Frequently Asked Water Questions

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Does My Region Have Hard Water?

The Central Coast: Malibu, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Westlake Village, Camarillo, Ventura, Ojai, Oxnard, La Conchita, and Rincon Point, have some of the most beautiful homes, apartment buildings, and condominiums. Unfortunately, we have extremely hard water creating cloudy glasses, bad hair days and clothes that just never seem clean. We carry several different types of water softeners, water conditioners, and water filters in stock for rental or purchase. A soft water system will save you thousands of dollars every year by protecting all of your water using appliances and plumbing. Not only will you protect your home you will use up to 80% less cleaning products and reduce cleaning time. The time is now! Upgrade and old water softener, water conditioner, water filter, or reverse osmosis system… Save water, time, money, and the environment!

What is Hard Water?

Water described as “hard” is high in dissolved minerals, specifically calcium, magnesium, and iron. Hard water is a nuisance because of mineral buildup on fixtures, plumbing, appliances, and poor soap and detergent performance. It also contributes to skin and hair problems as well as. If your dishes come out of the dishwasher with a white film; if it takes more then a damp cloth to clean your glass shower doors; if your colored laundry comes out “dull” and whites are a bit gray; if you need products like “Lime-A-Way” then you are literally paying the price for hard water. Santa Barbara has some of the hardest water in the country. Large amounts of magnesium, calcium, and iron can really be detrimental to you plumbing, fixtures, skin, hair, dishes, and clothes in the long run. Water hardness is classified by the U.S. Department of Interior and the Water Quality Association as follows:

Classification Grains per Gallon
Soft 0-1
Slightly Hard 1-3.5
Moderately Hard 3.5-7.0
Hard 7.0-10.5
Very Hard 10.5 and up

In Santa Barbara County the water tests at 25 to 38 grains per gallon with areas in Ventura and Oxnard at 26 – 45. This puts us at about 3 – 4 times the national level for very hard water.

What is Soft Water?

Water that has been softened has had the hardness minerals that cause all the problems with your dishes, fixtures, laundry, skin, and hair removed. We offer water softeners that can bring the grains per gallon down to 0. The most common way to soften the water is with an automatic water softener.

Why do I need salt?

Automatic water softeners use salt to “recharge” their ability to soften your water. The main vessel is flushed with salt water, also called “brine”, which removes all the calcium and magnesium that the unit has removed from your water supply. The brine and the hardness minerals are then rinsed out of the unit into a drain. The salt itself is not directly “injected” into the water supply. As a comparison, one slice of white bread has 161 milligrams of sodium; 3/4 cup of canned baked beans = 1130 milligrams. Even a common Alka Seltzer tablet contains 532 milligrams of sodium. However, if you are on a sodium restricted diet, you should consult your doctor about the proper water for drinking. Remember, a reverse osmosis system will remove 99% of the sodium a softener may add.

What’s the difference between salt and potassium?

Potassium can be used as a substitute for salt. Potassium is more expensive than salt and is less efficient. Potassium is best used when waste goes to a “grey water system” instead of a sewer, or if a family member is on a sodium restricted diet and they plan on drinking or cooking with softened water.

Why does my machine make a scary noise at night like rain/waterfall?

The softener makes noise when it regenerates. When the softener regenerates it rinses out all of the bad things it’s pulled out of your water. Your Unit is timed to recharge at night so it can provide you uninterrupted soft water during the day. Most units can also set up the softener to regenerate during the day.

Can I drink soft water?

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How often is my softener supposed to regenerate?

The softener should regenerates based on your water usage and the physical size of the softener. If you use a lot of water, you should expect your softener to regenerate more frequently (daily to 7 days). If you use very little water, it should regenerate less frequently (10 to 20 days). You should have the system checked periodically to make sure its running efficiently and not wasting salt and water. Free 5-year inspection click here.

I have a softener but I suspect I still have hard water?

The settings may be incorrect or you may have soft water and are using the wrong cleaning products. Anyone is welcome to stop by our office where we will test your water for free, or call us and we’ll schedule a time to have a technician stop by and examine your softener.