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Archive for April, 2022

What Is an Ion Exchange Water Filter?

Posted by Rayne Water

Whether you source the water for your home or business from a nearby well or your city’s municipal water supply, you should take every possible precaution to make sure your water is free of harmful contaminants. 

A popular, effective, and safe option for treatment is an ion exchange water filtration system, which can soften water. What exactly is an ion exchange filter, and how does it work?

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the ion exchange process, how it’s used in water treatment, and the benefits of using an ion exchange water filter to soften your home’s or business’ water. 

What is Ion Exchange?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of water softening, let’s take a step back and examine just how ion exchange works to soften water with a quick chemistry refresher:1

During ion exchange, an atom or molecule will detach its weak bond and reattach to a separate ion with a stronger charge.2 Scientists can use ion exchange to potentially create new molecules and compounds, neutralize electrically-charged atoms, or remove solids from liquid solutions.

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

How Do Ion Exchange Water Filters Work?

So, how does an ion exchange system work in water treatment? Ion exchange water filters soften water but don’t filter it. In other words, they use electronically charged solids to remove contaminant ions from drinking water—even if the contaminants are in liquid form. Let’s demystify a few questions about ion exchange in water filtration. 

Which Ions are Exchanged?

There are two types of ion exchange:3

Most ion exchange water filters harness both anion and cation exchange to remove as many contaminants as possible from the drinking water supply. Since not all contaminants are negatively or positively charged, using both methods may ensure thorough water softening. 

Anion exchange may effectively remove the following negatively-charged ion contaminants:4

Cation exchange may remove positively-charged pollutants like:

Anion exchange typically replaces contaminant ions with chloride, while cation exchange usually relies upon sodium as an exchange ion. Both negatively and positively charged ions are innocuous and may be safe for human consumption in small quantities.

What Does an Ion Exchange Filter Look Like?

While various filters with different designs are available on the market, ion exchange water filters are typically made from a few key components:

Ion exchange resin typically comes in a solid form, and it’s usually made of small beads. Filter manufacturers use beads (instead of a contiguous substance coating the walls of the tank) for a few reasons:

Some systems may also include a resin regeneration tank. When the resin collects its maximum amount of contaminant ions, it moves to a saltwater tank. The contaminant ions attach to the sodium chloride ions in the brine, removing them from the resin, which can then be reused in the primary ion exchange tank. 

In such systems, using spherical resin provides mobility. The spent spheres can easily move into the saltwater tank and back into the primary ion exchange tank once the sodium chloride has removed all contaminant ions.

How Effective Are Ion Exchange Filters?

An Ion exchange water filtration system may be very effective when softening water for two primary reasons:

  1. The chloride and sodium ions used in the resin have very strong electric charges. When they pull contaminant ions from the water supply, the pollutant ions stay attached to the resin very effectively.
  2. Since resin can be refreshed using a brine solution, systems with a built-in brine tank ensure that there’s always resin available to perform ion exchange. This results in efficient and constant chemical reactions. Instead of worrying about changing a filter or adding fresh chemicals, ion exchange water filter users can, essentially, “set it and forget it” without worrying about reduced efficacy over time. 

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both anion and cation exchange can remove up to 99% of negatively- and positively-charged contaminants, respectively.3 Since they’re so effective, the EPA has deemed ion exchange water filters as a “best available technology” and Small System Compliance Technology, particularly for removing radium, uranium, beta particle, gross alpha, and photon emitters.

Benefits of Using an Ion Exchange Filter

While their dependability and effectiveness may make them an excellent choice for home and business water purification needs, ion exchange water filters also offer an array of other potential benefits. Let’s explore a few.


As we’ve discussed above, the resin ion exchange medium is reusable. Ion exchange water filters with built-in saltwater tanks may be the most sustainable option since they don’t require refilling or removing the resin. That also means there’s no need to transport or dispose of exhausted resin. 

Even if a system doesn’t have a built-in brine tank for resin regeneration, home and business owners or their water filtration services providers can replace the resin in their tank and remove the spent beads. Instead of simply throwing away the resin and creating waste, they can refresh the resin for reuse. 

Multi-Chemical Removal

Ion exchange water filters are particularly attractive because of their broad and thorough removal of contaminant chemicals. 

As discussed above, combined anion and cation exchange systems not only remove up to 99% of their target contaminant ions but also remove 12 total distinct pollutants. While some softening systems only target solids of a certain size or a few specific chemicals, ion exchange filters may effectively remove numerous possible contaminants from the water supply. 

Since they have the potential to remove so many different ions, ion exchange water filters may be useful for both pollutant removal and improvement of overall water quality and softness. They may also considerably improve the taste, color, and odor of drinking water  and neutralize tasteless, odorless, and colorless hazards. 

Softening Water Hardness

Water hardness describes the total amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium in your drinking water supply.5

But filtering hard water from your drinking water supply isn’t the only thing that’s important. Since cation exchange water filters remove calcium and magnesium ions from drinking water, they may resolve water hardness issues befalling your home or business. 

Water softening efforts carry multiple potential benefits:

You can also learn how to test water quality at home to determine when a water softener may be needed. 

Use in Whole-Home or Whole-Business Systems

Whole-home or whole-business water softening systems are often the simplest solutions for improving drinking water quality. 

Other water softening solutions are available, of course, but they all carry their own drawbacks:

Since ion exchange water filters can be used in a whole-home or whole-business softening system, you can reap the potential benefits of their effective treatment throughout your entire space. 

Add an Ion Exchange Filter with Rayne Water 

Ion exchange water filters may be effective and sustainable—and may also target a wide variety of potential water supply contaminants to soften water. If you’re in search of a water softening solution for your home or business, you should certainly consider an ion exchange solution for your drinking water needs. 

Making a shortlist of potential business or house water filter systems can be difficult without professional advice. At Rayne Water, we bring almost a century of experience to home and business owners. We’re passionate about bringing you the cleanest, tastiest water possible, and we’re ready to help you, your family, or your business find the ideal solution. We have locations in Arizona, California, and Nevada. So if you need a water softener in Sacramento or a reverse osmosis system in Phoenix… we’ve got you covered!

When you’re ready to improve your water quality, contact us for a free consultation. 

Find a location near you!


  1. Northwestern University. What Is an Ion?  
  2. ScienceDirect. Ion Exchange. 
  3. US Environmental Protection Agency. Radionuclides in Drinking Water.
  4. US Environmental Protection Agency. Overview of Drinking Water Treatment Technologies. 
  5. US Department of the Interior. Hardness of Water. 

Is RO Water Good for You?

Posted by Rayne Water

Reverse osmosis systems (RO) have become commonplace for home and business water filtration solutions, and for a good reason—RO systems are affordable, reliable, and low-maintenance. They may also remove a variety of common chemical contaminants, as well as the beneficial compounds, in drinking water supplies.

RO water is an effective, widely-accepted method for filtering out contaminants and toxins from drinking water and may reduce the risk of acquiring certain viruses and bacteria.1 In this article, we’ll explore the mechanics of reverse osmosis and the potential benefits and downfalls of drinking RO water to help you decide if an RO system is an ideal solution for your home or business. 

Reverse Osmosis, Explained

So, is RO water good for you? Let’s break down reverse osmosis or RO and the way it removes contaminants from your home or business water supply.

In order to determine whether an RO water filtration system is good for you, it helps to understand how the reverse osmosis process works. In reverse osmosis water filtration, water is pushed through a semipermeable membrane that catches dissolved solids of a certain size, eliminating potential hazards from the water supply.2 As water moves through the membrane, dissolved solids are left behind in the filter media.

A reverse osmosis water system can remove a number of water-borne impurities, like:

Home and business owners can employ one of two RO technologies to meet their water purification needs:

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

The Debate

While RO water is free from a number of impurities, this filtration system also removes essential minerals found in drinking water, such as salts, calcium, and magnesium. RO water filtration systems may lead to reduced levels of essential nutrients within your body. It is important to make note that because RO water filtration systems do remove such essential nutrients during the process, it’s important to look for nutritious foods that meet your daily intake of these minerals and vitamins not compensated for with a well-rounded and nutritious diet.3 

Nevertheless, RO water filtration systems are extremely effective when cleaning drinking water that’s contaminated with harmful toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Benefits of Drinking RO Water

Now that you know how the reverse osmosis process works, let’s look at the benefits of an RO water purifier. An RO water filter may improve the quality of your drinking water. Let’s explore three potential benefits of RO water systems and how this system may improve your supply of drinking water. 

#1 You Drink Softer Water

Along with a variety of other contaminant chemicals, reverse osmosis filters can capture calcium and magnesium, hard water minerals that may wreak havoc on your health, cleaning regimen, and plumbing system.4

While the US Food and Drug Administration recommends daily intake values for both calcium and magnesium—essential nutrients that your body needs to survive—excess intake of either mineral may cause health problems.

Excess magnesium is typically filtered through the kidneys, and overdose typically produces mild symptoms like nausea and abdominal pain. However, excess calcium ingestion may cause wellness issues.5 Additionally, RO water is low-sodium, which may help to keep your cardiovascular system functioning properly.

When you implement an RO system for your home or business, you can soften your water supply, potentially helping to decrease the risk of health impacts. Filtering hard water also eliminates issues like plumbing damage, hard water stains, and reduced cleaning efficacy caused by it.

#2 May Decrease Your Exposure to Water-Borne Illnesses

Reverse osmosis systems may filter out bacteria, parasites, and virus particles that could potentially contaminate municipal or well water supplies, which may impact your health.4

Since RO water systems capture particles of a certain size, they may effectively reduce your exposure to these potential contaminants. While contaminants in municipal water systems are relatively unlikely, an RO system is particularly useful for well applications, where water quality isn’t monitored or controlled by an independent regulatory agency. 

In addition, filtration of common viral and bacterial contaminants may improve the color, odor, and taste of your drinking water. 

#3 May Reduce the Likelihood of Drinking Contaminated Water

RO systems aren’t just useful for potentially mitigating viruses, bacteria, and hard water. They may also filter out other components that could reduce your overall water quality. 

Since RO water potentially contains fewer contaminants and pollutants, reverse osmosis systems are known to filter out the following additional contaminants:6

While some municipal water authorities add antibacterial chemicals to the water supply, the other chemicals on this list can appear in your household or business water supply via infrastructure vulnerabilities, groundwater saturation, or pollution. 

All water filtration solutions provide some protection against contaminant chemicals, and RO systems are no exception. With the help of a reverse osmosis system, you can remain confident that you, your family, or your employees are consuming the safest possible water with the lowest number of total dissolved solids.

You can also learn how to test water quality at home to eliminate harmful contaminants and implement a water filtration system if needed. 

Water Filtration Systems for Wellness from Rayne Water 

Is reverse osmosis water safe? Reverse osmosis systems produce filtered, tasty water that’s potentially free from more than 99% of dissolved compounds, rendering RO a safe and effective water treatment method.

RO systems aren’t your only choice for home or business water filtration. If you’re looking for professional advice on the best solution for you, look no further than Rayne Water. Since 1928, our all-star team has been providing ideal solutions to residential and commercial water purity issues, prioritizing your qualitative and quantitative goals to help you meet your water purity goals. 

If you’re ready to transform your home water supply for the better, contact us for a free consultation. 

Find a location near you!


  1. US Environmental Protection Agency. Water Health Series: Filtration Facts. 
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency. Point-of-Use Reverse Osmosis Systems. 
  3. Med J Armed Forces India. Demineralization of drinking water: Is it prudent? 
  4. US Environmental Protection Agency. Overview of Drinking Water Treatment Technologies. 
  5. National Institutes of Health. Calcium. 
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Household Use. 

5 Benefits of Filtering Hard Water

Posted by Rayne Water

Water hardness refers to the amount of magnesium and calcium solids in your water supply.1  No matter where you live or work, where you get your water, or how satisfied you are with your overall water quality, home and business owners can all agree—hard water is a nuisance. 

Luckily, there’s a solution to one of the peskiest problems in nationwide water supplies. While hard water cannot be filtered, it can be softened to significantly improve your water quality, protect your plumbing system, reduce your time spent cleaning, and more. 

This article will break down everything you need to know about water softening (which is sometimes termed as filtering hard water). We’ll explore five benefits you can reap when you choose a water softening system and introduce you to a few potential solutions to your hard water woes.

#1 Meet Your Wellness Goals

If you’re new to the science of water softening, you might be worried that hard water could be a sign of a vulnerability in your plumbing system or an issue with your municipal water infrastructure, but hard water is normal and naturally occurring. 

When groundwater—the source of most municipal and all well water—moves through rock underground, it dissolves loose solids that fall away from the rock as it erodes. While numerous compounds can dissolve into groundwater, hard water refers to the concentration of calcium and magnesium only. 

Calcium and magnesium are essential nutrients that your body needs to survive:

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends daily intake values for both minerals—between 200 and 1,300 mg of calcium and between 30 and 420 mg of calcium, depending on your age, sex, and pregnancy status—but ingesting too much of either may lead to unwanted health effects.

Consuming too much magnesium doesn’t pose a fatal health risk—since the kidneys eliminate any excess via urine—but it can potentially cause nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

However, overconsumption of calcium is more serious, potentially leading to:

If you see visible signs of hard water in your home or business water supply, you should make efforts to resolve the problem to prevent overconsumption of both magnesium and calcium, since too much of either can make you sick. 

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

How Hard is Your Water?

There are four classifications for water hardness, measured in grains per gallon or GPG  ) of total dissolved solids (TDS):

To determine your water hardness and whether you’re in need of water treatment, you can learn how to test water quality at home or consult with your municipal water supplier. Keep these numbers in mind when assessing the potential health risk of your hard water. 

#2 Prolong the Life of Your Plumbing System and Fixtures

Calcium and magnesium are dissolved solids. Like dust in your air vents, hard water solids in your drinking water can collect in your pipes, which can potentially lead to:

In addition, hard water solids can build up on the insides and outsides of your plumbing fixtures—for example, your kitchen faucet, shower head, and hose spigot. 

Plumbing is a significant utility in your home, and it can be expensive to replace. Homeowners spent an average of $2,280 to $5,120 installing new plumbing systems in 2021.4 In addition, it can be difficult to diagnose internal plumbing system issues before it’s too late. You may not notice a gradual reduction in your water pressure until you have houseguests or a pipe cracks in your warehouse.

Resolving hard water issues before they become catastrophic can extend the life of the plumbing system and fixtures in your home or office, saving you money and protecting your hard-earned investment. 

#3 Reduce Hard Water Stains—And Your Time Spent Cleaning

Calcium and magnesium solids are left behind when water evaporates. If you drip hard water onto the counter while cooking or washing dishes, you’ll likely find small rings of white, chalky residue when you return to the kitchen a few hours later. 

Of all hard water ramifications, stains can be the most irritating. Even if you use chemical solutions instead of water for surface cleaning, spaces like the sink, kitchen countertops, and bathtub will inevitably keep gathering hard water buildup every time you use these high-traffic areas. 

Hard water stains may also collect on dishes, giving your glasses, plates, and silverware an unpleasant, crusty coating and decreasing their shine. 

Instead of succumbing to the endless cycle of hard water stain removal, opt for a permanent solution—softening your water. When you eliminate hard water from your home or business, you can save time scrubbing up calcium and magnesium residue and adopt a more relaxed cleaning schedule. 

#4 Improve Qualitative Water Issues

In addition to its health, infrastructure, and visual impacts, hard water may also cause qualitative issues with your drinking and bathing water. 

High levels of calcium and magnesium can impact your drinking water’s color, taste, and odor, which can also impact your cooking, laundry, and hygiene efforts. Why?

Hard water neutralizes soap.5

In fact, noticeably unpleasant effects while handwashing, bathing, or cleaning may be your first indication that you have a hard water problem. Be on the lookout for the following signs:

Using a water softening solution can improve the color, of your water, thus enhancing your overall drinking water quality. Resolving hard water issues may also improve the cleanliness of your laundry, dishes, and body. Plus, with calcium and magnesium out of the picture, you’ll find yourself using less soap to work up suds. 

#5 Enjoy Secondary Softening Benefits

Depending on the water softening system you use, you could achieve other potential water softening benefits while removing magnesium and calcium from your home or business water supply. 

For instance, if you employ a water purification system that uses a physical media to filter out solids, this system will also usually remove other particles, like:6

Chemical water purification systems utilize chemical reactions to remove contaminants, and some systems may neutralize calcium and magnesium. They can also tackle some or all of the following:

Even if you don’t know which contaminants could be plaguing your home or business water supply, opting to solve your hard water issues usually offers an attractive secondary improvement: reducing the overall total dissolved solids (TDS) in your drinking (and bathing) water. A lack of these components in softened and filtered water may also help keep your skin and hair soft.

What Technology is Available for Water Softening?

Softening hard water is potentially beneficial for your health, plumbing equipment, cleaning efforts, and overall water quality experience. So, what technologies are available for water softening, and what other benefits do these systems boast? 

Some of the available technologies on the market include:

Rayne Water: Providing Clean, Delicious Water Since 1928

Softening hard water is a worthy pursuit. You may lessen the risk of magnesium and calcium overconsumption, reduce the damage of hard water minerals, and generally improve your home or business water experience with a water softener. 

Finding the right water filtration system or water softener for you shouldn’t be a problem. At Rayne Water, we’ve been helping families and business owners choose ideal water purification solutions for nearly 100 years. From reverse osmosis systems to ion exchange filtration to salt-free systems and everything in between, we don’t just provide excellent service—we make every effort to bring the purest, tastiest water possible to your home or business. 

With our team of industry professionals and a long-time reputation for quality, you can trust Rayne Water Conditioning to resolve any water quality issue that comes your way. 

Find a location near you!


  1. US Department of the Interior. Hardness of Water.  
  2. National Institutes of Health. Calcium. 
  3. National Institutes of Health. Magnesium. 
  4. Home Guide. How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace Plumbing? 
  5. US Department of the Interior. Why Does It Take So Long to Rinse the Soap Off My Hands? 
  6. US Environmental Protection Agency. Overview of Drinking Water Treatment Technologies. 

How to Test Your Water Quality at Home Without a Kit

Posted by Rayne Water

Whether you’ve recently moved into a new home or taken a new interest in your home drinking water quality, you may be wondering how to determine the purity and safety of your water supply. 

While various at-home packages are available for assessing the water in your home, these packages can be expensive and slow to ship. In this article, we’ll explore how to test water quality at home without a kit to assess for bacteria, lead, nitrates, nitrites, and chlorine.

With the help of four simple at-home tests, you can establish preliminary parameters about your home’s water quality. This information can help you establish a purification plan and harness water treatment technology that addresses the specific water quality issues in your home. 

#1 Assess Color, Taste, and Odor Test

How satisfied are you with your water? Three crucial, qualitative characteristics of your home water supply can indicate the presence of hard water:

While it can be difficult to pinpoint the precise causes of odor, color, or taste abnormalities, identifying issues is the first step in the mitigation process. 

If you’re not sure how these qualitative factors impact your current water supply, evaluate your tap water against one of the purest water products on the market—bottled, distilled water. 

While even the most highly distilled water products aren’t 100% H2O, distilled water can serve as a neutral comparison point for your household water quality.

To evaluate the odor, color, and taste of your tap water, compare each metric to those you observe in distilled water samples. If your at-home drinking water has a funky odor, color, or taste compared to the distilled control, your home drinking water supply might be contaminated. 

Reverse Osmosis Systems starting at only $25/mo. Try before you buy!

#2 Use a Water Hardness Test

Water hardness describes the total concentration of dissolved calcium and magnesium solids in a water sample.1 

If your home has hard water, you may experience one or more of the following everyday impacts:

One sure-fire way to test your home water hardness without a testing kit is to do the following:

If you observe lingering residue after the water has evaporated, you may have hard water issues at home. Filtering hard water can be essential for a safer water supply.

#3 Try a Magnifying Glass

If you’re testing your home water quality without a water test kit, remember to take note of water quality issues as soon as your water leaves the tap. 

Not all contaminant particles will be visible to the naked eye—but relying on your senses is crucial to establishing and fixing drinking water quality issues.

To perform a visual test, thoroughly clean and dry a clear glass bowl or drinking glass. Fill the container with water, place the container in bright light, and use a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the water.

If you notice floating particles, cloudiness, or foam that lasts more than a few minutes, your home water could be contaminated. While not all contaminants are harmful, establishing a baseline for visual water clarity can help you evaluate the effectiveness of any water purification solutions you test out to improve your home water quality. 

#4 Boil Your Water for a Dissolved Solids Test

Again, it can be difficult to observe dissolved solids, but even if you can’t see contaminants, you can still test for water impurities at home without a water test kit. Simply employ the boiling method:

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry a small pot or saucepan
  2. Fill the pot with one cup of water
  3. Place the pot on your stovetop, heating the water without a lid until it comes to a boil
  4. Turn off the heat once most of the water has evaporated
  5. Wait for the pot to cool completely

Once you’ve boiled off the water and waited for the pot to cool, run your fingers along the bottom of the pot. If you feel gritty, sticky, or chalky residue, your home water supply contains dissolved solids. 

Additional Factors to Consider

When assessing your water quality at home, you’ll also want to factor in a few external elements that may be affecting the quality of your water and how you should be testing it. These include:

Why Test Your Home’s Water Quality

As we mentioned, testing the water quality is important to help eliminate hard water and contaminants that may not only be harmful to your body but can potentially cause issues like plumbing damage, hard water stains, and more. While the water source and local health department regulations may impact the quality, water quality testing can also be essential to determine whether you need a water filter or water softener. Adding a water softener, like an ion exchange water filter, or even reverse osmosis system can help improve and make your drinking water safer.

Rayne Water: Aiding Water Quality Since 1928

While at-home water testing without a kit won’t reveal accurate results for which chemicals are contaminating your water, the simple tests above can help you establish a baseline for general water quality. For more nuanced results, consult with water purification professionals in your area to determine which contaminants are present in your water supply and develop a mitigation plan.

At Rayne Water, that’s exactly what we do. Our team has been helping homeowners in the southwest since 1928, and we continue to operate with one express purpose—providing clean, nutritious, and tasty water to home and business owners to promote wellness, reduce exposure to harmful contaminants, and improve the qualitative water experience.

From reverse osmosis systems to ion exchange filters and more, Rayne Water has a solution that can resolve your specific water quality qualms. If you’re ready to improve your at-home water quality, contact us for a free consultation. 



  1. US Department of the Interior. Hardness of Water. 
  2. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Where this occurs: Ground Water and Drinking Water. 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drinking Water Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). 
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking Water Regulations. 
  5. US Environmental Protection Agency. Total Solids.