Basic Water Softener Maintenance

Maintenance and service on water softeners is pretty basic when it comes to the world of appliance upkeep.  The exception to this, however, is the initial installation of the water softener.  Determining the water hardness level, regeneration timing parameters, salt to use, and when to refill the salt so the softener can perform properly can be a bit tricky.  Proper water softener set up can make long term maintenance easier and the softener perform more efficiently and last longer.  

Ongoing Maintenance – Tips for Residential Water Softeners

Avoid Salt Bridges

Salt bridges occur when an empty space is created in the brine tank between the water and the salt.  This prevents the salt from dissolving in the water which is how brine is made.  Without brine the resin beads that soften the water are unable to do their job. 

The most common cause of bridges are high humidity, temperature changes, or using the wrong type of salt.  Salt bridges make it appear that the salt in your water softener tank is full.  Your water, however, will be hard because the salt is not dissolving to make brine.  To remove a salt bridge, use a long handle and slowly push the top of the salt downward.  A little bit of pressure is all that is needed to break up the solidified salt.

Prevent Salt Mushing

Salt mushing is more serious than salt bridges.  This occurs when the salt dissolves and then recrystallizes to form a sludge on the bottom or the brine tank.  This thick layer of sludge keeps the softener from cycling properly during the regeneration process.  Hard water remains and a serious blockage is created in the tank.  If you attempt to remove a salt bridge and it does not break up, salt mushing is probably the cause of your hard water problem. The only way to fix the issue of salt mushing is to drain the softener of all water, remove the old salt and sludge, and replace it with fresh salt. 

To prevent both salt bridges and salt mushing it is important to use high quality salt products as they greatly reduce the potential for problems.  Also, it is important not to overfill the brine tank with salt.  Keeping it only half-fill will prevent older salt from sticking to the walls of the softener tanks.  Preventing humidity around the water softener can also help. An environment with high humidity can lead to condensation in the brine tank which will cause salt to bond together.

Water Softener Salt

In choosing salt to use in your water softener you will be able to choose from rock, solar, and evaporated salt.  Rock salt is the cheapest however contains the highest level of insoluble minerals.  When this occurs, the result is a muddy tank which decreases the softening efficiency and leaves impurities in your water.  Solar salt is more soluble than rock salt.  Solar salt is obtained through the evaporation of sea water and is found in crystal and pellet form.  The best option for salt to use in your softener is evaporated salt.  This is obtained through the combination of evaporation and mining.  Solar salt is 99.99% sodium chloride and is the purest form of salt.

Salt with high levels of purity leave less residue thus lower the likelihood of salt bridging and mushing.  Purer salt results in less maintenance and high-quality salt in pellet form helps to eliminate bridging issues. Water softener salt delivery allows you to order top quality salt brand products that address specific issues such as high concentrations of iron, rust stains, and salt free alternatives like potassium chloride. 

Resin Bed Cleaning

Resin beads are routinely recharged by salt, but this doesn’t mean that the resin bed shouldn’t be flushed every few months with a cleaner designed for water softeners every few months to keep it in top shape.  Water softening units can become polluted with iron, silt, metals, and a variety of different organic compounds which decrease your softeners efficiency.  The process to reduce the ineffective resin is fairly simple.  You will pour the manufacturers recommended amount of cleaner down the brine well and manually regenerate the water softener.  The cleaner will be discharged during the normal flushing process during the softening cycle.  This action cleans the resin and helps the absorbency of calcium and magnesium.

Clean the Venturi Valve

The venturi and nozzle work to create suction that moves brine from the brine tank into the resin tank during regeneration.  Sometimes this valve can become plugged up with sand, sediment, or dirt.  A clean valve is imperative for water softening to occur properly.  This can be accomplished by unscrewing the cover of the valve, removing internal parts, and cleaning them all with soap and water.  Completing this process twice a year will help keep the process running smoothly and more efficiently. 

Periodic maintenance, regular upkeep, and monthly checkups all prevent major incidents from compiling and affecting the quality of the water running through your home.  Hard water leads to major expenses, like new appliances, plumbing issues, and more, when left untreated. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

What Do I Need to Know Before Purchasing a Water Softener?

There are several different options when it comes to treating the water in your home.  The decision on whether you choose to install a water softener, water conditioner, reverse osmosis system, water purification, or water filtration system all comes down to the quality of the water from your tap.  Depending on the minerals and contaminants that are in your water the treatment option chosen for installation will vary.  Below are the most commonly asked questions surrounding water softeners and water treatment options.

What is hard water by definition?

All water naturally contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium that dissolve in it.  Water that contains more than one grain of a combination of minerals is considered to be hard.  To determine what level of minerals can be found in your homes water bring a sample from each faucet into Reynolds Water Conditioning Co

What should concern me about having hard water?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to having hard water is the scaling that occurs in pipes and fixtures.  Scaling occurs when water is heated and minerals re-crystalizing.  These scales then get into appliances that use water such as the washer, water heater, and dishwasher decreasing its lifespan.

Another issue made worse because of hard water is soap scum in showers, on your hair, skin, and even clothing.  Soap combined with hard water forms a scummy substance that accumulates.  Even after rinsing thoroughly soap scum deposits are still present.

Why do I need to soften the water in my home?

When your home has hard water, the installation of a water softener can often help.  Soft water is beneficial for a variety of reasons.  Not only does it prevent scaling, but it also allows you to use less detergent, reduces spotting on fixtures and dishes, helps to increase the longevity of appliances, and more.

Are there reasons I should not use a water softener?

If you are on a low sodium diet, you will want to consider a water softener alternative. Water softeners use a process of ionization using salt to soften hard water. Salt ions attract hard water minerals and deposit them on the water softener resin (simply put of course). Basically, the salt ions and mineral ions trade places with one another which is why the soft water contains extra salt. 

Do I need to soften water outdoors or on my ice maker?

Yes, the water in your ice maker should be softened prior to making ice.  Softened water does not leave scale deposits which water that has not been softened does. 

Irrigation systems are a personal choice.  If water is left untreated there is a high potential for outdoor staining to occur.  Hard water deposits minerals such as iron on to landscaping, siding, and outdoor furniture which overtime discolors the materials. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Stain Control for the Rust In Michigan Irrigation Systems

Rust is a common element in water that is flowing through Michigan irrigation systems.  One way that homeowners can ensure that this rust doesn’t cause staining to outdoor furniture, landscaping, or siding is to install a water treatment system that offers irrigation stain control.  Reynolds Water Conditioning Company offers a system that is designed specifically for this purpose.  In these systems a concentration of a bio-degradable solution is injected into the irrigation stream as it enters the irrigation system.

Irrigation stain control water treatment systems help to prevent the formation of rust and red water staining outdoors.  The solution that is injected into the water is safe in preventing stains without harmful acids and chlorides.  Not only does the solution prevent staining it protects against corrosion, pitting, and plant life damage. 

Now that we know how we go about preventing future staining it is important that we remove the rust stains that have already formed.  Landscape rocks are one of the most versatile materials that can be used when creating a natural space.  When rocks are exposed to the elements a natural unattractive red staining can occur.  It can come from the rust in the irrigation water and from a chemical reaction between irrigation water and iron that can be present on landscape rocks.  Most stains can be removed by using an oxalic acid bath or a combination of powdered clay and liquid rust remover.  There are also a number of over the counter products that remove rust all of which can be found at local hardware stores

Cleaning Small Landscaping Rocks

To safely clean your landscaping rocks first removal the built-up dirt and debris. Place larger rocks in a bucket.  Put on some rubber gloves and safety goggles combining one gallon of distilled water with one pound of oxalic acid crystals.  Mix carefully with a wooden spoon until crystals are dissolved.  Pour the solution slowly over the landscaping rocks to avoid splashing.  Use enough solution to cover the rocks.  Let this sit until rust no longer remains.  Add baking soda slowly to the oxalic mixture to neutralize it.  This will cause the mixture to bubble and foam up.  Once this process stops you can remove the rocks from the bucket with rubber gloves.  This mixture can be disposed of down the drain.  Rinse the landscape rocks with a garden hose. 

Cleaning Large Landscaping Rocks

Rinse landscape rocks with a garden hose.  Put on rubber gloves and mix rust remover with powdered clay to make a thick paste.  Apply a thick layer to the stains with a spatula.  Allow the paste to sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap or a large tarp to allow the paste to dry completely.  Once the mixture is dry you can scrape it off with a plastic knife.  The rocks should then be washed off with a garden hose.  If rusts or stains remain the process can be repeated. 

Tips for Cleaning Rust

  • Test the acid solution/paste on an area of hidden rocks before cleaning the lot.
  • If the paste leaves marks on the rocks use a wet cloth and polishing powder to buff them out.
  • Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
  • Work carefully to avoid splashing on your skin.
  • Use caution to prevent breathing in dust from the oxalic acid and removed paste.
  • While cleaning keep pets and children away from the area.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Steps Involved In Cleaning Your Water Softeners Brine Tank

Part of owning a water softener is maintaining it.  One aspect of water softener maintenance involves cleaning the tank which holds the brine.  Cleaning a water softener tank should be done every five to ten years.  It is time to clean the tank when your water turns hard and the basic tank maintenance doesn’t fix the issue. Older water softening units can benefit from annual cleanings especially electric water softeners. 

The first step in cleaning the water softener tank involves emptying the tank.  This is done by locating the bypass valve and shutting off the water intake.  Water can be siphoned out of the tank.  After this process is completed you will want to remove the leftover salt and safely throw it away.  Water softener salt must be disposed of away from plants.  Water softener salt will kill plants and other landscaping plants and shrubs. Another way to get rid of large blocks of salt or bridges is to dissolve it in hot water. 

Once the water and salt have been removed from the tank homeowners should remove the brine grid that sits at the base of the tank.  Some water softening units have a mesh platform instead.  Set this grid to the side before cleaning the tank.

Once the water softener tank is empty and the brine grid or mesh has been removed it is time to clean the tank with a good amount of soap and water.  This mixture should be scrubbed all around the interior of the tank with a long-handled scrub brush.  After the tanks has been thoroughly cleansed the soapy water can be dumped out and rinsed with clean water.

After this has been done the homeowner should clean the tank with a combination of bleach and water. Stir the bleach/water combination in the tank and let it sit for fifteen minutes to completely disinfect the tank.  Organisms have a difficult time to grow in the concentrated brine however the bleach and water mixture makes sure.

Once this process has been completed and the bleach/water combination has been rinsed out it is time to replenish the tank with water and salt.  First replace the grid into the bottom of the tank.  Add water softener salt and water back into the tank when it is back in place.  Give the tank a couple of hours before you regenerate the water softener as this time is needed in order to dissolve the salt within the tank. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Preserving Your Water Softener Brine Tank

Hard water is known to contain higher than normal levels of calcium and magnesium.  This causes issues with lime scale build up that interferes with household and daily functions.  Issues range from clogged plumbing to soap’s ability to clean properly.  For most homeowners the installation of a water softener system is vital in bringing higher quality water to the household.  Most water softening units will continue to function for years with little maintenance.  Regular check ups and cleaning does help to improve their lifespan.

One important aspect in maintaining your water softening equipment is caring for the systems brine tank.  In order to properly maintain the tank, the salt levels should be checked and if low replaced on a monthly basis. Salt is essential in the ion exchange process that takes place in water softeners.  As the system regenerates the hard water will flow through resin in the softener and the hard ions trade place with the soft ions on the resin beads.  This creates soft water.

Your specific softener should come with a manual that instructs you on the perfect level for the salt in your brine tank.  Generally, the tank should be kept half way full and three inches above the water level.  High levels of salt can improve the overall efficiency however should be reduced is the salt sticks to the sides of the unit.  If salt is allowed to build up in the brine tank users should carefully separate the salt to avoid thick bridges from forming. 

It is also important that you put the proper water softener salt into the brine tank.  The manual should explain if your system best operates using granular, tablet, or block salt.  Granular is the most common as it easily dissolves.  On top of different types of salt there are grade variances as well.

  • Water Softener Rock Salt: This is a cheaper source of softener salt and therefore contains more impurities.  These impurities often decrease the efficiency of the softener, dirties the tank, and requires more regular cleaning and maintenance than other salt grades.
  • Water Softener Solar Salt: This option is purer than rock salt.  For most water softeners this salt option is chosen by homeowners
  • Water Softener Evaporated Salt: This option is the highest quality grade of water softener salt that can be purchased.  It is also the most expensive.

If a salt bridge occurs, it is important that it is broken up and not allowed to “build up”.  A solid layer of brine known as a bridge occurs when the salt in the brine tank binds together preventing loose salt on top from mixing with the water below the bridge. This of course prevents the softener from properly functioning.  These bridges can be broken up using a large broom handle and tapping it around the tank several times. If the layers are not easily broken with a long handle a homeowner can pour hot water over the bridge.  If bridges become a common issue in your water treatment system you can try using less softener salt which would allow the salt to drop between refills.  Cleaning out the brine tank also helps.

Another common issue with salt inside of brine tanks is that the salt can become a mushy pile at the base of the tank.  This causes the water to rise around the salt instead of mixing in with it.  A large broom handle can be used to break up the mush mound.  Mush should be scooped out, dissolved in a bucket of hot water, and then poured back into the water softener tank. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Answers to The Top 5 Questions About Water Softeners

There are many questions that people have when contemplating the installation of a water softening or filtration unit in their home.  Professional water treatment specialists such as the professionals at Reynolds Water Conditioning can help.  Below you will find the top questions we receive on a regular basis when clients are considering treating their homes water supply.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that contains more than 1 grain per gallon of minerals that include magnesium, manganese, calcium, and magnesium carbonate.  Our professionals can test the water in your home to determine if you have hard water or if there is another issue affecting your homes water supply.

Should I Have Concerns About Hard Water?

Hard water can affect your home in a number of ways, in particular the fixtures and plumbing fixtures.  Heat dissolves the minerals in hard water which causes the minerals to re-crystalize and create what is known as scale.  Scale affects all appliance that use running water and reduces their life space.  This can include your homes water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, ice maker, water dispenser, and more. 

Another common concern that comes from hard water is the soap scum that builds up in your showers.  The combination of soap and hard water forms a scummy substance that deposits on your shower and also your skin. Even after rinsing really well, hard water can leave soap residue to build up on your skin thus leading to skin irritation.

Should I Soften My Water?

Of course, softening your water, like any decision around your home is a personal decision.   Hard water does have obvious affects on your home as stated above.  If you choose to soften your hard water with the use of a water softener, you will find yourself using less soap, less detergent, and fewer chemicals overall.  You will notice that you no longer have to work so to get your dishes and clothes clean.  A water softener will also reduce the scale build up on glasses and dishes as well as on faucets, fixtures, and plumbing. 

Are There Any Reasons I Would Not Want to Use a Water Softener?

There are two types of water softeners: those that use salt to regenerate and those that use potassium chloride.  If you need a low sodium diet it is important to consider the options in water treatment.  When people are talking about water softeners, they are often talking about using water softeners that use salt.

Why Do Water Softeners Add Salt to Soften Water?

Water softeners use salt ions that attract hard minerals in water including magnesium and calcium ions, and then depositing them on water softener resin.  Salt ions trade places with mineral ions which is why the water from the water softener contains more salt than “normal” tap water.  There is about an extra 150 to 300 milligrams per quart of water which works out to about the same amount that you would find in a slice of bread.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Common Signs You Home Needs a Water Softener

There are a number of signs that point to a problem with hard water.  Homeowners with hard drinking water will often notice a smell or taste that is off.  When hard water is present in your home often times the sinks, tubs, and toilets will be stained, family members may begin to complain of dry, itchy skin, and your water supply will smell and taste off.  Bringing in a sample of the homes water will allow you to know exactly what is going on in your water supply. This water analysis will tell you what type of water treatment system will best suit your homes water issue. 

Water softeners are used to remove excess calcium and magnesium ions and exchange them with either sodium or potassium ions, depending on if you choose a salt free water softener or water softener that uses salt.  When the exchange has taken place the water softener regenerates and flushes the system of extra ions until it has been completely recharged with new sodium or potassium ions. This process uses twenty-five gallons of water each day, depending on use.  It is important to determine the waters hardness.  Preventing the buildup of scale can increase the lifespan of your appliances like your water heaters, dishwasher, and more.  There are seven common signs that your home will benefit from the installation of a whole house water softener. 

Noticeable Scale Buildup on Appliances

If you are noticing scale, you more likely than not have hard water.  Noticeable scale build up will be seen in the form of mineral deposits on coffee pots, tea kettles, and such.  These same mineral deposits are being built up within your homes pipes as well.  To prevent clogged pipes and less effective passing of water through your system causing defective plumbing and increased scale buildup a water softener should be installed.  The water softener needs to be set in a manner that allows the proper amount of water to rejuvenate each day to avoid running out of soft water throughout the day.  If you use twenty-five gallons of water each day, then your water softener needs to supply twenty-five gallons of soft water. 

The visible buildup that homeowners are seeing is known as limescale.  This is a hard, chalky material that is formed from a combination of calcium and magnesium bicarbonate.  The salt is what forms the white chalk like substance that is visible.  A water softener will reduce this scale buildup through ion exchange technology.

Itchy, Dry Skin and Hair

Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium salt than soft water.  When hard water is used in daily life it can cause your skin and hair to dry out no matter what shampoo and lotion you are using.  The hard water is not providing any nourishment to your skin and hair, so it dries out.  The extra minerals, calcium and magnesium, remain on your skin. It is important to note that soap doesn’t dissolve well in hard water, so it doesn’t help to remove the build up of minerals.  Since soap doesn’t dissolve well either that residue is also known to irritate the area as well. 

Hard water is also harsh on even the most stringent of skin care regimens.  Hard water blocks the pores in your skin, causes inflammation, and creates an environment prone to black heads.   Leathery, dry skin is another common side effect of hard water.

Gray and Faded Clothes

When darker clothes, sheets, and towels start to fade and gray when washed using hard water. The hard water may also change the texture of the fabrics.  The fabrics will start to become scratchy overtime because of the additional minerals that are contained in hard water. 

Sinks, Bathtubs, and Toilet Stains

Often times when a home has hard water it is noticeable because of the stains that the mineral residue leaves behind in sinks, tubs, and toilets.   The stains are formed after water evaporates and leaves behind the large amounts of calcium and magnesium from the tap water.  The residue will feel plaster like.  These deposits can also form on faucets.

One way in which to remove the residue build up is with vinegar.  Put vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the buildup or residue with vinegar.  After letting it set for a minute it should wipe away without a ton of struggle.  For harder to remove residue let the vinegar soak for up to an hour.  To clean the residue buildup from your dishwasher, pour a cup of bleach into the dishwasher along with a cup of powdered detergent.  Run this mixture through an empty dishwasher.  After the cycle has finished up run the dishwasher once again with an empty load using a cup of vinegar.  This will help to ensure that the bleach is no longer present.

Both types of water softeners, salt and potassium chloride, are effective in softening your homes water to prevent future residue buildup from making a home in your home.  To determine your homes water softener needs, have the water in your home tested.  This water analysis will help to determine the level of extra minerals in the water and the settings that will be optimal once your water softener is installed.

Constant Plumbing Repairs

The plumbing in your home, especially steel pipes, are easily harmed from the buildup of limescale which will prevent the water from flowing freely through them.  PVC and Copper piping tend prevent the buildup of hard water minerals better than steel however, all plumbing will eventually be affected by limescale.  More limescale means thicker buildup in the plumbing and will eventually lead to the loss of water pressure.  The rate at which the pipes are affected will be quicker overtime as the space within the pipe circumference shrinks due to the additional limescale.

If left untreated the pipes will eventually fail.  Homeowners that don’t take regular care to clean up the build up from around faucets will eventually end up with valves that don’t fully shut and therefore leak.  This leak will lead to greater, faster limescale buildup.  Plumbing repairs can be expensive as well as causing a lot of excessive wear on the house.  Installing an appropriate water softening unit will work wonders in helping to prevent further plumbing issues.

Increases in Water Bills

The amount of water that you use will increase the harder pipes have to work to get the water to flow through.  If there is a sudden increase in your water bill have your water tested.  This analysis will determine if you need a water softener installed, need your water softener replaced, or the water hardness level of a currently installed system needs to be adjusted. 

If you notice a change in your water the first step should always be to have your water analyzed by a professional.  Once an analysis is done on your water and you know what minerals are contained in the water a water treatment solution can be recommended.  Sometimes the simple installation of a water softener can improve the overall quality of your homes water however sometimes the solution is more complex.  A wide range of water treatment systems are available from whole house to point of use water softeners, water filters and purifiers, and reverse osmosis systems, all with their own specific job.  

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

What’s Better for Your Water: Potassium Chloride (Salt-Fee) or Salt Water Softeners?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the two types of water softeners commonly purchased: potassium chloride (salt-free) and salt water softeners.   The choice if often based on the area in which you live, the quality of your homes water, and health concerns that may or may not exist.

It is important to note that although we refer to potassium chloride, salt-free units as water softeners they are technically not water softeners at all and instead water conditioners or descalers.  Systems that use potassium chloride over salt are known to reduce the build up of limescale.   Limescale is the chalk like substance that leaves dried up hard water spots on faucets, glass wear, and such.  Water conditioning systems alter the chemical make up of the waters minerals through a descaling process.  Solids are then prevented from depositing within pipes and other water-using fixtures.

So, is a salt-free water conditioner beneficial over a traditional water softener that uses a salt ion exchange process to remove the minerals from your homes water?  One of the nicest things that come along with salt-free water systems is that they don’t waste water in the same manner as traditional water softeners.  Salt-free water softeners/conditioners are less expensive to operate and require less maintenance.  Water that has been conditioned isn’t slippery like water coming from a water softener can.  One concern with a potassium chloride system is that they are not as effective as water softeners when it comes to improving the water in places where water sits in place, such as a water heater.  These areas can still have issues where limestone builds up.

How well a salt-free water softener will work to improve the quality of your homes water will depending on the minerals and contaminants in your water.  Some areas saltless water softeners/conditioners don’t work as well as others due to the hardness of the water.  It is important to have your homes water properly analyzed to see exactly what you are dealing with before purchasing a unit for your home.

When water softeners are utilized it has been proven that they extend the lifetime of appliances that require water.  Water softeners are good for your plumbing, water heaters, shower heads all while using less soap in laundry, dishes, and baths.

In order to ensure that you are purchasing the right system for your families need it is crucial that you speak with professional at Reynolds Water Conditioning and have them test your water.  It is up to you to know the difference between products that will work for your water situation and work with an expert to find a system that will offer you the benefits of quality water, longer lasting appliances, and more efficient soap usage.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

The Basics of Choosing the Right Water Softener For Your Home and Family


KODAK Digital Still Camera

Water softeners take bathing to an all new level, especially after accepting and coming accustomed to hard water showers.   If you are ready to bathe in silky smooth water, if you are excited for clear uncolored, smell free water, and if you are anxious to stop cleaning with harsh rust removers, we might just have the perfection solution for you.

Choosing a water softener, often misspelled as “water softner”, we can help with options ranging from traditional household water softeners, salt-free water softeners, dual- tank softeners and combinations that include reverse osmosis, whole house filters, arsenic removal and more.

Issues With Hard Water

Water softeners solve the problem of hard water.  When your homes water is filled with extra minerals such as calcium, magnesium carbonate or manganese it is considered hard.  Some homeowners note that soap doesn’t lather correctly, their dishes are spotted, sinks and tubs have rings, bright colored laundry looks dingy, skin feels rough, and other annoying side effects.  An analysis of your homes water is the only way to truly “diagnosis” your homes water and determine if a water softener is truly the right solution. These extra minerals don’t normally pose a risk to your overall health however, not treating hard water can cause issues with your homes plumbing, water heating system, appliances, and such.  In research done by the U.S. Geological Survey over eighty five percent of American homes have problems with hard water in their homes.

As previously mentioned, one way to get rid of hard water is to install a water softener.  The water from your home is not considered hard unless it contains more than 1 GPG of dissolved hard materials however, water with up to 3.5 GPG is considered soft.  Noticeably hard water contains upward of 3.5 GPG with 10.5 GPG being considered extremely hard.  Anything between the two extremes is considered moderately hard and should be properly treated.

Damage To Home From Hard Water

Hard water is more annoying and expense than a risk to the health of you and your family.  In fact, many issues that are created because of a home’s hard water supply stay hidden until an actual malfunction in the plumbing or your appliances bring it to light.  Scale can cake on to the inside of your plumbing, water heaters, and appliances causing major issues for you.  This on top of the issues that are general nuisances in the everyday running of your household.

One of the most common fixes for hard water is the installation of a water softener.  There are a variety of water softeners that people can install in their homes or businesses to improve the quality of your water.   The most common whole-house water softener that is installed is known as a salt ion-exchange water softener.  Salt ion-exchange water softeners have two tanks.  One of the tanks is filled with brine and the other special resin beads.  The water becomes soft by exchanging salt ion for hard minerals.

Another option is a salt-free water softener that operates in a similar manner as a salt ion-exchange water softener however uses potassium-chloride instead of softener salt.  Hard minerals are not reduced but instead prevent the minerals from being deposited as scale to plumbing and such.

Dual-tank water softeners are yet another option.  Unlike typical water softeners that disconnect from the water system when recharging making them basically out of commission during the process, dual water tanks always have on tank in use while the other regenerates.  Thus, no downtime in water usage.  For most families the water softening rejuvenation process in common water softeners takes place at night when water is most often not in use, for big families or families with varying schedules a dual water softener can be a better fit.

The Right Size Water Softener

Water softeners come in a variety of different sizes, the size of the softener you need for your household will depend on the size of your home and the number of people using water in your household.  It is important that when purchasing a new water softener, you select one that is the right size to handle the demands of your home and family.  Remember the physical size of the unit is not particularly important, it is the systems ability to remove minerals from the water at a pace that keeps up with your needs. This can be determined when the water from your home is analyzed.

Along with choosing the right size water softener for your home it is important to choose a softener with features and controls that are necessary.  It is important for homeowners to know what controls the regeneration cycle, how long each regeneration cycle takes, as well as the amount of water and salt needed for recharging.  Softeners use two different control options: automatic timing and demand-initiated regeneration no matter what option is on your softener, the salt needs to be monitored on a regular basis to prevent running low.

The professionals at Reynolds Water Conditioning can help you select and install the best option in water softener for your family.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Tap Water: Is the Water in My Home Safe to Drink?

All you want to do on a really hot day or after a long, hard workout is to go over to your kitchen sink and fill an extremely large glass with cold tap water!  However, is the water that is coming out of your tap safe to drink?

While tap water in the United States is safer to drink than some of the tap water found in other parts of the world, it can still be full of contaminants like minerals and chlorine.  Small amounts of minerals won’t do too much harm to your health and you won’t even know that they are there, but you may be able to taste and smell the chlorine that is present if you have public water.  Of course, well water won’t have any chlorine in it, but it can be full of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

Installing a Water Conditioner

To improve your tap water, and make it better for you, as well as better tasting, you may want to consider installing one of the numerous water conditioners that are available.  Most water conditioners utilize sodium ions to replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water.  The sodium ions will make the water softer, which will make it taste better and it will even help keep your pipes and fixtures in working order for much longer.  The water conditioners will also remove other minerals from your water.

How Much Salt Consumption?

You may be concerned about how much sodium you will be ingesting with each glass of water that you drink after it has been through your water conditioning system.  Well, to ease your fears a little, let us tell you that a normal glass of water normally contains very little sodium.  Now, this number does rise to twelve and a half milligrams for the same glass of water after it has gone through the water conditioning process, but that is still considered very low sodium content.

That means that the only reason why you may want to reconsider drinking the water out of your tap after it has gone through a water conditioner, is if you are required to keep a very low sodium diet.  While the number is quite low for sodium content, it could be enough to make you go over your daily limits too easily.  A quick fix to that is to try to consume as little sodium as possible in everything else that you eat and drink.

Having Your Water Tested

If you have been wondering if your tap water is safe to drink, you may want to consider having it tested to see what is in the water.  You may be surprised to find out that the water that you have been drinking all these years is as safe as you thought it was, or you may find that you should have installed a water conditioning system long ago to make your water safer than it is.

At Reynolds Water Conditioning Company, we are here to help make sure our clients don’t buy water treatment systems that they don’t need.  We are here to make sure you find a water softening system that gives you the results you are looking for, whether it is to remove iron or odor from you water; we have a solution that will help!  For more information contact our experts at 800.572.9575 or at our website