Monday, February 16, 2015

Do I Need Special Soap With a Water Softener

A few years ago when the high efficiency washing machines became available a lot of people started paying more attention to the amount of laundry soap they were buying because these HE washing machines use less soap and that using regular laundry detergent may void the manufactures warranty. 

So does it make a difference what kind of soap do you use when you have a water softener or water conditioner.  With a HE washing machine you use less soap and with a water softener you will use less soap as well.  So if you have both then you may want to pay attention to how much soap you use and if there are a lot of suds left over or if your HE washing machine is taking longer to finish its cycle.

Let's talk a moment about why hard water uses more soap.  Before you had your water softener hard water probably stained your whites and you probably used more soap in order to get more suds and if you poured a lot of laundry detergent in your top loading washing machine you probably didn't see many suds at all.  The reason for this is that it takes twice the amount of soap to achieve the same result as when you have soft water because the minerals that make hard water hard interfere with the cleansing action of the soap.  The soap is attracted to these hardness minerals and you have less suds and it is less effective in hard water.  If you did a test you would find that with hard water it is difficult to rinse the soap from clothing and the clothes will also seem more stiff and dingy looking.  What has happened is that the limescale is clinging to your favorite pair of skinny jeans.  When you have a water softener you will find that it is much easier to rinse the soap out of the laundry because of the soft water.

Okay let's talk type of soap.  If you have a water softener you should try to use soap in its purest form because soft water maximizes the effectiveness of soaps and laundry detergents that should be as clear as possible with as little perfumes and dyes in it as possible.  Most soap manufacturers take in account that most people will have hard water and so they will add water softening agents and fillers to soap.  So what happens is that you pay more because there are additives in your soaps shampoos and conditioners however on the other hand you can make your own soap if you have the DIY energy.

You may have heard that soft water can save you money, and to tell the truth this is correct.  The water quality research council conducted the test with different levels of hard and soft water to determine its effectiveness.  The best news for moms is that when you have laundry stains the study showed that with soft water you use less water and soap and lower temperatures which help in the lowering of utility bills.  IE instead of using hot water you can use cold water in its place. 

House wives will be happy to know that with soft water they will use less shampoo and conditioner and will not longer need to buy rinsing agents for the dishwasher to have spot free dishes and the need to use chemical agents to clean the bathtub and shower walls is over when you have soft water.  There are many places to get your water tested to determine how hard your water is which is what you will need to do if you need to buy a water softener

Monday, February 9, 2015

How to Remove Iron From Your Water

Most people who live on city water never really have to deal with red iron in their water and the only iron they encounter is the iron or metal from the inside of the pipes that may be old.  Those people who have never had an iron problem who move into  home with a water well that has iron in it feel so frustrated because they have never had this problem and now with a new home they are faced with this terrible dilemma.

What dilemma you say, well the fact that the clothes that used to be white are not longer white but dingy brown, the toilet bowl has red stains on it and the beautiful home you have has red marks where the water from the sprinkler system hits it.  No one wants to drive into their driveway and have to see this unsightly red stain day after day.  So they venture to the internet to find out how to get rid of iron in the water.
There are a couple of different ways to remove iron from the water, one of which is not my favorite but is effective.  It's the use of chlorine, you do not need lots of chlorine to remove the iron but the reasons it is not my favorite is because it is a chemical and I really don't like putting chemicals in the water even though it can be removed.  You would need a chemical feed pump or chlorinator then you would need something to catch the iron in, I prefer another tank of filterag plus but you can use the small household filters though they may get clogged fast and the other filter I speak of is self back washing and removes the iron for you then you would need another filter of granular activated carbon or you could buy the household filters if you like to remove the chlorine.  You cannot save money and try and use the carbon filter for both because the iron will overwhelm your filter much sooner and you will have to change them more often which may lead to other problems like breaking pipes, leaks at the seals etc.  A self back washing is more money but worth it because of the time it saves.
Another way is to use air.  There are systems that use air injection which is okay but you still have to deal with an injector or another piece of equipment.  It injects air into the water and then you have a precipitation tank to get rid of the air and then another media tank to catch the iron that has been oxidized, once again filterag plus.
The third way is to use a similar set up but it has only one tank that does it all.  Some companies will sell it as an iron breaker.  The two types of valves I know of at the moment are the Fleck valve and the Clack valve that draws in air into the tank and traps it there and when the water enters the tank it mixes with air and then is oxidized and caught in the media in the tank.  A one stop shop system and my favorite because it is all natural.
A fourth way is to use potassium permanganate which is another chemical and not really toxic but kind of expensive and must be added to another tank that washes the main media tank with the potassium permanganate and cleans the iron off the media.  It is another mess to deal with because whatever is wet when it makes contact it stains purple to include the hands.

For me air is the best, its not a chemical and I always recommend the iron breaker any day of the week.
If you need filtration you can get some HERE or you can go HERE 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How to winterize your water well

I know that the blog name is low cost water softeners but I am also a licensed pump installer and owned a water well company before I sold it. So i will be posting things on water wells here and giving you videos as well that I made when I owned my company. So if you live near wise county Texas we can be of help to you. You will want to take a look at this video in order to be familiar with your well house. Now that you are familiar you are ready to go

The things that are most important to winterize are the nipple just below the pressure switch and any metal parts on you equipment.  the metal parts will get cold and freeze much sooner that PVC parts.  You can use heat tape, insulation, or even a heat lamp.  Now I have seen things like blanket, rugs, hay, dirt and other objects used as well so if it works then I guess it is okay.

It is not necessary to insulate your pressure tank because it is so big around that the water in it will not be able to freeze.  So there is no reason to spend the money and have to deal with the fiberglass in the insulation.

Now if you have a water softener you will want to insulate the tank and any metal parts that may be on or near the water softener as well.  It would also be a good idea to put a heat lamp in the well house or near your water softener if it is in the garage since it is possible for the water softener to freeze up in the garage.

Most importantly is to just keep it warm in your well house or garage in order to prevent damage and incurring other costs because you really cannot go overboard unless you you insulate your water well tank or commonly known as a pressure tank.