How Does a Water Softener Work?
Water Softeners work on an ion exchange process where sodium ions that have accumulated on the media are exchanged for hardness ions from the hard water as it passes through the water softener.
How a Reverse Osmosis System Works
Water is forced under pressure through a membrane or skin. While the low mineral content water is forced through the membrane the high mineral content water is being flushed to the drain.
Why does soft water make my skin feel slippery?
A whole house water softener removes the impurities in your water so your skin is rinsed without hard water minerals left behind. There is no residue on your skin to trap traces of soap, dead skin cells and other particles. And no residue left behind that dries your skin. The slippery, softness you feel is exactly how clean skin is supposed to feel.
The same way that soft water eliminates water spots that dry onto your glassware and silverware, it allows your bath soaps to lather better and rinse off completely. Soaps will lather better and you’ll be able to use half as much.
How can I treat my well water?
Your authorized Water Doctor can evaluate your water and recommend a water softener system or whole house filteration system customized to treat your home’s water. The benefits include:
Will a Water Softener make my water safe to drink?
No. Your water must be safe to drink before you condition the water with a softener. If you are concerned about the safety of your drinking water, contact your local health department about getting a bacteria test, or full lab analysis on your water.
When do the resins in the softener tank need to be changed?
With the proper pretreatment and maintenance, the average water softener will not need its resins replaced in its lifetime (20 + years). It is impossible to accurately determine the life of resin since so many factors contribute to the degradation of the resin itself. Note: Proper pretreatment can be a simple as a sediment filter or as complex as chemical injection system combined with a multimedia bed, this is determined by having your water tested.
I see ads for “No Salt” needed water conditioners. How do they work without using salt?
Many dealers will advertise a no salt water conditioner. Any brand of water conditioner can be operated without using salt. This is done by using a salt substitute, potassium chloride. It’s generally more expensive compared to regular salt (sodium chloride), and can be difficult to find in some areas. Also, it is generally recommended you increase the salt setting on your control valve by about 10%, when using a salt substitute.
How often do I need to add salt to the Brine Tank?
It depends on how often your system needs to regenerate. The more your softener regenerates the more salt you will consume. As for the salt level in the brine tank, you can let the salt get down to the point inside the tank where you can see the water just above the salt. When you see water above the salt, it is time to add more! Generally, you will add salt to your brine tank about every 8 weeks.
How much salt should my softener use?
What kind of salt do you recommend using and do your softeners also use Potassium Chloride in place of salt?
We recommend buying salt for your water softener that is very clean; around the 99.5% salt content and up. All softeners can use Potassium Chloride in place of salt. Potassium Chloride tends to melt when it gets wet, sometimes forming a “bridge” inside the salt tank. We recommend filling the Brine tank only halfway or a bit more when using Potassium Chloride, so you can easily monitor it going down inside the tank after the unit regenerates.
My valve appears to be operating, but the salt is not going down. What could cause this problem?
The salt not going down could be due to many different reasons.
(Note: It is highly recommended that you contact an experienced water quality specialist to trouble shoot any problem with your equipment.)
I have a working Water Softener, but I am still getting Iron Staining. Why is that?
There are several things that could cause you to still be getting staining.
Above are the common reasons a working water softener might still be allowing you to get staining. For additional help and recommendations, call or contact an experienced water quality specialist.
I have a Water Softener, but I still have odor in my water. Why is that?
Water softeners do not remove most taste and odor problems (although they can remove the metallic taste of iron in water).
I have very hard water and high Iron. What kind of softener do I need?
To offer a proper and accurate recommendation for any system(s) needed to correct your water problems, we need current and accurate water test results. Public water suppliers have the information available to you by simply calling them and requesting to know the level of Hardness, Iron and pH of your water. If you have a private well, simply obtain a water test kit from a local hardware store, or you can purchase one of our test kits through a qualified water quality specialist or plumbing contractor.
How can I find out what is in my water…or where can I have my water tested?
If you have public water, simply contact the office where you pay your water bill. They should have current water testing records on file. If you are on a private water system, contact your county health department to see about having your water tested, or you can buy a Home Water Test kit available from Watts. Your water test results should show levels of hardness, Iron (what type of Iron you have), pH, Hydrogen Sulfide (for rotten egg odor), Nitrates and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
How can I determine what kind of unit, and what size I will need?
Filter systems are sized based on a couple of factors: (1) type and amount of dissolved mineral present in your water; (2) your home’s flow rate, which is typically based on the number of people present in the home. For filter systems, this information simply tells us what the fastest rate your water will travel through our units would be, and how much water in gallons per day is being used. Water softeners are sized based on the total hardness of your water, and the number of people in the home. Most all-residential applications have around an average 5 GPM flow rate. Typically, the higher the flow rate of your water going through the unit, the larger the mineral tank will be to handle the larger water flow rate. With a larger tank, the filtering media or resin will be physically deeper thereby permitting the water flowing down through it to be in contact with the media longer. Contact time is important, as the media/resin inside the tank needs to be in contact with your water for a long enough period of time, ensuring all dissolved impurities are removed before it leaves the tank.
How can I tell what my flow rate is?
You can get a fairly close idea of your water flow rate by simply running water at full open position through either an outside garden hose faucet or with your bathtub faucet. Example: Turn the faucet on to the full open position… then quickly put the gallon container under the full flow of water. Immediately start timing how many seconds it takes to fill the container all the way up. If it fills the container up in 15 seconds, you simply divide 60 seconds (1 minute)…by 15 seconds (the amount of time it took to fill the container up). The answer is 4, so your flow rate would be very close to 4 GPM! We recommend you order a unit that would handle at least 4 GPM. It would be over size the unit to ensure you are getting a unit with plenty of GPM flow capacity.
What kinds of Iron could be in my water?
There are basically four types of iron found in water, they are:
Can the softener cause pressure loss, if so what do I look for, and what do I need to fix it?
Yes, a softener will cause some pressure loss due to the resistance from the resin bed, but excessive pressure loss can be caused by one or a combination of the following.
The solution for all of the above problems is to dump the resin tank, clean and rebed with new resins. One cubic foot of softening resins is enough to properly fill the average residential softener. We can calculate the amount for you, if you provide exact resin tank dimensions.