Rainsoft - water conditoners/softners

We had a Rainsoft demonstration at our home. We live in the central Florida by the way. According to him and his selected news sources, our water is unclean. Like most people, I am doubtful of products that are sold door to door but his demonstrations look pretty legit. He used this mineral filter for the demonstration because obliviously they couldn’t install system before us buying it. He gave us a price for $7000 but now he’s willing to go to $2500. So does anyone have experience with this company? Or does have any advice on water conditioners/softners in general? Rainsoft is willing to wait until the end of week with that price. They seem pretty confident with their product…

wrong forum??

Tell them to go pound sand.

I’ve worked for a water treatment company for the past 16 years.

It is not uncommon for this company to be called in to handled situations where customers have paid thousands of dollars for equipment that can not perform as promised. It is an industry where customers are generally ignorant of the technology so fly by night companies can easily manipulate people using fear tactics to buy systems they don’t actual need.

Someone going door to door should not be trusted.

I would not recommend dealing with any water treatment company that is not WQA certified. www.wqa.org

If you give me some data I could recommend how to pursue meeting your treatment needs.

Do you have private well water or a municipal water supply?
Do you have any staining?
Do you have a recent water test?
Size of the main water supply pipe?

  1. Municipal Water
  2. Yes
  3. Only by Rainsoft and they said the water is hard
  4. Standard CPVC??

Personally, I hate softened water. It takes forever to rinse off and you still feel unclean.
My inlaws have it, and so I get to live with it a couple weeks a year visiting.

Personally, I hate softened water. It takes forever to rinse off and you still feel unclean.
My inlaws have it, and so I get to live with it a couple weeks a year visiting.

Even at $2500, they’re still ripping you off. I’ve had soft water softeners put in my current and last house. Mine cost $1100 each, but you could get by with less out of pocket depending on a number of factors, including size of your house, if you have a water loop pre-installed, features desired on the control valve, etc.

I had a door to door guy come by my house shortly after I moved in. I played dumb about water softeners just to hear his sales pitch. As Young Scrappy mentioned, they take advantage of the general public’s ignorance in justifying a high price. Don’t fall for it. Shop around. Call a number of water treatment companies and get estimates. I prefer to use local independents, as the national companies like Rainsoft, Kinetico, etc tend to rely on high pressure sales tactics, in my opinion. I would also visit your local Home Depot or Lowes to see their offerings and learn more about softeners in general. I can’t vouch for the brands offered at those stores (typically GE SmartWater, Kenmore, and others), as every water treatment pro I’ve talked to generally pans those as less effective models (perhaps Young Scrappy can weigh in on that).

Other advice; buy one with a metered control valve -it’s worth a little extra cost vs. a timed valve. Don’t pay extra for a control valve with digital displays of other fancy features, it’s not worth it. Fleck is a well respected valve manufacturer.

If you need to have a water loop installed -Get a clear explanation of what they plan to do to install it and how/where they will route the waste water after a regeneration cycle. Most water treatment companies can do this, provided they have the right plumbing contractor license. This is an item that I feel is typically overcharged for. Don’t call a plumber for this, you’ll pay dearly.

Buy it, don’t lease. Also don’t pay for any type of maintenance contract. The units are virtually maintenance free and just require monitoring and refilling the brine tank when salt gets low.

You have municipal water that means in short it is safe in terms of health. There is no need to treat it other then personal taste and/or aesthetic reasons.

It is required the city performs a full comprehensive test on the water. I think the federal standard is once a year. Most cities test at a minimum every 6 months once a month is not uncommon. You have the right to acquire the test results and can do so by calling you local water department.

What type of staining do you see? brown/orange? green/blue? at the top of the toilet bowl? Below the water line in the bowl?

I don’t know much about the water in Florida. In MA we rarely need to soften water simply because it is hard. A typical rating for us would be 4-10 grain hardness. Where if you head into Utah and Colorado it is not uncommon to find 20-30 grain harness. We use softners primarily to remove iron and manganese from the water. Both being very common here. How much shampoo do you use to make a lather?

There is no standard size for PVC. The size of the main for a house will vary based on a number of factors including size of the house, when it was built, flow needed for different appliances, how cheap the builder was and so on. Most common are 3/4 and 1 inch. The size and type of softner will be relative to the size of the main. The goal is to minimize the amount of flow lost to equipment. ei. For my company a standard softner to treat a house with a 1 inch main is around $1300 plus installation. If a house had a 1/14 main we would probably opt for a larger system and that could jump the cost the $2000.

At this point I would consider talking to your neighbors and finding out if they use any equipment and if they would recommend a local water treatment company. You can scroll around the WQA site they have allot of question and answer stuff that might give you some ideas.

If you decide you want to go ahead with something the best way of finding a reliable company tends to be word of mouth. You can check the WQA site for local dealers.

Just to give you an idea. If you called my company we would come out to do an on site test of the water for hardness, iron, manganese and TDS. If you had green staining we’d have you take a sample in the morning we could test for copper. We’d take a look at the set up to determine what would be needed to install. Ask some questions about your household water usage. We’d give you some treatment options with estimates. Answer any questions you may have. At that point walk away and let you make your decisions. No cost or obligation. We’d hope to hear from you again.

Our company is also unique as we have the capacity to provide temporary or exchange tank services so we can easily set up a non regenerating softner in your house to treat the water so you could get an idea of what the changes in your water will be. Most companies don’t have an easy way of doing this. So more common is they must do a permanent installation without a trial period of any sort.

“They seem pretty confident with their product.” That does it for me – I’m convinced! :rolleyes:

$7000 is an OUTRAGEOUS price for a water softener, which was illustrated by his willingness to reduce the price to 31% of the original! At $2500, he is still making a killing! Offer him half of that, and he’ll take it and be glad!!

Don’t be a sucker. You are being scammed royally. If you think your water needs softening, and you like the feel of soft water (I don’t), then get an estimate from a reputable local dealer; a plumber who will be around tomorrow in case of problems. You door-to-door salesman won’t be there in a week, as he will be busily spending your money in Bermuda, where the water is salt anyway.

A local plumber should be familiar with local water supply chemistry, and have a solution to color problems if that’s what bothers you.

And if your water supply is municipal, then as others have said, you don’t need any treatment at all to drink it safely. Scam artists rely on common fears that all tap water is unsafe, and this is just not true.

Okay, I’ve head enough about Rainsoft to cancel the order.I will definitely check out my local plumbers and order the water results from my municipality. I’ve also good things about the Fleck valve and not to buy a softener from a box store. However, I’m thinking there must a company out there people can trust. Maybe, they make their products under different names in different regions, maybe not. Another, Rainsoft is a “water conditioner” not a softener. What’s the difference? From my understanding, the softener gets rid of the hardness not the chemicals. Do I need to buy something to clean the water after the softener?

I think the first thing you need to do is to determine what, if anything, you need done to your water. Are there any chemicals or minerals that need to be removed from the water? As others have said, with municipal water you shouldn’t need any treatment, as that’s what the municipality does.

Do you simply want a filter on your drinking water (in which case you can get one mounted under the kitchen sink or mounted to the faucet at the sink)? Do you need all of the water in the house softened?

You said that you’re getting the report from the municipality. First read it, and then call them if you have any questions. I doubt that you need to spend any money at all on this.

The company I work for uses Fleck and Autotrol control heads. Both have a long history in the industry. There is a range of quality within Fleck control heads some better then others. A control head being Fleck alone does not make it good but does mean you should be able to find parts and service for them indefinatly which is a very important factor. We tend to use Autotrol for out smaller and/or twin tank softners. We use fleck for larger systems and for other media beds.

I don’t recommend buying equipment from anyone that doesn’t service it. Thus the big box stores are a poor choice. While a softner can last 40+ years without any service needed if you do need service or parts it’s very important there is someone that can provide it.

A softener normally refers to a ion exchange resin bed unit. They chemically exchange ions of sodium, potassium or hydrogen(depending on what you charge it with, typically sodium) for many different hardness causing agents that exist in water.

A conditioner is a less specific term and can refer to any number of systems of which a softner is included. There are other media beds that can be used for softening, oxidizing, neutralizing ext.

There is no one size/type fits all for equipment. Some water may take 2 or more different pieces of equipment to treat it. Needed equipment is determined for each water supply based on what is present it the water water usage and what you need/wish to remove.

A majority of our business is treating private well water. We do provide equipment for some municipal water suppliers and/or users. While municipal water is safe does not mean it’s a pleasure to live with. One example is iron. Nearly any amount could be present in your water and it would still be considered safe to drink. On the other hand if it turned everything it touches orange you might not want turn your clothes orange or scrub your shower daily.

IANAchemist or water expert, but to me, something that “gets rid of the hardness” would be, by definition, a softener. A conditioner is whatever they want to sell you.

Are there any chemicals you are worried about? Are they in your water? Are they dangerous or undesirable enough to warrant treatment?

I have an unlimited supply of well water (at least until Lake Michigan dries up). It’s safe to drink, tastes OK, but is hard and high in disolved iron. I filter it for drinking, coffee and ice thru a “manual” Brita unit on the kitchen counter. Cost: $24 for the gallon-sized unit plus $7 per filter for about 3 months. It works for me, but YMMV.

Reverse-osmosis units are great, but a bit more expensive. They won’t do a thing for the hardness, AFAIK.

My main concern is hardness. I talk to this guy. He told me to go get your water tested at a pool supply store. They will check for hardness and chloride/chlorine.


This is his company. He is local and not affiliated. They make their water conditioners with metered Fleck valves. They have been in business for 20 years. They offer a 5 yr warranty. He said $1400 for the conditioner with installation. He explained box store have cheap parts inside. They are temporary. Some of Sears’ products are made by Ecowater but they are designed for Sears exclusively meaning they have the right to use other parts.

Based on there web page I wouldn’t give them a shining endorsement as they do allow a little bit of fear based marketing to get in.

They do seem reasonable and will probably meet your needs.

I don’t agree with testing for chlorine or hardness off site. Hardness and chlorine can change with time and temperature. It is recommended that they be tested at the kitchen sink after running it for 5-10 minutes. It isn’t like they are tests that require a lab or anything. Our test kits are smaller then a shoe box. I know a number of companies that will sell equipment to people based on mailed in results. The concept just doesn’t sit well with me.

I don’t see anything wrong with the info or presentation on their website. It’s fairly typical of what I’ve seen on many other water company websites. Their units look very similar to what I’ve purchased for my homes, so they should be just fine by me. $1400 seems a tad high but not unreasonable, and that may be more typical for your area and a variety of factors could influence the price (unit size, valve, water loop installation needed, etc). It should work just fine for you.

As others have mentioned, soft water takes some getting used to but it does have a nice benefit. The softener won’t do much to improve the taste of your water though. For that you’ll need an RO or water filtration system.

I still don’t know about the knock on the national/box store brands. They do seem cheaper in cost/quality/construction but I’ve known a few people that have them and gotten years of trouble free use.

What unit size should I be looking for? We have a house with 5 adults?

You need the household flow demand. The number of people. weather the house has a dishwasher or washing machine and the chemistry of the water in order to accurately size equipment.

Even if you provide us with that info, it would be tough for anyone here tell you what you should be buying from your local dealer as they don’t necessarily use the same standards/equipment.

Has this dealership recommended equipment yet?

We have 5 adults. We have a dishwasher and a washing machine. According to the dealership has 1500 gallons and a 250 gallon reserve. 3/4" CPVC pipe. I asked the water company and they say we close 15,000 - 20,000 gallon a month. Does it work out?

Is this a twin tank system(2 tall 8-12inch diameter tanks and one 2 foot diameter brine tank or a single tank system(1 of each). I assume you are still talking about the one with a metered fleck head?

The 1500gal is based on your water chemistry or is that a generic spec?

Setting the unit to regenerate with only 250 gallons of capacity left on a single tank system is not going to work well. You get untreated water while the unit regenerates the default time for a fleck head is 12:30 am so in theory it regenerates when no one is using water. The time is adjustable but will always be static.

If they are saying the system will regenerate after every 1500gallons of water it does not actually perform the regeneration until that night. So if you hit the 1500 mark at 7 am and the reserve is only 250gals it would be insufficient to last till the next regeneration as you use an average of 650gallons a day.
What are the schedules like of the 5 adults? If they are anything like the people I deal with there may not be an ideal/consistent time for a softner to regenerate. A twin tank system is probably better suited for your household. The way they work is one tank is always in service. When a tank reaches its capacity the system automatically takes one tank out of service for regeneration and the other is placed in service. This allows for you to receive an uninterrupted supply of treated water Fleck does make twin tank systems but in my experience their twin tanks are better suited for larger applications then yours, do to cost. We typically use Autotrol for household twin tank systems. To meet you needs you’d probably be looking at $2400 for the equipment plus the cost of installation.