How to Keep Your Home's Water Merry and Bright All Year Long
Whether preparing your home's water for the holidays or year ahead, there are several things you can do to make sure it is cleaner and softer all year long.
Posted in Culligan Nation, Culligan Solutions, Drinking Water System, Total Home System, Water Filtration System, Water Softener, Water Treatment
First, get your home's water tested.
Why should you get your home's water tested? Let's find out.
Many contaminants are odorless and colorless, making them hard to detect. So what types of contaminants does a professional water test find?
In this section of our blog, we'll discuss some of the most common water contaminants and how they can affect your health.
What could be in your home's water?
Entering the water supply through bedrock, or an industrial byproduct, is arsenic. Low-level and long-term exposure via drinking water results in an increased risk of cancer and other serious health problems.
Next on the list is chlorine. The smell or taste of chlorine is often associated with swimming pools. Although, in drinking water, it is unappealing. And this contaminant is known to dry out skin and hair. While municipalities use chlorine to disinfect water supplies, it should be filtered out before consumption. In order to eliminate harmful or annoying side effects.
Also known as hexavalent chromium, chromium-6 is a highly toxic contaminant released into groundwater after certain industrial activities. Like chrome plating, leather dying, wood preservation or stainless steel manufacturing. Because it is highly toxic, drinking more than 0.02 ppb (parts per billion) could cause cancer. This contaminant often goes unnoticed, even when it is present in large amounts. However, chromium-6 impacts two out of every three Americans.
Three groups, containing 16 species, are included in this contaminant category. These three groups include total coliform, fecal coliform and E. coli. Bacterial contamination occurs due to septic system failure or agricultural runoff. And symptoms of infections can vary widely. Some include digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and fever. But others include severe conditions such as anemia and kidney failure. Combining reverse osmosis filtration and UV based deionization are the most efficient ways to reduce bacterial contaminants in drinking water.
Although lead is a well-known contaminant, most people assume it is not in their water. Lead seeps into water supplies from pipes. And from solder and fixtures which are used extensively across the United States. No level of exposure to lead is safe. Especially for children, who can suffer harmful and possibly chronic effects. These effects range from stomach pain to brain damage.
When rain soaks into the ground, running through sand, soil and rock, magnesium enters the water supply. The presence of this contaminant creates hard water. And though hard water is not a direct threat to health, it causes other complications. Like buildup in pipes, shortened lifespans for appliances and increased soap and detergent usage. Additionally, magnesium causes dry skin, dull hair and spotted dishes.
A major ingredient in most fertilizers is nitrates. Because nitrates are essential for food, flowers and green lawns. Although nitrates naturally occur in soil, overuse of fertilizer causes contamination. Nitrates spread across lawns and fields and move quickly through soil, growing more concentrated in groundwater. This creates a potential health risk for everyone, especially infants and pregnant women.
Because it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, radon is a difficult contaminant to find. It exists due to the radioactive decay of uranium. Which is a common element in bedrock. And radon is also known to cause cancer. Radon gas dissolves into groundwater and is released into the air when a faucet is turned on.
Last on our list is hydrogen sulfide. Produced by reducing sulfur bacteria, hydrogen sulfide is sometimes found in groundwater. It is a smelly and colorless gas. And it causes hot water to smell like rotten eggs. Sulfur in water can have a laxative effect. Because of this, exposure may increase rates of diarrhea and dehydration. Especially in infants and young children. But it can also stain plumbing fixtures, toilets and sinks. All while tarnishing silver and copper housewares.
Now that we've covered some of the most commonly found water contaminants, let's talk about how you can significantly reduce them and the impact they have on your home's water.
Invest in better water systems.
There are a couple of ways you can protect your home's water. But let's start with your drinking water. In order to significantly reduce potentially harmful contaminants in your drinking water, the best option is a reverse osmosis system.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
So what does a Culligan® Reverse Osmosis System with a Total Defense Filter do? And how does it reduce harmful contaminants?
When thinking about the RO filtration process, it's helpful to break it down into four specific steps.
In most cases, reverse osmosis systems have pre-filtration, reverse osmosis, drainage and storage stages.
First, pressurized water moves through a particle filter. This removes impurities like salt, sand and sediment.
Next, the water passes through an activated carbon filter. Which traps and removes minerals and contaminants such as chlorine, mercury, copper and pesticides. This completes the pre-filtration stage.
After that, pressurized water forces its way through the semipermeable membrane. So that the smallest impurities become trapped and only water passes through. This is the reverse osmosis stage.
Finally, the discharge stage. In this stage, removed contaminants get flushed away. While the treated water moves to a storage tank.
Before the treated water reaches a faucet, it undergoes a final activated-carbon filtration. Therefore ensuring safer, better water for household use.
What contaminants does a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense reduce?
Most noteworthy, reverse osmosis significantly reduces the presence of lead in water. But a reverse osmosis system also reduces mercury, chromium-6, turbidity, chlorine, cysts and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
A Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense Filter reduces over 90 other contaminants.
In addition, Culligan's drinking water system is certified to reduce every EPA-regulated contaminant. Which is more than 100 in total. Compared to other household water filters, its filtration power is unmatched.
And out of the 27 most common water problems and contaminants, a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System with Total Defense Filter removes 26.
Such as chlorine, chloramines, bad taste/odor, barium, cadmium, calcium, copper, cryptosporidium, fluoride, giardia, hexavalent chromium, iron, lead, magnesium, mercury, MTBE (gas), nitrate, nitrite, arsenic, radium 226/228, sediment, sodium, TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), TTHM (trihalomethanes), trivalent chromium, turbidity and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).
What are the benefits of a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System?
Now that we understand the reverse osmosis process as well as the contaminants it reduces, let's talk about how your home's water will benefit.
Many different filtration methods are available. Popular options include refrigerator filters, faucet filters and pitcher filters. And while all of these can help with the taste and smell of water, few will reduce the hardest to detect contaminants.
So not only does a reverse osmosis filtration system remove contaminants that others may miss, it also provides you and your family with a laundry list of benefits.
By investing in a reverse osmosis system you can:
- Ensure the removal of dissolved organic and inorganic compounds in your home's water.
- Remove and reduce common contaminants like sodium, chloride, fluoride and nitrates.
- Eliminate foul smells and tastes caused by chlorine and sulfur.
- Reduce the level of pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to your health.
- Enjoy cooking with better, cleaners water for all of your family's favorite meals.
- Provide your family with great tasting water that does not cause scale buildup in plumbing and appliances or stains in bathtubs, sinks and dishes.
Next on our list of ways you can invest in better water is a Culligan Water Softener. So what does a water softener do and how does it improve your home's water?
How do water softeners work?
The easiest place to start when discussing how water softening works is with hard water.
Simply stated, hard water contains too many minerals. Especially calcium and magnesium. Hard water ruins glassware, sinks and clothes while making skin and hair dry or itchy.
Though hard water might not be a direct hazard to your health, it does contain contaminants that can be a nuisance to your family and appliances.
Soft water has few or no dissolved minerals. Such as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese.
In order to make water soft, it goes through a water softening process. Which removes dissolved minerals through filters and "ion exchange".
An ion exchange softener removes minerals that cannot be taken out by certain filters. Softeners use resin beads with sodium ions. And as water enters the tank, this resin attracts dissolved calcium and magnesium. It then exchanges the sodium for dissolved chemicals. Ultimately removing the impurities.
However, as your home's water continues to undergo softening, the resin beads become exhausted and require regeneration.
To regenerate or recharge the resin beads, you need to add salt to the brine tank. Now the calcium and magnesium are again swapped with sodium and potassium while dirt and sediments are flushed from the beads into the wastewater drain. The tank is then rinsed with fresh water and the system begins the water softening process again.
What are the benefits of softening your water?
Let's go through the benefits of having soft water throughout your entire home.
By reducing the hardness of your home's water, you can:
- Use less soap when bathing, cleaning and doing laundry.
- Reduce sticky soap residue and film on skin, hair and clothes.
- Significantly decrease scale buildup in plumbing and appliances, ensuring efficient operation and increased lifespans.
- Lower energy consumption and cost by improving water flow in your pipes and reducing scale buildup in water heaters.
- Eliminate mineral-derived odors in your home.
- Enjoy spot-free glassware and dishes.
Whole Home Water Systems
So far we've covered how to make sure your drinking water is cleaner and safer, as well as how you can soften water to improve your home's water supply. But can you do both at the same time? The answer is yes.
While a Culligan Reverse Osmosis System filters your home's water at the tap, a whole home water filtration system can ensure the safety of your water throughout the entire home.
Culligan's Whole Home Water System will deliver amazing results when it comes to softening and filtering your household's water.
The dual system eliminates hard minerals that cause scale buildup. Such as calcium and magnesium. And at the same time, reducing chlorine, sulfur and other contaminants that contribute to bad taste and smell.
At Culligan, we want to provide the best solution for your unique household water needs so you will always have safe, healthy water for every use. With the two-in-one total home filtration system, you get soft, filtered water that not only tastes great, but that's cleaner and safer too!
What are the benefits of a whole home water system?
With a whole home water system you can:
- Enjoy the combined benefits of a RO and water softening system.
- Protect your home's pipes, fixtures and water-using-appliances from damaging sediments that cause corrosion and rust.
- Provide soft, filtered, chlorine-free water at every faucet in your entire home.
- Eliminate the rotten egg, iron and chlorine smell in your home's water.
- Deliver conditioned, clean water that lathers better and rinses easier so your skin will feel softer, laundry will be brighter and dishes will be spot-free.
- Ensure delicious, fresh water that's better for drinking and cooking.
- Eliminate chlorine's drying effects on your skin and damaging effects on your appliances.
- Reduce the soap scum and film that can hinder cleaning.
- Prolong the life of your appliances and plumbing.
Maintain your home's water all year long.
We've discussed the importance of testing your water as well as how you can invest in better water solutions for your home. But it's also crucial that you maintain your home's water all year long.
Let's start by going through how you can keep your Culligan Reverse Osmosis System running at its best.
Maintaining your Culligan Reverse Osmosis System
A great place to start is by checking your RO system's filters. Your local water expert is always available to make sure your filters are running at peak performance. They can also adjust or change your filters if they need to be swapped out.
Maintaining your Culligan Water Softening System
When it comes to maintaining your water softener, there are a couple of things you can do ensure that your home's water is always soft. It's important to make sure you refill your salt and adjust the settings on the softener depending on your unique water needs.
By setting up a salt delivering schedule with your local water expert, you can have as much salt as you need, whenever you need it. Your local water expert can also help you figure out just the right settings for your softening depending on your family's water usage, time of year and a wide variety of other factors.
Maintaining your Culligan Whole Home Water System
Next on our list, is how to ensure that your whole home water system is filtering and treating your home's water at optimal performance for the holidays and into the new year.
Whole home water systems filter and treat your home's water. Which means working with your local water expert to keep your salt full and your filters performing at their best is key to maintaining the equipment.
In closing, it's important to get your home's water test in order for you to be able to make the best decisions for you and your family.
And once you know what's in your home's water, you can work with your local water expert to find the perfect solution for your unique water needs.
While you may have better, safer water prepared for the holiday season, it's important to maintain your home's water all year long. Call your local water expert to help you keep you and your family happy and hydrated throughout the holiday season and beyond.