1Q: How do I know if I have hard water?
A: The only definitive way to know that you have hard water is to test for it. Other issues with the water may mask themselves as hard water (i.e. elevated total dissolved solids), but are indeed not, nor can they be remedied with a standard water softener. Most likely the main symptom of hard water is a build up of white calcium deposits on fixtures. This is sometimes called “soap curd”. Make an appointment with Ideal Water to determine whether or not the build up that you’re getting is indeed hard water scaling. The test is FREE!
2Q: What is water hardness?
A: A common quality of water which contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other divalent and trivalent metallic elements. The term hardness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water; hardness typically causes the buildup of hardness scale (such as seen in cooking pans). Dissolved calcium and magnesium salts are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry, kitchen, and bath. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (or ppm) as calcium carbonate equivalent. The degree of hardness standard as established by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (S-339) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) is:
Soft- <1.0 (<17.1ppm),
Slightly Hard- 1.0 to 3.5 (17.1 to 60ppm),
Moderately Hard- 3.5 to 7.0 (60 to 120ppm),
Hard- 7.0 to 10 (120 to 180ppm),
Very Hard- 10.5 (180ppm+)
3Q: Is hard water the only test Ideal Water will do for free?
A: No. Ideal Water routinely tests for the aesthetic conditions in the water, such as sulfur, iron, manganese, chlorine (when necessary); as well as nitrates, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and sodium. Together, these results create your water profile, which allows us to determine the type of equipment to recommend. Again, these tests are FREE.
4Q: Why do I need water treatment, but my neighbor doesn’t?
A: The assumption here is that you are not on a public water supply. This means that at least one of you has a well. It is possible to have a private well or be on municipal water and not need any form of water treatment. The water from a private well comes from an aquifer under the ground. It is possible, given distance between the two wells, and differences in the depth of the wells, that each well could be on two completely separate aquifers.
5Q: Other than hardness, what other problems can my water have?
A: The most probable issues with water are: lead, nitrates, iron, sediments, low/high pH, bacteria, and sulfur (rotten egg smell). Recently, issues are arising with arsenic, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and Radium/Radon.
6Q: Does any one piece of equipment correct all of these issues?
A: No, nor would you want one that does. Water treatment is a complicated process, and to devise one system to correct most, if not all of these issues would be ill advised. Yes, there are systems that can treat a couple of issues within one machine, but even those systems have their proper applications.