Archive for March, 2021

Los Angeles Water Quality 2021

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

How clean is LA tap water?

If you’re one of the more than 10 million residents of Los Angeles, chances are you’ve poured yourself a cup of water from a city-supplied tap.1 While the latest Environmental Protection Agency report (January 2019-March 2019) found that Los Angeles water quality was in compliance with the federal health guideline for drinking water standards, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t still some contaminants present in the water.2  

Read on to learn more about what LA’s water supply contains, and how you can treat your own water source at home with a water filtration system.

 

Examining LA Water Quality 

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) drinking water quality report, tap water provided by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was in compliance with federal drinking standards.3 This data covers years 2012-2017. 

Just because LA’s tap water was in compliance doesn’t mean, according to EWG, that this water is necessarily safe to drink. The purpose of EWG is to bridge the gap between actual water quality and what is mandated by government standards. 

EWG claims that “legal limits for contaminants in LA tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years,” meaning the bar for meeting federal regulations may be too low. 

The latest report outlining what is in LA’s water found 21 total contaminants with eight exceeding EWG health guidelines. 

These eight contaminants include:3

The health concern with all of the above contaminants is their potential to cause cancer at high enough contaminant levels. Los Angeles water quality falls short of EWG guidelines, but it fares better than the national average for levels of haloacetic acids and total trihalomethanes. 

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Water Filters: The Answer to Clean Water

According to EWG, water filtration and contacting your local officials are two ways to address the high levels of contaminants in LA drinking water. 

The LA County Department of Public Health says that while public water suppliers in the city routinely test their water, “the cost of reducing contaminant levels to zero would be prohibitively expensive.”6

While it may take some time to hear back from government leaders, you can start filtering your home water source today for far less money than it would take to treat an entire city’s water source. 

EWG outlines a few water filter options, including activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange. 

The water filter system that best reduces contaminant levels is reverse osmosis. This system effectively eradicates all of the above mentioned contaminants, plus more than half-a-dozen other contaminants. The system works by pushing unfiltered water through a reverse osmosis membrane that removes impurities and contaminants, leaving you with fresh-tasting water.

Rayne Water: LA Water Made Clean

LA’s tap water is legally safe to consume, but that doesnt’ mean the water quality is top notch. According to the guidelines set forth by research and advocacy nonprofit Environmental Working Group, LA’s tap water should be filtered before drinking. Installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system in your home—especially if you live in southern California—is one step you can take to treat your water. 

Water treatment company Rayne Water services California, Arizona, and Nevada and has several reverse osmosis and water softener systems available.

If you want LA water made clean and soft, consider installing a Rayne Water system today. Rayne offers a variety of water systems along with helpful tidbits such as how to remember to drink water or is chlorinated water safe to drink

Sources:

  1. U.S. Census Bureau. Quick Facts: LA County. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/losangelescountycalifornia,CA/PST045219
  2. Tap Safe. Is Los Angeles Tap Water Safe To Drink? https://www.tapsafe.org/los-angeles-tap-water/#:~:text=The%20Los%20Angeles%2C%20CA%20USA,and%20it’s%20bottled%2Dwater%20quality
  3. EWG. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/system.php?pws=CA1910067
  4. World Health Organization. Arsenic. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/arsenic
  5. World Nuclear. What is Uranium? How Does it Work? https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/introduction/what-is-uranium-how-does-it-work.aspx
  6. County of Los Angeles Public Health. Water Quality. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/tea/toxicepi/water.htm
  7. Rayne Water. Residential Reverse Osmosis Systems. https://www.raynewater.com/residential_category/drinking-water-systems/

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

 

 

Is Chlorinated Water Safe to Drink?

Posted by Rayne Water

You won’t just find chlorinated water in your favorite neighborhood swimming pool. Public water companies will often add disinfectants like chlorine and chloramine to water to prevent contamination from disease-causing germs in your water supply

But is chlorinated water safe to drink? 

The short answer is: yes. The Environmental Protection Agency limits how much chlorine may be legally added to drinking water so that it remains safe for human consumption.1 

Read on to learn more about how and why drinking water is chlorinated, and how to treat your own water at home with a water filtration system

Understanding Chlorinated Drinking Water 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), chlorine and chloramine are the most common disinfectants used by water companies. Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to water to kill parasites, bacteria, and viruses.2 

Chlorine levels up to 4 milligrams per liter are considered safe, meaning “harmful health effects are unlikely to occur.”

If the idea of adding this naturally occurring chemical element to the water you drink on a daily basis is jarring, consider the germs and parasites this disinfectant kills. 

The most common disease-causing germs that chlorine tackles are:

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How Does Chlorine Fight Against These Germs?

Chlorine works to combat harmful microorganisms present in public drinking water by damaging their cell membranes.6 Once chlorine has penetrated the pathogen’s membrane, it can disrupt the cell’s respiration and DNA activity, causing the cell to die. 

Chlorinating drinking water is a practice that first began in 1908, and has become more prevalent every decade since. By 1995, 64% of all community water systems in the U.S. were using chlorine to disinfect their water source.2

Why Chlorine?

The reason chlorine is such a popular disinfectant is because it’s inexpensive and easy to implement, and chlorine can be added to a water source at any time during the water treatment process.6

Water companies regularly measure chlorine exposure added to your drinking source to maintain levels at or below the recommended 4 milligrams per liter. 

Not only is the chlorination of drinking water common, it’s also required for many public water systems. These systems include:1

If you believe you’re sensitive to chlorine, you can contact your healthcare provider or local health department to check in on the levels maintained by your water company and what adverse effects chlorine may have on your person.

While chlorinating water has been proven to be a safe, effective, and widely accepted practice, some people are still hesitant to drink water treated with this chemical. 

If you are someone who is sensitive to chlorine, or if you do not like the taste of chlorinated water, you can always treat the water coming into your home yourself. 

Water Filtration Systems: Removing Chlorination

Installing a water filtration system in your home can improve the taste and smell of your water if you do not like the slight chlorine taste often present in treated public water. 

There are a number of options available to you if you’d like to eliminate the overall chlorine level from your drinking water. Pitcher filters will remove chlorine taste and smell as will activated carbon filters, or you can install more elaborate systems, like water conditioners or a full drinking water system. 

Different water filters will serve different purposes. The CDC divides the types of filtration into three categories, all specializing in removing certain substances from water. These three types of filtration are:7

If you are primarily looking to tackle the chlorine levels in your water, you’ll want to invest in a filtration system that uses nanofiltration. 

Water Filtration Benefits

Whether you invest in a filtration system that specifically tackles chlorine levels, or one that addresses other substances often present in public treated water, you’ll still benefit from treating your water at home. 

Common benefits of water filtration include:8</s

The Taste of Fresh Rayne, Not Chlorine

To reiterate the initial question: Is chlorinated water safe to drink? 

Yes, adding chlorine to water sources is a widely accepted practice that has been in use for more than a century. Local water companies are diligent when checking chlorine levels, making sure they are at or below 4 milligrams per liter.

Although this water is safe to consume, some people do not like the taste or smell of water treated with chlorine and may opt to install their own home water filter to alleviate this. 

Water treatment company Rayne Water has been helping the residents of California, Nevada, and Arizona filter their water since 1928. Rayne Water has a variety of filtration systems available, from reverse osmosis to water conditioners to salt free systems. Want to improve your water quality or perhaps just curious about how to remember to drink water? Check out Rayne Water and discover the water system’s we offer today or other interesting facts surrounding Los Angeles water quality

Find a location near you!

Sources: 

  1. Minnesota Department of Health. Drinking Water Chlorination: Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/chlorination
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water Disinfection with Chlorine and Chloramine. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_disinfection.html
  3. CDC. Salmonella. https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/
  4. CDC. Campylobacter. https://www.cdc.gov/campylobacter/index.html
  5. CDC. Norovirus. https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/
  6. Safe Drinking Water Foundation. What is Chlorination? https://www.safewater.org/fact-sheets-1/2017/1/23/what-is-chlorination
  7. CDC. A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use
    https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/household_water_treatment.html
  8. Rayne Water. 4 Reasons to Install a Water Kitchen Filtration System. https://www.raynewater.com/blog/4-reasons-to-install-a-water-kitchen-filtration-system/
  9. Minnesota Department of Health. . Disinfection and Disinfection Byproducts. https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/ddbp.html
  10. Rescue Air. How Your Water Quality May Be Affecting Your HVAC https://www.rescueairtx.com/blog/2019/august/how-your-water-quality-may-be-affecting-your-hva/
  11. CDC. Choosing Home Water Filters & Other Water Treatment Systems https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/home-water-treatment/water-filters.html 

Is it Better to Drink Soft or Hard Water?

Posted by Rayne Water

 

*Reviewed by Ken Christopher, Senior Vice President at Rayne Dealership Corporation

Staying consistently hydrated has myriad health benefits.1 But did you know that the kind of water you drink can also affect your health?

Water can either be “soft” or “hard” depending on the level of minerals it contains.2 Hard water will contain higher levels of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, while soft water will contain higher levels of sodium (salt). Both soft and hard water are considered safe to drink, but there are benefits and downsides to consuming each kind of water on a daily basis. 

Here, we’ll outline the differences between these two types of water, the pros and cons of both soft and hard water, plus the benefits of water softening. Read on. 

Is My Water Soft or Hard?

According to the United States Geological Survey, you may realize you have hard water if after washing your hands with soap and water you notice a lingering “slimy” feeling. Or maybe your glass dishware looks more murky than crystal clear.3 Other signs of your home’s water hardness level include mineral buildup stains on your clothes and less water pressure when you’re doing the dishes or taking a shower—low water pressure may be a result of mineral deposit buildup in your pipes.

Many homeowners bemoan the existence of hard water for the above reasons, with hard-water residue not only unsightly, but potentially detrimental to the efficacy of household systems. 

So, what causes hard water?

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Where Hard Water Originates

Hard water levels are measured by the amount of dissolved minerals in the water, particularly calcium and magnesium. Individuals who have water systems which use a ground source often experience higher hard water levels as the water travels through soil and rock, naturally absorbing small amounts of these minerals.3

One particular drawback to hard water that homeowners may notice is that when water is heated, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form.3 This occurrence can reduce the shelf-life of appliances, lower the efficiency of electric water heaters, and raise the costs of heating water. 

While water hardness levels differ depending on your water treatment system and where you live, you can always find the most reliable data about your water hardness levels from your local health agency or local water utility company. For example, if you are exposed to Los Angeles water quality, a water filtration system is definitely worth looking into. 

How to Tell if You Have Soft Water

The signs of soft water in your home are generally more positive than the signs of hard water. These signs include:2

Soft water is naturally occurring in many areas, meaning you may never have to grapple with the frustrations hard water living brings.  

Benefits of Soft Water vs. Hard Water

You may still be wondering, “Is it better to drink soft or hard water?”

Again, both soft and hard water are generally considered safe to drink. 

That said, individuals with hard water may want to soften their water through various means, but rarely will someone with soft water attempt to harden their water supply. If you are hankering for mineral-rich water, you may have to move to a location with a solid groundwater system. 

The key reason some homeowners prefer hard water is that it can be beneficial to your overall health. Consuming calcium and magnesium through hard water can help you meet your daily quota of these minerals without having to take vitamins or change your diet. 

Keep in mind, high mineral content may also dry out your skin and hair, or throw off the pH balance of your skin, making the tradeoff less worth it. 

There are numerous benefits of soft water, particularly when it comes to washing your dishes and your clothes. Homeowners with soft water will often save money on the water bill as they’ll only need to run their delicate champagne flutes through the dishwasher once to get them crystal clear. 

Some specific advantages of switching to a soft water system include:4

Because there are ample benefits to switching to a soft water system, many people will invest in a water softener. Read on to learn more about what a water softener does and why you may want to add a softener to your home water supply.

Water Softener 101 

According to Scientific American, a water softening system removes the calcium and magnesium prevalent in hard water and replaces these minerals with sodium ions.5 This occurs through a process called ion exchange. 

Water softener units are usually located in your plumbing system and work by reversing the process through which water becomes hard. While the polarity of a water molecule allows it to pick up mineral ions when traveling through the soil in a ground system, a water softener reverses this by attracting the mineral ions back out of the water.4

There are two tanks in a water softener system: resin (aka mineral) tanks and the brine softener tank. The resin tank is where the work happens as sodium ions from the brine solution replace the mineral ions in the hard water. Once all the hard mineral ions are collected, they are flushed out of the tank with potassium chloride or sodium chloride.

Installing a Water Softener

Water streaming out of the water softener’s resin tank no longer contains high levels of hard mineral ions. Instead, the water is soft, containing small amounts of sodium ion. From there, you can enjoy all the benefits of soft water—from more refreshing showers to tasty cups of coffee in the morning.

Interested in learning more about a water softener installation, quick tips on how to remember to drink water, or perhaps wondering is chlorinated water safe to drink? Contact Rayne Water today.

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. Healthline. 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Water. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water
  2. Healthline. Hard Water vs. Soft Water: Which One Is Healthier? https://www.healthline.com/health/hard-water-and-soft-water
  3. United States Geological Survey. Hardness of Water. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  4. Rayne Water. What is Soft Water? https://www.raynewater.com/blog/what-is-soft-water/
  5. Scientific American. How do Water Softeners Work? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-water-softeners-wo/
  6. Rayne Water. Residential Whole House Water Softener Systems. https://www.raynewater.com/residential_category/water-softeners/
  7. McGill University. Is Hard Water Dangerous to Drink? https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-you-asked/you-asked-hard-water-dangerous-drink

 

Expert Reviewer – Ken Christopher

Seven Tips For How to Remember to Drink Water

Posted by Rayne Water

Remembering to stay hydrated throughout the day can be tricky, especially when you’re balancing work, family, extracurriculars, and more. But meeting your daily water quota can exponentially benefit your health, from improving your mood to clearing up your skin.

Looking for ways to improve your water consumption

You’re in the right place. We’ve got seven pro tips for how to remember to drink water outlined below, plus all the key benefits you’ll discover when you start making staying hydrated a priority. Make sure your healthy habits are optimal with a water filtration system. 

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

 

How Much Water Should You Drink 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the “eight glasses of water a day” rule, well, holds water.1 It’s important to note, though, that depending on a variety of factors you may require a little bit more or a little bit less H20. These factors may include:

So if you’re training for a marathon under the summer sun, consider adding a few glasses towards your daily fluid intake. 

However, if reaching the coveted eight glasses is already difficult enough, consider implementing the following seven practices into your daily water intake routine. 

#1 Set a Daily Goal and Use Calendar Reminders to Meet Them

Just like how you create goals and to-do lists for work, you can set goals for water intake, too. Whether you use an old-fashioned notebook or an online planner, physically writing or typing “drink water now” next to a time slot should help your brain become accustomed to taking more frequent water sips. 

PubMed breaks down the best way to set daily goals into the acronym SMART, meaning goals should be:2

And, believe it or not, the busier your day is, the better this SMART system works—when you’re constantly staring at your calendar, it will be hard to miss your water drinking reminders.

#2 Keep a Water Bottle On You at all Times

This may go without saying, but having the appropriate vessel from which to sip your daily water allotment is critical. 

An insulated, reusable bottle that can hold at least 24 ounces of water is a great place to start. There are myriad, snazzy water bottle options available on the market, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to help meet your daily water intake goal.

Finding a bottle that makes you want to drink is key—some people prefer twist tops, some prefer straws. 

Others may find that using a marked water bottle can help them measure how much they’re drinking. These bottles may feature lines indicating how many ounces you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve refilled in a day (which helps you keep up your daily SMART goal). 

#3 Make Your Water Fun With a Little Infusion

Drinking enough water doesn’t have to be a chore—you can safely add flavor to the water in your bottle without compromising your hydration levels. 

You may have noticed in upscale hotels or retailers that there is often a large, glistening water dispenser filled with slices of cucumber or a handful of blackberries. You can replicate this on a micro scale with your own water source, adding fresh veggies, citrus, or fruit to your bottle. 

The longer you let these ingredients steep in your water, the more flavorful each sip will become. As an added bonus, this is a great way to sneak fruits and vegetables into your diet without having to whip up a full-fledged meal. 

Flavored water can also effectively replace beverages that actively dehydrate you, like soda or sugary juices. Swapping a tasty flavored water for these drinks can curb the sugar cravings and keep you hydrated simultaneously. 

#4 Get High Tech with Hydration  

As we’ve noted, setting reasonable goals for hydration and keeping a user-friendly water bottle on your person at all times will help you to remember to drink more water. 

If you want to take your hydration up a notch, you can also invest in high-tech gadgets and apps.

“Smart” products like hydration reminders that blink when your cup is stagnant for a certain period of time and water bottles tied to apps that measure how much you’re drinking will certainly keep that “eight ounces eight times a day” rule front of mind.3

#5 Eat Food with High Water Content 

Feel like you’re drowning? You don’t have to limit your H2O intake to its standard liquid form. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, many fruits are mostly water by weight.1 Some water-filled foods that can help you stay ultra hydrated include:4

You can add slices of any of these fruits to your water to double down on your daily hydration. 

#6 Follow a One-to-One Rule With Booze 

If you are someone who likes to indulge in a nice glass of Pinot or pint of beer every once in a while, you may notice that you get dehydrated more quickly when imbibing.

This is because alcohol is a diuretic and causes your body to remove fluids from your blood through your renal system at a faster rate than other liquids.5 

To balance out the diuretic effect of booze, make an effort to drink at least one 16-ounce glass of water with every 12 ounces of beer or 3-4 ounces of liquor. The slower you sip your alcohol, the less likely you are to become dehydrated. 

#7 Get a Water Filter 

You may be hesitant to chug water all day if you don’t trust your closest water source. 

Curious if it is better to drink soft or hard water? For the most part, it is a personal preference and investing in a water filter or water softener are great options to entice yourself to stay hydrated, and the best part is that there are a variety of filters for every budget, from pitchers to entire kitchen filtration systems. 

In addition to being clean and safe to drink, filtered water can also taste better than tap or fountain water. If you find yourself working from home most days or exposed to harsh water such as Los Angeles water quality, you may want to invest in a water kitchen filtration system

These under-the-sink or countertop systems protect your household against contaminants that build up in the water supply. The filtered water they produce makes better coffee, better ice, and better baked goods—contaminants in water can slow the fermentation process for leavened products like bread.

The more you invest in your filtration system, the more likely you’ll be to use this system, which means you’ll be sipping your clean and tasty water all day. 

The Benefits of Drinking Water

Once you’ve implemented the above steps and you’re drinking water like a pro, you may start to notice some benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, water is your body’s principal chemical component, making up to 70% of your body weight. 

Your body uses water to:6

However, that’s just the basics. The benefits of drinking enough water also include:7 

Despite our best efforts, sometimes we still will not drink enough water throughout the day. You can tell if you aren’t drinking enough by looking out for signs of dehydration. These signs go beyond just feeling thirsty. You may be dehydrated if:

Luckily, when you experience these symptoms the solution is as simple as reaching for your nearest water bottle or grabbing a few mouthfuls of fresh fruit. 

 

Holistic Health Starts with Hydration

Getting enough water each day is not only critical for your health and well-being, it can even help you become more productive, clear up your skin, and lower your stress levels. By following a few helpful tips to remember to drink water—including purchasing a marked water bottle, setting realistic goals for yourself each day, and investing in a filtration system—you’ll be on track to 24-hour hydration in no time. 

If you need further assistance on your hydration journey, reach out to Rayne Water today. We install residential and business water filtration systems and water softeners, so you can be excited about the water you drink. We are also here to answer any questions you may have, such as is chlorinated water safe to drink?

Holistic health starts with proper hydration. Proper hydration starts with Rayne Water. 

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. Mayo Clinic. Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women
  2. PubMed. A Randomized Trial of SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing after Simulation to Promote Educational Actions. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29383065/
  3. NBC News. The 11 Best Smart Products to Help You Stay Hydrated All Day. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/10-smart-products-will-make-upping-your-water-intake-no-ncna759776
  4. Healthline. 19 Water-Rich Foods that Help You Stay Hydrated. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-hydrating-foods
  5. Healthline. Does Alcohol Dehydrate You? https://www.healthline.com/health/does-alcohol-dehydrate-you#prevention
  6. Mayo Clinic. Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women
  7. Healthline. Why Is Water Important? 16 Reasons to Drink Up. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/why-is-water-important
  8. Healthline. 12 Simple Ways to Drink More Water. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water
  9. Rayne Water. 4 Reasons to Install a Water Kitchen Filtration System. https://www.raynewater.com/blog/4-reasons-to-install-a-water-kitchen-filtration-system/
  10. Self. 27 DIY Fruit-Infused Waters to Stay Hydrated this Season.  https://www.self.com/story/27-diy-fruit-infused-waters-stay-hydrated-season 

How Do Salt Free Water Systems Work?

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is our most precious commodity. Aside from being essential to keeping us hydrated, our water supply makes it possible for us to cook our meals, clean our dishes, wash our clothes, and shower. 

That’s why what’s in your water affects more than just your health. If your water becomes over-encumbered with hard water minerals, you’re left with hard water—a frustrating and costly issue. Investing in a clean drinking water system can play a big role in your health over time.

In the past, the solution to hard water was installing a water softener to replace your water’s minerals with sodium. But that isn’t the only option anymore. With a salt free water system, this  system alternative can improve the quality of your water without adding salt to it. 

What is Hard Water?

When water travels underground to your home, it passes through mineral-rich stones and soil. During its journey, the water will dissolve small amounts of these minerals, which then cling to the water molecules and become part of the water itself. 

Like erosion, this water softener system process happens naturally over time. The water that comes into our homes most often collects calcium and magnesium—minerals that are commonly found in limestone and dolomite. Other substances, such as iron and aluminum, can also make their way into your water supply. 

As the amount of minerals and metals in your water increases, so does the hard water scale in your water. 

The Negative Impacts of Hard Water

Your hard water scale doesn’t actually affect the way the water feels. You may have hard water in your home and not even realize it. In fact, about 85% of American homes have problems with hard water.1 

Fortunately, hard water doesn’t pose a danger to your health. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless. 

The soap you use to wash your hands, take a shower, clean your clothes, and run your dishwasher reacts to the excess amount of calcium within hard water. Instead of creating soapy suds, this reaction creates a solid build-up of minerals with hardness ions, resulting in stains, residue, and even skin irritation. If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly rewashing clothes, or using more soap than necessary to get your dishes clean, your water may be to blame. 

Hard water also affects your home’s plumbing. When your hot water heater warms up hard water in your home, the excess calcium forms solid deposits that attach to the inside of your water heater and your water pipes. Over time, these deposits clog your pipes and obstruct the flow of water. 

Not only does this lower your water efficiency, but it also shortens the life of your equipment. One study found that hot water heaters with hard-water calcium build-up perform 22% to 30% less effectively than water heaters without build-up.2 

Clogged pipes also decrease your water pressure, causing you to use more water. Aside from wasting resources, using more water also significantly raises the cost of your water bill. If hard water is left untreated, your pipes will eventually need to be completely replaced—a costly and time-consuming process. 

So how can you know if hard water is a problem for you and your home?

Common signs of hard water include: 

If you’ve noticed any of these issues, reach out to our experts at Rayne Water. Our professional readings can give you an accurate measure of your water’s hardness. 

Salt Based Water Softeners 

To combat hard water and its negative effects, sodium-based water softening systems were developed. These systems reduce levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water by replacing them with salt. Due to the demands of the system, salt based water softeners need to have access to electricity, as well as a drain. 

A whole house salt water softener is made up of two tanks—a resin tank and a brine tank. The resin tank is filled with negatively charged resin beads coated with positively charged sodium ions. When water travels through the resin tank, calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the resin. The calcium and magnesium are drawn away from the water molecule, leaving room for the sodium ions to swoop in and take their place in the water. This process is known as ion-exchange. 

After mineral ions are drained from the system, the brine tank is used to refill the resin bed with sodium. Every few cycles, salt is added to the brine tank to ensure the system can operate properly.

Although salt water softeners effectively reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water, their use of sodium as a replacement can be a health concern. Salt water softeners also require maintenance. Not only do you have to add salt to your brine tank when it runs low, but you also need to regularly clean both the brine tank and the resin tank to prevent build-ups of iron, manganese, and salt bridges. 

Luckily, there’s an alternative solution that’s just as effective—a water softener without salt. Below include a few reasons to choose a water softener without salt

Water Softener Systems  starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Free Water Systems

As their name suggests, these water systems don’t require salt to reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water. In fact, they don’t reduce these minerals at all. 

So then how do salt free water systems work?

Rather than eliminating the minerals themselves, salt free water softeners eliminate the negative impact these minerals have by conditioning the water. 

Water Conditioning 

Water conditioning is achieved through a process called template-assisted crystallization (TAC). This process causes the minerals within the water to harden into microscopic crystals, sometimes known as seed crystals. 

These seed crystals work like powerful magnets, attracting the other minerals within your water. By binding to the crystals rather than to the pipes and surfaces in your home, minerals like calcium and magnesium can no longer cause build-up, filmy residue, or stains. Conditioned water can also make your clothes look brighter after washing them, and make your skin and hair feel hydrated and smooth after a shower. 

Some water conditioning systems can even reverse existing mineral build-up and damage within your pipes and equipment. This means you’ll experience an increase in water efficiency and pressure while lowering your water bill. 

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

Another way to soften your water without the use of salt is by installing a reverse osmosis filtration system. These systems physically filter your water by forcing it through a filtration membrane. The membrane contains microscopic pores that allow the water molecule to pass through, but not the minerals or metals within the water. 

Although whole house reverse osmosis systems are available, these filters are typically installed at a single tap. Because they also boast the removal of other contaminants, such as microbes, a reverse osmosis system can be a beneficial addition to the sink you rely on for your drinking and cooking water.

Benefits of Salt Free Water Systems

Both salt and salt free water systems are designed to prevent mineral build-up, eliminate skin irritation, and add years to the life of your water pipes and equipment. 

So what are the advantages of choosing a salt free water  system over a salt water softener?

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

The cost of a salt free water system depends on the type and size of system you choose. Installing a whole house salt free water softener, for instance, will can cost more than installing a reverse osmosis system on a single faucet. 

Costs will also vary based on the size of your home, the amount of water you use, and the hardness of your water. 

Although it might be an initial investment up front, the amount of money you’ll save by increasing your water efficiency, extending the life of your equipment, and preventing plumbing issues, will more than make up for the cost. 

The Salt Free Solution to Hard Water  

Hard water is a common issue that can lead to costly damage down the line. If your dishware is spotty, your clothes are dull and stained, and your skin feels dry and irritated, your home’s water quality is likely to blame.

To get an accurate measure of your water’s hardness, or if you’re ready to install a salt free water softening system, contact Rayne Water today. We can give you a free in-home estimate and recommend the best system for your specific needs. Improve the condition of your water, reclaim your quality of life, and save money with Rayne Water. 

Find a location near you!

Sources: 

  1. USGS. Hardness of Water. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects 
  2. Water Research Center. Hard Water Hardness Calcium Magnesium Water Corrosion Mineral Scale. https://water-research.net/index.php/water-treatment/tools/hard-water-hardness 
  3. NCBI. Potential Health Impacts of Hard Water.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775162/ 
  5. Home Tips. How to Buy a Water Softener System | Solve Hard Water Problems. https://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/water-softener-systems.html 
  6. Healthline. Hard Water vs. Soft Water: Which One Is Healthier? https://www.healthline.com/health/hard-water-and-soft-water#water-softening 
  7. Scientific American. How do water softeners work? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-water-softeners-wo/
  8. How Stuff Works. How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank. https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/clean-water-softener-resin-tank.htm

How to Use a Water Softener

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’ve experienced the negative effects of hard water minerals buildup on plumbing and water fixtures—you know how beneficial a water softener system is. Or, if you’re looking to improve your water for drinking purposes, investing in a drinking water system can be key.

Fortunately, using a water softener is simple. And once the system is set up, it operates automatically outside of periodic recharging and regular maintenance. 

Whether you have or haven’t installed your system yet, you may be lost as to how the system works, or how it even operates. When setting up your system for the first time, it’s important to be aware of your environment so that the softening process can work with maximum efficiency. 

A Hard Water Refresher

Sometimes it’s easy to know that you have a hard water issue without knowing the specifics. If you’ve noticed mineral ions deposits on your pipes, dishes having stains after you wash them, or even coming out of the shower feeling itchy with dry skin—it’s likely hard water is to blame.

To what degree you have a hard water problem should be identified before choosing your water softener solution.

How Hard Water is Measured

Hard water is caused by hard minerals that get picked up as groundwater percolates through rocks underground. Often these minerals include calcium and magnesium, and as your pipes run, these are the minerals that will most often build up in and around them.1 

Water hardness is measured in Grains Per Gallon (GPG) of calcium carbonate:2

Once you know just how hard your water supply is, you can determine how to use a water softener system to minimize the mineral count in your water.

 

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Using Your Water Softener

Once a water-softening system is installed in your home, it runs fairly automatically. While a technician should be able to install your system and get it up and running, there are few things about your home and needs you should consider.

The Properties of Your Property

An important aspect of operating your water-softening system is knowing your home’s water usage on a daily basis. This will help determine the settings your system should operate at.

Recharging Your Soft Water System According to Your Needs

Briefly, a water-softening system works by pumping water loaded with calcium and magnesium into a chamber containing a plastic, porous, negatively-charged resin. As the positively-charged hard water enters the resin chamber, the calcium and magnesium particles stick to the resin, leaving the water much softer. 

Eventually, the resin will be too coated in minerals to function properly and will need to be recharged by pumping a super-salty water solution from the brine tank into the resin tank.3 The saltwater pulls the calcium and magnesium off the resin and is flushed away.

Because of this, you’ll need to set your system to recharge depending on how many gallons of water are used in your home. Usually you can determine this by how many people live in your home. 

The Right Place for Your System

Additionally, you’ll need to be aware of the best placement of your system in your home, especially if it’s a whole-house water softening system. With an installation from Rayne Water, your technician will be able to determine the optimal placement, whether it’s a whole house salt free water system or a reverse osmosis system for one or more faucets. 

Generally, you’ll want your system set up within a reasonable distance to a continuous power outlet and drain. If you have a hot water heater, it’s best to install the system before the water enters the heater. This will prolong the life of your heater and your water softening system, as hot water will cause it to wear out quicker. 

Unit Maintenance

In addition to running a recharge system, you’ll need to ensure that you’re maintaining your soft-water system to avoid a lapse inflow or buildup of minerals. 

Keeping Your Brine Tank Beautiful

Sometimes the salt level on the bottom of the tank will be used up before the salt on top. When this happens, a salt bridge is created. You’ll need to break it up and remove the larger chunks to get your tank running again.

Other times the salt might not properly dissolve and leave insoluble clumps on the bottom of the brine tank, which will also need to be cleaned out.

Resin Rejuvenation

Eventually, the resin in your resin tank will also need to be replaced, if not just cleaned out with a cleaning solution. You can buy special solutions for this, or carefully mix a diluted bleach solution, and then run a recharge cycle in order to return your resin back to full capacity.

Your Rayne Water System

Fortunately, with a Rayne Water system, the worries around installation will be taken care of by one of our professional technicians. Whether you’re looking for a  Salt free water system or another customized solution, we’ll advise you on the best system for your needs. We’ll also educate you on preventative maintenance and repairs along with how salt free water systems work, so you can operate your system with complete peace of mind.

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our water specialists to discuss your water softening needs. 

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. Minnesota Department of Health. “Home Water Softening” https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/softening.html
  2. Penn State Extension. “Water Softening” https://extension.psu.edu/water-softening
  3. Popular Mechanics. Water Softener – What Is Hard Water and How Does a Softener Work? https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/a28280250/water-softener/

A Guide to Whole House Salt-Free Water Systems

Posted by Rayne Water

The water in your home flows through almost every part of your life—it’s what you use to brush your teeth, fill your coffee pot, wash your hair, and clean your clothes. And the quality of that water can do incredible things for your day-to-day life.

From making it easier to wash dishes to extending the lifetime of your plumbing, softening the fresh water in your home is an essential upgrade. 

But once you’ve decided to make the change to a water softening system, you may be wondering about your options, including whole house saltless water softeners. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Understanding what makes water “hard” along with where your water falls under the hard water scale can help illuminate the methods that are used to “soften” it. Here’s what you need to know about a water softening system:

The fresh water you pour into a glass to drink or use to wash your hands before dinner takes a long journey before it reaches you. When groundwater percolates or passes through porous underground rock, it can pick up minerals and materials that are present there—most commonly calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

The mineral level in the water determines a water’s softness or hardness, meaning:

But does water’s softness really impact your day-to-day life? Here are just some of the negative impacts of hard water:

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

What is Water Softening?

Water softening is the process of removing the elements that make the water hard—calcium and magnesium—from your water supply. This works by drawing out the mineral hardness ions present in the hard water and replacing them with sodium ions—AKA salt.

However, there are ways to soften water that doesn’t involve the use of sodium of any kind while still softening the water.

But why go salt-free in the first place?

Why Choose A Whole House  Salt Free Water System?

How you choose to soften your water may make a big difference in your home and your entire region. Here are just a few reasons to choose a Salt Free Water System:

Whole House Salt-Free Water System Options

Whether you’re choosing a   Salt Free water system to support your health or to support nearby agricultural development, you can still enjoy all the benefits of softened water without the use of a salt based water softener. In fact, a salt free water system can have the same impact as one that utilizes salt.

Companies like Rayne Water offer a few different sodium-free methods for softening your water. 

So how do salt free water softeners work? In the following section, we’ll go a little deeper into each method and weigh its pros and cons.

Potassium-Based Softeners

Potassium-based systems work almost the exact same way that sodium-based systems do, except instead of leaving trace amounts of sodium in the treated water, it leaves trace amounts of potassium. 

This product is commonly chosen because potassium brine, a byproduct of this softening method, is reputed to have a better effect when it comes to agriculture.3

However, it costs much more to purchase potassium chloride than sodium chloride for use in a water softener. This high cost is something to consider when deciding which salt-free water softening method you’re interested in. 

Water Conditioners

Water conditioners don’t actually “soften” water—however, they can significantly help eliminate the effects of hard water on the home. 

Water conditioners use a special kind of resin known as Template-Assisted Crystallization—or TAC—media in order to encourage the minerals to bond together. Minerals in the water passing through a conditioner form tiny crystals instead of ending up as scaling in pipes. These crystals are undetectable; they’re small enough that they can’t be felt while drinking or washing, but the water will have the same taste as before. 

Water treated through a water conditioner will still have the same levels of minerals in it, but with a significant decrease in scaling.

Conditioners also function as filters and can remove things like chlorine, chloramines, and even organic contaminants. 

If you want the best of both worlds, it’s possible to purchase hybrid softeners and conditioners, which will remove calcium and magnesium from your water supply while also filtering out these contaminants.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is more of a filtration method than a water softening or even conditioning method. Reverse osmosis purifies water by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane that only allows water molecules through. This leaves behind the minerals that cause water’s hardness.

For this reason, many people consider reverse osmosis a very efficient system that results in the purest-tasting water.

Most reverse osmosis systems are a Point Of Use or POU system. This means they’re installed near faucets and in places where the water is needed and don’t filter the rest of the home. These systems are usually pretty small and can be installed right under the sink if need be. 

However, there are Point of Entry or POE systems. These install at the point of entry for water in the home and filter the water for the entire location. Rayne Water offers POE reverse osmosis systems that can be installed in these locations. 

Find the Right Softener for You with Rayne Water

The water in your home is essential to your day-to-day life. And choosing the right water softener for you requires extensive expertise and the best in water technology. That’s why you should trust Rayne Water with your softening needs. 

Rayne Water will put you in contact with a water professional who will help you make the best decision for your home, whether you want your water softened with potassium, conditioned to prevent scale buildup, or completely filtered altogether. 

We also provide commercial water treatment systems including Salt-Free Water Systems, RO systems, and whole house water filter and softener combos, etc.

Experience better, softer water with Rayne Water today!

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. City of Dixon. Brine Discharging Water Softener Removal Program. www.ci.dixon.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/576/1011-bill-insert?bidId=
  2. Minnesota Department of Health. Home Water Softening: Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/softening.html
  3. Center for Watershed Science and Education, University of Wisconsin. ​An Alternative to Softening with Sodium. https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/watershed/Pages/GWSoftAlt.aspx

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is key to all life; more than 70% of Earth and our own bodies are made of water. We use water every day for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. Unfortunately, many home filtration systems use hard water, which comes with a host of problems. To fix this, you need to treat your water supply using a salt-based or salt free water softener. If you’re concerned about your drinking water, consider investing in a drinking water system that will keep poor water quality at bay.

To understand how salt free systems work, let’s first explain what hard water is and why people choose to soften it in the first place.

What is Hard Water?

Because water is a liquid, hearing it described as “hard” might sound counterintuitive. The term actually describes the quality, not the state, of water.

Hard water refers to the number of minerals naturally occurring in water. 

Rain contains little mineral content, but when it hits the ground, it absorbs various minerals from the local area—which you then use in your home. Different cities have different scales of hard water, “scale” meaning the number of grains-per-gallon (GPG) of hardness minerals in the water.

Why Soften Hard Water?

Compounds like calcium, magnesium, and silica are responsible for the “hardness” in water. These minerals may seem innocuous, but hard water is responsible for many problems, including:

The two popular methods of treating the hard water are: 

  1. Salt based water softener systems 
  2. Salt free water conditioner system 

The question is, which one is right for your household?

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Softener vs Salt Free Conditioner: Choosing the Right System for your Home

Water softeners and water conditioners both reduce the GPG of minerals found in hard water, but they operate in different ways. Water softeners use salt to remove hard minerals, while water conditioners employ a physical process to minimize the damage from those particles.

Water Softener—The Salt-based Solution

Using salt—another mineral—to soften already-hard water sounds backward. Wouldn’t that just increase the water’s hardness? 

The short answer is no; the long answer involves a process known as ion exchange.

To draw out the hard minerals from water, ion exchange uses a salt solution of positively charged sodium ions. The positive sodium ions replace (or exchange places with) the positive hard mineral ions in the water. The hard minerals then attach to negatively charged resin beads in a resin tank, leaving the water supply with a smaller number of sodium ions and a greatly reduced mineral count. 

Water Conditioning—The Salt Free Solution

Water conditioners physically treat water. Instead of removing hard minerals via ion exchange, water conditioners reshape the minerals’ structure, changing the way the minerals travel through pipes.

This method causes a small amount of the hard minerals to crystalize. These small crystals attract other loose particles since their preferred state is this crystalline structure. Therefore, the hard minerals will bond with each other rather than attaching to surfaces around your home.

Now that we’ve discussed these two systems, why should you choose the salt free system?

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

You may be wondering how to use a water softener and the reasons behind choosing  a salt free system . There are many reasons to choose a water softener without salt, including:

  1. Easy drain system – With a salt free water system, you won’t have to worry about periodically flushing and replenishing your brine solution (as you would have to with salt based water softeners).
  2. Sodium content – If you want to avoid adding more sodium to your diet, the salt free water system crystallizes hard minerals without the use of salt.
  3. Power – Unlike salt softeners, many salt free conditioners do not require electricity to operate. This makes installation easier.
  4. Space – Being salt-free, these systems don’t require the use of a secondary brine tank. This is a great solution if space is a limiting factor in your home.
  5. Added filtration – Salt-free water conditioners also incorporate other types of filtration, allowing them to reduce disinfectants used to treat tap water such as chlorine, chloramines, suspended solids, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

A water softener system, salt or saltless, can cost anywhere between $300–$4,000.

This wide range is due to the fact that there is no one size fits all model; variances in location, the hardness of the water, and systems all lead to different prices.

While water softener and conditioner systems can be an upfront investment, Rayne Water makes it easy to get started. They offer a variety of options including rentals, purchase, and financing.

With Rayne Water systems, it has never been easier to invest in your home and your livelihood. 

Water is the key to life, and Rayne Water is the key to softer water.

Sources:

  1. Water Quality Association. Scale Deposits. https://www.wqa.org/learn-about-water/perceptible-issues/scale-deposits
  2. World Health Organization. Nutrients in Drinking Water. https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientsindw.pdf