Plumbers are already pumping, pressurizing and heating water, water treatment but how much do they know about water quality and how to properly treat water to solve problems in the modern home?
Water in the residences and businesses where your customers live and work touches the pipes, plumbing fixtures, and hot water heaters, as well as dishwashers and washing machines. Something as basic as elevated hardness could easily cause problems for your customers, especially if they have high-efficiency appliances and low-flow fixtures in their household.
Problem water can create issues that lead to unwanted, additional service calls for your business. But, when you take the mysteries out of the water and gain an understanding of the science behind how to treat it, you’ll become a much better contractor — and your customers will benefit from having a local water quality expert.
Arming yourself with knowledge is the first step in becoming familiar with the best practices of water treatment. Here’s a high-level explanation of two of the most common factors in water quality: hardness and corrosion.
Water is considered “hard” when it contains metal ions, or minerals, which are dissolved in groundwater. That includes calcium, magnesium and iron. Although hardness levels vary greatly by region, most homes with private wells have hard water, and many homes on municipal water do, too. In fact, more than 80% of households in the U.S. have hard water.
The biggest issue with hard water is the deposit it leaves behind. This causes excessive soap scum, clogs pipes and fixtures, wears down appliances, and creates many other headaches for homeowners.
Water softeners remove hard minerals through an ion exchange process. Water softening resin is charged with sodium, which is exchanged for the calcium and magnesium that is retained inside the softener. This creates the soft water that is ideal for cleaning and bathing.
When it comes to iron, typical softening may not do the trick. In some cases, ferrous iron, which is dissolved and colorless in the water, needs to be oxidized so it turns into a particle (ferric) and can be filtered out of the water.