Water conditioner frequently asked questions (FAQ's)
Before buying any type of water conditioner or water conditioning
system, you should always do your homework first.
than pressuring you into buying or renting water conditioning equipment,
we encourage you to make informed decisions about your water. We
care about you here and we always do the right thing no matter what,
even when no body is watching. We would NEVER try to pressure you
into buying equipment that you do not need. We do not sell you water
conditioner systems or water conditioning equipment that require
expensive service calls long after the sale. Some companies out
there will send sales people into your home to test your water then
act shocked after examining the results. This is a BIG warning sign
that they might not have your best interest at heart.
In most cases, the people coming into your home to test your “"city"” water already know what your water quality is before they even test it! And many of the people who test your private “"well"” water know how frustrated and worried you are, and they prey on that fact. We are not saying anything bad about in-home water conditioning sales people. We just know the tactics that many unscrupulous sales people use. We are very good at telling the good guys from the bad guys in this industry. We can save you thousands of dollars on water conditioner systems and water treatment products without the sales pitch nonsense. Here, we can eliminate virtually all of those expensive service calls. Instead, we are here to help you every step of the way, over the phone with friendly, intelligent, live, highly qualified water technicians, and it's absolutely free for the lifetime of the equipment. If you prefer to have someone come out and service your equipment, if needed, we can do that too at a very reasonable cost. We care about you and your water. We encourage you to do your homework before buying anything from us, or anyone who is trying to sell you water treatment equipment.
Pittsburgh Water Conditioning Company FAQ's
1. What is the proper
way to get a flow rate on a well system?
Turn on a faucet after the pressure tank until the well pump comes
on. Immediately shut off the faucet and time how long the well pump
runs with no water running anywhere. Write that number down. Next,
get something you can measure running water with, such as a gallon
jug. Fill the jug counting how many gallons it takes for the well
pump to come back on. Write that number down. Then give us a call
and we can tell you the actual flow rate. Or, if you have an engineering
mind, you can figure it out using the following equation:
Divide 60 by the amount of time the pump ran times the gallons
you got. This is your flow rate. For example the pump ran for 20
seconds and you got three gallons of water. 60/20=3 3x3=9 9 gallons
per minute is your flow rate.
Also remember that in most cases, we can send someone out to check
the flow rate and test the water for you.
2. What should I have my water tested for, and what is the
best way to get that done?
The more testing the better, but at the very least on well water
you should test for pH, iron and hardness. There are many ways to
get testing done. Swimming pool supply stores will normally test
for free and are usually very accurate. You can also look up laboratories
in your local yellow pages and they will test your water for a fee.
You can also send us a sample, or bring one to our office, and we
will be glad to test your water free of charge. On municipal water
(commonly called “"city water"), simply call the phone number on
your water bill, and in most cases, they can provide you with a water
quality report. The hardness is the main thing to ask them for.
You can also run the water at your kitchen sink for 5 minutes and
then test it with a swimming pool chlorine tester. If it shows swimming
pool levels of chlorine, then you obviously would want to address
that. You wouldn't drink swimming pool water would you?
3. How do I know if I have iron bacteria?
The best test for iron bacteria is a 30 second visual test. Look
in the storage tank on the back of the toilet, if there is any clumping
in the corners or slime any where in the tank, you probably have
iron bacteria and you must treat this before any filtration. You
can call us and a tech can talk to you while you look in the tank
if you like. We can send someone out to do this if you are uncomfortable
doing it yourself.
4. How do I determine my flow rate on city water?
For a flow rate you want to determine how much water can flow through
your main water line if you opened every faucet in your house. That
would be a little hard in most cases to catch and time the water
coming out of every faucet, but you should use at least three faucets
at the same time. Have three people with buckets drawing water at
the same time, and time for five minutes how much water all three
of you at three different faucets can collect in five minutes. Add
all the water together and divide by five. For example; person one
collected 12 gallons, person two collected 15 gallons and person
three collected 13 gallons. 12+15+13=40 40/5=8. You have 8 gallons
5. How do I know what size iron filter I need?
Iron filters are sized based on maximum potential flow rate in gallons
per minute as described in item number 1. Flow rate is one of the
most important factors in determining what filtration system will
work best for your specific application, and anyone who gives you
a recommendation for filtration without knowing your flow rate does
not have you best interest in mind.
6. How do I know what size water softener I need?
Water softeners are sized based on daily water usage or number of
people living in the home, and the hardness level. First, determine
the hardness of your water and the number of people in the home.
Use the softener-sizing chart on the softener page to determine
the correct size water softener for you and your family. Upsize
one size for hardness over 20gpg and another size for every additional
10gpg of hardness. Also keep in mind that your clothes washer and
automatic dishwasher each count as 1/2person.
7. Who installs your equipment?
That is entirely up to you. You can do it; or we can do it; your
family plumber can do it; or if you have a handy friend we can walk
them through it. Obviously it is cheaper if you do it yourself,
but we can do it for you for a nominal cost. Our expert technicians
will be happy to walk you through it if you like, even on a Sunday
or holiday. Once you have the equipment and are ready to install,
just give us a call!
8. What is the difference between timer and on demand softeners?
On demand water softeners regenerate or clean themselves based on
water usage, whereas a day timer water softener cleans itself based
on a preset number of days each week. In most cases, the on demand
water softeners are much more efficient and only clean themselves
every 8 to 10 days. The fewer amount of times the unit cleans or cycles, the
less water and salt you have to use or buy. A timer water softener
is generally only recommended when an exact daily water usage is
known such as in an industrial or commercial application. Or for
limited users, such as a vacation cottage, or just one person living
in the home.
9. Why do I need a reverse osmosis drinking water system?
Any time you are using a water softener to soften the water, you
are adding sodium to your drinking water. We think everybody in
this day and age does not need to be adding more sodium to his or
her diet. The harder your water is, the more sodium that will be
added. In virtually all situations, if your water is hard enough
to the point that you need a water softener, you should not be consuming
water from a softener. The only practical way to remove sodium in
a residential environment is with reverse osmosis. A reverse osmosis
drinking water system provides you with crystal clear, clean, pure
great tasting drinking water without the sodium. It also removes
many other unwanted foreign substances in the water such as fertilizer,
nitrates and harmful chemicals.
10. Is your iron filter “"on demand"” or “"metered"? Or do
you use day timers for those?
No, the only thing that should be on demand is a water softener.
Iron filtration systems need to be “fluffed up” or backwashed
on a regular basis regardless of water usage to keep the media in
the filter from clumping up.
11. How long does it take to get my equipment?
On most orders we can custom build your new water treatment system
the same day. Delivery times usually vary from one to three days,
depending on what you order and when you order it. And yes, we do
have local express delivery to your door. We can also ship equipment
anywhere in the United States and Canada.
12. What is a bypass valve?
A bypass valve allows you to shut off your unit and still have water coming
to the house. If for any reason you would have a maintenance issue,
you can put the unit on bypass and take the whole unit completely
out without shutting off any water or cutting any pipes. They are
just very nice to have if you ever need them. A bypass valve is something
that you hope you never need, but are sure glad you have one if
you ever do. And if you ever have an issue with your equipment,
the bypass valve enables youto still flush toilets and such
while getting the situation corrected.
13. Will a softener remove iron?
Virtually any water softener on the market will remove some types
of iron for a period of time. Anyone telling you that a water softener
will remove large amounts of iron, such as 5 ppm of iron or some
other high number, is not doing you any favors. They are simply setting
you up for a lifetime of aggravation. Almost all softeners will
do this for a while, but it is a very bad idea. It will ruin the
softener media, which will cause you to use way more salt and water
than you should have to. It causes maintenance issues with the iron
plugging up nozzles and screens and wearing out o-rings, and it
will only remove certain types of iron. If you have an iron problem,
you should be using an iron filter not a water softener. Using a
water softener as an iron filters is one of the most common things
we see bad water treatment dealers do. It makes them a whole lot
of money in service calls and such.
14. Why do some companies say my pH is good, and some say
I need to raise it?
Many companies use the EPA drinking water standard for pH. The drinking
water standard has nothing to do with water treatment and you should
always have a pH above 7.0 for water flirtation. Your water may
also be acidic and will damage not only the equipment but also your
pipes, faucets and appliances over time. For most filtration purposes
it is better to have a pH above 7.5 and some filtration media requires
a pH above 8.0. If someone is telling you that the filter they are
recommending will work on a pH below 7.0, they either do not understand
water filtration or do not care about you. Common sense will tell
you that acidic water is going to damage equipment and media.
15. Can I drink the water from a softener if I use potassium
chloride instead of sodium?
We would not recommend drinking water from any softener without
using a reverse osmosis drinking water system, regardless if you
are using sodium chloride or potassium chloride. Potassium is also
a salt and should not be consumed in large quantities. Some medications
are not to be taken if you have potassium in your water. If you
use a water softener, you should also use a reverse osmosis drinking
water system. The ONLY true advantage to potassium is that it is
a bit better for the environment.
16. What are the benefits of soft water?
You wil see many benefits with soft water. Many of the benefits you will see depend on how hard your water is. Softened water will enableyour soaps and cleaning products to work much better, allowing you to use less of these products. Sometimes you only need about 1/8 of the amount of laundry soap you normally use. And laundry soap is VERY expensive. You can noticeably reduce the amount of virtually all of your soaps, cleaners and shampoos. You will also do away with most of the spotting on your dishes and shower, and prevent scaling of your pipes. If your water is extremely hard, a water softener will pay for itself in no time.
Do you have more water conditioning and water treatment questions?