We Are Your Bridge Over Troubled Water
Quick question: How much of your body is composed of water? Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. At Michigan
The potential of hydrogen, or pH, is a scale designed to measure the acidity or alkalinity of water. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 0 being very acidic, 7 being the goal of neutral, and 14 being highly alkaline. If your water has a pH below 7, it is considered acidic, which will shorten the lifespan of your plumbing and fixtures. Blue/green or rust color stains are often due to low pH.
When using iron filters or chlorinators, a pH of 7.0 is desired. Utilizing a neutralizer filter or chemically injecting caustic soda or soda ash can raise the pH of water. High pH water is generally not a problem.
The pH of Battery Acid is 1. Many soft drinks have a pH between 2.0 and 4.0. Neutral Water’s pH is 7.0. Bleach has a pH of 12.6.
Water contains positive and negative charged particles called “ions.” The ion exchange process exchanges calcium and magnesium “cations” for sodium “cations.” A water softener contains a material called resin. Resin contains thousands of hard plastic beads, which are cationic by design. The beads are “charged” with sodium cations when the resin is subjected to a brine solution of sodium chloride (salt).
The resin is then rinsed with influent water. Any excess sodium and all chloride are flushed to the drain.
Incoming water is passed down through the resin. As the water comes in contact with the resin, the calcium and magnesium in the water are attracted to the resin, and they display the sodium, which is presently attached to the resin.
After hard water flows through the resin for a period of time, the resin will become saturated with the hardness minerals. At this time, the resin is again saturated with brine, the sodium displaces the hardness minerals, and the ion exchange process starts all over again.
The cleaner the resin at the beginning of the process the less salt is used to clean the resin and the longer the life expectancy of the resin becomes.
Hardness is made up of elements, calcium, magnesium, and other dissolved minerals. These minerals present a problem when they are present in the water supply. The cause clogging of water pipes and appliances, soap curds, and dry skin. Hardness can be removed from the water through a process known as “ion exchange.”
The method of measuring hardness is in grains per gallon (gpg). A grain is 1/7000 a pound. A typical aspirin tablet contains about five grains of aspirin.
- Water is measured in grains of hardness per gallon of water:
- 1-2 grains is soft water
- 2-4 grains is moderately hard water
- 5-7 grains is hard water
- 8-10 grains is very hard water
- 10+ grains is extremely hard water
Another method of measurement is parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/l).
1 gpg (grain per gallon) equals 17/1 ppm or 17.1 (mg/l).
Tannin (humidica acid) is the result of decayed vegetation which is picked up by surface water and often carried to underground sources. The water generally has a yellow or brownish cast, and if put into a glass and allowed to sit does not settle out. Tannin is an organic, rather than a mineral, substance and thus cannot be removed by precipitation and filtration or by an ion exchange means. This water also has a pungent odor.
Tannin can be removed using a tanning filter. This filter contains a special ion exchange “anion” resin. This resin has an extra large available internal surface area which enables it to absorb large organic anion molecules.
There are different grades and forms of tannin resin. The resin is regenerated with a regular brine solution and citric acid.
Like iron, manganese exists in two forms. When manganese reaches a level of .05ppm, staining begins. As the level increases, the staining becomes worse. Stains are black or dark brown in color. This water usually contains a great deal of colored colloidal turbidity, which is difficult to remove. This problem is commonly referred to as “colloidal” manganese.
Clearwater manganese is manganese in solution. Most clear water manganese can be removed by ion exchange and or a very fine filter system (1 micron to 5 microns).
Blackwater manganese is manganese in suspension. Blackwater manganese can be removed with an oxidizing iron filter or a chlorination system. Colloidal manganese can be removed through fine filter media, chlorination, or an oxidizing iron filter system.
Ferrous Iron (clear water iron or iron in solution)
Water containing ferrous iron will be clear when drawn from the tap. If the water is allowed to stand in a glass overnight the iron will precipitate out of the solution and fall to the bottom of the class with a rusty color. Most ferrous iron can be removed through ion exchange.
Ferric Iron (red water iron or iron in suspension)
Water containing ferric iron will usually be reddish in color when drawn from the faucet. Ferric iron must be filtered out of the water using an iron removal system. Iron is measured in parts per million (ppm). When the level of iron reaches .3 ppm, staining starts. As the iron content increases, the staining becomes worse, The stains are red, reddish-orange, yellow, brown, or blackish in color, which may be a combination of the various types of iron. The amount of iron in the water supply can depend on the season of the year.
Sometimes called iron algae, this is bacteria found in well water that contains ferrous iron and little or no oxygen. Free oxygen is the small bubbles you see sometimes clinging to the side of a clear glass of water. Iron bacteria are rarely found where ferric iron is present.
Iron bacteria consume iron to continue to their life process. While this bacteria is not harmful, it is most unpleasant in appearance. Slimy, brown, spongy, or stringy-looking growth is the best description of iron bacteria. This is most noticeable in the storage tank of your toilet. We use either an iron filter, chlorine system, or oxidization system to kill iron bacteria.
A chlorination system may be used for any level greater than 2ppm or where fluctuating levels of hydrogen sulfide are present.
Carbon is used to adsorb odor in water.
Organics and gasses are often found in well water. These can produce bad tastes and odors.
Passing water containing organics and gasses through a bed of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) can adsorb odors, remove the bad taste and give a clear, polished appearance to the water.
Longer contact time with the carbon means more taste, odor and color are removed.
- Place a suitable container beneath the filter house to catch excess water.
- Open nearest cold water faucet and allow to run.
- Close the inlet valve (in the same line as prefilter).
- When water stops running from the faucet, close outlet valve.
- Press and hold red button on top of the filter housing to release any residual pressure from the system (if the button is present).
- With filter wrench placed on the lower filter housing, turn from right to left to loosen.
- Remove filter housing. Be careful this might be heavy.
- Remove the old cartridge and wipe inside of housing clean if necessary. Check to make sure o-ring is in place and well lubricated – replace if necessary.
- If your assembly is equipped with a pilot bushing in the upper housing, push new filter (large hole up) onto the pilot assembly. It should suspend freely once in place – if your filter is not so equipped, place cartridge into lower housing.
- Refit lower housing assembly and tighten until snug using your hands only. Do not use a filter wrench for this.
- Slowly open inlet valve to softner. Allow the system to pressurize – check for leaks.
- Once pressurized, slowly open outlet valve.
- When water runs clear and free of air, close cold water faucet. Done.
To clean washable cartridges, pre-rinse under running water then soak in one part bleach, three parts water for two hours. Re-rinse under running water and set aside to air dry for next filter change.
There are clean brands of salt we use and recommend. Dura-Cube, ProSoft, and Hardi Cube to name a couple. These are Ultra-High Purity, Compacted salts. Some brands of salt contain additives, dirt, sand or other debris that can be left behind as salt dissolves. This can lead to poor operation of your equipment and the need to clean out the brine tank completely.
Potassium Chloride (KCl) can be a substitute for sodium chloride (NaCl) in both residential and commercial water softening processes. Using KCl will lower the amount of sodium in tap water, reduce the chloride discharged into the environment, and help supply an additional source of dietary potassium.
For more information about how we can install a water treatment system in your home or business, please contact us at 248-681-6811 or 248-681-6800. Protect your family with clean, healthy, soft water today!
2110 Airport Rd.
Waterford, MI 48327
723 W Michigan Avenue,
Saline, MI 48176
704 S Michigan Avenue,
Howell MI 48843
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
(Open most Saturday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, please call first)