In our previous blog post we talked about why having a water softener is important. In this post, we’llshare some key things to know when purchasing or replacing a water softener and share some insider tips and tricks!
Keep in mind, in general, all water softeners essentially do the same things – remove the hard minerals (calcium and magnesium) from the water. It’s a simple chemical process of ion exchange. The ions in the hard minerals move out of the water and onto the salt (or potassium). The tank will then regenerate (clean itself) and backwash (drain out the hard water).
Want to know an insider secret? Essentially all water softeners work the same way…so why pay thousands of dollars more for “brand-name” products and commissioned sales people when most products have the same result – soft water? Yes…there are companies out there that will try to tell you magnets work or “conditioners” work. Beware, unless there is salt (or potassium) involved it will not remove the hard water. Those companies claim it will “reduce the effects of hard water”, but it does not remove the hardness. You’ll still have spots and build-up…bottom line!
Tank Size – What size is best for my home? Most water softeners have two main components…the tank and the valve. Knowing the correct tank size is important when purchasing a new unit. Water softeners are sized based on the amount of water used. Simply – the number of people using the water in your house will determine the size of water softener you need. Water softener tanks come in many sizes based on the amount of “media” inside the tank. That media is measured in grains per thousand. Here’s a quick reference chart:
32k grains – serves 1-3 people
50k grains – serves 3-5 people
64k grains – serves 5-8 people
Be sure to check the tank size (i.e. amount of grains) when purchasing a water softener. Many companies will offer a 20,000k grain tank which is completely undersized for most homes…but the price is much less…that is why! They use these low prices to bait you and then will upsell you to a much more expensive unit. We don’t offer undersized 20k grain softeners.
Electronic Valves – What’s their job? The other key component to know about when purchasing a water softener is the valve…more importantly what it does. Electronic valves control the unit. These “smart valves” actually monitor, and track your water consumption. Based on the consumption rate the valve will automatically “know” when it’s time to regenerate (clean) the tank and backwash (drain) the hard water out. That means you can’t “set it and forget it”. This type of valve is called “on demand” and prevents unnecessary cycles from running reducing water waste. All of our water softeners come equipped with “on-demand” valves.
Other types of valves are referred to as “timed” units. They are programmed to regenerate and backwash at a set time and day…not on demand. There are a couple of concerns with this approach. First, if you use extra water between regeneration cycles you could be using hard water…. defeating the purpose. Another concern, it’s possible you could be regenerating too soon and wasting water with pre-mature cycles.
Warranty – The True Reflection of Quality It’s important to understand the warranty offered for your unit. It will also offer you a priceless piece of information…the quality of your unit. If the manufacturer only offers a 1 to 5-year warranty…that’s a reflection of their quality. These are typically called “disposable” water softeners. Do you really want to pay thousands of dollars for a “disposable” unit? Many big box softeners (GE, Whirlpool, Kenmore) have brand name recognition but often come with short lives that barely last longer than the 1 to 5-year warranty. Quality parts and manufacturing do make a difference and it’s reflected in what the warranty offered. Our water softeners come standard with a 25-year warranty on the tank without the inflated name brand pricing.
Hopefully, this post has helped you know more about what to consider when buying a new water softener. We are happy to answer questions and help you select the tank size that is best for your home and family. Keep in mind, all our units include “on-demand” electronic valves and 25-year warranties on the tank. Click here to contact us or call us now at 480-375- 1512. Mention this blog for a special discount!
The more I have the opportunity to talk with people and help them with water solutions for their homes and families, I get lots of questions about what a water softener does and the benefits of having one in your home. In this blog I want to address those questions and keep it simple! There’s lots of detailed info out there that you could spend reading for hours (and hours)…but straightforward and simple works for me! So here are the basics about water softeners.
The “job” of a water softener is to remove the hardness from water. Certain parts of the country (like Phoenix and surrounding areas) have naturally occurring hard water. That means we have a lot of calcium and magnesium in our water sources which causes the hardness. Have you ever seen that grey/green “junk” build up on your faucets, shower head and other fixtures…that is the “hardness”. Not only does the hardness damage your fixtures…it can also wreak havoc on your appliances…including your dishwasher, laundry machine and hot water heater! Yikes…all very expensive to replace / repair. Soft water will extend the life of those appliances and reduce repairs…saving you money! In addition, the “hardness” in the water is the culprit for those pesky spots on your dishes and film on your shower doors.
A water softener system with salt (or potassium) can significantly reduce the hardness of the water in your home! Not only will it extend the life of your fixtures and appliances…it provides additional benefits as well. The health of your hair and skin will get a major boost too. Hard water can damage your hair and leave it feeling dry and straw-like and your skin drier. Soft water allows your shampoo/conditioner to work more effectively and really “clean” and moisturize your hair with less minerals to interfere. There’s less soap residue that can lead to dry, itchy skin. Softened water does a better job rinsing, unclogging pores and letting moisture into your hair and skin.
Finally, soft water requires over 50% less detergent to do the same amount of laundry. Detergents do not mix well with hard water, so by using soft water instead your detergent is able to go further. This means you won’t have to purchase detergent nearly as often, but you’ll be getting even cleaner results. Soft water also helps keep your clothes bright and last longer.
I’m filling water jugs as we rush out the door to soccer practice for my girls. I’m thinking to myself…”hurry up and fill, we need to go”.
Then it hits me like a ton of bricks…I should be ever so thankful that I have water and all I have to do is turn on the faucet. And not only do I have water…I have CHOICES! I can choose from the city tap water that runs right into my house or I can choose from the reverse osmosis faucet right by my sink. I can trust whole heartedly that my reverse osmosis water is pure, safe and clean. I can rest assured knowing it has been filtered and is the highest quality of drinking water available. And even my crystal clear ice cubes bouncing around in the jug are top notch quality.
As I’ve been preparing for World Water Day on March 22nd it’s been on my heart and mind that so many women, children and families don’t have the same opportunities. I am so thankful because:
It’s not necessary for my daughters to wake up at dawn and walk one or more miles to the closest water source and then back home.
It’s not necessary for my daughters to spend hours waiting in line for access to a community well in the heat of the day.
It’s not necessary for my daughters to worry about whether their water contains bacteria and other disease causing organisms.
So yes….within minutes while those water jugs filled my heart was filled with the desire to help. As a mom…how can I not help other mothers, children and families? How can I not seek out opportunities to share the living water with others? How can I not teach my girls to get involved? How could I not do something?
Chances for Children was founded by local folks here in Scottsdale that have a heart for others. What started as an orphanage in Haiti in 2008 has grown to provide feeding programs and clean water, education, medical clinics, job creations and strengthening communities through faith. This was it…the CHANCE to help.
AZ Water Solutions is honored to partner with Chances for Children. Our commitment is for each water softener sold a Sawyer PointOne Filtration Unit with bucket will be donated to Chances for Children in Haiti. We will help…will you join us?
Revelations 21:6 (NIV) – “To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life”