Chlorine

Preparing For Water Softeners In New Homes

Imagine moving into your new home only to discover that the water is so hard that if you don’t soften it all of your fixtures and water using appliances will be ruined! There are also the effects of hardness on your hair and skin. Now, imagine that you are told that–absent what amounts to a new construction project and additional expense–you can’t put in a water softener. Moreover, the problem may not just be hard water. You may be one of the many with sensitivity to chlorine or chloramines that might be used as a disinfectant by your water utility. Or maybe you just don’t like the water’s taste or smell. While not our first time encountering it, we here at Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning have had recent, back-to-back experiences where the installation of a whole-home water treatment system is not feasible due to the layout of the walls, ceilings, plumbing and utility rooms. In both these homes a major construction project would have been required to install a water softener to remove hardness throughout the home. In both examples no one shared the water quality with the new homeowner–or even if they were somewhat aware of the problem–no one shared that a water softener–a relatively simple fix for the water’s hardness–would be prevented by the home’s construction. Both of these instances could easily have been addressed prior to the home’s completion, but were not. Water quality is frequently taken for granted. If the prospective homeowner has not lived somewhere before with water quality issues they may have no idea if they need to be concerned. Often people moving from a different locale have no idea what kind of water quality they may or may not be moving into, whereas buyers from nearby areas may at least be aware of rumored concerns. Even with an awareness of the problem, the vast majority of people don’t know what the installation of a water treatment system entails–that leads to the hardest problem to solve–installation. Rocky Mountain Water Conditioning can provide a water softener, or other type of whole-house water treatment system, but without access to the water supply, a drain and electricity the installation of the water softener or water treatment is not feasible. Simply precluding access to any one of the three requirements will prevent installation. So, you might wonder, why don’t home builders or Realtors tell you about the problem in advance so it can be addressed? It probably comes down to wanting to sell you the house. Why create an objection that might kill the deal? Moreover, if the water meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) water quality requirements–which do not regulate hardness, taste or odor–then there is no material or legal reason to disclose or discuss the issue(s).  Often, they may not be aware just how easily and inexpensively water quality problems be addressed. The average home price in the Denver, CO metro area in June 2021 is about $674,000. The cost of a water treatment system or […]

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HOW HARD WATER NEGATIVELY IMPACTS YOUR LAUNDRY

HOW HARD WATER NEGATIVELY IMPACTS YOUR LAUNDRY Why Does my hard water make my laundry look bad? We would all like to think that we just throw the laundry in the washer and it comes out looking and feeling great. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that.  Your home’s water quality can make a big difference on how your laundry turns out! It is convenient to blame your washer and dryer, but the real problem probably is not originating in your home–it is hard water. It does not matter if you have a well or a municipal water supply, the majority of the water in the US is considered hard. Hard water means that it contains minerals like calcium and magnesium. The presence of things like iron and manganese will make it even worse. Hard water can cause a lot of laundry problems, and problems in other parts of your home. Why Aren’t My Clothes Clean? Dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium, impair the effectiveness of cleaning products like laundry detergent. Soaps and detergent just do not work well in hard water. Calcium and magnesium prevent water from mixing with detergent to form a solution. First, the water has to isolate the hardness molecules before it can dissolve in the water. Thus, you have to use more soap (or shampoo or laundry detergent, or bar soap, etc.). The soap that has to bind up with the hardness creates soap curd. Who doesn’t want to take a bath in soap curd? The resulting soap curd causes a scummy, scale-like residual that sticks to shower glass, shower curtains and YOUR SKIN!  It is also left in the fabric you are laundering resulting in flat (not fluffy) and dingy clothing and towels. It will make your laundry feel stiff and flat. Your laundry will wear out sooner. Clothes Are Dull or Discolored? The soap curd will make your laundry look bad, too. Clothes and towels will wear out much more quickly and will not be as soft. The soap curd build-up in the fabric will cause it to be less fluffy, less soft, less enjoyable. Got lint? Lint is just broken clothes. As the fabric gets harder due to soap curd build up, as your clothes rub together in the dryer, they break down. That is the lint in your lint trap. Do you have other cleaning problems? Are there rust colored stains on your clothes when they come out of the washer? You may have iron in your water. You’ll likely see similar stains in sinks and toilets. You don’t have to have much iron to cause a big staining problem. Why Do My Towels and Sheets Feel Hard and Scratchy? Hard water doesn’t just make your laundry look bad, it feels bad!  Who wants hard, scratchy feeling laundry? If you want soft feeling sheets and towels, shirts and pants, you have to get the hardness out of the water. By the way, that high efficiency laundry detergent you paying extra money […]

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Did You REALLY Drink That?

Picture this: I come over with a shovel and dig a hole in your yard until I hit water. I put a screen on the end to keep the big chunks of dirt out (most people don’t like to chew their water), then I put a lid on it with a small hole in the middle and hand you a long straw. Take a sip? I doubt it. Now, I have some guys with a big drill on a truck dig a really deep hole, put a lining in the whole (the straw) with a screen on it (again, at least to keep the big chunks out), put a lid on it and run a hose to your house. Take a sip? Sure! That’s your well water now.  Now this: You have municipal water. I drop a strand of spaghetti in the water at the treatment plant. You turn on your tap. The spaghetti winds its way through pipes big and small, old and new, past tree roots, leaks and bio-film (really interesting stuff that builds up in water lines), then out it drips from your tap right into your hand. Go ahead, pop it in your mouth! No? Why not? You don’t hesitate to drink the water it was in!  We are very cavalier about our water quality. We just assume (hope really) that something as basic as our water — vital and necessary — will actually be healthy. Unless we are buying a new home almost none of us ever has our well tested (frequently required by lenders to protect their investment — not you). If no lender is involved there may be no testing. The EPA recommends annual well testing (pediatric groups recommend twice annual well tests in homes with small children). Similarly, there are contaminants in municipal water supplies that you may be sensitive to and may not want to drink. Yet, annual water quality reports, which the US EPA requires water utilities to issue, frequently line the insides of trash cans and recycling bins without ever having been read. But there are things like lead, chromium-6, radium, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chlorine, chloramines and fluoride, to name a few, that can produce adverse health effects under certain circumstances. There things that are not even tested for, such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides, and other contaminants that could adversely affect your health, that are simply too expensive to test for or remove. More often than not, if the water is cold, doesn’t smell or have junk floating in it, we gulp it down in blissful ignorance. The Water Quality Association (WQA) recommends implementing “Final Barrier Technology” to protect yourself and family (for more information www.wqa.org or call us at 888-741-1711 or 303-728-4899). WQA defines Final Barrier Technology as devices and systems installed at the point of water use — your drinking water. Typically, it’s the least expensive part of any water treatment system. On municipal water, a point-of-use Final Barrier system can often be used alone, […]

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