Archive for the ‘Water Softener’ Category

Softening Hard Water

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
water hardness in the U.S., softening hard water, soft water, hard water

Credit: USGS

Not all water is created equal! Some areas (as you can see by the map above) are more prone to hard water – approximately 85 percent of the water in the Untied States – whereas others experience the feel of soft water. The quality of your water all boils down to the amount of minerals per gallon of water.

Water Basics

Hard water: According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, water is defined as being slightly hard when the levels of calcium and magnesium bicarbonates exceed 1 to 3.5 grains per gallon, which occurs naturally. While not unsafe, it is important to note that Arizona’s hardness levels often exceed 20 grains per gallon.

Soft water: Many Arizonian’s don’t know what soft water systems feels like; that’s a given. However, softened water contains fewer or no extra minerals per gallon of water. Residents in areas without soft water can use water treatment devices to remove excess minerals to produce soft water.

The Hard Facts

Soft water all the way, right? While soft water definitely has some advantages over hard water, including being better on your expensive appliances and even more expensive clothing, it may not be as tasty as hard water. Soft water may also leave you feeling like you haven’t rinsed off entirely after a relaxing hot shower.

Hard water carries with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Read more about its pros and cons. Hard water can make cleaning and bathing agents less effective, can cause mineral deposits to develop on your pots and pans, as well as aid in the buildup of shower scum. From a health perspective, however, the calcium minerals in hard water are good for your health.

Softening Hard Water

Considering that we live, bathe, cook and clean in an area prone to not only hard water, but very hard water, it’s only natural to want to reduce water hardness by investing in a good quality water softening tank. Water softening typically involves the use of an ion exchange process, which exchanges your hard water for soft.

For more information on high-quality water softeners, please be sure to contact your local plumbing professionals at A-Peoria today.

Does Your Home Need A Water Softener?

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

water softener apeoria plumbingIn Arizona, hard water can be a real issue for many homeowners, which is why many people are seen investing in water pitcher for clean drinking water. If you notice a large amount of deposits of lime or scale around your faucets or find that your soap and shampoo don’t lather easily, you may want to consider having a water softener installed.

Your first step you will want to take is measuring the hardness of your water. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). Typically, gpg will range between 3-12 gpg (3 being relatively soft, but 12 being very hard – see table). Kits are available for measuring water hardness, or you may want to have a professional come and do it for you. If it’s available, a local water report may provide information on water hardness. You can also get into more detail by finding the amount of specific hard minerals in your water, such as calcium and magnesium.

The next step is determining how much capacity you will need. For that, you will need to determine how much water your household uses daily. The average person uses 75 gallons a day, but that may be less in newer homes. Obviously you will want to multiply the amount by the number of people in your house. (Family of 4 – 75 x 4 = 300 gallons.)

Once you know the amount of water used, multiply this number by the time between regenerations to find a capacity number. Most softener systems are larger – 30,000 grains and up – meaning they’ll require less frequent regeneration. Less frequent regenerations is a great benefit in the long run because it means less salt is used and less money spent. If we included a 30,000 grain-capacity water softener in our scenario, it would need regenerating about every two weeks (or 16 days). With this information, you can choose a water softener with the correct capacity and preferred maintenance cycle for your home.

  • 75 gallons/day/person x 4 people = 300 gallons/day
  • 6 grains hardness x 300 gallons/day = 1800 grains hardness to remove each day
  • 30,000 grain capacity softener ÷ 1800 grains/day = 16 days of use before regeneration

The last step is determining what kind of salt to use. Most water softener manufacturers will suggest the type of salt that is best for their system but it’s good to know the difference. Mainly, there are three types of salt: rock salt, evaporated salt, and solar salt. The higher the sodium chloride in the salt, the more effective the salt is at softening water. Rock salt is the least expensive and contains less sodium chloride. Solar salt contains about %85 sodium chloride, while evaporated salt is the purest at %100.

In instances where someone in your household is on a sodium restricted diet, you may want to consider potassium chloride as the softening agent.

If you have any questions regarding water softeners or would like to have one installed, please contact the professionals at A-Peoria Plumbing.