FREE REPORT 10 Tips You Need to Know About Water Softeners

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1 1. What IS a Water Softener? A water softener is a self-cleaning, two tank appliance that removes minerals from your water. Some of those minerals leave a white residue called scale; others leave red staining, or black staining. A softener is very simple to operate, can last more than a decade, and has additional benefits you may not have even thought about. 2. What Does a Softener Actually Remove? A softener removes three specific minerals: 1. Calcium bicarbonate (hard water) 2. Iron 3. Manganese Our ProMate 6 Softener from Hellenbrand Your well water AND municipal water is never pure water. It will always contain many contaminants some of which are no problem at all, some of which are harmful, and some of which are a nuisance that can damage your home. What makes these minerals so problematic is that they stain, coat, leave deposits, clog, spot, reduce efficiency, roughen and fray fabrics, and even make your water smell. Read about each of the 3 minerals below: Calcium bicarbonate or hard water" is a rock like substance that leaves a white deposit, called scale, on everything it touches. You may have heard the term hard water to describe how hard it is for your soap to lather up and make suds. The most common problems of hard water are: Dry itchy skin Dull, unmanageable frizzy hair Clogged shower heads that need frequent replacement Soap scum instead of suds Stiff laundry Grey whites Frayed fabrics Faded laundry White film on your dishes, silverware, faucets, shower walls White deposits in your tea pot Scale buildup on your dishwasher heating element, inside your plumbing, on your hot water heating coils Increased energy consumption Appliances that fail prematurely Hard Water is measured in grains per gallon and is described in terms from soft to very hard : Hardness level (in grains) Less than Slightly Hard 3 7 Moderately Hard 7 10 Hard Above 10 Very Hard Term for Hardness level Soft

2 Iron is a very common mineral found naturally in water. It can be a trickster because your water can run clear, but as the dissolved iron makes contact with air, and bleach, or when it is heated, the dissolved iron turns into a visible particle and stains everything it touches. The most common problems are: Orange stains everywhere Metallic tasting water Metallic smell to your water Pets that refuse to drink their water Orange hair Orange and red rings in your toilet bowl Red and orange stains on your shower walls, inside your appliances The presence of iron bacteria because iron is a food source Clogged pipes, pink slime in your toilet bowl, slime in your toilet tank, (from iron bacteria) Poor water pressure (from iron bacteria) Prematurely clogged sediment filters that are also slimy (from iron bacteria) Frequent service calls needed for your water treatment equipment Iron and Hard Water stains from the Battelle Study for WQA. May 1, 2009 Iron is measured in parts per million of ppm. The state recommended limit is 0.3 ppm, but iron still causes staining even at this level Manganese is also a common element found naturally in water. It can be more difficult to remove than iron, but a water softener will remove both. People confuse Manganese with Magnesium but they are not the same thing. The most common problems are: Black staining on laundry Black staining on the inside of your dishwasher and on your plastic dinnerware Black stains in your toilet tank Bitter, metallic taste Black stains on your sediment filter Manganese is also measured in ppm. It is considered a problem at very low levels starting at 0.05 ppm. 3. A Water Softener Saves You Time, Money, and Aggravation Helps Dry Skin and Hair -Use less shampoo and conditioner. Enjoy healthier and softer skin and hair with softened water. Experience more manageable hair Protects and Softens Your Laundry - Clothes last longer, look brighter and better, fray less, and feel softer when laundered with soft water. And save money by using up to 60% less detergent when laundering with soft water Reduces Energy Costs - Softened water maintains the ENERGY STAR ratings on your water heater by preventing rock like scale build-up, thus saving

3 you significant dollars in energy costs and a much longer life for your water heater. Softened water saves 40-57% of operating costs of water heaters Stops Discoloration and Staining - Softened water eliminates scale and hard water stains, significantly reduces rust colored stains from iron, and reduces black stains from manganese Protects Plumbing, Appliances & Fixtures - Softened water extends the life of appliances and significantly reduces the repair costs as a result of hard water. Your faucets, showerheads and appliances will last much longer; and your dishes will be cleaner. And you can use up to 70% less dish washing detergent with soft water *Detergent savings studies were conducted by the independent testing firm Scientific Services S/D, Inc. of New York *Softened water benefit studies were conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit international science and technologies enterprise. Both studies were funded by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) 4. How Does a Water Softener Work? Tank 1 (Media Tank) The typical two tank residential water softener treats approximately 1,500 gallons of water (based on 4 people and moderate levels of hardness and iron). Every time you use water, your untreated well water enters Tank 1, called your media tank. Inside the media tank are thousands of plastic beads that attract and hold onto the hard water, iron and manganese in your water. When the beads are full, the softener automatically cleans itself. Tank 2 (Brine Tank) During the cleaning cycle, (every 4-10 nights, depending on your water quality and usage), salt water from Tank 2, called the brine tank, is drawn into Tank 1 to clean and charge up the beads. The dirty water, called discharge of water treatment wastewater* (WTW), goes to drain. How frequently a softener cycles depends on two things the level of minerals you have (iron, hardness, manganese) AND how much water you use. Every time it goes through a cycle, it uses between gallons of water over a 1-2 hour period and uses about pounds of salt. The average family uses about 1-2 bags of salt per month. *In the state of CT, the Department of Public Health prohibits the backwashing of a water softener to a septic system. The Department of Environmental Protection has a General Permit for the Discharge of water treatment waste and recommends installing a designated disposal system generally called a dry well.

4 5. What is the Typical Maintenance? Your water softener is a workaholic. The EPA says the average family of four will use 146,000 gallons of water per year. Can you imagine? So give your softener a little TLC. 1. Keep the salt tank half way filled with salt (or potassium chloride) about 1-2 bags a month 2. When you lose power, reset the clock (like you do for your microwave) 3. Call a water treatment professional to sanitize and tune-up your softener for peak efficiency and performance. 4. They should do a raw AND treated water test to re-program your valve specific to your water chemistry, check the internal components of your valve, check for leaks and the safety float, sanitize your salt tank and media tank, review your water usage (if digital), meter test your well pump and storage tank (as they all work together), and review their findings with you. 6. What are the Warranties on New Equipment? Ten year warranty on the media tank Five year warranty on the valve Five year warranty on the brine tank. A three day right of rescission (in CT) 7. How to Have Your Water Tested 1. Call us, your local water treatment professional. We will come to test your water for free. That is the best method due to changes in iron, odor, water pressure that need to be assessed on site. 2. Bring in a cold water sample (use an empty water bottle NOT a pickle jar) to our office. We can test it for minerals here, or we can send it off to a lab for even further testing. 8. FAQ s About a Water Softener FAQ #1: A water softener simultaneously adds some sodium to your water as it removes the bad minerals. This process is called ion exchange. The average amount of sodium added (with CT well waters), is about 15 mg per 8 ounces of water. If you want to avoid salt, you can always use potassium chloride, a sodium-free substitute, instead of sodium chloride. Your water softener will work the same. The actual conversion is 1.86 mg for every grain of hardness per 8 oz. Consider an 8 oz glass of milk has OVER 100 mg of sodium. Treated water contains about 15 mg of sodium in every 8 oz. Milk contains about 100 mg of sodium in every 8 oz. glass

5 FAQ #2: Water softeners typically use less than $2.00 of electricity per year. FAQ #3: Soft water helps to moisturize your body by allowing your natural oils to nourish and protect your skin. Hard water clogs your pores. Have you seen your shower head? If hard water is capable of clogging that, AND leaving a hard, rock-like residue on your shower walls, doesn t it make sense that it would also clog your pores? So think moisturized NOT slippery. FAQ #4: A water softener can do so more than soften water - it an also remove high levels of iron and manganese minerals that leave orange and black stains. But ONLY a water softener can remove hard water minerals. FAQ #5: A softener does NOT remove sulfur or bacteria or treat acid water. 9. Are There Salt-Free Options? As of this writing, only a Water Softener can remove hard water minerals. The US has a watchdog called the American National Standards Institute or ANSI. In order to get ANSI approval, the claims made by manufacturers need to be validated. There are no other proven salt-free devices that have the ANSI certification to remove hard water minerals. A water softener actually removes hard water minerals. Some alternative devices can have the ability, under certain circumstances, to reduce the scale inside pipes and fixtures. However, if you do NOT have a hard water problem, then you may have other water treatment choices, such as an Iron Filter. Your specific water analysis will determine what is right for you. 10. What Can I Expect AFTER I Install My Water Softener? Since a softener instantly treats your water, you will instantly start to see, feel, taste and smell a difference. Some of the best differences are: Your skin will feel so soft and silky in the shower; some people mistake it for feeling slippery or soapy. But remember, it s your natural oils moisturizing your skin. Your hair will feel healthier and for us curly haired peopled less frizzy and more manageable! Your water will taste and smell better, especially if you had iron or manganese You can REDUCE the amount of detergents, soaps, conditioners that you use by at least HALF. Why? Because soft water lets your detergents focus on the dishes and laundry and not spend time battling the hard water scale. Your dishes will look cleaner Cleaning the bathroom will take less time and energy You clothes will feel softer and you will see less lint in the dryer Your shower heads won t clog any more with hard water scale If you have a lot of iron in your hot water tank, that may take a few days to empty itself. You can speed the process by running hot water in your bathtub to flush out the old iron water.

6 So What s Your Next Step? That s as Easy as 1, 2, 3 1. Call us for your FREE in-home water test at or a request at We offer evening and Saturday appointments. Our consultant, Keith, will test your water, review his findings with you, discuss all of your concerns, and find the most affordable solution to your problem. We also offer rental options and financing. 2. When you have all of your concerns addressed and understand the best solution, Keith will schedule an installation for you at your convenience. 3. After the installation, you will start to notice the difference right away. We will follow up with you to make sure you are completely satisfied. Keith will even come back out to test your water if you request it. And, you can feel assured of your decision with our 100 DAY 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. You cannot go wrong with investing in your home with a quality water solution appliance from H2O Thanks for reading this. We would LOVE your feedback on how we could improve this informative pamphlet. Send us your suggestions, and if we use them we will send you a $20 VISA gift card!

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