Frequently asked questions about water softening,
filtration and treatment systems for purifying drinking water
and other water uses.
1. What would be the best
filter/system for iron and calcium residue from well water, the
kind that leaves scum on glasses and red brownish residue on
fixtures? What brand is best for such filters?
The best filters for iron and calcium residue from well
water are the non-electric water softeners with a probable
added pre-filter placed ahead of the softener to remove the
heavier items within the water. A free on-site water quality
test would confirm the exact settings and filters
2. Is there a consensus on saltless
2(a). We have white residue on our dishes out of our new
dishwasher. Just started happening about 6 months ago, our hot
water heater is a 17 year old Marathon Peak Electric. We do
have a reverse osmosis system for drinking water.
2(b). Do these "EasyWater" systems work and will it help me?
Any help is appreciated.
2. The consensus on “saltless” water systems is that
they are not considered as water softeners by anyone in the
industry. They are more appropriately referred to as scale
reducing systems in that they work by changing the properties
of the hardness in the water. They do not provide any removal
of hardness such as calcium, magnesium, and the majority of
2(a). Without the removal of the specific hardness you
do not get the soap savings associated with standard water
softeners and you will continue to have the accumulation of
hardness in your hot water heater, where it tends to settle
over time creating layers of hardness. In other words, without
removing the specific hardness, these systems do not have the
same benefits of a traditional softener.
2(b). EasyWater is a carbon based system which is great
for taste, odors, and removing chlorine out of the home, but
they are not effective in removing the hardness out of the
home. The Water Quality Association has an issued an open
letter about this specific topic on their website with
information about standard water softeners vs. saltless
systems, with their recommendation that consumers purchase
standard softeners over the saltless models because salt free
systems only handle a small part of an overall problem with
regard to hard water.
3. With an acidic water problem, does
the acid neutralizer have to be accompanied by a water
softener? The "plumber" (salesman) says that the neutralizer
makes the water harder than it already is, so I must have both
units. Is he just trying to sell me a softener with a monthly
salt contract? Or, is that a legitimate statement? Can I have
just a neutralizer? Or are they always in pairs?
This answer is in progress.
4. I have heard that there are
alternative water softeners that do not use salt or potassium
but use electric current to modify the calcium molecules so
they form less scale, such as Scale Ban and others. Do they
None of these alternative systems are considered to be
actual water softeners. These systems do change the properties
of a portion of the limestone scale as it runs through the
pipes, but they only work for a specific length and section of
pipe and even in those areas are only a partial solution to
hard water. Most water professionals would say that these
alternative systems do not work at all and consider them a very
large waste of money.
5. Water Softener Salt Stuck...how To
My Kenmore is “stuck” and stopped producing soft water. I
cleaned the screens, but suspect the non-nugget salt I dumped
in are bridged. I managed to empty half the tank so far looks
and it looks OK. Is it feasible to get some pressure going with
a high pressure hose of hot water in the tank to loosen
To begin, it's best to discuss how to avoid this problem
into the future. There are different levels of salt quality.
The lowest level is rock salt. Rock salt tends to bridge or get
stuck in the tank. It also has sand and silica in it so it is
considered dirty; it is not recommended for water softeners.
The next level is salt pellets, pellets tend to be cleaner, but
they can still bridge or get stuck in the bottom of the salt
tank or brine tank, though they are better than rock
The salt we recommend is solar cube. Solar cube is very
concentrated and clean. It also includes a food grade
disinfectant built into it that cleans the softening system
each time the system goes through regeneration or
As far as cleaning out the tank that is already bridged
or stuck from lower quality salt, sometimes you have to take a
sledge hammer to it and hit it, that's how hard it gets when it
gets bridged. Of course you should really know what you are
doing if you take a sledge hammer to any part of your system to
avoid collateral damage. Once loose the entire system has to be
completely cleaned and checked to make sure that none of the
components are broken. After cleaning and checking, you then
need to make sure that all of the settings within the brine
tank are correct. I highly recommend that you contact our
service department to take care of the problem and restore your
system to optimal working condition. If you want to do it
yourself, please when you use salt in the future; use very
clean salt, with solar cube salt being the best on the
We deliver Solar Cube salt at no charge; you simply pay
for the salt itself at $11.95 per bag. On delivery we will also
test your system to make sure that everything is functioning
6. Chloramine: Does A Water Softener
Remove Chloramine? I have a client with a Culligan water
softener/iron removal setup that was installed when they were
on well water. Now they've gone to municipal water, and
coincidentally it's time for a new water heater. I've suggested
that they probably no longer need the Culligan setup since
they're now using pre-treated water, but they're concerned
about the local water company's use of Chloramine as part of
the treatment process. So what I have is really a two-part
question. Three-part, come to think of it. First, is the
existing setup doing anything useful regarding Chloramine?
Second, can you list any really authoritative references to
de-bunk (or support) health concerns related to that chemical?
A really quick Google search shows that some folks are worked
up about it. Third, along the lines of "Do you want fries with
that?" what are the options?
The Culligan water softener with the iron removal setup
will not remove the Chloramines. Chloramines are a mixture of
ammonia and chlorine. Chloramines are removed by a type of
carbon and that carbon is readily available on the market. We
can set up a system with carbon that removes all
To answer about the health concerns surrounding
Chloramines. We do talk to people that have Chloramines and
they do seem to have a difficult time if they have existing
skin conditions. The Chloramine tends to aggravate those skin
conditions from a health perspective. We are not doctors so we
do not go further than that as far as claims to health
If you were to put a system in the Chloramine removal
tank, what we call the dechlorinator would go before the water
softener and then the water softener is designed to remove rust
iron turbidity and hardness out of the water. If you have any
sand or silt coming in we would remove that with a pre-filter.
There is also a reverse osmosis system that goes under the
kitchen sink, we can have the chlorine and Chloramines removed
at that point as an alternative. For taste and odor so you can
either do it whole house or you can do it under the sink using
a reverse osmosis system.
7. Water Filter Connection Question. I
am looking at 2 different whole house water filters. The
smaller of the two has connections for a 3/4" male bushing
(made for 3/4" service) the only problem is it does not claim
to remove chlorine. The larger of the two has connections for a
1" bushing (made for 1" service) this model claims to remove
chlorine. My question is can I use a 1''x 3/4" reducing bushing
to install this larger filter when having a 3/4" service? Would
this present any problems with performance?
You can reduce the bushing from 1 to 3/4 inch and that
is fine. The real question here is the filter itself, the media
inside the canister, what's sometimes referred to as a sump.
This is what does all of the work to remove chlorine and it
requires a carbon or carbon block filter, either one of those
As a last note, you cannot down size the total system
for the house smaller than the main that's coming into the
house. For example if the main size is 1 inch then everything
has to be 1 inch. If the main that's coming into the house is
3/4 inch then downsizing from 1 inch to 3/4 inch is not an
8. The Best Quality Water Softeners.
Our water softener is on its last leg, if it hasn't all ready
died. It was on old Waterman unit which now backwash's
erratically and the water has a metallic taste. Not to mention
the clear "jelly" that now grows in the toilets. The iron
content of the water was tested and found to be 0.02mg/l which
seems very low. I am a commercial General Contractor so I
really never see this equipment and would like some
professional advice on this matter. Which manufacturers are
considered to be better quality and why the problems with such
a low iron content?
The best type of water softener on the market by far is
the non electric system which gives you zero grain soft water,
it does not get better than that, 24 hours a day 7 days a week
completely uninterrupted and it never runs out. This twin tank
system is non-electric with no clocks computers or
In this particular case the clear jelly or other issues
that are going on can be a indicative of a myriad of problems.
Electric water softener like your old Waterman is the same
electric system that every other company on the market sells
currently and has sold for decades. It has a clock or computer
and a valve on it, it has a single resin tank and it has a salt
tank of some type, whether it is a tank in a tank or a cabinet
unit, they all work exactly the same.
From your question it appears that bacteria may be
growing inside the resin tank which means that it has to be
completely cleaned out, it has to be sanitized, and brand new
resin put into the system. Most likely the condition will
re-appear over time. The reason for this is that hard water,
which damages all appliances, is also damaging and has damaged
you're water softener itself. This is because your system uses
hard water during self cleaning and regeneration.
This is why our system is the best in the industry.
When it cleans itself it uses clean soft water thereby avoiding
problems such as your altogether, no matter how old the system
gets. Our brands are the only water softener on the
market that incorporates this type of advanced technology and
forward thinking that avoids the problem you are having, a
problem common with all electric water softeners.
9. Water Softeners - What are the
differences in brands?
I currently own a water softener in my home, which is about
ready to give up the ghost. It was a Rainsoft, and it worked
well for many years. In looking at replacements, I have seen
some Sears Kenmore water softeners at between $300-500, and
Culligan units for over $2000. There are just 2 in my
household, and I do not wish to overbuy beyond my needs. Does
anyone have any guidance on whether I can get by with one of
the much less costly Sears water softeners? Thanks.
The differences between brands are very small when you
talk about the electric single tank softeners you have already
shopped. Sears, Culligan, Rainsoft, Kenmore, EchoWater, and
Purionics are all very similar. They all have a clock or
computer on a controller valve that sits on a single resin tank
which is the filter and of course a salt tank. The differences
in prices are usually related the capacity of these electric
softening systems that could go from a 20 thousand grain
capacity up to a 45 thousand grain capacity. Each typically has
a warranty of 1-3 years. Some have a limited lifetime warranty,
but when you read through the exceptions listed on the warranty
you find it really does not cover the active parts of the
The only different water softening system available
worldwide is our in house system. It is the world's only
non-electric twin tank system with no clock, computer or
timers. It has two resin filter tanks and of course a salt
tank. Oue high tech system gives you zero grain soft
water 24 hours a day 7 days a week. This flow of perfect water
is uninterrupted and its advanced design cleans itself through
regeneration only using soft water, prolonging its life. This
is why our products come with a 10 year
If you get an electric system, we highly recommend that
you buy the cheapest one available that is also somewhat
reliable. This is because all electric systems only last as
long as they can withstand the flaws in their overall design.
We do carry electric systems that have a valve that is
considered the most reliable in the industry. It has a 45
thousand grain capacity so it can handle almost any need.
Unfortunately, even being the best on the market, its
performance and long term reliability does not come close to
the zero grain 24/7 performance of the non-electric dual tank
10. Can a Water Softener work with our
We got our water professionally tested by two companies. The
readings came back extremely high 141 gpg and over 2900 total
dissolved solids. We have well water. BestValue said their
model could handle the water, but the second company Culligan
said that no softener on the market today would be able to
handle our water. I guess I need some third party
The recommendation for the 2175 model is correct. At 141
grains per gallon and a 2900 tds can easily be handled
by our system. The reason our system would be ideal
is because it has two tanks that work back and forth as needed
so you never run out of soft water. Once you run out of
softening capacity in the first tank, it automatically switches
over to the second.
We would not recommend a traditional electric water
softener with a single resin tank in your described
environment. Traditional systems would not hold up for very
long and would not provide the quality of service that you
would expect from a water softener. Our
exclusive non-electric two tank system could easily
provide you with abundant soft water, on demand, 24 hours per
day, 7 days per week. We are located in Northern California and
have sales offices in most cities. Call to find out the
locatioin near you.