Frequently Asked Questions About Water Filtration Systems
Why do I need a water treatment system?
Over 85% of the United States has hard water, but central Minnesota has some of the hardest water and highest Iron content you’ll find anywhere. By the time the water gets to our homes, it has accumulated high levels of dissolved minerals like Calcium and Magnesium.
Most of the water in our area is between 5 and 25 grains per gallon, so you can see why hard water becomes such a problem for your home. Since hardness is really dissolved rock, the average family of four will have more than 15 pounds of rock per year in their water for each grain of hardness.
These mineral deposits in your home from hard water can:
- Clog plumbing and water bearing appliances
- Increase energy costs for water heaters
- Build up scale on fixtures and shower doors
- Produce cloudy ice cubes
- Make unsightly rings in the toilet and bathtub (soap scum)
- Dry out skin and hair
- Leave spots and stains on dishes and silverware
- Turn white fabrics gray and fade colors in the laundry
Do you really need soft water 24/7, I mean, how much soft water will you use at midnight?
The simple truth is that if you’re going to spend your hard earned money for ANY softener wouldn’t you want it to provide soft water ALL of the time and not just MOST of the time? The benefit of Kinetico’s cutting-edge, patented twin-tank design is that whenever you need soft water and in whatever quantity, your Kinetico will deliver. Is your daughter in the marching band and all the uniforms need to be cleaned? No problem! Did your son just come home from his camping trip and the entire troop needs to take a shower? No problem!
Do water softeners put salt in the water?
A water softener does not put salt into the water. It merely exchanges calcium ions in the water for sodium or potassium ions. The amount of sodium or potassium coming through in soft tap water is extremely low. For example, in 10 grain hard water, the amount of sodium in an 8 ounce glass of soft water is typically equivalent to the sodium in one slice of white bread. Soft water, by dietary standards, would be considered a “low sodium” beverage. Consumers may use potassium as a regenerate if you prefer not to clean out the system with sodium. Be sure to check on the efficiency of the water softener before using potassium as it is higher priced and 25% less efficient than sodium as a regenerate.
How do I “winterize” my softener?
We have many customers who own seasonal property and would like their system to be “winterized” in the fall. The best method of “winterizing” your softener is to completely remove the system and store it in a heated environment for the winter. You can however, minimize the risk of the system freezing by draining the tanks of the water. We offer two services for our customers who would prefer to have our technician take care of the system for the winter.
- Schultz Soft Water Drains the System for You – A technician will come to your home and drain the tanks for you in the fall. When you turn the water back on the spring you simply move the bypass valve to the “service” position.
- Complete Winterization – A technician will remove the system in the fall, we then store it all winter in our heated shop, and reinstall it in the spring. This includes our Kinetico System Check while the system is at our shop.
While we offer two services to our customers we also realize that there are people who would rather take a more hands on approach to their system. Below are instructions on how to drain the tanks of water.
- In order to depressurize the system place a Phillips screwdriver in the black screw located on top of the head.
- Press down with the screwdriver and turn clockwise (you will see a black piece move under the clear plastic cap) until you feel some resistance.
- At this point, the black piece that you saw moving has caught the actuator underneath it. Slowly keep turning clockwise until water starts coming out of the drain line.
- While there is water running to the drain, turn the bypass valve with both hands to the bypass position. The X symbol in the window indicates the system is in bypass.
- Once water stops running to the drain the system is depressurized and the water coming out of the system when pulled apart will be minimal.
- The bypass is held in place by 6 E-Clips. Remove the two clips that are directly connected to the softener head by pulling the outer most tabs. If they do not come out easily you may have to “pull” the elbows into the head of the softener to relieve the pressure that is built up.
- The two tanks are held together by two connector pipes (the black pipes), two metal connector plates and two metal connector pins. Pull the two connector pins out of the two connector plates. The two tanks can now be pulled apart.
- The two “heads” of the tanks can now be spun off counter clockwise.
- Each tank has a distributor tube in it. Place a piece of hose into the distributor tube until it goes all the way to the bottom. There should be enough hose outside of the tanks that it reaches the ground. Siphon the water out of the tanks.
Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?
There are numerous reasons why water can have a rotten egg odor. The most common are:
- Hydrogen Sulfide Gas- To determine if sulfur gas is present, we must do an on-site test. Sulfur gas can fluctuate with changes in weather. To eliminate sulfur gas, it must be treated with a special piece of equipment.
- Decaying Bacteria- Common to well water are numerous species of heterotrophic bacteria. Once these bacteria reproduce and die, they will emit an odor, frequently similar to rotten eggs. Treatment methods vary depending on the type of bacteria. These bacteria may also build up on pre-filter cartridges. Regular maintenance and the type of pre-filter cartridge used may eliminate the problem.
- Hot Water Heater- There are a few reasons why water in the hot water heater may have an odor. The most common would involve the magnesium rod or anode rod. The anode rod is there to prevent corrosion of the steel exterior. Please call our office for more information on the anode rod.
If I have a water softener, do I need a drinking water system?
Water softeners improve the water we bathe in and clean with throughout the home. Softeners are not purifiers and will not reduce a wide range of potential contaminants. The water in our area also contains high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) and chlorine creating bad tastes and odors. Many consumers want to purify their water for drinking, cooking and ice cubes with a reverse osmosis system. Reverse osmosis purification systems can be installed at locations where purified water is needed.
What is a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Purifier?
A Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Purifier is a machine which provides extremely high purity water -similar in quality to brand name bottled water such as Aquafina. The Reverse Osmosis machine purifies the incoming water drop by drop, molecule by molecule, providing a mechanical separation of the water into super high purity water and reject water. The reject water is sent to the drain and the high purity water is sent to a storage tank that holds between 1 to 3 gallons. In residential applications, when high purity drinking water is required for coffee, tea, soups, cleaning fruits and vegetables, or just plain drinking, the water is routed to its own long reach stainless steel lead free faucet. If requested, most applications allow for a line to be run to feed the ice maker.
Where have I come across reverse osmosis purified water before?
Many major brands of bottled water are purified mainly by reverse osmosis purification. Aquafina is one of these. On your next trip to the grocery store, look at the labels on water labeled ‘purified drinking water’, reverse osmosis is usually the method of purification used. Another popular place reverse osmosis water is used is at the car wash for the spot free rinse.
How do I change the filters on my Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System?
NOTE: Be prepared to catch any water when disconnecting and sanitizing your system.
Kinetico K2, Plus Deluxe, & AquaKinetic Models
- Remove the decorative cover (Fig. 1). Close the cold water supply valve and the storage tank shutoff valve (if there is one). Open the tap (Fig. 2) to help depressurize the system.Wait until all the flow stops at the open tap before continuing (this may take several minutes). Remove the exhausted MACguard Filter cartridge and the pre filter cartridge (Fig. 3) by turning them 1/4 turn clockwise and discard them. Be prepared to catch accidental water spills when removing the cartridges.
- Install the pre filter cartridge into the pre filter head on the left-hand side of the bracket manifold by turning it 1/4 turn counter clockwise. Install the MACguard post filter cartridge into the post filter head on the right-hand side of the bracket manifold by turning it 1/4 turn counter clockwise. Be sure the PureMometer is in the startup position (blue indicator fully visible).
- Open the cold water supply valve and the shutoff valve on the storage tank (if there is one). The tank should now be discharging water through the open drinking water tap.This will flush any carbon fines from the new MACguard Filter.