Things to Consider When Purchasing a Water Treatment System
Have you noticed that things aren’t quite right around your home lately? Your skin has been drier and itchier, your faucets are getting gross with residue, and the clean dishes are spotty when you take them out of the dishwasher. The last time your kids had a sleep over, their friends said your water smelled funny. Or maybe you are sick of scrubbing the rust stains off your toilets and showers. These are sure signs you have water issues in your house - now what? There are several things to consider when thinking about treating your water with a softener or filtration system. Should you make it a DIY project, or hire a professional? How will you know if you’ve bought the right equipment? Where in your house do you put it? Let us help talk you through the most common questions when purchasing water treatment for your home.
Professional or DIY?
The first thing to consider is if you want to attempt to DIY or hire a professional. Upfront, the costs may be less when DIY-ing, but over time, it can actually cost more than hiring a professional in the first place. First of all, a local expert will be able to analyze your water to know exactly what is causing the signs around your house and be able to recommend the right type of product that will solve that problem.
Many people that decide to take on the project themselves are merely guessing at the issue and buy whatever product is available at a store nearby. For example, if you have an iron problem that is causing rust stains, with a little research you may find that a water softener can help reduce iron and you find one readily available at your local “big box” store. Unfortunately, water softeners can usually only handle a small amount of iron in your water. You would eventually find out that your product isn’t strong enough to tackle the high levels of iron in your water, so you would have to go back and keep buying different types of filters until you found one that finally worked.
With the help of professional in this example, you will know exactly how much iron is in your water during your free consultation. They would also take into account the number of people in your home to ensure that you have the proper size system to maintain good water flow and have nice, filtered water at all times.
The professional will be able to expertly install your solution with no worries about damaging your existing plumbing or causing any leaks. Many DIY-ers do not have the background in working with pipes and making proper connections, which can lead to some very costly repairs and water damage around the installation location.
Testing Your Water
While you can find DIY test strips at your local home improvement store to test your water, those strips are not always very accurate and may be difficult to interpret. A professional will come armed with many tools to do a thorough water test. They can test for many things, including the pH level, hardness level, iron, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, and other contaminants in your water. This is especially important because there are many things that could be traveling in your water that cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. In the example above, iron in your water will leave telltale rust stains throughout your home. It can be obvious to spot the iron issue, but what if arsenic is also common in the groundwater in your area? There is no way of knowing that your well water has arsenic in it without having a test performed by a certified lab.
Water Treatment Installation Location
The spot you will want to install your system will depend on the type of water treatment equipment you have. There are two main categories of systems: point of entry and point of use. A water softener, a multi-function water conditioner, and a whole-home filter would be considered point of entry units because they need to be connected to where your water enters your house. If you have well water, this location would be near your pressure tank. With city water, it would be near your water meter. There also needs to be a power source and drain for your water softener and the surrounding temperature must be between 35- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit.
Point of Entry Options:
- Basement – water treatment system is typically installed near a water heater, and the basement is a common and ideal location because of the amount of space a basement provides. The basement is great because it can fit almost any size water softener, water conditioner, or whole-home filter.
- Crawl Space – A crawl space can work, but its lack of space will limit the size of the water treatment system that will fit. You also need to take into consideration having enough space to be able to fill the brine tank consistently on a water softener or conditioner. Our Evolve series models come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate even the smallest of installation locations.
- Garage – A garage has plenty of space and can work if there is no basement. However, you may need to install some additional plumbing. The temperature needs to be controlled as well, to stay within the 35- to 100-degrees Fahrenheit that is required for your water treatment equipment to run properly.
- Utility Room or Closet – Like a crawl space, a utility room can be another option but you may need to be creative with the space and choose a smaller system to fit. It may also need additional plumbing to install a drain for the wastewater to flush out.
- Outdoors – Outdoors can work in warmer climates only. If temperatures get below freezing at any point throughout the year, pipes can break and your water softener can be severely damaged. Equipment will need to be protected from the elements by building a small lean-to or shed around it or using the Evolve weather cover to protect the electronics inside. It can also be partially buried to help maintain a consistent temperature.
Point of Use Options:
Point of use water treatment refers to systems that are installed and correct the water right before you use it. These are typically reverse osmosis drinking water systems and small cartridge filters hooked up to a dedicated sink. These filters ensure that the water you drink and cook with is the highest quality of water possible.
- Under the Sink – Since these filters treat the water at a single tap, they are usually installed underneath the sink that they are serving. This makes them easy to access for when cartridges need to be replaced.
- Basement – Sometimes people do not want to sacrifice the storage space under their sink to a water filtration system. The filter can be mounted in the basement instead and plumbing lines run up to the sink from beneath the cabinet.
Making a Decision
In the end, you need to decide which option is best, DIY or professional? When you choose to use a professional, a trained technician will come to your home to test your water. They will determine which water treatment equipment is the best choice based on your needs and your water. They will also help determine the best place in your home to install it and will handle all of the plumbing needs that go with it! Give us a call; we have a full line of Evolve point of use and point of entry water treatment systems to solve your unique water problems!