Common Types of Water Problems

Hard Water

Scale deposits are a typical indicator of hard water.

 

Hard water is 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.

Water Hardness Level

Grains Per Gallon (GPG)

Soft Water

0 - 1 gpg

Slightly Hard Water

1 - 3.5 gpg

Moderately Hard Water

3.5 - 7 gpg

Hard Water

7 - 10.5 gpg

Very Hard Water

Over 10.5 gpg

The Solution: Water Softeners

 

Most water softeners on the market are ion exchange systems. In these systems, hardness ions (calcium and magnesium) are exchanged for salt (sodium or potassium) ions. The exchange takes place within the resin tank of the water softener. When water flows through the tank it comes in contact with small resin beads that are covered with salt ions. As water flows through the resin beads, hardness ions trade places with salt ions, hence the higher salt content in softened water.

As larger volumes of water are softened, the beads become exhausted and contain nothing but hardness ions . The beads are recharged by adding bags of salt to the brine tank. Recharging works the same as softening but in reverse. The hardness ions swap places with the salt ions in the brine tank and excess minerals are rinsed into the wastewater drain.

 

Demand initiated regeneration (DIR) water softeners are the most common ion exchange softeners sold locally. DIR softeners meter water usage over time and only regenerate when needed. Some softeners operate on a timer or schedule that regenerates at set increments.

This older technology can be very wasteful of both salt and water because the softener will regenerate even during periods of low household water use (e.g. vacation away from home).

At the same time, these models can leave you short of soft water if you have periods of higher water use (e.g. house guests).

Low pH Acid Water

What are pH levels in water?

 

pH stands for “potential of hydrogen,” and it refers to the amount of dissolved hydrogen atoms in water. The pH levels of water are measured on a scale of 0-14. A measurement of 7 indicates the water is perfectly neutral. Water with pH levels below 7 is considered acidic and water with pH levels above 7 is considered alkaline.

Acidic water is a common issue in Connecticut homes, especially in homes that get their water from a private well.

How can water with low pH levels affect your home?

 

One of the biggest problems with water that has low pH levels is that it is damaging to a home’s plumbing system. Acidic water naturally wants to become neutral, and it will decay metal pipes in an attempt to do so. This causes a home’s pipes to corrode when pH levels are low, which can cause them lose their stability and develop leaks. The corrosive properties of acidic water will also damage and shorten the lives of plumbing appliances like water heaters and boilers.

How can you neutralize your waters pH levels?

 

The first step toward neutralizing your water’s pH levels is to have your water tested by a professional like Romeo Morelli and Sons. We provide pH testing as part of our free and comprehensive water testing services. If our tests indicate that your water has low pH levels, we can help you choose a treatment system to neutralize it.

 

The type of system that we most commonly recommend to address low pH levels is a calcite blend filtration system. This system uses a sacrificial media that only needs to be replaced about once per year.

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