Water Science


Water Science FAQs

1.   What is hard water?

Water described as “hard” is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Hard water is not a health risk, but a nuisance because of mineral buildup on fixtures and its interference with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to personal grooming.

2.   What maintenance is involved for a water softener?

All the homewoner needs to do is to make sure to keep salt or potassium in the brine tank. Water Science High Efficieny systems use much less salt and water compared to standard water softeners.

The manufacturer recommends that your softener be professionally serviced to include a resin cleaning at least annually. At the same time, our technicians can test the water and check the softener settings to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible. Why? Your water supply may contain high amounts of ferric iron and other sediment that can foul the resin beads inside your water softener. These contaminants are not completely removed during normal regeneration and will accumulate over time. Without regular resin cleanings the water softener will not work as efficiently. Additionally, clogged components reduce the lifespan of your system.

3.   What maintenance is involved for a reverse osmosis (R/O) system?

Your Reverse Osmosis (R/O) needs to be serviced every 6 to 12 months depending on use. In addition, the system should be sanitized once per year according to the procedure in the manual. Even if the system has not been used much it is still very important to have the system serviced at least annually. The water quality monitor button that some units have tests only the R/O membrane and not the sediment and carbon filters. Even though the light is still green you still must change the sediment and carbon filters every 6 to 12 months. Why do you need to have your filters changed? The R/O system contains components that are critical for the effective reduction of Total Dissolved Solids. These components, by the very nature of the process involved, have a finite lifespan. By servicing your R/O every 6 to 12 months our technicians can ensure the system is performing satisfactorily. Compliance with operational, maintenance, and component replacement requirements is essential for your drinking water system to perform as specified. Failure to change the pre-filters can lead to premature damage of the membrane, which is the most expensive to replace.

4.   What if I’m a part-time resident?

We still highly recommend at least annual service on all water treatment equipment to ensure your system is working properly and efficiently as possible. In addition to proper function, it is also important simply to check for and prevent potential problems.

5.   Is chlorine safe?

There is a lot of well-founded concern about chlorine. When chlorine is added to our water, it combines with other natural compounds to form Trihalomethanes (chlorination byproducts), or THMs. These by-products can trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cell damage, and can be carcinogenic.

One concern is the harmful exposure to chlorine due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. Chlorine in shower water also has a very negative cosmetic effect of drying out your skin and hair. Aside from all the health risks related to chlorine in our water, it is the primary cause of bad taste and odor in drinking water.

The good news is that chlorine is one of the easiest substances to remove from our water. For that reason it logically should serve it’s purpose of keeping our water free from harmful bacteria and waterborne diseases right up to the time of consumption, where it should then be removed by quality home filtration.

6.   What’s the difference between your systems and everyone else’s?

Problems with conventional water softeners include:

  • Salt bridging
  • Salt tank overflow
  • Low flow rates
  • High salt and water usage
  • Loss of programming during and after power failure
  • Fouling of resin caused by iron and sediment
  • Fixed reserve cannot compensate for fluctuations in water use
  • Bacteria growth during periods of nonuse
  • short term warranties

Water Science Solutions:

  • Our systems use a soft water brine combined with a salt grid to eliminate salt bridging.
  • Our system’s safety float prevents accidental salt tank overflow.
  • Our systems have high flow rates for that long hot shower.
  • Our systems use a highly efficient regeneration cycle that uses very little water and salt.
  • Our systems are equipped with automatic computer back-up which maintains all settings even during power outages.
  • Our system’s double backwash cycle helps prevent resin from becoming fouled.
  • Our system’s variable reserve adapts to changes in water use.
  • Our systems meter override automatically senses periods of non-use and initiates a cleaning cycle.
  • Lifetime Warranties on most systems
7.   How much does a water softener cost?

I’ll get that question over the phone and my tongue-in-cheek response is “between $500 and $5000.” Yet most people would never call a bicycle shop and ask, “How much does a mountain bike cost?” They know there are lots of different models. They understand that there is a difference between a “mountain bike” from Wal-Mart and a mountain bike from a professional bike shop. A good bike is going to be expensive. But if the cheaper bike can’t handle the conditions you ride on, it may be better to pay more than expected than to pay less than you should to get the right product.

The fact is that you can get a $500 water softener from a “big box” store or you can get a $5000 (over priced) water conditioner from a national franchise. Which would be the better deal? Is the $5000 system too expensive? Now, what if in addition to hardness, you have iron, sediment, chlorine or even bacteria in the water? Can the $500 unit handle all that or will it soon become fouled and not work properly? Is the cheaper system still a bargain now?

If I give someone a price of one of our water softeners it is 100% certain that they will be able to find other water softeners that cost less and still others that costs a lot more. The price is completely meaningless unless you know exactly what you are getting for your money. As obvious as that statement is, I still have lost a few bids because another company was cheaper. The sad fact was that my price would have been hundreds of dollars less for that exact same model. I didn’t bid that softener in the first place because it was not the best choice. Furthermore, I know from 20 years of experience they are going to have problems with that water softener. Worse yet, service can be very expensive once the short-term warranty expires. There is a difference between up front price and long-term cost.

Sometimes I get this question “How much does your 48,000 grain water softener cost?” It depends, all 48,000 grain water softeners are not the same. Just the capacity of a softener tells nothing about the quality or features of the system. Better comparators are the efficiency, flow rates, warranty, and certification by NSF or WQA. Even more important is the dealer’s reputation, expertise and professionalism of the service both before and after the sale.

I can sell you cheap equipment and beat everyone’s price. But I prefer to sell high quality water softeners with features that were added to overcome the most frustrating problems with standard water softeners. These features add long-range value and benefits that are well worth the extra cost. So how much is a Reverse Osmosis System? Don’t get me started!

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