Water Treatment Questions

What is hard water?

Hard water is the most common problem found in the average home. Hard water is water that contains dissolved hardness minerals above 1 GPG*. The most common minerals causing hardness are calcium, manganese and magnesium.

For many uses, hard water won't affect you. For instance, to water your grass, to put out fires, float your sailboat, or wash the dirt from the sidewalks, water would have to be pretty hard to cause a problem.

But for having a shower or bath, washing dishes and clothes, shaving, washing your car, making coffee and many other uses of water, hard water is not as efficient or convenient as soft water. For instance:

  • You use only 1/2 as much soap cleaning with soft water.
  • Because hard water and soap combine to form "soap scum" that can't be easily rinsed off, they form a hard deposit on all surfaces when they dry, leaving a “bathtub ring” on ceramics appliances and dishes, as well as a whitish deposit on stainless steel and chrome surfaces.
  • This soap scum can remain on your skin even after rinsing, clogging the pores of your skin and coating every hair on your body. This crud can serve as a home for bacteria, causing diaper rash, minor skin irritation and skin that continually itches.
  • When hard water is heated, the hardness minerals are re-crystallized to form hardness scale. This scale can plug your pipes and hot water heater, causing premature failure, and costly replacement.
How much salt does a water softener add to my water?

As a general rule, if you were to drink one gallon of water a day from water softened by a standard water softener the amount of salt added to that gallon of water is equivalent to the amount of salt in one slice of white bread. For people on a salt-reduced diet, a point-of-use reverse osmosis unit is often recommended after the water softener for drinking water.

What is the difference between softening water and filtering water?

You don't have to be a hydrologist to understand the basic principles behind water filtration and water softening. Here's an abridged version of what happens when you filter or soften water:

Filtering water involves separating mineral particles, like particulates, iron, hydrogen sulfide or other organic matter, from H2O. By passing water through a "filter bed," or "media bed," these granular particles are trapped - and clean water passes through the bed. Softening water involves something called "ion exchange" to remove dissolved minerals - like calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese - that can't be trapped in a filter bed. Softeners use fresh resin beads with sodium attached to the resin. As water enters the tank, dissolved calcium and magnesium are attracted to the resin. The resin passes up the sodium in exchange for the dissolved chemicals and the water is then rid of these impurities.

Whether you use a filter or a softener depends on whether the contaminates in your water are particles or dissolved minerals. Arrowsmith Water Management filters remove the substances from your water that can cause staining, foul odors, and the need for excessive cleanup. Household chores become easier because your water is working with you, not against you.

To find out what's ailing your water, contact us for a water analysis.

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