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5 Signs You Need a Water Softener

29 April, 2015 (14:42) | Hard Water Solutions, Water Softeners | By: admin

The quality of our water is dependent on several factors; where we live, the type of water filtration system it goes through and whether or not it is supplied from a municipal water supply or an underground well. The most common water problem here in the United States is that it is often hard water. Hard water is simply water that has a high mineral content. Not all minerals are necessarily harmful for you to drink, however these minerals can have a negative impact in the home and on the body as well. The following signs can help determine if you have hard water in your home.

 

  1. Spots on glasses
    Most hard water contains magnesium and calcium; when the water is heated, as it is to wash dishes, the magnesium and calcium precipitate out of the water and adhere to the surface they are on. This mineral deposit is called scale and it manifests itself as the spots on dishes and the white crusty deposits around the faucet.

  2. Soap scum in the shower / bath
    Once again it is the magnesium and calcium that are at the root of bathroom soap scum. The calcium and/or magnesium ions in hard water produce a chemical reaction with they come in contact with the fatty component in soap which results in the gray nasty soap scum you see around the bath and shower.

 

  1. You pay too much electricity to run your water heater
    Hard water has been proven to decrease efficiency in appliances; water heaters, in particular, tend to be at an even greater risk due to their constant contact with water. Scale builds up on the heating elements causing it to work harder and longer in order to heat up the water. This extra work load also causes the water heater to wear out much sooner than it should.

  2. You have limp dry hair
    If you notice that your hair is constantly limp or dry and frizzy all the time, the culprit is most likely hard water. Shampoo is technically a soap so you have the same chemical reaction going on in your hair as you do inside your shower or tub. The excess filmy shampoo reside will leave your hair looking limp and rather dull. The additional minerals in hard water can also dry out your hair which leads to the dreaded frizz.

  3. You have dry itchy skin
    The excess minerals in hard water can also cause some severe dry skin which leads to irritation and scaly looking skin. In fact there have been studies done showing that hard water can trigger eczema due to the intense drying out of the skin.

 

If you are one of the millions of households that have to deal with hard water on a daily basis, you might want to consider investing in a water softener or salt free water conditioner.  Both of these products will help to eliminate the problems associated with hard water, while saving you money over the long run in appliance maintenance, plumbing repair and even on soap and detergent expenditures.

The Best Water Filter for Nitrate Reduction

29 April, 2015 (14:28) | Drinking Water System, Impurities Found in Drinking Water, Impurity Solutions, Reverse Osmosis, Water News | By: admin

Nitrate contamination in drinking water is widespread in the United States; the highest degree of contamination is in the Midwest, Texas, the Pacific Northwest and California. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that as many as 52 percent of community wells and 57 percent of domestic water wells are contaminated by a measurable amount of nitrates and nitrites. In Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley of California, it is estimated that one in every three domestic wells are contaminated with levels well over the EPA’s recommended guidelines.

Nitrates and Nitrites are not all bad, in fact we need them to some extent to stay healthy, however excess consumption can cause serious health risks. Infants below six months of age are especially susceptible to nitrate contamination. The EPA states that if they consume water containing nitrates in excess of the maximum contaminant level, they could become seriously ill, and if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue baby syndrome.

The only way to remove nitrates from drinking water is through a water filtration system. Many water treatment companies promote Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems as an immediate solution to provide nitrate and nitrite reduction. RO systems do in fact reduce nitrate levels, however even the best RO system can only reduce them by eighty percent. The most typical systems only have a sixty percent reduction rate. This sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Well in some cases this reduction rate is just fine, however not all water has the same level of contamination.

The EPA recommended guidelines for nitrates are a maximum 10 parts per million (ppm). Let’s say for example that your water has 30ppm nitrate contamination, a sixty percent reduction would only bring it down to 12ppm – still more than the recommended guidelines. At eighty percent reduction it would be 6ppm, which does falls within the guidelines, however there are only a select few RO’s that have an eighty percent reduction. Now let’s say your water starts at a 60ppm contamination level, even at an eighty percent reduction rate it would only bring it down to 12ppm, which is too high and can cause some health complications.

The LINX Drinking Water System is the best solution to nitrate contamination. It doesn’t matter how much nitrate contamination your water has, 200ppm or 20ppm, it still reduces it down to non-detect levels – every time. These reduction rates are far superior to a traditional RO water filtration system. This superior filtration has earned them the WQA Gold Seal for Nitrate / Nitrite Reduction as well as being certified and approved for nitrate reduction in the state of California. If your water has a problem with nitrate contamination, don’t take the risk of being exposed to excess contamination, install the one and only water filtration system that can reduce your nitrate levels to non-detect levels.

Dangers of Benzene in Drinking Water

27 April, 2015 (16:16) | Drinking Water System, Impurities Found in Drinking Water, Impurity Solutions | By: admin

Since Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been tasked with determining the safest level of drinking water contamination before any adverse health effects are likely to occur.  Currently the EPA regulates 81 different types of hazardous contaminants that can be found in our drinking water supply; they monitor chemical, physical, radiological and biological contaminates and set a maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for each.  One such contaminate that has found itself in the news recently is benzene, which has a MCLG goal of zero parts per million.

As we saw in the LA Times, officials from California’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources  admitted just last summer that they have inadvertently allowed oil companies to inject wastewater from oil production operations as well as fracking into hundreds of disposal wells in protected aquifers around the state for years.  High levels of Benzene is just one of the byproducts that have shown up in the contaminated water.

Benzene is a volatile organic chemical (VOC) that is naturally found in oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke.  It can also be formed from natural processes, such as from forest fires, as well as industrial processes.  It is commonly used to manufacture plastics, rubber, synthetic fabrics and resins and as a solvent in paints, printing and dry cleaning.  Benzene is a known carcinogen and when ingested from drinking water can cause anemia, a decrease in blood platelets, and an increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia.

Gasoline and cigarette smoke are the two main sources of benzene exposure; however, while for the majority of the population, the exposure to benzene from food, beverages and drinking water is not as high as it is from the air, there is still a significant risk.  Benzene has been detected in some bottled water, liquor and certain foods as well as from contaminated well water.  Water wells can become contaminated with benzene from leaking underground gasoline storage tanks, leaching from landfills and other hazardous waste sites that contain benzene products.

Considering that the EPA recommends a zero MCLG level for benzene, it is important to choose a water filtration system that can filter out this hazardous chemical.  Water softeners will not remove benzene, however activated charcoal or granular activated carbon filters rated to remove VOC’s will be able to remove benzene from your drinking water.

Rayne’s LINX Drinking Water Systems as well as our reverse osmosis systems are both equipped with a carbon filtration unit intended to filter VOC’s.  It is important to make sure your family is drinking water that is as pure and safe as possible, so if you are wondering about the safety of your drinking water, it is highly recommended to have it tested.  Knowing what is in your water will help you choose the right filtration system for your home and provide the safest drinking water possible.

 

 

4 Health Problems You Can Avoid By Drinking More Water

27 April, 2015 (13:54) | Uncategorized | By: admin

Most people know just how important drinking water is for your health. Without it, our bodies cannot function properly and we are not as mentally sharp. But beyond just the general health concerns are some pretty serious health problems you can avoid by drinking more water. How many can you guess? Continuing reading this article to check your knowledge about drinking high quality water and your health.

Drink water for kidney health1.  Save your kidneys!  One of the top health issues you can avoid by drinking more water has to do with your kidneys which perform several functions, the most important of which is filtering waste products, excess water, and other impurities out of the blood. These waste products are stored in the bladder and later expelled from the body as urine. We need them to regulate pH, salt, and potassium levels in the body, and they produce hormones that regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells. The kidneys are also responsible for activating a form of vitamin D that helps the body absorb calcium to build bones and modulate muscle function. In other words, we need our kidneys for a healthy body. Water helps keep our kidneys healthy and working properly because it helps to flush them out and drinking plenty of water may also help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

2.  Lose weight!  Another health condition impacted by drinking more water is obesity. No, it doesn’t cure it and obesity still depends on numerous other factors, but it can help support a healthy diet. Replacing ‘liquid calories’ with water is a strategy to eliminate excess calories and prevent obesity.

3.  Be heart smart!  Drinking a good amount of water could also reduce your risk of heart attack.  Furthermore, keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. If that isn’t a good reason to drink plenty of water, we don’t know what is!

4.  Avoid cancer! Plus, drinking more water is also said to help prevent some pretty serious cancers. Research suggests that drinking enough water every day, could reduce your risk of developing cancer of the large bowel, breast and prostate. That’s another phenomenal reason to drink more water each day!

Drinking high-quality water with a water filter will create great-tasting and safe drinking water, the perfect alternative to soft drinks or other sugary beverage choices. Water supports a healthy body, the research certainly proves it. Do you drink enough water? How do you help your family make smart choices about drinking more water? Cheers!

 

 

 

Healthy Hearts Need Water

25 February, 2015 (16:47) | Drinking Water System, Impurities Found in Drinking Water, Impurity Solutions | By: admin

February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to raise awareness for heart health and how we live our lives to support our hearts. The American Heart Association estimates that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading water for healthcause of heart disease and stroke. In fact, more than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure and people with high blood pressure are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease, compared to those with normal blood pressure. We know that drinking water is important to keep us healthy, but this month were here at Rayne of Irvine want to remind you to drink more high quality water for your heart. It could save your life someday.

Water can help reduce some heart diseases according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology which found that men who drank five or more glasses of water a day had only a 46% chance of having a fatal heart attack, and women had only 59% risk, compared to people who drank two or less glasses of water daily. These are some pretty good results when it comes to the benefits of drinking water to support heart health. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer.

Plus, your body has lots of important jobs and it needs water to do many of them. For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop working. In addition to being an important part of the fluids in your body, each cell depends on water to function normally. The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration as well as current state of health, said one physician.  Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke or even heat exhaustion.

Since water is so critical for your heart health, now may also be the best time to consider the water you’re drinking. If something so important to your heart could be improved or of a higher quality than what you’re currently consuming, would you do something about it? We thought so, too. Reducing contaminants with our drinking water filters and home water treatment systems can turn poor, contaminated tap water or mediocre drinking water into pure, high quality water your family is sure to enjoy. Our LINX® drinking water system is also eco-friendly, reducing water waste by up to 90% compared to traditional reverse osmosis systems.  By improving the quality of your water, you’re giving your family a better reason to maintain heart health by drinking more water in general and fueling their bodies with what they need. The proactive effects of drinking water and a healthy heart start with one phone call.

Actionable and Essential Water Conservation

27 January, 2015 (15:13) | Drinking Water System, Money Savings, Reverse Osmosis, Water Usage, Water Waste | By: admin

Water conservation has been a hot topic the last several years as many southwest states continue to experience one of the worst droughts in the past century.  There have been reports of wells running dry and drinking water shortages and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.  Some experts are even saying that California is on the verge of a mega-drought, which is defined as a drought that lasts for a decade or longer.  In order for California and other drought plagued parts of the US to have enough water to sustain living conditions, as well as the huge agricultural production in the region, there must be a change in how water is consumed.

As the lakes and streams get lower and lower, it becomes even more imperative that any sort of water waste must be eliminated.  There are already restrictions in place regarding unnecessary outdoor water usage such as washing of sidewalks and driveways, limited irrigation times, no dumping and refilling of pools, spas or outside fountains with many more restrictions to come.  In many areas, restaurants are required to only give drinking water to customers upon request and residents are required to fix any leaks and plumbing issues immediately.  Some of the hardest hit communities are even rationing home and business water usage with substantial fines for those who don’t comply.

Even though much of California is described as having a Mediterranean climate, with winter rains and hot dry summers, there is also a large part of the southern portion of the state that has desert-like conditions.  Considering that their infrastructure of irrigation is second to none however, the nice green grass and vegetation does not attest to the desert-like conditions.  California is first in line to get their allotment of the Colorado River and residents can usually enjoy a surplus of water resources, which unfortunately tends to perpetrate water waste.

One way to combat water waste is to install high efficiency appliances. Sure there is an upfront cost, but in the long run they will save you money while conserving energy and precious water in the process.  One area where high efficiency appliances are most often overlooked is in drinking water systems.  Reverse osmosis (RO) is probably the most common way to treat drinking water, but it wastes a huge amount of water in the process. Huge as in up to 12.5 gallons of municipal water go down the drain just to produce one gallon of drinking water.  In fact, RO systems are probably the biggest waster of water you will find in a household.  Upgrading to a high efficiency drinking water system, such as the LINX 140 or 160 systems, can save an average household over 7,000 gallons of water per year.

With no end in sight for this pervasive drought, California and its neighbors need to start thinking outside the box for ways to conserve this precious commodity.  Adhering to water restrictions is a good start, along with installing low flow toilets, faucets and shower heads and being conscious about how much water is actually being used; but are these measures enough?  There are many sources of hidden water waste that most individuals don’t even recognize and those are the ones that might just tip the scale into actionable and essential water conservation.

Why is Detergent More Effective in Soft Water?

23 December, 2014 (15:47) | Uncategorized | By: admin

soapIt is common knowledge that soft water, either naturally occurring or from a water softener, has greater cleaning power than hard water.  If you have ever taken a shower in soft water you know that a little bit of soap goes a long way.  The same is true when washing clothes in the washing machine or even washing dishes in the sink; it takes about half the amount of soap as it does in hard water to produce a nice rich lather.  But why is this?  Why are soaps and detergents more effective in soft water than in hard water?

To answer this question, let’s first look at the chemical make-up of hard water.  Hard water, by definition, is water which contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium ions; it is these minerals which prevents soap and detergents from being as effective as they should be.  When the “soap” molecules come in contact with the magnesium and calcium in hard water, a chemical reaction occurs and magnesium stearate or calcium stearate forms; this is the waxy substance we all know as soap scum.  This reaction prevents the soap from producing the cleansing lather as it was intended.

It is a completely different story for soft water.  Naturally occurring soft water does not have these minerals present and therefore detergents and soaps do not react as they do in hard water.  Water that has been softened by a water softener, typically replaces the magnesium and calcium minerals with sodium or potassium; these minerals do not react with the compounds in soap or detergents so they perform as they were intended.

Not only does soft water require much less detergent than hard water to be effective, there is another cost savings benefit associated with soft water as well.  Due to the fact that detergents clean more efficiently in soft water, washing machines do not have to be set on hot in order to achieve good stain removal.  Cold water washes accomplish the same or even better stain removal, and produce whiter whites than clothes washed in hard water.  So not only do you see a 50 percent reduction in detergent needed, homeowners can also save energy by not having to use hot water.

 

 

 

Dishwasher Problems from Hard Water

21 October, 2014 (15:52) | Uncategorized | By: admin

Do you love your dishwasher? Well if your home has hard water, chances are that you don’t know what love is. Hard water creates an array of issues for dishwashers and many consumers avoid using their dishwasher altogether. Not only are hard water nuisances multiplied with the use of a dishwasher, but cost of operation skyrockets and you shell out more money than it is worth in the long run. An estimated 85% of homes in the United States deal with hard water, so you are not alone.  So how do you fall in love with your dishwasher? The secret is easy –  a water softener to reduce mineral content in your tap water while improving the quality of your home’s water at the same time.

You see, hard water contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water-using appliances. Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement. These are dishwashersome pretty serious problems for your dishwasher. You may also notice a film on the interior walls of your dishwasher known as hard water buildup, as well as a whitish film and spots on your dishes after using your dishwasher.

With a water softener, you can instantly see the benefits of having a dishwasher and you will extend the life of your appliance. Dealing with hard water problems in your home can be frustrating and quite embarrassing when your guests eat or drink off of your dishware. The amount of hardness minerals in water affects the amount of soap and detergent necessary for cleaning.  Soap used in hard water combines with the minerals to form a sticky soap curd. Without a water softener, it is really quite a task to remove the minerals.

Money savings are skyrocketed with a water softener as well. Not only will you be buying less detergent for your dishwasher and your energy costs of operation will also be reduced, but the softer the water, the longer your dishwasher will last. Under moderately hard water, your dishwasher will last several years–even though it’s not entirely soft water. On the other hand, if you’re on extremely hard water, your dishwasher may only last a few short years before hard water completely incapacitates the appliance. Although it may run fine, the lifespan is shortened due to clogged pipes and water holes on the interior.

Contact us today so that we can determine your water’s hardness and need for a water softener. Your dishwasher is just one of the many appliances that will benefit from lower mineral content and you can fall in love with your home all over again. Do not let hard water minerals frustrate you because there is a solution and it all starts with one simple phone call.

 

When Should You Have Your Water Tested?

30 September, 2014 (13:45) | Impurities Found in Drinking Water, Impurity Solutions | By: admin

Water testing is something that all homeowners should take into consideration, especially if you rely on a private well for your water supply.  Drinking water can quickly and easily become contaminated and if not caught right away can cause some serious health concerns.  It is recommended to have municipally supplied water tested periodically, however well water should be tested at least once every year.

Bacteria is one of the biggest concerns with well water; in fact, approximately 40 percent of private wells tested, come back positive for bacteria.  Every year you should at least test for bacteria (total coliforms), nitrates, total dissolved solids and pH levels.  Testing for arsenic, chloride, pesticides, metals and hardness is also highly recommended as they are often found in well water as well.

If you notice any change in your water, such as taste, smell or appearance, have your water tested at once.  This could definitely be a sign that something is not right.  Some other warning signs to look for are:

  • Your well is close to a septic tank.
  • Your well is in an area where livestock are kept.
  • Your well in near an area where pesticides and other chemicals are used.
  • You notice water stains on your fixtures or clothing
  • You are pregnant, or have a child under six months old (nitrates can cause a fatal condition in young children)
  • You notice recurring gastrointestinal distress in you or your family members
  • You have a newly installed well
  • Your property is near a gas station, mining operation, dry-cleaners, chemical plant, heavily salted roadway, an oil / gas drilling company or junkyard

Knowing the condition of your water and having it tested as recommended is the first step in preventing any potential health concerns.  The Environmental Protection Agency has a link on their website you can use to find certified testing labs in your state.  Most home improvement stores have a basic water test, however it is very limited as to what contaminants it can detect.  A certified lab is the best route to go since are able to provide a much broader scope of testing.

Once you determine the condition of your water, you are in a much better position to choose a water filtration system that will compliment your unique water concerns or whether you need one at all.  Keeping tabs on your water regularly will help prevent any health issues before they arise.

 

 

What is a Salt-Free Water Conditioner?

29 July, 2014 (15:57) | Hard Water Solutions, Impurity Solutions, Water Softeners, Water Usage, Water Waste | By: admin

Let’s face it, water is an essential and vital component to sustain life, but in order for drinking water to provide its full range of health and household benefits, it often must be treated.  The question most often asked is, “which water treatment system is the best?”  We wish there was just one answer to that question, it would make it so much easier for homeowners to know what to purchase, however that is not the case.

The type of water you have in your home, as well as the local regulations and your own personal preference will determine which type of water treatment system will water conditionerwork best for you.  Today, we are going to look at salt-free water conditioners; their pros, their cons and why they would or wouldn’t work for your situation.

First, we need to understand how a salt-free water conditioner works.  Unlike a water softener, which removes calcium and magnesium in the water and replaces them with sodium ions, a salt-free water conditioner leaves the minerals in the water but changes their form so they will not adhere to surfaces.

When homeowners make the decision to treat hard water, it is usually to eliminate mineral buildup in their pipes and appliances which can damage and shorten the life of water using appliances as well as drastically reducing water flow in pipes.  A salt-free water conditioner works great in this instance since it breaks up the minerals in such a way that they will not adhere to surfaces.  If homeowners want to eliminate the minerals in their water and enjoy the luxurious feel of mineral-free water, then a water softener would be a better option.

The fact that salt-free water conditioners do not remove calcium and magnesium is actually a positive aspect of their features.  Numerous studies have been done that tout the health benefits of both calcium and magnesium.  In fact the World Health Organization (WHO) did an in-depth study of why calcium and magnesium should be left in our water.

Inadequate intakes of calcium have been associated with increased risks of osteoporosis, kidney stones, colorectal cancer, hypertension and stroke, coronary artery disease, insulin resistance and obesity.  Low magnesium levels have been implicated in hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, mellitus and metabolic syndrome.  When left in drinking water, it is much easier to get adequate amounts of both these beneficial minerals.

Another consideration to take into account is how your water treatment decision affects the environment.  A salt-free water conditioner not only does not waste any water, it also eliminates the addition of sodium into groundwater.  Sodium has been declared as one of the biggest contaminates affecting water supplies in the nation and around the world.  It has become so prevalent that it is beginning to destroy crops and affect groundwater across the globe.  In fact, many states now have communities which have banned the sale of some types of regenerative water softeners since they flush sodium back into the ground.

As we said earlier, there are many factors to take into consideration before choosing a water filtration system.  The best way to start the process is to have your water tested to see what issues you need to address.  Next, do your research; evaluate each water treatment system on the market to see which one fits your needs and the needs of the environment while still providing the best tasting, healthiest water possible.