News regarding hard water treatment systems, water softener, water treatment, water treatment service, water treatment system, well water treatment – presented by American Clear Water, Mechanicsburg, PA
Everyone is concerned about the quality of the drinking water in their home. For many a home water filtration system can significantly reduce contaminants that we do not want in our water. Whether you have well water or municipal water, a whole home filtration system may be needed to get the water quality that you want.
Before deciding on a water filtration system for your Central PA home, it is important to understand the types of water provided to your home. The water professionals at American Clear Water divide water into three easy-to-understand classifications: raw, utility and drinking water. Each type of water has different levels of quality. It does not make sense to water your lawn with bottled-quality drinking water. Similarly, you may not want to drink raw water but it is perfect for watering your lawn!
Raw water, regardless of the source, is probably fine for many industrial/commercial purposes, as well as fighting fires and flushing hydrants. But once it reaches your home, you may want to modify it for the end use. For example, for watering the lawn, landscaping and gardening, sediment filtration may be all that is needed to prevent clogging of sprinklers and hose nozzle/hand sprayers. Sometimes, even this water may need further treatment if it stains cement walkways, driveways, brick or stone.
The second water type is utility water for throughout your home. What is utility water? This is water used for anything other than drinking, cooking and ice. If you have well water, a whole home filtration system may include reduction of sediment, iron, sulfur or anything else that stains fixtures or causes odors. To remove sediment, a wide variety of water filtration cartridge filters and automatic back washing filters are available. It maybe be necessary to use filters coupled with other treatment forms like chlorination/retention/de-chlorination and water softening to obtain an acceptable water quality for utility water throughout your home. If you are on municipal water, chlorine/chloramine reduction will also be very beneficial to your appliances and health.
Testing and evaluation by a Water Quality Association (WQA) certified professional is the best way to determine what type whole house filtration is best suited for your individual situation.
Finally, let’s look at your drinking water. Water that is used for human consumption like drinking, cooking and ice should be safe and enjoyable to use. A great system is a point-of-use system called reverse osmosis (RO). It incorporates several forms of treatment: sediment, carbon and molecular filtration. RO reduces most possible contaminants by over 90% and many over 99%! It produces a water that can match any bottled water. In fact, often bottled water is produced using RO! (Check your bottled water labels.) RO has a separate drinking water faucet that that is installed at the kitchen sink separately from your regular faucet and can also have a line run to your refrigerator for RO water at your water and ice dispensers. RO water is also great for pets and house plants!
Do You Need A Home Water Filtration System?
A whole home water filtration system can take many forms. As repetitive as it sounds, for any water concerns and peace of mind. It is best to have a WQA certified professional evaluate your water system, usage and quality to be sure that you have the most effective, reliable, low maintenance, properly installed and economical treatment for your water quality needs.
Sulfur Smell – Why Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs
Hydrogen Sulfide can give your water a sulfur smell, also known as “rotten egg” odor, and can have several causes. If it is only in the hot water and you have a tank type water heater, it could be coming from a reaction between the sacrificial magnesium anode rod and anaerobic bacteria that can be present in water heaters. This bacteria is harmless to people and will not show up in a coliform bacteria test. The rod is to reduce corrosion of the steel tank and should be replaced periodically to maintain this protection (I have never met a home owner who does, or is even aware of it).
Sulfur can also be in the water in the well. It can be from ground water coming in contact with pollution, minerals containing Sulfur, or sulfate reducing bacteria. Wells drilled into bedrock formed of Shale and Sandstone, which is prominent in central Pennsylvania, are more prone to this issue, according to the Penn State Extensions Water Quality website, leading to a sulfur smell in your water.
If Your Water Smells Like Sulfur, Here’s What You Can Do!
To treat a sulfur odor, it is critical to properly identify the source first. If it is in the cold and hot water, a system to treat all the water in the well, or as it enters your home or business will be needed. There are many methods and systems available, and having an experienced Water Quality Association certified professional diagnose, install, and maintain a system will usually be the best option.
Sometimes a sulfur odor with the source water can mask an additional source, such as a water heater anode rod, or a sulfur bacteria in part of the buildings plumbing or waste water system. Additional treatment may be required, and even a good water quality professional will not be able to detect additional problems until the POE water has been treated.
If the water heater anode rod is the culprit, here are some options. The rod can be removed from the water heater, although this voids any warranty and eliminates any protection that the rod was affording to the water heater tank. I once asked a major water heater manufacturer’s representative about this, and he said if there is a water heater warranty claim, we do not ask for the water heater back, do not volunteer that the anode was removed.
Another option is to replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum or zinc aluminum “multi alloy” rod. The odor often returns, and elevated aluminum levels in the hot water can be a health risk, if water from the hot side is used for drinking or cooking.
You could also use a chlorine injection in the source water that feeds the water heater. Besides the initial expense, and ongoing maintenance, we are back to the downsides of having chlorinated water in your home.
Ozonation of the source water is yet another option, although it has the initial expense and some ongoing maintenance, it does not have the negative effects of chlorine.
The last, and probably best, option is to replace your sacrificial rod with a powered anode. The powered anode consistently protects the water heater tank, consumes very little electricity and cannot cause odors in your hot water. There is an upfront expense, but no ongoing maintenance, unless it needs to be replaced. The powered anode can be transferred to a replacement water heater if needed.
Lingering Sulfur Smell
What if the source sulfur is eliminated, but an individual outlet still has an odor, particularly if it is bad during the first draw, after water has not been used from that outlet for a while? It may be caused by a sulfur bacteria in that branch of the plumbing system. Try super chlorinating that line, and letting it sit in the plumbing for as long as possible. Chlorine may take time to penetrate the slime layer on the piping from the bacteria. Two or three applications may be needed to remove the sulfur smell, and it may need repeated in the future if the odor returns. Also, be sure that the odor is not coming from the drain system.
Chlorine is used as a disinfectant and oxidizer in water treatment throughout the United States, including right here in Central PA. In many systems the chlorine is in the water through to the end use, which means that the consumer drinks, bathes and cooks with chlorinated water. Chlorine gives off “swimming pool” odor, damages seals in fixtures and appliances, fades clothing, and adds a bitter metallic taste to the water. Chlorine, and it’s by-products, can have negative health effects, according to the CDC. Is there chlorine in your water?
Chlorine is used in municipal water treatment systems because of economics and the ability to maintain a measurable residual throughout the water distribution system to ensure adequate dosages to keep the water bacteriologically safe to drink at all points of the system. Since chlorine is reduced as it reacts with contaminants, a higher amount of chlorine is needed at the source to maintain an adequate residual at the system end points. Users closest to the source experience the highest doses while users at the furthest outlets may get low amounts. Some vacation resorts have trouble maintaining safe levels in the off season, as little water is being used and the water sits in the system, except for the few users left who often have to deal with unpredictable quality water.
Can Chlorine Be Removed From Your Water?
Chlorine and its by-products can be removed by carbon filtration. A small POU (point of use) carbon filter can be applied to water for the small amount that is used for human consumption. There are many faucet mounted or pitcher type filters available to accomplish this. For POE (point of entry) whole-house chlorine reduction, a larger carbon filter via a whole home water filtration system can be used to eliminate the chlorine odor and hazards throughout your home. The chlorine has done its job in the distribution system to your home, but now you can safely remove it and not have to deal with its odor or health hazards.
This is best to have an experienced Water Quality Association certified professional handle the installation and maintenance of this water treatment filter. The carbon will have to be periodically replaced, but it is a dependable and relatively inexpensive method, if done right.
Free On-Site Water Testing
Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, and Surrounding Areas
So, how do you go about reducing the chlorine and other contaminants in your family’s drinking water? Start with a free in-home water test. We test for much more than just chlorine, and will recommend the water treatment solution that best fits your family’s needs and water usage.
Do your dishes come out of the dishwater with spots? These spots could be the result of hard water. Hard water can cause problems in places that you cannot see! Watch this video to learn how a water softener can save you money.
Video: How to Get Rid of Hard Water
Do you have water spots on your dishes? They could be a bigger problem than you can see. Those spots are probably the result of hard water. Hard water could be causing very serious problems in your water-operated appliances and plumbing.
Minerals in the water supply can build up in your appliances, pipes, and faucets. This build up reduces energy efficiency, increases energy costs by up to one third, and shortens the life of appliances and plumbing.
A water softener is the BEST solution to eliminate your hard water problem.
The Clearion Water Softener separates the minerals from your water using sodium and resin beads. The resin beads attract the minerals that are dissolved in the water and help to flush them out of the system without adding salt to your water.
This system is inexpensive and easy to use. Contact American Clear Water today, Mechanicsburg’s Clearion Installation and Water Treatment Specialists.
American Clear Water is proud to offer the Clearion water softener mentioned in the video. Contact us today for price and installation information. Think you can’t afford a water softener? Think again! American Clear Water offers easy payments plans. It’s never been easier to get clean, safe, soft water in your home or business.
Ever wonder how a water softener works?
Hard water contains high amounts of certain minerals. A water softener works by filtering the water through resin beads. These beads will trade calcium and magnesium ions for sodium or potassium. By removing the calcium and magnesium ions from the water, clothes, dishes, faucets, and hair will be cleaner! There will be less build-up in your plumbing, which might lead to less money spent on maintenance.
Alternative Methods to Reduce Scaling in Your Water System
Traditional water softeners have come under attack in parts of the US where increasing population and development lead to questions about fresh water supplies. Although today’s salt regenerated softeners are more efficient then ever, local and State governments see them as an easy target to show that they are doing something about a water shortage or salinity problem. Governments and citizens alike are looking for salt free water softener technologies to reduce the effects of hard water on clothing, dishes, skin, hair, and fixtures.
Water treatment studies suggest that there are several salt free water softener alternative technologies that have been shown to have varying success in reducing water hardness and scaling problems.
Salt Free Water Treatment Solutions
Capacitive deionization is a process that uses electrically charged electrodes and membranes to remove the anions and cations from the water. Periodically the electrical charge is reversed to purge the collected ions to drain.
- Salt free water treatment systems
- Produce very pure water
- High upfront cost of equipment
- Consumes large quantities of electricity
- Requires running water to a drain periodically
- Produces water of such high purity that it must be treated to keep it from damaging the plumbing system
- Used commercially, although some companies are trying to make it feasible for home use.
Magnetic Water Treatment
Magnetic water treatment “MWT” is where hard water is passed through a magnetic field to alter its ability to stick to the downstream plumbing. A wire is wrapped around the water pipe and a current controlled by a transformer is passed through the wire.
- Salt free water treatment systems
- Study claims 50% reduction in scale formation
- Does not produce soft water
Electrically Induced Precipitation
Electrically induced precipitation “EIP” uses an electrically charged electrode.
- Salt free water treatment systems.
- Study claims 50% scale reduction
- Periodic cleaning and backwashing required
- Does not produce soft water
Template Assisted Crystallization
Template assisted crystallization or TAC is a catalyst coated media that causes micro sized “seed particles” of hardness minerals to form on the catalyst. As these seed particles are released from the media they continue downstream and collect more microscopic hardness minerals and pass through the plumbing system without forming scale. The media is affected by other contaminants in the water like pH, manganese, iron, tannins and chlorine.
- Salt free water treatment systems
- Does not require electricity or running water to drain
- More expensive than traditional water softeners
- Three year media life dependent on many factors, including water volume and hardness
- Expensive media
- Does not produce soft water
It is important to note that this study only addressed scale reduction. It did not include data on the hardness of the water. While a salt free water softener is appealing, there is no real evidence to suggest that these technologies provide soft water.
Traditional Water Softeners Provide Truly Soft Water
Soft water provides many well documented benefits including:
- Elimination of scale 100%
- Large reduction in soap and detergent requirements
- Extended life of water using appliances, septic systems and sand mounds.
- Softer clothes that colors stay brighter and fabric lasts longer.
- Longer water heater life
- Reduction of skin irritation.
- Softer more manageable hair
- Less time spent cleaning showers, tubs sinks and commodes.
- And no more soap scum!
Someday a superior salt free water softener technology may be invented to provide real soft water, but for now the traditional water softener is the only way to provide real softened water for your home. Contact American Clear Water today for more information about just how affordable a whole home water softener can be.
Is my tap water safe to drink?
It is a question every home owner asks – is my tap water safe to drink? If you are using city, or municipal, water, the short answer is probably “yes.” However, it is not always that simple. City water is supposed to be brought up to EPA standards. Due to costs and treatment technology required, this is not always the case.
Government Drinking Water Regulations
How are the government standards set? People from the government, scientific and academic communities evaluate existing and possible new standards annually. So what was considered safe last year may not be acceptable this year!
While the government decides what they consider as ok for us to drink, we can provide ourselves with much higher quality tap water. A water treatment system called “reverse osmosis” removes over 90% of just about anything that can be in your tap water and a lot of contaminants over 99%! So even though the government considers your water safe, you can enjoy much higher quality water for your family to drink, cook with and make ice with now.
What you might want to remove from your Tap Water
Just because your tap water is safe to drink does not mean it is good for your clothes, piping, and fixtures. Hardness is not considered a health hazard so most city waters are very hard. They contain large quantities of hardness minerals that wreak havoc with water heaters, piping, fixtures, dishwashers, clothes, skin and hair! A water softener is a great way to remove these minerals, which we do not need for nutrition, and cost us a lot of time and money to deal with.
The Chlorine used to keep city water sterile as it travels from the plant to your home or business is a health hazard. Chlorine produces carcinogenic by-products that we end up drinking, breathing and bathing in. Whole-house chlorine filters are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain. The chlorine has done its job; we do not need it in our homes.
Think about this: less than half of 1% of city water is used for human consumption. Over half of city water, on average, is used for non-residential purposes such as commercial industrial, fire and hydrant flushing. We are treating over 99.5% of city water for non human consumption. Someday we will just treat water for how it is going to be used at a much lower cost for higher quality tap water!
For now, American Clear Water can help you to treat the most common complaints about city or municipal tap water.
Contact American Clear Water today for your free in-home water test!
American Clear Water proudly offers financing on popular water softeners and home water filtration systems
MECHANICSBURG, PA; November 17, 2014, – American Clear Water makes it impossible to put off buying that water softener system or home water filtration system. You do not have to put up with bad tasting ice cubes or stained faucets or dishes! With affordable financing and rent-to-own options, everyone can enjoy crystal clear, great tasting drinking water straight from the tap.
6-Months Same as Cash
American Clear Water will install a new, state-of-the-art water softener system or whole home water filtration system with only one-sixth of the total cost due at installation. The balance of the system will be paid in equal amounts for the next five months until the system is paid for.
American Clear Water also offers equipment rentals. For just $75.00 down, and $15.00 to $25.00 per month, customers can rent a new water softener system or whole house water filtration system. Half of the rent is applied to the price of the system when purchased, up to half of the original sales price.
Water Softener System Financing Options
Many other water softener system financing options are available with flexible down payments and monthly payment options. For more information, contact American Clear Water for a free water test and to discuss how affordable your water softener system or whole home water filtration system can be.
About American Clear Water
American Clear Water has been in business in Central PA since 1988. As a family-owned business, they proudly serve the greater Harrisburg area, including Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill, New Cumberland, Harrisburg, Carlisle, Dillsburg, Hershey, Middletown, and Dauphin, providing a wide variety of water filtration system and water softener system options. Because they are not associated with any manufacturing company, they do not charge extra for franchising fees. They always recommend the best possible solution at the best price available.
Are These Brown Rust Stains Caused By Hard Water?
Rust stains on concrete, brown stains in your toilet. Unfortunately these unsightly stains happen. Even though they look like rust, they maybe be caused by iron-rich water. That’s right; hard water is not the only water-related issue homeowners face.
Iron in your water can leave brown stains on your clothes, fixtures, cement sidewalks and driveways, and the outside walls of your home (if irrigation water hits it). It might be tempting to clean these brown stains with bleach. But, wait! Bleach is a diluted chlorine / water solution, which oxidizes iron and makes those stubborn stains worse.
Iron and rust stains are different from typical hard water stains. But it is possible to have both mineral rich hard water and iron rich water, causing a combination of hard water calcium and magnesium buildup and unsightly brown iron stains. Both can be tough to clean.
Do Not Throw Away Those Iron Stained Clothes!
Your rust stained clothes, fixtures, sidewalks, driveways, and walls are not a lost cause. Here are a few ways to clean your hard water and iron stains.
Vinegar and elbow grease can clean hard water stains.
Many people have had success using vinegar to clean hard water stains. Cleaning vinegar is more acidic that regular vinegar; therefore, it is more effective when trying to clean hard water stains. Try soaking the stained area in vinegar before wiping clean. More stubborn hard water stains may require several applications.
Iron cleaner works well on brown iron and rust stains.
You can also clean brown iron stains with iron cleaner, available in many stores, including big-box home stores. Iron cleaner is a white powder that is made of sodium hydrosulphite and/or metabisulfite. There are directions on the container about how to clean hard water stains from all kinds of materials in and outside of your home. Make sure that you use this product in a well-ventilated area. This stuff stinks!
The results are amazing. A brown, stained dishwasher can look like new in a cleaning or two! Tan-stained white clothes look like new again.
While this iron cleaner is great, the best way to fix iron stains is to remove the iron from your water before stains set in. American Clear Water has reliable, cost effective solutions for all of your water staining hard water problems! Contact us today for your free water analysis!
American Clear Water
Believe it or not, you can fix mineral build-up on faucets, ugly stains in your tub, or dull clothing and itchy skin. But first, you need to determine the cause. Here are 6 signs that hard water is the culprit.
1. Mineral build up around water fixtures
Not only is mineral build-up around water fixtures and faucets ugly, it can restrict the flow of water. Where do these minerals come from? Believe it or not, the water flowing through your fixtures is not just water. It contains minerals that deposit on the fixtures as water passes through. Over time, these minerals build up, leaving those ugly marks and making these faucets and fixtures difficult to use.
2. Soap scum on bathtub, curtain or doors
This is more than just an eye sore. It’s a sign of hard water. The minerals in hard water mix with soap in your shower, leaving that filmy white soap scum residue. Cleaning soap scum is a temporary fix. But if you don’t fix the source of the problem, that soap scum will return.
3. Water heater elements fail and short heater life
There is nothing worse than turning on the shower to find that you have no hot water. Did you know that water heater elements can fail because of hard water build up? It’s true! Just like your faucets and fixtures, hard water minerals can build up on the heating element inside your water heater. Eventually, the minerals will make it impossible for the element to function.
4. Dry itchy skin
Sure, many people experience dry skin in the winter. We are indoors more with our heaters running; it makes sense. But it is also possible that those minerals in your hard water leave a detergent and mineral residue on clothes that can really irritate your skin! A water softener can improve the condition of your water and your skin.
5. Dull scratchy clothing
Have you noticed that your clothing tends to age quickly? Don’t let hard water ruin your clothing. A water softener can prolong the life of your clothes. Their colors will remain true longer, and they will feel soft and cozy rather than hard and scratchy.
6. Spots on dishes, flatware and glasses
Are there spots on your dishes, flatware, and drinking glasses? If so, you could have hard water. The white spots you see are much like the soap scum spots you see in your shower. The minerals in the water mix with the detergent used to clean your dishes. The minerals stick to the items inside the dishwasher, leaving you with less-than-perfectly clean dishes for your next dinner party.
I have hard water, now what?
If you are experiencing any of these problems, chances are you have hard water. A water softener might be the answer you’re looking for. Contact American Clear Water today for your free water test. We can determine whether you have hard water, and we will come up with a custom treatment plan just for you.