|Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common water problems that can be treated?
Why would I need a Water Softener?
What is Hard Water?
There is Iron in my water?
What is Sediment?
Is Hard water bad?
How is water soft?
||Q. What are some common water problems that can be treated?
A. There are several problems related to regular water:
- Hard Water problems, such as mineral scale buildup
- Iron problems, such as rusty stains on sinks and laundry
- Sediment or Dirty Water problems
- Bad taste and odour problems in drinking water
Q. Why would I need a Water Softener?
A. A Water Softener will provide the following benefits:
- More pleasant showers and shampoos using less soap
- Soaps leave no residue on the skin and hair
- Better tasting, odour free water for brushing teeth etc.
- Whiter, brighter laundry with less soap and maintenance
- Only appliance that will pay for itself in 1-2 years
Q. What is Hard Water?
A. Hardness is a term to describe the presence of calcium and magnesium minerals in water. A chemical analysis accurately measures the amount of minerals in grain weight. For example, one gallon of water with five grains per gallon (gpg) hardness has dissolved minerals, that if solidified, about equals the size of one ordinary aspirin tablet. One gallon of water, 25 gpg hard, has a mineral content equal in size to five aspirin tablets. Water hardness varies greatly across the country. It generally contains from 3 to 100 gpg.
Hard water affects living in general. Hardness minerals combine with soap to make a soap curd. The curd greatly reduces the cleaning action of soap. Precipitated hardness minerals form a crust on cooking utensils, appliances, and plumbing fixtures. Even the tastes of foods are affected. A water softener removes the hardness minerals to eliminate these problems, and others.
Sodium Information: Water softeners using sodium chloride (salt) for regeneration add sodium to the water. Persons on sodium restricted diets should consider the added sodium as part of their overall intake.
Q. There is Iron in my water?
A. Iron in water is measured in parts per million (ppm). The total* ppm of iron, and type or types*, is determined by chemical analysis. Four different types of iron in water are: Ferrous (clear water), Ferric (red water), Bacterial and organically bound iron, Colloidal and inorganically bound iron (ferrous or ferric).
*Water may contain one or more of the four types of iron and any combination of these. Total iron is the sum of the contents.
Iron in water causes stains on clothing and plumbing fixtures. It negatively affects the taste of food, drinking water, and other beverages.
- Ferrous (clear water) iron is soluble and dissolves in water. It is usually detected by taking a sample of water in a clear bottle or glass. Immediately after taking, the sample is clear. As the water sample stands, it gradually clouds and turns slightly yellow or brown as air oxidizes the iron. This usually occurs in 15 to 30 minutes. A water softener will remove moderate amounts of this type of iron (see specifications).
- Ferric (red water), and Bacterial and organically bound irons are insoluble. This iron is visible immediately when drawn from a faucet because it has oxidized before reaching the home. It appears as small cloudy yellow, orange, or reddish suspended particles. After the water stands for a period of time, the particles settle to the bottom of the container. Generally these irons are removed from water by filtration. Chlorination is also recommended for bacterial iron.
- Colloidal and inorganically bound iron is of ferric or ferrous form that will not filter or exchange out of water. In some instances, treatment may improve colloidal iron water, but always consult a qualified water chemistry lab before attempting to treat it. Colloidal iron water usually has a yellow appearance when drawn. After standing for several hours, the color persists and the iron does not settle, but remains suspended in the water.
Q. Acid water?
A. Acidity or acid water is caused by carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sometimes industrial wastes. It is corrosive to plumbing, plumbing fixtures, water heaters, and other water using appliances. It can also damage and cause premature failure of seals, diaphragms, etc., in water handling equipment.
A chemical analysis is needed to measure the degree of acidity in water. This is called the pH of water. Water testing below 6.9 pH is acidic. The lower the pH reading, the greater the acidity. A neutralizer filter or a chemical feed pump are usually recommended to treat acid water.
Q. What is Sediment?
A. Sediment is fine, foreign material particles suspended in water. This material is most often clay or silt. Extreme amounts of sediment may give the water a cloudy appearance. A sediment filter normally corrects this condition.
Q. Is Hard water bad?
A. A glass of hard water is a glass of dissolved rocks. You can`t see the hardness in the water until the water evaporates. What once was invisible is now easily seen on everything the water touched- clothes, dishes, food, hair and skin:
As you can see, the major disadvantages are both aesthetic and economical. Water softening has been used routinely since the 1950s in both commercial and residential application. Today, it is estimated that over 10 million households have operating water softeners.
- Film or spots on glassware
- Ring around the bathtub
- No soap suds
- Dingy clothes
- Clothes that wear out quickly
- Scale formation on plumbing
- Loss of water heating efficiency
Q. How is water soft?
A. A water softener uses a treatment method known as ion exchange to soften water. The exchange material (cation resin) has a negative charge. The hardness ions (calcium, magnesium, etc) which are dissolved in the water, have a positive charge. As the water flows over and through the resin, the hardness ions are drawn to the resin.
At the same time, sodium ions (which have a less positive charge) are knocked off the resin into the water.This exchange process occurs billions of times during the softening process. As the exchange takes place, a hardness band forms in the resin bed. The band expands in the same direction as the service flow. Eventually, hardness blankets the resin to a point where it is not capable of exchanging. The resin is considered "exhausted" and any water passing over the resin remains hard.
Regeneration must occur to revive the resin. A brine solution is introduced into the mineral tank. Brine solution can be either sodium or potassium salt dissolved with water. The brine solution is rich in sodium or potassium ions and will exchange off the hardness ions. The hardness ions and unused brine solution is rinsed down the drain. The resin is backwashed and rinsed to complete the regeneration process.