Monday, December 29, 2014

My Water Softener is Not Using Salt

I have heard that statement more times than I can count.  Usually that is the first thing someone notices even before they notice the water is no longer soft anymore.  The home owner goes out and starts to put salt in the salt tank or what is known as the brine tank and see's that there is still a full tank of salt, oh what to do what to do.

The first thing you are going to want to do is to look at the time clock on the water softener to see if it is displaying the correct time.  If it is not then you will want to set the time to the correct time.  Then look to see if it is plugged in, who knows a cat, rat, or someone could have accidentally unplugged it.  I have seen that many times in my days as a water softener service man.  If it is plugged in and not a digital model try and see if you can look to the back of the motor.  If you can then you will see a little window and you should see a red dot every so many seconds.  This is an indicator that the motor is running but not necessarily good.  The next thing you are going to want to look at is the front of the large dial to see if it is in the service position, and actually you probably should have done that first but all in all most of this is simultaneously done.  If it is in the service position then you will want to begin to turn the knob from the service position to each position in the regeneration cycle and when it gets to the brine/rinse cycle stop and grab the little tube that goes from the water softener to the brine tank as tight as you can.  You are trying to feel the salt water going through the tube, if you cannot feel the water going through the tube then just monitor the water in the brine tank and you should see it going down.  If it does not go down then you will need to call a service man.  If it goes down then you will want to continue through the cycle and reset the knob in the service position.

The next thing you will want to do if you can is to make a fist and pound on the side of the brine tank towards the bottom about 1 foot from the floor. Start there and move your way up noticing any difference, if it seems to be softer towards the bottom and hard at the top then more than likely you have what is called a salt bridge.  You can hit the salt where the hardness and soft spot on the tank come together and knock the salt down.  You can also get a broom stick (make sure you put it back where you got it or you will get it when your wife finds out) and poke it in the salt upside down and move it around trying to make the salt fall.  You can also carefully shake the brine tank making sure not to break any pipes that may be exposed and this will help the salt fall.  This will fix your problem.  You will want to put your water softener in regen in order to have it regenerate so your wife can have that soft water she loves.  Make sure you do not put it in regen while she is washing laundry since it will make the clothes salty if all things come together at the right time.

How does the salt bridge?  What happens is the water that is put into the salt tank only goes in so far, then during the brine cycle it is drawn out and rinses over the media in the tall cylindrical tank.  The water makes the salt wet so it can dissolve and make the brine solution, well sometimes for whatever reason the salt that gets wet begins to stick to itself and sooner or later does not fall down into the brine tank and forms a cement like hardness with the salt.  All the salt that is below the bridge is dissolved and the water comes and goes and comes and goes and never dissolves any more salt because it is bridged.  So if you follow the above directions the salt will fall and you will be back in business again.  If you have tried everything then you may have to call a service man out to see if you don't have a problem with your brine piston, which is another article in itself.

If you need water softener parts you can go to and click on any of their items and you will be forwarded to a larger website where you can get parts.  I hope this helped the old saying, "My Water Softener is Not Using Salt"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Best Water Softener

Many people will ask what the best water softener is and the answer will depend on who you ask.  For instance if you ask the guy selling you one, he will say that his is the best, or if you ask your neighbor he will say his is the best especially if he paid a huge sum of money for his water softener.  You can also read the article on how to buy a water softener

There are water softener reviews that can help, and you can find them on youtube and I am sure there are some write ups on the internet as well.  If you are reading this I would like to give you my unbiased opinion on the matter. I have almost 10 years experience in water softener sales and service and have seen many water softeners and what I think are the best out there.

Let's start with the low cost water softeners, one would think you get what you pay for and in some cases you can, however on the other hand when it comes to water it us important to know what is in your water in order to perhaps decide which one is best for you.  The first thing you will want to do is have your water test done and you can order a water test kit HERE

The reason for the test will determine what size water softener you will need based on the hardness level and to see what other contaminants are in the water and here is why.  If you buy one of the inexpensive ones and you live on a water well and sometimes have sediment then you will want to have a Pre Filter  in front of the water softener and the reason for this is to stop the sediment or iron from scoring the disk that helps suck the salt water from the brine tank and into the media tank to remove the calcium build up on the media beads.  Once the disk gets scored to badly it will not pick up brine water and will only overflow the brine tank and make a mess in the well house or your garage.  In reality it is always best to put a sediment cartridge in front of your water softener just in case you do begin to get sediment.  Small price to help the life of the piston, seals and spacers.

The inexpensive water softeners bought at the big box stores will work best on city water and yet I still say put in a pre filter and use a carbon pre filter as to stop the chlorine because the chlorine will ruin the rubber seals faster and the carbon filter will help remove sediment and other contaminants in the water.

The next type of water softeners you will find the most of are Fleck and Clack brand water softeners.  These are two of the most popular water softeners and are in my opinion are the best on the market.  The cost may vary depending on whom is selling them.  As another water treatment guy told me once, "Build value in your equipment and charge more" thought it is good business sense I don't believe in selling people anything.  I give people information and let them decide on their own.  Another good thing about the two water softeners I listed are that the parts for them can be purchased online and at a good price.  You can then find videos on youtube that will show you how to replace the parts simply and easily.

The water softeners I would stay away from are the ones that have a special manufacturer and the reason for this is once you purchase the equipment you must call that particular guy back for the service call.  Some of these manufacturers will not give another service member parts, as I ran into this problem when I owned my own company.  I had a customer who wanted me to fix their water softener and I called the representative for that particular water softener and he could not sale me parts because it was in his contract with the manufacturer.  So I turned my customer over to him which really is no problem for me since I always believe in scratching other peoples backs and it did pay off for me because he gave me referrals on other types of equipment, but the only problem I had was the high prices they charged and there was no way around it for the consumer or DIY kind of people.  Any way you have my view on those one of a kind water softeners.

The Fleck brand water softener can be purchased online at various prices but usually inexpensive though I know that is a matter of perspective.  If you don't have $100.00 then $100.00 is a lot of money.  Low cost water softeners has Fleck brand equipment on their site and the prices are good.  Clack brand water softeners are not supposed to be sold on the internet but sometimes are.  The reason for this is because they are digital valves and sometimes they get messed up and the consumer calls Clack and wants help because the company they bought it from doesn't know how to repair them or cannot tell you over the phone.  That was one of the first things they told me when I started selling Clack valves was that I could not sale them online. So if you want to buy a water softener you can get one from Low Cost Water Softeners and you will find them to be a good price compared to the local guy.  The local guy has to charge more because his demographics are different from one who sales online.

Now the real story on the best water softener is this, the water softener that you buy and like and serves you well for the money you paid is the very best water softener.  And from my professional experience I say either Fleck or Clack because you can buy Fleck parts online and it does not cost a lot for repairs and repairs come about 5-10 years later and the problem will be fixed for another 5-10 years.  So do your research first and keep all that I said in mind and if you have any questions you can comment here or you may email us at

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Saltless Water Softener

The saltless water softener has been scrutinized and misjudged but only because of the way it is marketed.  We know that people want a saltless water softener because they have either high blood pressure, don't want to hassle with the salt or live in a city or state that does not allow that much salt to go to drain.  So a manufacturer or two have done the homework and made the media that prevents the calcium from sticking to faucets etc.

No problem here except the standard person in public has no idea of the difference between a water softener and a saltless water softener.  So the salesman sales and markets it as a saltfree water softener and the public eats it up.  So for the most part the problem has been created by some of the guys in the industry trying to make some money.  After all SEO and Keyword searches are the hot thing now days in order to get your product or service found on the internet so you just use the same words the people are searching for and want to hear.  The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a saltfree water softener or saltless water softener.  I will explain below;

In order for water to be softened it must go through an Ion Exchange process which to put it simply where the calcium ions in the water attach to the sodium charged ions in the softener media, like a giant group hug.  You can find articles out there that can describe it in more detail but if you don't care about being a chemist then there is no need.  So because of the ion exchange process the hardness is removed and you have soft water.

Saltfree water softener/ Saltless water softener- is more of a conditioner.  It conditions the water as it flows through the media and tank and as the water comes out it has been conditioned not to stick.  The process is relatively easy to explain unless you want the chemical make up as well.  Most companies use SP3 as the media and what the SP3 does is it makes the calcium stick to itself so it doesn't stick to pipes and faucets and glass, this being said in the most easiest form for you to understand. Go HERE for more information.

I have owned both.  My wife and I prefer the water softener over the saltless water softener/conditioner even though you still get that slick feeling and you don't get the sodium in your water and don't have to mess with the salt pellets or salt tablets.  One main reason is I noticed inside the dishwasher right under the door was some nasty red slimy stuff and when I switched back to the water softener the red slimy stuff went away.  You still don't use as much shampoo and conditioner and soaps etc we were able to feel the difference.  I had the both in case I forgot to put salt in the brine tank for the water softener I still had a back up just in case.  We installed a few of these and never had any problem with them from our customers.

Well I hope this helped some in distinguishing the difference between a saltfree water softener and a regular water softener and perhaps also helped in choosing a saltfree water softener or a water softener and if you do have one or the other I would also recommend a reverse osmosis drinking water system

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Measure Water Hardness

I have heard many people say that they have hard water and others say they have soft water and when it comes down to it sometimes both are correct and other times both are incorrect.  Without testing the water one will never know just exactly how hard the water really is.

Let's talk about the types of water hardness;
1.  Temporary Hardness-Temporary hardness is a type of water hardness caused by the presence of dissolved bicarbonate minerals (calcium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate). When dissolved, these minerals yield calcium and magnesium cations (Ca2+, Mg2+) and carbonate and bicarbonate anions (CO32-, HCO3-). The presence of the metal cations makes the water hard. However, unlike the permanent hardness caused by sulfate and chloride compounds, this "temporary" hardness can be reduced either by boiling the water, or by the addition of lime (calcium hydroxide) through the softening process of lime softening.[4] Boiling promotes the formation of carbonate from the bicarbonate and precipitates calcium carbonate out of solution, leaving water that is softer upon cooling.

2. Permanent Hardness-Permanent hardness is hardness (mineral content) that cannot be removed by boiling. When this is the case, it is usually caused by the presence of calcium sulfate and/or magnesium sulfates in the water, which do not precipitate out as the temperature increases. Ions causing permanent hardness of water can be removed using a water softener, or ion exchange column.
Total Permanent Hardness = Calcium Hardness + Magnesium Hardness
The calcium and magnesium hardness is the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions expressed as equivalent of calcium carbonate.
Total permanent water hardness expressed as equivalent of CaCO3 can be calculated with the following formula: Total Permanent Hardness (CaCO3) = 2.5(Ca2+) + 4.1(Mg2+).[citation needed]

So what does all that mean to you?  Let's simplify it, the type of hard water most people will have to 
fight will be permanent hardness.  And as you can see it is eliminated by water softener or ion exchange process.
So now we know that there are two types of water hardness now let's explore the way we measure hard water
in order to determine water hardness and buy the correct size water softener.

Water hardness is measured in a few different ways but we will only talk about 3 ways water hardness is measured
Mg/l = Milligrams per liter- when measured in this fashion it is 17.1
PPM= Parts Per Million- when measured in this fashion it is 17.1
GPG= Grains Per Gallons- when measured in this fashion it is 1
For example 10gpg hardness is 171.0 PPM or Mg/L

So in you'll want to know how it hard water is measured because when a salesman tries to pull the wool over your eyes
and says your water is really really hard and it is only 5gpg instead of 85 Mg/L or 85 PPM  It sounds really hard but 
let's look at how hard it really is according to our chart.
Classification          Hardness in Mg/L          Hardness in PPM          Hardness in GPG
Soft                                 0-60                       Less than 60                       0-3.5
Moderately Hard             61-120                       60-120                         3.56-7.51
Hard                               121-180                     120-180                        7.06-10.51
Very Hard                        >180                            >180                             >10.57

What do I use to measure my hardness?  Here are a couple of ways to do so.  You can go to the big box stores
and some will have a way to measure your water hardness by using a small matchstick style dipping stick and once
you dip it in the water you will match the color against the chart and it will tell you how hard your water is, you 
also have a water softener company come out and measure it for you but be prepared you may have to go through
a sales presentation.  You can also get the kit at a local pool supply place or you can go to Amazon for a kit.


Saturday, December 13, 2014


In today's world of water most people don't have water softeners because they either have soft water, don't want to pay a huge price for a water softener or may just not know the benefits to owning a water softener.

If you have soft water but you still seem to have a calcium build up on your sinks and tubs etc then you may want to take a look at one of these salt less water softeners because you may have soft water but your water may be just hard enough to leave a residue.

Salt Less Water Softener
       Meaning it is not 100% soft but still registers 3-4 grains per gallon hard which is considered soft to mildly soft. As you know it is just enough to leave a residue that you don't want to have on your counters for visitors to see.  You will also see the results with you hair, soaps and shampoo's.  This really is not a water softener but a water conditioner.  As the water passes over the media the calcium in the water is then  bound together so in sticking to itself it does not stick to anything else.  You will want to get a 2 cuft system as this will accommodate any size home and hardness.  If you have iron in your water then you will want to remove the iron first as it will coat the beads of the media and not allow them to create the bond that the hard water molecules need in order for them to stick to one another and will limit the life expectancy of the salt less water softener..  As mentioned before this has the same effects as a water softener by means of allowing the soap to actually have suds and the need to use large amounts of shampoo and conditioner much less in order to have soft shiny hair that the wife always seeks.

The price of a water softener can range from $400.00 to more than $4,000.00  So most folks think they get what they pay for just don't buy one since they cannot afford one. Here is a company that sales the best water softener for a great price    You'll find it is a Fleck 5600 which is the most popular and rugged water softener on the market.

Once you have a quality water softener you will see your water begin to change.  What I mean by this is that your water will go from hard to soft to hard again and then finally to soft.  What happens is that the hard water that comes into the water softener is then softened and is made aggressive.  As it travels through your pipes and hot water heater it is eating away at the calcium build up and thus if you were to test it, you may find that it is not completely soft.  We always recommend to wait at least 30 days until you see the 100% results of a water softener.  So for the next 30 days your water will change as the build up inside your pipes begins to be cleaned out and that old faucet you thought didn't have much pressure begins to have pressure for some strange reason.  Perhaps its not clogged with hard water deposits any longer. 

You will now only need to use about half or even less shampoo and conditioner on your hair as well as half the amount of laundry detergent.  In addition to less laundry detergent you can wash more of you laundry in cold water in order to get it clean unlike before whereas you would have to use hot water in order to get a clean load of wash.  This will also cut down on your hot water bill as well.  In addition to that you will see that your bright clothes tend to stay bright longer and you those unsightly stains that just pop up on that white blouse will no longer be popping up.  You will have cleaner brighter laundry for years to come since soft water also helps in the cleaning process because the dirt and grime can be removed easier with soft water rather than with hard water.

Having a water softener also affects the tastes of coffee and juices made at home.  With hard water it takes longer to make the coffee because of the calcium build up on the coils that heat the water as well as the soft water helps in getting rid of the bitter taste of strong coffee.  You will lose that scummy look on top of the coffee and if you love ice tea then you'll enjoy being able to look through your glass and seeing the other side knowing that you have calcium free great tasting water.

Now if you want to go a step further with your water taste then you will want to get a drinking water system that goes under the sink and gets rid of up to 99% of everything in your drinking water.  Talk about great tasting coffee or tea, well here it is.  This system gets everything out and all you get is great tasting water, coffee or whatever beverage you desire knowing that it is completely healthy and free of contaminants and your liver and kidney will be thanking you for years to come.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fluoride in Your Babies Water

WARNING PARENTS WHO USE BOTTLED WATER FOR THEIR BABIES; I was just in Walmart getting some bottled water for my coffee since I have not put an RO in my RV yet and I look at the baby water and think wow this should be really good water. To my surprise I was completely wrong.  The pink label said steam distilled water (that is what distilled water is, collected steam) but then it said fluoride added.  WHAT THE HECK?  You don't make distilled water and then poison it by putting fluoride back into it.  You can read the article at this link, please take the time to do so;

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Whole House Water Filters

10" Big Blue Sediment Filter
20" Big Blue Sediment Filter
Dual 10" Big Blue Sediment Filter

Dual 20" Big Blue Sediment Filter
Triple Stage 20" Big Blue Sediment Filter

Fleck 5600 2cuft Backwashing Coconut Carbon Filter
Fleck 5600 1cuft Backwashing Sediment Filter

Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide Filter

Water Softeners

Fleck 5600 32K Grain Water Softener
Fleck 5600 24k Grain Water Softener

Fleck 5600 48K Grain Water Softener
Fleck 5600 64K Grain Water Softener

Fleck 5600 SXT Digital 24K Grain Water Softener
Fleck 5600 SXT Digital 32K Grain Water Softener

Fleck 5600 SXT Digital 48K Grain Water Softener
Fleck 5600 SXT Digital 64K Grain Water Softener

Salt Free Water Softeners

Whole House Salt Free Water Conditioner 15gpm
Whole House Salt Free Water Conditioner 10 gpm


Whole House Salt Free Water Conditioner 20gpm
Whole House Salt Free Water Conditioner 25 gpm