Frequently Asked Questions

Well Water

  • I just moved into my new house and have never been on well water before. What is all of this equipment outside?

    The type of water equipment you have varies based on your water chemistry. You may have what is referred to as an aerator, which is simply a large storage tank with a second pump and tank arrangement to re-pressurize the water to your home, and a softener to make the water user friendly. Or you may have a twin tank system that looks like two softeners, but may actually be a softener, pressure tank, and a sulfur removal tank. Either way you have at least one pump, one pressure tank, and pressure switch.

  • Why do I need a water softener?

    Water as it is removed from a well, contains various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which it acquired as it traveled through the earths’ strata on its’ way to underground aquifers, where we then locate a well and pump arrangement in order to deliver it to your home. These minerals are referred to as hardness, and while it is usually not harmful, it is destructive to the pipes, plumbing fixtures, and water using devices or appliances in your house. It can also be a cause of dry skin and hair. Therefore, it is best to remove it before it enters your home. Soft water also makes soap more reactive, thus saving on cleaning and hygiene products. Another advantage of soft water is it makes water easier to heat, another money saving feature.

  • My water has a yellow color, it smells like rotten eggs, and it leaves stains on my tub and plumbing fixtures. What can I do?

    This is a multi-phase question that requires a multi-phrase answer. 
The color is most likely caused by tannins or decomposed plant life in the soil. It is considered harmless, but most people don’t like it. It can be removed with the appropriate type of resin. The technical name for this resin is Anion Resin, and can be added to most softeners if it was not installed at the time of construction. The color may also be the result of ferrous iron. This is best determined by a water test, which should be done on site. Most companies will do this at no charge.

    As to the odor in the water, this most often is the result of Hydrogen Sulfide in the water. This is a derivative of sulfur or sulfates and can be removed in a variety of ways, depending on the amount present and the budget available. Again a water test will help in this decision making process.

    Finally the stains are caused by calcium and/or magnesium. This is what is referred to as hard water that over time will cause pitting and deterioration of plumbing fixtures and will accumulate in pipes, eventually restricting flow of water to your home.

  • How often should my water equipment be serviced?

    This depends on the type of equipment you have. If an aerator is present, then typically, it should be serviced every three months at a minimum. An iron filter or sulfur removing backwash valve should be checked annually.

    Water softeners should have salt and citric acid installed every 4 to 6 weeks. The citric acid is advisable to make the resin or product in the softener unit last longer. The salt, citric acid, and service can be done yourself or by a delivery service company.

    More sophisticated equipment, such as ozone systems or point of entry reverse osmosis systems, should have a service contract with a company well versed in these sciences.

  • Is my tap water safe to drink?

    Water softeners, sulfur removal systems, and iron filters are designed to make our water more usable and only affect the ascetics such as taste, odor, and color of your water, but do not make it safe to consume. To make water safe to drink, a point of use reverse osmosis water system is advisable. This is an extremely dense filter that filters out submicron particles, referred to as total dissolved solids. This may be followed up with an ultraviolet light or an ozone generator for additional bacterial reduction. Reverse osmosis units come in various price ranges, depending on the features and the production that you desire.

  • How much salt should my softener be using?

    This depends on the type and size softener you have. Basically the softeners are broken into 2 types, day and metered.

    A Day Type is set to regenerate, as the name suggests, every so many days, typically every 3 to 4 days. This will occur no matter how much water you use. Even if you go away and use no water, the unit regenerates and uses salt and electricity, for your pumps and causes unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.

    The Metered Type is set at a predetermined number of gallons, based on the size of the unit and the hardness of the water, which is obtained by a hardness test. If no water is used, the meter does not count down and delays the regeneration, thus saving on salt, electricity, and wear and tear on pumps. Besides the differences mentioned above, there are also choices to be made as to size of the softener tank, and between digital or mechanical valves. Again, these decisions are based on budget, water use, and water conditions.

    Another factor that influences the amount of salt that you use is the hardness of your water. The more hardness in your water, the more salt is required to soften the water.

  • Does a water softener add sodium to my diet?

    Yes, it does. However, the amount added is minimal. For example, if you were to drink 2 quarts of moderately hard water that is artificially softened, you would add about 310 mg. of sodium to your dietary intake. As a comparison, note that 1 slice of white bread contains about 160 mg. of sodium, or one cup of whole milk has about 127 mg. Is this too much? Not normally. However, if your doctor has you on a no sodium diet, it would be best to consult him on this matter, or utilize an additional drinking water device such as a reverse osmosis point of use system.

  • If my area is converted to municipal or city supplies water, is my softener still beneficial?

    Yes it is. Municipal purveyors of water are only required to deliver water that is 16 grains (the typical unit of measure for hardness) per gallon hard. This is extremely hard water, and while most utility companies do better that this, water that is 1 grain per gallon hard is still hard water. If it is 6 or 7 grains hard, which is more typical, it has all of the detrimental effects of hard water, such as spots on dishes, soap accumulation in clothing, build up in plumbing and water using devices, deterioration of plumbing fixtures, and dry skin, to mention a few. Also, it may be advisable at this point, to install a filter designed to remove disinfectant by products such as chlorine, and ammonia. It would be beneficial to consult your water treatment professional for advice.

  • Are all water softeners the same?

    No. Just like any other appliance, water softeners come with a variety of features, such as metered or day type softeners, with or without a by-pass, different sizes of by-passes, mechanical and electronic valves, with or without a protective outer jacket, different types of resins. All of these features affect the efficiency of the unit and the amount of salt that you will use. Call for a free evaluation of your water and an explanation of your options.

  • I see water softeners for sale at home improvement stores, hardware stores, and even department stores. Why should I purchase from a water treatment company?

    Most water treatment companies possess knowledge about the science and mechanics of water treatment and conditioning that the clerks at the retail outlets do not. They are well versed in the installation of the equipment, the salt and hardness settings that should be used, and the proper resin technology that your specific water may require. They have the necessary testing equipment and experience to make sure that you have the right size and type of units you need. Another reason to purchase from a professional water treatment company is the service they provide after the sale, such as warranties and a well supplied service truck with trained technicians.

  • What should I look for when choosing a water treatment company?

    As always when choosing a company to perform services at your home, you want the one with the best reputation and staying power. Inquire about their years in business or their qualifications. Make sure they have the necessary licenses and insurances. A few good indicators of stability are an advertisement in the yellow pages, trucks with permanent signage, and technicians with company shirts. It may also be advisable to see if they are affiliated with any trade organization in the water industry. That would be the Water Quality Association and their phone number is 630-505-0160. Also, as to licenses, note that to install basic equipment, a company can get by with an Occupational License, but to install pumps and/or angle stops and other plumbing equipment, a Florida State Plumbing License is required. To obtain this status, an individual must pass a state audited exam that takes most of 2 days to take and must also pass a background and credit check. As one more added qualification, does the company have a legitimate place of business with an office and people to answer the telephone or are you repeatedly dealing with an answering machine in an individual’s living room?

Municipal Water

  • Why do I need water treatment equipment on municipal or centrally supplied water?

    Municipalities do a fine job of delivering water to your home that is essentially safe. However, in order to accomplish this it requires the use of chemicals such as ammonia, chlorine, and various settling agents, all of which can have an impact on your health when long term exposure is experienced. These are referred to as disinfectant by-products. Some, for example chloramines and trihalomethanes (THMs), are suspected of being carcinogenic or cancer causing agents, therefore it is in your best interest to remove them from your water. Some people may say that they don’t drink the water coming into their home and that is wise, however, when it comes to the above mentioned chemicals, even breathing in the air that is affected by these chemicals can have a detrimental effect.

    Another factor to consider is the calcium and magnesium hardness that is in almost all water. This hardness creates a reaction between the soap and other hygiene products and detergents commonly used in your home. This reaction causes spots on your dishes, deterioration of plumbing fixtures and water using appliances, as well as water heaters. It also causes the fibers in your clothing to rot and develop holes prematurely. Other ill effects of hard water are dry skin and brittle hair. Soft water neutralizes these detrimental effects and makes your skin and hair feel silky.

  • Why is my water yellow?

    Often yellow water is a complaint on both municipal and well water, but for different reasons. In well water it is tannins or decomposed plant life. In municipal water it is caused by the use of ammonia and chlorine combined. Municipalities do this to reduce the amount of chlorine that is needed due to the potential health risk posed by chlorine. However, this creates the undesirable by product we just mentioned, chloramines, which is suspected of being a carcinogenic. At any rate, the yellow color is not pleasant and need not be tolerated. Aqua Care has various systems to make the water in your home both pleasant and safe to consume.

  • Is my tap water safe to drink?

    The public water systems that exist in the United States are among the safest in the world. In some countries, boiling water is the only water treatment that exists. We have the luxury of turning on the faucet and getting clean, clear water. This, though, comes at a price. Due to the addition of chemicals that are used to obtain this quality water, there is what is referred to as disinfectant by-products such as chlorine, chloramines, ammonia, and various coagulation agents, all of which can have detrimental effects on your health when subjected to long term exposure. For this reason, it is advisable to remove these products just before they enter your home. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Aqua Care has several options available to make your water both safe and pleasant to be around.

  • Does a water softener add sodium to my diet?

    Yes, it does. However, the amount added is minimal. For example, if you were to drink 2 quarts of moderately hard water that is artificially softened, you would add about 310 mg. of sodium to your dietary intake. As a comparison, note that 1 slice of white bread contains about 160 mg. of sodium, or one cup of whole milk has about 127 mg. Is this too much? Not normally. However, if your doctor has you on a no sodium diet, it would be best to consult him on this matter, or utilize an additional drinking water device such as a reverse osmosis point of use system.

  • How much will a water softener impact my water bill?

    It is hard to give a dollar amount that will occur on your bill every month, but yes water softeners do use water to backwash the softening resin, however, some units use more than others. There are basically two types of softeners.

    One is called a day wheel type and regenerates every so many days, based on how often it is set to regenerate. This number is obtained by the professional that installs and/or sells the equipment. He bases the number of days between regeneration on the number of people in the house, the hardness of the water, and the size of the unit. Contrary to popular belief, a larger unit in the long run does not use more salt because it regenerates less frequently than an undersized unit.

    The second type of softener is called a metered type of softener. This type regenerates based on a preset number of gallons. Again this number of gallons between regenerations is based on a water test preformed by your water treatment professional and takes into consideration the size of the unit, the number of people, and the hardness in the water. The advantage of a metered system is that if you use less water than normal on any given day, the unit foregoes the scheduled regeneration, thus saving on salt and water. Many units also have other economical properties built into their valves, such as a memory that knows what days are typically heavy water days and which are not, and the unit acts accordingly. Aqua Care has a number of options available for you to consider. Just call for a free water evaluation.

  • Are all water softeners the same?

    No. Just like any other appliance, water softeners come with a variety of features, such as metered or day type softeners, with or without a by-pass, different sizes of by-passes, mechanical and electronic valves, with or without a protective outer jacket, and different types of resins. All of these features affect the efficiency of the unit and the amount of salt that you will use. Call for a free evaluation of your water and an explanation of your options.

  • Can I increase my water pressure?

    Typically municipal water is delivered at a reasonable pressure; however, this is not always the case. The required minimum for municipal water is 29 pounds per square inch, which is not sufficient. There are a variety of ways to increase pressure. For example, a booster pump may be installed at the point where your water enters into your home. This is a task best handled by a supply side water technician. This is a term that applies to a water treatment professional that is also familiar with pumps, hydraulics, and piping systems. This is a rare breed of individual, but at Aqua Care this is our specialty. Just call for a free evaluation of your situation.

  • I see water softeners for sale at home improvement stores, hardware stores, and even department stores. Why should I purchase from a water treatment company?

    Most water treatment companies possess knowledge about the science and mechanics of water treatment and conditioning that the clerks at the retail outlets do not. They are well versed in the installation of the equipment, the salt and hardness setting that should be used, and the proper resin technology that your specific water may require. They have the necessary testing equipment and experience to make sure that you have the right size and type of units you need. Another reason to purchase from a professional water treatment company is the service they provide after the sale, such as warranties and a well supplied service truck with trained technicians.

  • How much salt should my softener be using?

    This depends on the type and size softener you have. Basically the softeners are broken into 2 types, day and metered.

    A Day Type is set to regenerate, as the name suggests, every so many days, typically every 3 to 4 days. This will occur no matter how much water you use. Even if you go away and use no water, the unit regenerates and uses salt and electricity, for your pumps and causes unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.

    The Metered Type is set at a predetermined number of gallons, based on the size of the unit and the hardness of the water, which is obtained by a hardness test. If no water is used, the meter does not count down and delays the regeneration, thus saving on salt, electricity, and wear and tear on pumps. Besides the differences mentioned above, there are also choices to be made as to size of the softener tank, and between digital or mechanical valves. Again, these decisions are based on budget, water use, and water conditions.

    Another factor that influences the amount of salt that you use is the hardness of your water. The more hardness in your water, the more salt is required to soften the water.