Water Softener Buying Guide
Hard water can cause many problems around your home, from spots on glassware and a film on shower doors to plumbing problems and inefficient operation of water-using appliances. Installing a water softener can help. Learn more about water softeners to get the best one for your home.
Introduction to Hard Water and Water Softeners
A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium ions that make water hard by replacing them with salt/sodium via ion exchange. Look for a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-certified water softener with a system monitor. This will indicate when salt is low and ensure you maintain optimum levels for soft water
What does the grain capacity of a water softener mean?
The rated capacity of a softener is the maximum number of grains of water hardness the unit can remove prior to regeneration.
How is the hardness of water measured?
The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). One grain of hardness is equal to 1/7,000 pound of rock. Your municipal water supply may measure water hardness in milligrams (mg), liters (L) or parts per million (ppm). One gpg is equal to 17.1 mg/L or 17.1 ppm.
How do I determine my water hardness?
You can call your municipality if you use city water, or purchase a water test kit.
How do these numbers impact my water softener purchase?
To determine the appropriate water softener size for your home, multiply the number of people in your home by the gallons of water they use each day (80 gallons per person is the average). Multiply that number by the grains of hardness in your water to figure out how many grains need to be removed each day. Then, shop for a water softener equipped to handle the load. Most four-person households use a 33,000-grain unit.
What is regeneration?
Over time, the resin bed inside the water softener becomes coated with hardness particles. When this happens, the softener goes into its regeneration cycle. During regeneration, the salt in the tank is mixed with incoming water to rid the resin bed of these hardness particles. After regeneration, the unit is ready to provide a steady stream of soft water to your home again.
What type of salt should I use?
A clean pellet or nugget-style salt is recommended. Other types of salt are available for specialized applications.
Does the recharge water from the softener harm my septic system?
No, water softener recharge water won’t affect septic system operation or drain field soil percolation.
How much water does each recharge use?
It uses about as much water as it takes to wash a load of laundry.
How much electricity does a water softener use?
It uses about as much as a digital alarm clock.
Copper in drinking water
Copper is a metal that exists in the environment as a mineral in rocks and soil. It is commonly found at low levels in natural water bodies. It is also an essential trace element that is required to maintain good health.
Copper pipes are used extensively in plumbing systems throughout Western and in many countries of the world. However, where copper pipes corrode they can release copper into your drinking water to a level that can affect its quality and safety. The information contained in this guide will help you identify signs of copper corrosion and provide advice on how to minimise its effect on your health.
How does copper get into drinking water?
Low levels of copper can be found naturally in all water sources. However drinking water that has been left standing in household copper pipes for long periods of time is usually the main cause of higher levels of copper.
What are the potential health effects of copper?
The normal adult requires approximately two to three milligrams of copper per person per day. More than 90% of your dietary need for copper is provided by food. Drinking water usually provides less than 10% of your daily copper intake.
Is drinking water tested for copper?
In Western all mains water supplies are continually monitored by the Department of Health to ensure copper levels do not exceed Drinking Water Guidelines.These guidelines set two levels for copper:
1mg/L for aesthetics to prevent taste and staining problems
2mg/L to prevent any health related problems
A Guide to Brewing Water Treatment
Brewing Water Profiles
Water is a deceptively understated and underrated force in the making of any beer. Hugely variable throughout the world, it is abundant with minerals and organic compounds that have the ability to elevate an ordinary recipe to the status of a world classic, or drown it in the shallows of mediocrity. Luckily for brewers, water is also a flexible substance that can be made to order to brew beers of any style — provided it is treated right
Soil Quality Test Kit
The Soil Quality Test Kit Guide describes procedures for 12 on-farm tests, an interpretive section for each test, data recording sheets, and a section on how to build your own kit. The NRCS does not build or sell soil quality test kits.
For an abbreviated and economical build-your-own Soil Quality Test Bucket and associated Soil Quality Kit – Guides for Educators, visit Soil Quality for Educators.
Section I contains step-by-step instructions for running each of the tests included in the Soil Quality Test Kit. It is fully illustrated with photos to show the procedures and equipment needed to complete each step. Appendix D includes instructions for building a test kit.
FAQs: Water for Pharmaceutical and Analytical Purposes
- Why are there no microbial requirements included in the monographs for Purified Water and Water for Injection?
Because of the various uses of these waters, microbial requirements are not included in these monographs since this would unnecessarily burden some users with meaningless and/or inconsequential or inappropriate requirements, e.g. water used for many laboratory analyses. Microbial guidelines are provided under the informational chapter Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes where it states that the user should establish in-house specifications or fitness for use microbial levels above which the water is unsuitable for use.
- What is the purpose of microbial Alert and Action Levels for Purified Water and Water for Injection?
Alert and Action Levels are process control terms and should be established at levels indicative of the water system trending outside of its normal microbial control range. These levels should be established at levels no higher than, and preferably lower than, those listed in Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes based on the normal microbial performance trends in your water system. The purpose of Alert and Action Levels is to trigger additional, non-routine, rather than routine microbial control measures. These additional control measures should prevent objectionable levels and types of microorganisms from being present in the water, based on for the water’s use.
- For off-line testing of water samples for Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon , how long can I store samples before testing?
USP is silent on a specific answer to this question. It is understood that some manufacturers have their analyses performed by external laboratories – which may take several days or longer. For this reason, there is no time limit.
In general, you can wait as long as you want – at your risk. But it is advised to test as soon as practical for the following reasons; 1) when stored, the water purity only degrades over time. Since Purified Water, Water for Injection or the sterile waters are of such high purity, the passage of time does not do anything except potentially degrade the sample due to environmental, ambient, or container factors; and 2) water is typically not produced in batches, but rather it is usually purified, produced, and consumed continuously. The water may have had direct product impact or contact before any lab analysis is executed. Delays in testing only increase the amount of potential product impact – in the event of a failed test.
- For off-line testing of water samples for General Chapters Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon , how should I store the samples?
For lab analyses, samples should be stored in containers that do not adversely impact the test results. This is to prevent false positives and unnecessary investigations. For example, storage of water in a glass container for a few hours is usually good, but storage for a longer time will result in a modest increase in the sample conductivity. This is due to the leaching of sodium silicate from the glass, raising the pH and the water conductivity, and threatening to fail Water Conductivity. In general, clean plastic containers are a better choice for long term storage of samples for Water Conductivity testing. For Total Organic Carbon, there is a similar rationale – many types of non-shedding plastics or glass suffice. In general, storage at ambient or refrigerated temperatures is best for these chemical tests, while refrigerated storage is advised for samples used in microbial testing. Cleanliness of any container is most critical. Due to the very high purity of these waters, fingerprints, soaps, and other residues must be avoided. False positives can result.
- Can I do Water Conductivity and Total Organic Carbon testing on-line?
These two chapters specifically state that these tests can be performed off-line or on-line. There are benefits and challenges for each approach, and they are described in more detail in these chapters and in Water for Pharmaceutical Purposes. In general, on-line testing avoids the risk of contamination of off-line samples by humans, containers, or the environment, and it provides immediate analysis and direct opportunities for real-time control, decision and intervention. For example, you can continuously test and accept the water (for these chemical attributes). Conversely, you can prevent the distribution of the water in the event of a failed test in real time. However, for a facility with multiple types of waters and loops, a centralized lab analysis system may offer a more economical choice. In either case, the water sample must be representative of the water used in production.