Quality Pump & Supply
 2297 Main Street, Unit C
          Tewksbury, MA 01876

          (978) 988-7867


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Should I treat all the water that comes in the house?
A.  We recommend that the nearest out side faucet should be bypassed and if you have a sprinkler system for your lawn that should be bypassed also. We like to see one of the outside faucets use condition water for such things as washing cars (no spots), washing windows and siding, kids pools etc. The last thing you need to do is clean the spots from windows that has just been washed with hard water.

Q. What is hard water?
A.  Hard water is water that contains more than 1 GPG (grains per gallon) of dissolved minerals. (Usually calcium, magnesium).

Q. How is hard water measured?
A.  Hard water is usually measured in either PPM (parts per million) or GPG (grains per gallon).
17.1 PPM or Mg/L = 1 GPG or PPM or Mg/L divided by 17.1 = GPG (grains per gallon).

Q. I've read ads that claim that Magnetic (magic?) Softeners would solve hard water problems. What is your experience?
A.  Magnetic "conditioners" have been around for over 30 years and we have yet to see one that works. When we see one and only one equal claims maybe we will carry them, until that time we will not get involved in an unproven technology.

Q. Why does the water softener have to add salt to the water?
A.  A softener works by passing the hard water through resin beads which have soft sodium/potassium ions attached to them. While the water is in contact with the resin beads an ion exchange takes place with the hard mineral ions (typically calcium and/or magnesium) trading places with the soft sodium/potassium ions. After a period of use the sodium ions are depleted being replaced by calcium and magnesium. The resin then needs to be regenerated with the sodium ions so the resin will again be able to exchange the hard for the soft. However you can use potassium chloride.

Q. How long does it take for a softener to regenerate and how much water do they use?
A.  It depends on which water softener you purchase. There are four categories manual, electric mechanical, digital, and twin demand. Each one has a different time span for regeneration. Some units are more flexible than others and you should call us to discuss what options are available. One thing to remember is that the larger the unit the longer time between regeneration. You will use more water to back wash a larger system.

Q. Is a water softener a purifier?
A.  A water softener is not a purifier and should not be sold or purchased to be one. A water softener is used for the reduction of hardness, iron and manganese. Water softeners will not remove chlorine, bacteria, or solids.

Q. Why would I want to soften my water?
A.  The water feels great!!!! You will be amazed how much time and money you will save on soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dish washing soap, hand soap and lotions. Soft water greatly reduces the scaling in pipes and faucets. You spend less time scrubbing with abrasives cleaners, and you will have no soap scum in tubs and showers. Facts show much longer life on hot water heaters, greater saving on fuel bills, extends the life on dishwashers, humidifiers, clothes and so much more. And if you like luxurious bubble baths, shinier hair and cleaner skin, soft water is the way to go.

Q. Someone told me that softened water feels slimy. Is this true?
A.  When you wash your skin with hard water, there is a layer of soap and minerals that is left on your skin. This is what causes the supposed squeaky-clean feeling. With soft water, the soap is completely rinsed away leaving just the natural oils your skin produces.

Q. I've heard that a water softener adds sodium to my water supply. Is this true?
A.  Yes. A household water softener removes the hardness minerals - calcium and magnesium - from water and replaces them with sodium ions or potassium ions (if you use potassium chloride).

Q. How much sodium is added to the water by the softener?
A.  That depends on the hardness of the original water. This table shows the additional amount of sodium consumed by drinking one quart of softened water.

Initial Hardness Sodium Added

  • 1.0 grains per gallon7.5 milligrams/quart

  • 5.0 grains per gallon 37.5 milligrams/quart

  • 10.0 grains per gallon 75.0 milligrams/quart

  • 20.0 grains per gallon150.0 milligrams/quart

  • 40.0 grains per gallon300.0 milligrams/quart

As a comparison,

  • 1 slice of white bread has 161 milligrams of sodium

  • 3/4 cup of canned baked beans = 1130 milligrams

  • 1 tablespoon of catsup = 204 milligrams

  • 1 medium frankfurter = 610 milligrams
    and 1 Cup of whole milk = 127 milligrams

  • Even a common Alka Seltzer tablet contains 532 milligrams of sodium

Q. Do I have to use salt?
A.  No, stores that sell softener salt will also sell a salt substitute (potassium chloride). This is just as effective as the regular salt, but add potassium instead of sodium. The downside is that potassium chloride costs between 2 and 3 times more than the regular softener salt.

Q. What should I look for in a water softener?
A.  One of the main features you should look for is capacity (measured in grains) and how it determines when to regenerate. We carry 24,000, 32,000 48,000, 64,000, 96,000, 128,000 grain capacity plus water softeners. Most units meter how much water has been used to determine when it should regenerate. This is what we call demand regeneration.
Some units regenerate after a fixed period of time regardless of how much water you've actually used. This type of unit will may use more water and salt. 





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