Construction season is in full swing and new home owners everywhere are discovering the evils of hard water. Within weeks of moving into your new home, you have to make another important purchase – a new water softener. Since you may not be aware of what separates a quality water softener from a generic one, Water Doctors is providing a simple checklist of features that any softener worth its salt will offer.
1. High Quality Resin – The internal media is the essence of your softener. Poor quality resin has a low capacity for softening, meaning frequent regenerations and unnecessary salt and water usage. Resin that is not up to snuff can also break down at a rate of 20-30% each year, leaving your home with hard water and you with a tough decision: buy a new softener (again) or live with soap scum and scale build up. Water Doctors uses premium resin guaranteed to degrade no more than .5% per year, so our users aren’t stuck with subpar resin imported from 3rd world countries.
2. Upflow Brining – Generic softeners are notorious for downflow brining, in which hard water enters the softener from above the resin bed and is expected to flow throughout the resin to complete the ion-exchange process required for softening. Unfortunately, hard water naturally settles above the resin and only penetrates the upper layers of the resin bed, meaning the full softening capacity of the resin is never utilized and frequent regeneration is required. Upflow brining, in contrast, injects hard water at the base of the resin bed, allowing it to flow upwards through every media layer before the pristinely soft water is delivered to your tap.
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3. Flow Meter – Antiquated softeners can still be found using a regularly scheduled clock mechanism that determines when to send the softener into regeneration based on… nothing at all. Typically, these softeners regenerate on a weekly basis according to a set schedule. This occurs whether you’ve been on vacation all week and haven’t used a drop of water or you have relatives in town and your usage has doubled. Meanwhile, in the 21st Century, modern softeners use a Flow Meter to determine recent water use and send the softener into regeneration only when appropriate. Water Doctors Pro Logic takes this even further, with a patented NOVRAM microprocessor which takes your average water usage over the last 365 days and uses it to maintain a variable reserve of soft water. Over the life of the softener, this can save hundreds of dollars in salt and energy costs.
4. Digital Display – Using an analog softener is much like leaving your air conditioner set at 72 degrees when you go on vacation for two weeks in July; you can do it, but you’ll pay for it in the end. Big box store water softeners usually have an analog clock display which can be used only to set up the weekly regeneration cycle. Cutting-edge models feature easy-to-use LED displays providing up to the minute information and the flexibility of 12 or more fully programmable cycles.
5. Custom Engineering – Your home, and your water, are unique. National chains churn out uniform softeners from an assembly line under the pretense that softeners are a “one size fits all!” product that can be installed and ignored. This short-sighted thinking leads to major problems down the road when water problems endemic to specific geographical areas begin to crop up and the “one size” no longer fits. That’s why every Water Doctors softener is Custom Engineered to the end user. A careful water analysis reveals the impurities and contaminants in your water source and each softener can be designed to alleviate those specific issues. If you buy a hammer, don’t expect it to act like a wrench.
Anyone following these 5 simple guidelines can expect to purchase a high performance softener that will provide their family with the soft water they deserve. While these features typically cost more at the time of purchase, they provide savings in the long run by reducing salt and water usage, maintenance costs, and eventually, replacement costs.