Saturday, June 27, 2015

How Soft Water Helps #WellWater

By Albert Westbrook

Since well water comes straight from the source (ahem, the ground) versus through a municipal system to your home, it can often be hard, rife with minerals. Overtime, these minerals can cause trouble in a various ways throughout your home.

Why Ground Water is Considered "Hard Water"

With well water comes minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are fine to consume as drinking water. However, sometimes these minerals become problematic for your plumbing as well as your appliances, faucets and fixtures, and even your clothes and dishware. Hard water can leave behind lime scale build-up over time, which can cause damage to your hot water tanks and make soaps less effective. Hard water can also leave behind stains on pots, pains and glassware and is more apt to fading clothing in the washing machine, thus shortening their lifespan and ultimately costing you more money to replace.

How to Tell if Your Well Could Benefit from a Water Softener

Oftentimes filters can serve to cut most of the sediment and turbidity from entering the well water for your home. However, to remove minerals, a water softener may be your best bet. You can buy a test kit from a company that sells softeners, have it tested by a well service company in your area or request a well water analysis through your local government's public health services department. Water that measures over 7 grains per gallon is considered to be "hard."

What Does a Water Softener Do?

If that's the case with your well water, a water softener is the perfect option. An ion-exchange softening system is a very popular option. This system uses resin beads coated in sodium that attract and remove the ions of the minerals that harden the water. As the softener removes the hard minerals, it leaves behind ion-free "soft" water that makes nearly everything in your home - from your pipes and plumbing to your home appliances and even your soaps and cleansers - work more efficiently. You'll find that soft water helps soap and cleaners work more efficiently in the dishwasher, washing machine, while cleaning and even on your skin and hair when it comes to body wash as well as shampoo and conditioners properly lathering. Because soft water is free of many minerals, it does not leave behind residues or stains and tends to leave clothing softer and brighter than with hard water, too.

Benefits of Soft Water for Wells

In addition to making your well water serve your plumbing and home more effectively, soft water generally feels better, too. Soft water users love the silky smooth feeling that soft water leaves behind on their skin, which is just another added bonus that you might not have expected from your (now soft) well water.

If you think hard water from your well is causing problems in your home or if you simply prefer softer water for bathing and drinking, call a professional well service to discuss your options.

Albert Westbook is a writer interested in all types of consumer related topics. He recommends Mike Zimmerman Well Service if you are looking for a professional well expert in Utah and southwestern Wyoming.

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

10 Questions you Should Be Asking Before Purchasing a #WaterSoftener

By Alyssa Brownell

  1. Will a permit need to be pulled in order to install my water softener?

    A permit could be necessary. Be sure to ask your rep if a permit needs to be pulled in order to install your unit in the city or county where you live. By making sure you have the proper permits from the start, you can be sure that when you sell or remodel your home later, you will avoid costly penalties. Choose a forthright company; it is their responsibility to keep you informed.

  2. How soon after installation will I have soft water?

    Cold water turns soft immediately, and so does hot water from a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters house hot water during the installation of your water treatment system. Thus, until the tank is empty, the water will remain hard. If you do not want to wait the 2-3 days it takes to empty your tank naturally, you can run your bathtub on hot until it runs cold. Your water will then be soft when your tank replenishes.

  3. What are the differences between purchasing a water softener at a home improvement store vs. from a company specializing in water treatment?

    Purchasing a unit at a home improvement store is an option, but it lacks a professional company willing to maintain and service your machine whenever necessary. You are taking responsibility for paying for its install or doing it yourself and it may be worth it to purchase from a company that will professionally install it free of charge. Options are limited at home improvement stores, and with a water treatment company, you are more likely to find the best option for your home.

  4. Is soft water good enough to drink?

    It all depends on personal taste. Soft working water that comes out of your faucet is in fact good enough to drink. However, that is by government safety standards. Some people may wish to have a better tasting drinking water, and there are plenty of good options for drinking water treatment systems, such as reverse osmosis or sink cartridge filter systems. This improved quality drinking water will not only taste better by itself, but it will improve the taste of your coffee and your cooking!

  5. What type of maintenance and upkeep is involved with a water softener?

    Salt and/or potassium are necessary to upkeep your water softener. Well water may require food grade chemicals and bleach to treat it. Carbon bed systems will become saturated with chlorine and need to be changed. It all depends on the unit's capacity and how much water your home uses.

  6. What if I'm not willing or physically able to add salt to the softener on a regular basis?

    When purchasing from a water treatment company, most will provide a free salt delivery service. Your tank will never be empty and you can enjoy your soft water without the hassle.

  7. How long can I expect my water softener to last?

    Life expectancy on systems does vary. Electrical softeners will last about 1-5 years depending on where they are stored. Units installed in the garage will have a little longer of expectancy. With non electrical units, like Kinetico, location has no bearing on expectancy. They usually last 20-30 years as long as they are kept up with. Chemical free systems last a year or two depending on the materials used to treat the water. Be sure to ask your rep what the expectancy of your machine will be

  8. What if I am renting my home or planning on moving in the next few years?

    Most people do not know that water treatment systems are portable. Renters can purchase a system and move it with them as their family relocates. A lot of companies will also rent units to you. Warranties generally transfer with you.

  9. What is the typical warranty on a system?

    Warranties are a reflection of how a manufacturer feels about their product. Be sure to be clear on what the warranty includes. Lifetime warranties are often misleading, and natural disasters are not usually included. Watch out for the mention of chlorine in the warranty. It is often put in our county and city water for treatment, and could render your warranty void if damages from chlorine are not included. Carbon tanks should be included in the warranty for your resin bed. Ten year warranties are also common. Not prorated warranties mean that if the prices of parts increase over time you will not have to pay the difference, while prorated warranties will require you to pay the difference.

  10. What is the typical guarantee?

    Every company is different, but most will rely on Florida law which states that you have three days to provide a cancellation in writing and get your money back. Make a verbal and written cancellation to avoid problems in the future. Companies may offer 30 day money back guarantees, and it should also be in writing. You may not get the plumbing costs back, which are minimal, but you can use that plumbing again later if you decide to get another unit installed with a different vendor. Protect yourself and be informed!

For more information on in-home water treatment systems including some great informational videos, visit us at

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