in the future.

Therefore, it is never late to install the best water softener in your RV for the safety of you, your family and your expensive RV.

How to Install Water Softener- Step by Step Guide

You have brought a water softener for the home, now what?

To make this work and serve for you, you need to have it properly installed in the right place. You can call up an expert if you want. But in case you are a DIYer and love to do your stuff yourself, you’re at the right place.

In this extensive guide, we’ve done something cool. We’ve divided the hard process of setting up a water softener into some easy steps with all necessary guides and tips. It’s easy for a typical DIYer, and if you’re beginner, you’ll find the steps no hard.

Let’s start with some basics-

Tools and Materials Required

To get over with the entire process of plumbing up a water softener, you need to have several tools and kits in hands. Here is the list of them all-

(N.B.- All they can be availed from the nearest super store shop)

  • Required Tools for the Job
     
  1. Pliers for slip joints.
  2. Plumbers tape.
  3. Torch for soldering.
  4. Measuring tape.
  5. Tube cutter.
  6. Tube wrench.
  7. Gate valves and Tee valves.
  8. Compression fittings (2)

 

  • Required Materials for the Job
     
  1. Copper tees and pipes.
  2. Flux.
  3. Fitting brush.
  4. Valves.
  5. Solders.
  6. PVC flix or solvent.
  7. Torch.

Installing A Water Softener- All You Need to Know

Depending on the type of the water, the location, and the water type, water softeners have several versions of different functionalities. Here in this article, we’ve included instructions for three different water softeners- Salt-based Water Softening System and Salt-free Water Softening System.

There are some other variants as well, but these three are quite the common types that American home users use to use.

Let’s proceed with the Salt-based Water Softening System installation guide-

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Installation Guide for Salt-based Water Softening System

These steps are meant to install a water softening system if you’re living in a topical area where the water is salty. Before you go with the process, make sure that you’re not braking any local code of building maintenance. Because some of the states asks for a shut off valve or bypass before installing such a unit.

Step 1: As you’re beginning, shut off the water houses of the main water line. Drain the pipes opening up to the lowest valve. Let the water run out.

Step 2: Shut down the water heater and disconnect every sort of power connecting to it.

Step 3: Find out the place where you want the water softener to be installed.

Step 4: Cut out the main line of water with a pipe cutter.

Step 5: Setup and install an elbow fitting in the line.

Step 6: Take the measurements of the units of pipes that will lead to the bypass valve.

Step 7: Use a compression fitting to attach the pipes to the unit itself.

Step 8:  Find the place where the unit will rain. And then clamp the hose pipe to the unit the drain.

Step 9: Find out the overflow tube of the unit and connect that to the brine tank.

Step 10: Adjust the valve of the unit into bypass position.

Step 11: Power the unit up and set the valve to the backwash position.

 

Tips on Installing a Salt-based Water Softening System

If you’re living in seaside areas river shores, the water would be hard and salty by nature. Also, if you source your water from a well, that’s a great chance to contain salt-based water. This particular guide will help you out to get over with a water softener installation in such cases.

 

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Installation Guide for Salt-free Water Softening System

Now we’re up to the water softeners that have not deal with salt water. Still, there are a number of variations in salt-free water softeners.

However, this steps of installing the unit, uses a non-salt media that filters the water.

Step 1: Find out the area of the water system where you want to place the softener machine.

Step 2: Shut down the main water pipe of the home and drain out all the waters into the pipes.

Step 3: Before the pipe reaches the pre-filter positioning, make a cut in the pipe which carries on the cold-water supply.

Step 4: As you are done, add a shut off valve to the opening of the pipe.

Step 5: A carbon-pre- filter is there in the equipment box. Install it right after the shut off valve.

Step 6: Now, install a second pre-filter after the shut off valve.

Step 7: Connect up the outlet of downflow.

Step 8: Turn on the main water valve. Before that, make sure that the both shut off valves are closed.

Step 9: Open one shut off valve at once and get done with both of them gradually.

 

Tips on Installing a Salt-free Water Softening System

There are a number of salt-free water softeners in the market. Be aware of which one would be good fit. Better talk some someone expert on this. Be attentive o the user’s manual that comes with the device.

Conserving Water for the Future: Facts You Need To Know

Judging by the damages that excess rain often brings, it would be easy to assume that the water supply for human consumption is inexhaustible. But although the amount of water on the planet remains constant because of the planet’s water cycle, the amount of drinking water remains small. 70% of the planet may be covered with water, but only 0,6% of that is fluid (i.e. not trapped in glaciers) and fresh (not salt water) and therefore fit for human consumption. On top of that, this fraction of clean fresh water isn’t freely accessible everywhere.

Although the figures vary, it is well known that Westerners consume more than their fair share of this clean, fresh water. That is without mentioning the quality of the water once it’s been used and returned to the water cycle. All around there are signs that Nature can no longer accommodate this misuse of water. Sustainable use of water is the only way forward.

Ways to Conserve Water

  1. Use less water.
  2. Use the best quality water where it is explicitly needed. Use alternative sources of water where applicable e.g. rainwater for flushing the toilet, washing textiles, cleaning the home and gardening. It is not a good idea, however, to replace tap water with groundwater. Besides the health risks attached to doing this, it can affect the quality of already scarce groundwater resources.
  3. Pollute less water.

By applying these principles to our daily practices in the home, in agriculture and in industry, it is possible to limit the degradation of the quality of the Earth’s freshwater supplies.

How can Families do Their Bit?

How can an ordinary family covert their home into a water-friendly home? There are 2 ways to do this:

  1. Change water consumption habits
  2. Technical solutions e.g. water saving showerheads

Bringing about technical changes to the home without adjusting the water consumption habits of the family, will not be enough to do the trick. Changing behavior but clinging to water guzzling equipment will also not deliver satisfactory results. Only when the two go hand in hand will a water-friendly family home become a reality.

Installing a toilet with dual flush technology, for example, is a good water saving device but if family members don’t bother using the appropriate flush button after each toilet use, then the household’s water saving will be insignificant. Likewise, taking longer showers cannot be the result of installing a water saving showerhead because this too, will not save water. Equally, choosing an environmentally friendly washing powder and using more than the recommended amount (overdosing), will produce polluted water.

In short, the effect of a person’s behavior has a greater impact on our water resources that technology. And fortunately, changing behavior is... free.

Checking Water Bill Accuracy: Home Checks for Water Meter Readings

Sometimes a water bill arrives that seems unusually expensive compared to previous bills. A high water bill could be the result of an inaccurate meter, an inaccurate read by the water utility provider, or an undiscovered water leak on the property.

Before contacting the utility provider, it is possible for homeowners to perform some quick tests that might give an indication of where the problem lies.

First steps

The first thing to check is the meter reading itself. Locate the water meter and check the reading against the number listed on the account. If the meter reading is lower than the account reading, it is likely that the bill has been calculated on an inaccurate reading.

It is important to ensure that the water meter is easily accessible for the utility provider. If they are unable to find or access the meter, they may simply calculate the water bill based on average usage, which could explain discrepancies in the meter and statement readings.

Check for Unexpected Meter Changes

Check the meter readings before leaving the house for the day and check again on returning home. Ensure that there are no appliances using water during this time such as dishwashers or washing machines. If the meter shows a higher reading at the end of the day, this indicates that there is a leak somewhere on the property. It will be necessary to employ a licensed plumber to locate the leak. This should be done as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary damage to the structure or property.

Check Meter Accuracy

If no leaks are detected, the next thing to check is the meter accuracy. This can be done with a simple bucket test.

Use a bucket or container that is marked with litres. Check the meter, particularly noting the litres reading. Fill the container with 5 – 10 litres of water, making sure that no other water is used while testing (eg toilets flushed, taps turned on, washing machine). Check the meter again to ensure that the reading has changed the appropriate amount. If the reading is correct, then this should indicate that the meter is registering accurate water usage.

Contacting the Utility Provider

If the meter reading is less than that shown on the account or there is a discrepancy in the meter reading after the bucket test, it is now time to contact the water provider.

If the discrepancy is due to a simple misreading of the meter, a new reading can be taken and the account adjusted accordingly. If the accuracy of the meter is in question, the process is a little more complicated.

It is possible to have a water meter officially checked for accuracy, but this is generally undertaken at the expense of the consumer. If this test demonstrates that the meter is inaccurate, the test charge will generally be refunded and the account adjusted. If the test shows the meter to be accurate, the consumer is out of pocket for the test and will still have to pay the outstanding water bill.

Monitor Water Usage

To assess what might be causing excess water usage, monitor meter readings each day at the same time. If a large jump in the reading is noted, review what has happened during the previous 24 hours that might have used extra water.

Following these simple steps allows consumers to check that water meter readings are accurate before contacting the water provider to dispute an account.

Bottled Water Industry Is Booming: So Is The Criticism from Public Officials and Consumers

Municipal, environmental, consumer and health critics seems to be ganging up on the American bottled water industry these days, but it just keeps on setting new sales records.

Consider the recent growth of the industry, which now includes bottled spring water, bottled artesian water, bottled tap water that has been purified and bottled "flavored water", which the industry prefers to call "designer water" or "enhanced water":

--The number of gallons of bottled water sold has grown from 5.2 billion in 2011 to an estimated 8.3 billion in 2016. That’s about a 60% increase in six years. The wholesale dollar amounts have increased from $6.9 billion to nearly $11 billion.

--Bottled water has grown into the second largest commercial beverage in the nation and it is gaining on the leader, carbonated soft drinks.

--In 2015, Americans drank an average of 26.1 gallons of bottled water per person. That’s about 200 of those 17-ounce bottles of water. In 1961, when the industry started counting, the percapita average was 1.6 gallons.

--The International Bottled Water Association reported that a national survey indicated that 58% of Americans selected water as the "bottled beverage" they "associate most with living a healthy lifestyle?" The carefully worded questionnaire excluded unbottled tap water and the IBWA news release did not say who sponsored the survey. However, the association indicated the results were understandable because bottled water has no calories, no caffeine and no sugar and the product is watched over by the Food and Drug Administration.

--In 2015, for the first time ever, Americans drank more bottled water than milk.

The industry has had to overcome two major psychological barriers to achieve its growth.

  1. For centuries Americans were unaccustomed to paying for water, except the relative pittance they paid for tap water.
  2. Once they had accepted the idea of paying for pristine spring water, Americans then had to be sold on paying premium prices for tap water that had been bottled.

Since those psychological barriers have been hurdled, price seems to be more of a competitive factor between the various brands rather than a concern of the consumer. The market cry seems to be: Bottle it and they will buy it.

In California, they're started marketing a $55 bottled water called Bling H2O in 2007. It comes in a frosted bottle with Swarovski crystals and is bottled at a Tennessee spring following a nine-step purification. It's been given celebrity treatment in Los Angeles. The media attention and the shock price will probably help other premium waters to raise their prices.

The acceptance of bottled water has grown to the point that at least one website devoted to the restaurant industry has criticized restaurants for not providing diverse selections of bottled water to accompany different foods, as is done with wine.

The next question: If milk sales can be topped, can soft drinks be next? The question probably intrigues soft drink producers because they market much of the bottled water.

The answer may depend upon how the bottled water industry copes with growing criticism focusing on health, price, environmental and labeling issues.

Before Spring, Get Your Yard Ready to Save Water: A Bit of Work Now Will Have The Garden Ready Before April Showers

Before you head out

On one of those cold winter nights, take some time to assess what you've been growing in your yard and think about ways you can start working some native plants into the landscape. Start slowly, if you'd like, with just a few species of native plants. Once you see how beautiful those plants look in your yard and how little maintenance they require, you’ll want to plant even more.

The National Native Plant Campaign website is a good place to start your search, with links to local native plant societies, where you can find lots of information about the plants that grow best in your area with the least amount of water and care.

Get the yard ready

Once you have a plan prepared, make a few preparations in the yard.

  • Inspect all outdoor pipe, especially the irrigation cutoff valves and backflow prevention devices, to make sure they did not freeze and break during the winter.
  • Add a new layer of mulch around the bases of tree, perennial flowers and trees.
  • Use a little fertilizer and take advantage of Spring rains to promote early growth and stronger drought tolerance in the Summer.
  • Make sure your cistern or rain barrels are clean and in good working order so you can start collecting water when the Spring rains begin falling.

A little preparation in the spring will make it a lot easier to sit back and enjoy your beautiful yard in the hot summer months.

Start Digging

Replace as much of your sod as you can with native plants. Be sure to check with your homeowners' association, because some have specific requirements about how much sod a yard must contain. Remember that native plants won't need fertilizers or pesticides. On the other hand, some municipalities, such as Oviedo, Florida, offer incentives for homeowners who reconfigure their yards so that they are more water-conscious.

And, of course, once they're established, they will hardly need to be watered.

Be sure to mulch around the plants to help prevent erosion and to keep as much moisture around the plants as possible. The Natural Resource Conservation Service suggests that using organic mulches such as leaves, composted materials or even shredded newspaper will not only keep the weeds at bay, but it will also decompose and enrich the soil.

Mow or Less

And, remember, the more of your sod you replace, the less time you will have to spend pushing a mower around the yard.