Home Water Basics
So you just moved into your new home. Congrats! The boxes are slowly getting unpacked, and the furniture and tchotchkes are getting moved around (and around, and around) into their final position. Your family is trying to get used to a new location, a new bed, a new neighborhood. It’s an adventure, one that everybody is excited to undergo.
After all the cases of bottled water purchased for the move are gone, you go to the sink to pour yourself a glass to quench your thirst after your initial jog through the neighborhood. You raise the glass to your lips, wet beads running down the sides of the cup, and take a nice, long gulp.
Uh oh. Something doesn't taste right. At all.
What is that? Metal? Paint? Rotten eggs? An unholy mix of all that and something even more sinister?
Terrified, you throw the glass against the wall and it shatters, sending a deadly shard into the treasured painting over the couch. Ruined forever. Just like your mood.
Soon afterwards, as you’re out spending $76.31 on enough bottled water to get you through the week, you notice that you keep scratching your arms and neck. You ponder the reason for this insistent itch and come to the slow realization that your dry skin problem started when you moved in. Come to think of it, those red bumps on your body did as well. You glance down at your shopping cart, loaded down with high-end body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and lotions, and begin to freak out.
This is never going to end. This is only the start of a long nightmare.
You leave the cart right where it is and go screaming into the night, Googling “hard water” as you run.
Far-fetched? Maybe, but not by much. If you were to Google “effects of hard water” or “why does my water taste awful” you would start to make the connection that while you can control most of the things coming into your house, you can’t control the water. Or your daughter’s boyfriend, to a degree.
Well, let’s rephrase that a bit. You can condition the water that comes into the house. But that costs money. Money that you need for the bottled water, lotions, soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and other things you left in that shopping cart. It would be absolutely asinine to drop a bunch of money on a whole home filtration system all at once. Why, that would be like spending a pile of money on car insurance, instead of just fixing things that go wrong on cars as they happen. Who would do that? I mean, that guy’s bumper can’t be that much, right?
Here’s the facts: Chances are, no matter where you live you have hard water coming into your house. Only 15% of the country has what is considered soft water, primarily because the source water for the municipal water district comes from rivers. Just so we’re clear, anything with less than 3 grains per gallon of hardness minerals is deemed soft. That’s pretty good.
However, 85% of our great country is over that, and a lot are WAY over that. The six “hardest” cities are, in no particular order:
• Las Vegas
• Minneapolis/St. Paul
• San Antonio
I would put Detroit on that list, too. Nobody would argue that town isn't hard.
So what, you say. What does hard water really do, anyway? Boiled down, four things you’ll care about:
Eats away at your plumbing and appliances.
Anything that the hard minerals in your water are running through, at, or into is simply getting pounded day after day. Water heater, pipes, washer, dishwasher, bathtub, toilet, and more are getting calcified, stained, clogged, and basically destroyed. But most choose to just get it go on and hope for the best.
Irritates the heck out of your skin.
Remember that constant itching and scratching? The dryness and flaking? The bumps and clogged pores? Blame those pesky minerals again… Dermatologists have some great names for it – “cradle cap” “seborrheic dermatitis” “pompholyx” (that one sounds like a Batman villain) “rosacea” – but they all point to the high pH of hard water as the root cause. But some people love it…Hey, is that Avon calling?
You’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em. Everywhere! Glassware, dishware, reading glasses, countertops, around the sink… if hard water touches it, it’ll spot it. And so will you. Unless that’s part of your décor, you won’t want to keep running into them.
Rough, dry and tangled hair.
Let’s face it – grunge died in the 90s, and now people enjoy hair they can run fingers through (unless you’re bald…but that’s another blog for another day). What happens is the hard water makes the scales in hair stand up, hence the roughness and tanglenation™. Oh, and this means more shampoo and conditioner, because you can’t rinse it all out. One of the cities with the softest water is Amsterdam, where Frederique van der Wal is from. Coincidence? Who knows? But do you really want to have hair that feels like something livestock would think twice about eating?
So, with all this talk about hard water, if you’re still with us then you want to at least look into what your shiny brand new house can do to protect itself. We know, because your house called us while you were at work. Why not schedule a free water analysis and let us show you the correct system for you and your family. Your pipes will thank you, while the toiletry aisle manager probably won’t – he works on commission.
Many, many owners of home water filtration systems, either an under-the-sink drinking water purifier or a whole home water softening system, are stunned to find out that the filters are meant to be changed out on a consistent basis. At Dupure, our customer service representatives call each of our clients to remind them that the filter is due for a change, and more times than you would think we are met with utter and complete disbelief that a filter needs to be changed. Why, then, is it a good idea to change a water filter?
The only real job of a filter is to filter out impurities. A filter does just that - stops bad stuff from continuing through the circuit. The filter simply stands there in the center of the line, blocking all the hard metals, sediments, harmful bacteria, algae, minerals, and other debris. Of course, the only way a filter can do this effectively is to trap it inside itself, which eventually will clog it. Your water, with a dirty filter, will run slower and eventually the clogged particles will deteriorate the filter completely and wind up in your glass anyway.
Not changing the water filter reduces the quality of your water. As a filter gets clogged up it's less efficient at being a filter. It's like a bouncer at a club on a busy Saturday night - some under-21s are getting in there. Believe that. By the same ridiculous analogy, an old, clogged filter can't be held responsible if some microbes, minerals, or other chemicals sneak through. It's doing the best it can do - it's just old and worn out.
Reduction of water flow isn't fun for anyone. In an age of Wi-Fi, microwaves, and instant messaging, standing at the sink waiting for a trickle of water to fill your receptacle is pure torture. It's sad, but it's true. And not changing your water filter practically ensures you a bloated, clogged system that will reduce your flow more every day.
You deserve to have clean water. Having a water filtration system without changing the filter is like buying a Ferrari and never changing the air filter. It's a beautiful investment ... until it breaks down in front of a high school and all the kids snicker at you while you pop the hood and wave the white smoke away. "You should have changed the filter!" they chant and laugh as you curse under your breath. In your heart, though, you know they are right. It's exactly like that with your water filter.
Now, I hope that explains why a water filter replacement is a brilliant idea. It's only once a year or so, depending on the system. Call us at 877-534-5837 to order yours today!
Drinking water systems are everywhere... Does that mean everyone needs them?
The short answer is no. Some people are perfectly fine with rolling the dice and drinking or cooking with contaminants like chlorine, chlorimine, and ammonia. Others love the permeating smell of sulfur. Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse, right? Life is an adventure!
However, the vast majority of people would prefer to have the safest water possible. And let's face it - your local municipal water supplier is just doing the bare minimum it needs to in order to pass the EPA's water testing. The EPA, by the way, is perfectly fine with certain levels of Chlorine, Ammonia, Chlorimines, Arsenic, Asbestos, Cyanide, Barium, Lead, radioactive contamination... should I go on? Here's the complete chart, courtesy of the EPA. So now the homeowner has a few options. Let's run them down and analyze them, shall we?
Activated Carbon Water Pitchers (Brita, ZeroWater, Body Glove, etc): These pitchers work by pouring tap water through a small cartridge (usually about 6" long), which typically helps to remove mercury, copper, cadmium, and the chlorine taste of your water. Filters need to be changed out every two months, or every 40 gallons. Inexpensive choice for one or two people, but the length of the cartridge means a lot of water is being filtered through a small area.
Faucet-Mounted Water Filter: This filter is attached to the spigot of the existing faucet and re-routes the water flow through a cartridge filter, reducing contaminants such as lead, asbestos, as well as cryptosporidium and giardia cysts. Also removes the chlorine taste of your water. Downsides would include a small cartridge (typically 7"), slow water flow, and a filter change every three months or every 70 gallons. Also, if your home has a sprayer as part of your faucet this isn't an option.
Under-Sink Water Filter: Now we're getting to serious filtration. These systems include longer filters (often 2 filters working in conjunction with each other), mount underneath the sink, and aid to remove most harmful contaminants in the water. Filters need to be changed every six months or so. Downsides are higher cost, both for the system and the filters.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System: The best, most effective under-sink system available right now. The reverse osmosis (or RO) system operates with a membrane between a pre- and a post- filter. The system pushes high-pressurized tap water through the membrane, which attracts all types of contaminants and "catches" them. The resulting water is virtually pure, healthy drinking water. The pre- and post-filters need to be changed out every six months or so (one year for the membrane). The upshot is the cleanest water available. The downside is higher cost for the system and the filter changes.
So, the obvious question is...what's in your water?