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Water Treatment FAQs

What is Hard Water?

Your water is considered hard when the mineral count is too high, including an excess of both calcium and magnesium ions. While hard water is not generally bad for your health, excessive hard water can have a negative impact on your pipes and fixtures and can cause discomfort when bathing or at extreme levels when drinking. Hard water also requires you to use more soap to clean your clothing or dishes and lime scale is more likely to develop on your tile.

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How Are Softening and Filtering Different?

Softening of water removes the excess minerals that build up in your water to make it softer. However, in doing so, the chemicals in the softening process usually create a greater sodium and salt level. The ion exchange used to remove minerals that have been dissolved in your hard water uses that sodium to create the exchange.

Water filtration, however, uses a bed of minerals to capture certain particles like iron or organic debris as they pass through. When the particles are captured, fresh water can pass through cleanly and leave behind the particle contaminants. More advanced forms of filtering include reverse osmosis which uses pressure and a semi-permeable barrier to pass fresh water from one module to the next, removing all impurities, including the sodium added during softening.

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What Type of Water Treatment System Do I Need?

Water softening and filtration are important to protect your pipes and your family’s drinking water. However the only way to know for sure what system you need in your home is to have your water tested. Regular water testing should be done to check for the water’s hardness, its pH balance, the general consistency of things like lead, iron, nitrates, arsenic, chlorine, and other chemicals and minerals that might build up over time in your pipes or water supply.

While there are home test kits for water testing, it is important to have an expert check the results before making any decisions. Only an expert water treatment technician can tell you what the numbers mean and whether your current water treatment system is sufficient to remove the particulates and chemicals that enter your water supply each day.

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How Much Maintenance is Required for My Treatment System?

A water softening system does require regular maintenance, as you must refill the salt and have the filters checked on your system from time to time. Most companies can provide this service for you, however, setting up times in advance to check the current status of your salt levels and adjust as necessary. Filtration systems generally need annual maintenance as well for similar reasons.

Beyond the filter changes and salt refills for your system, make sure you have your water tested at least once per year. Ideally, this can be done when you have your filters checked each year, and you can minimize the amount of money your maintenance visits cost.

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Do I Need a Reverse Osmosis Filter?

Reverse osmosis is a complicated process that removes the minerals and salts from your water with a high pressure, two chamber transfer of water through a semi-permeable filter. This type of system is used not only in homes, but in hospitals and restaurants where large volumes of pure, safe water are needed every day.

These systems are not only better than faucet and under-sink filters, but they are more efficient and will last much longer. Because they also remove things like nitrates and sodium from softening, they are recommended for systems with advanced cartridges or treatments systems that make your water cleaner but less safe to drink.

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