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Many places across the country have hard water problems or need some form of water treatment. In fact hard water is so widespread it sustains an industry all by itself. Not only does Culligan, Kinetico and a slew of other companies make their money selling and or installing softening equipment but there thousands of companies across the U.S. that do nothing but sell and install different types of water treatment systems. Not to mention the plumbing contractors that install water softeners when customers needs them.
Some Form of Water Treatment is Necessary
So now we’ve established that water treatment is a necessity in many places around the country due to hard water we should probably talk about what kind of treatments can be done to lessen the adverse effects. The following are the most common issues related to hard water in a home:
- Water spots on glasses and dish wear left in the dishwasher.
- Scaling on shower heads, aerators and appliances.
- Sediment build-up in tank type water heaters and possible severe scaling on the heat exchanger in tankless water heaters. This sediment build-up can greatly diminish the life of your water heater.
The most common way to treat hard water is through a water softener. All water softeners use the same principle : Ionic Exchange. Ionic Exchange is the process of taking out the hard water minerals by replacing them with something else and that replacement mineral is sodium or salt.
The Ionic Exchange process goes like this :
Incoming water enters the softener and passes over plastic beads or Zeolite that carry a small electric charge and are covered with sodium ions. As the hard water runs over the resin bed the hardness minerals are attracted to the bead and displace the sodium ions. As the process continues and the sodium is replaced, the resin beads contain nothing but calcium and magnesium. At this point the softener stops softening and the regeneration process begins. The regeneration process begins by soaking the beads in salt, basically the same process in reverse. The calcium and magnesium are replaced with sodium and the salt water and hard minerals are flushed down the drain. Water softeners and ionic exchange are pretty simple in concept and the equipment works well for the most part, however it isn’t without it’s drawbacks.
Here some of the common drawbacks or complaints people have with water softening:
- The process of softening water is very inefficient. During the regeneration process quite a bit of water is used so if you are at all interested in conserving water this will make you cry.
- Soft water can feel slick or slimy on the skin. People complain that it never feels like the soap rinses off the skin.
- Drinking softened water is not fun. It feels well…..soft. I’ve tried to do it several times and it never feels right. Not to mention if someone in your family is on a sodium restrictive diet it could cause health problems.
- Softened water can damage the your vegetation in landscaping and your lawn.
So is there another way to treat water that will take care of some of the hard water water problems but eliminate some of the drawbacks? The answer is a resounding yes. A company called Freije has been making water treatment solutions for the commercial and industrial market since the late 80s. Freije has released a product called Easy Water based on the same technology that drives their commercial products.
Let me say one thing right now to dispel any confusion about this product. This product does not soften water if you want soft water this is not the product for you. Some people have incorrectly labelled this product as a saltless water softener. This is not true it is a saltless water treatment system. So what does Easy Water actually do? It sends electronic frequencies through your potable water pipe walls to change the shape and charge of the heavy minerals present in your hard water. These minerals are now able to flow/float with the water and will not stick together. The results of this innovative process are as follows:
- The most important is that the hard minerals no longer stick to the inside ofyour water lines, shower heads, appliances or water heaters,
- Will actually de-scale pipe and water heaters already affected by hard water.
- Saves water. No more regeneration which can waste up to 25 gallons a day.
- Lengthens the life of a reverse osmosis filters and other other filtration systems.
- Spotting from water evaporation will still occur but they will be lighter and much easier to clean.
Easy Water is particularly effective in removing hard scale from water heaters, both tank type and tankless. In fact an experiment was done on an 80-gallon domestic water heater servicing an apartment complex. The water in the area was 24 grains hard and the heater had 5” of hard scale built up on the bottom of the tank and flues. After 15 months both the bottom of the tank and the flue were entirely free of scale.