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
Q. What is hard water?
A. Hard water is water
that contains more than 1 GPG
(grains per gallon) of dissolved
minerals. (Usually calcium,
Q. How is hard water
A. Hard water is
usually measured in either PPM
(parts per million) or GPG (grains
17.1 PPM or Mg/L = 1 GPG or PPM or
Mg/L divided by 17.1 = GPG (grains
Q. I've read ads that
claim that Magnetic (magic?)
Softeners would solve hard water
problems. What is your experience?
"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
Q. Why does the water
softener have to add salt to the
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
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. 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
Q. Someone told me that
softened water feels slimy. Is this
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
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
5.0 grains per gallon 37.5
10.0 grains per gallon 75.0
20.0 grains per gallon150.0
40.0 grains per gallon300.0
As a comparison,
1 slice of white bread has 161
milligrams of sodium
3/4 cup of canned baked beans =
1 tablespoon of catsup = 204
1 medium frankfurter = 610
and 1 Cup of whole milk = 127
Even a common Alka Seltzer
tablet contains 532 milligrams
Q. Do I have to use
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.