As water service professionals, we hear a number of oft-repeated fallacies that don’t hold up upon closer inspection. What follows are the most common inaccuracies we hear, and the truth behind them.
I have a purifier in my refrigerator, that’s all I need – The purifier in your refrigerator works perfectly well to filter large minerals like sand and dirt, plus it eliminates some taste and odor from your water. Water Doctors proudly offers the exact same product. Just make sure you understand that this two stage filter is not the same as a Reverse Osmosis system, which utilizes three filters and an advanced membrane to filter out over 99% of Total Dissolved Solids from your water. For total water purification, it’s no comparison.
Softening, filtering, and purifying: It’s all the same – City water is known for ever-increasing levels of chlorine which are used to decontaminate and kill disease-causing bacteria. Standard water softeners do nothing to combat this chlorine issue, meaning the city water you drink might as well come from your local pool, unless you have a purifier. Purifiers are designed to eliminate the minerals and chemicals that softeners miss, so the water you drink is as pure as it can be. Filters, on the other hand, are usually designed for a specific purpose. Some water supplies have excessive amounts of minerals or chemicals that traditional softeners cannot cope with. For homeowners with major iron or chemical issues, our water filters can improve the quality of your water and extend the life of your softener. These three water treatment methods play distinctly important roles in providing useable water at the lowest total cost.
Purifiers are too expensive – Many people embrace water as an important part of their daily diet, but fear they can’t afford a high quality purifier delivering great tasting, chemical-free water at their kitchen sink. In truth, the annual filter change costs for an RO purifier are less than $6.00 per month. In the U.S. in 2011, a four person household consumed nearly 74 bottles of water every month (at 16.9oz/bottle), costing far more than a similar amount would cost at the faucet, and that’s not taking into account the hassle of filling out grocery lists and driving to the store. The real cost here is the money you lose every month you continue drinking bottled water.
Softeners use salt to clean the water – Water softeners actually use a special media inside the softener to soften the water. After your softener goes through a pre-set number of gallons, it goes into regeneration, in which the salty brine flows into the softener to clean the media before being rinsed away. Because salt plays this secondary role, the water that comes out of your faucet contains no more sodium per liter than a slice of white bread.
If I’m putting salt in the brine tank, the softener must be working – To be clear, if you’re NOT putting salt in the brine tank, it cannot work. But don’t assume the softener is operating at peak efficiency simply because it’s still using salt. As I just mentioned, the most important component of your softener is the resin inside the tank. Over time, this resin breaks down and becomes less efficient. When this happens, you end up with hard water and should consider investing in a new softener.