At Lee Supply we offer many different water conditioning systems through Watco and Simply Soft, including water softeners and Reverse Osmosis Systems.
Hard water in a home can cause costly plumbing breakdowns and can take a toll on all faucets and appliances being supplied. There are many other inconveniences hard water causes in a home, some of which are discussed below. One of the ways home owners can handle hard water is through use of a Water Softener.
Risks of Hard Water:
Hard water is water that has high mineral content – particularly calcium, magnesium carbonate, and manganese. Iron is also a factor commonly used when discussing hardness. When these minerals have a high concentration in the water it has undesirable characteristics. These are collectively called the “hardness”. The higher the concentration of these minerals the higher the hardness of the water becomes.
Hard water typically doesn’t cause health issues; therefore, reducing hard-water is primarily about
reducing the risk of future repair expenses. When the hard-water causing minerals are heated they form a scale that can cause many issues in a home. This scale may also be referred
to as lime scale.
Below are some of the issues scale can cause:
Scale builds up in plumbing lines and restricts the flow of water to the faucets and fixtures it is supplying.
Scale negatively impacts all water heating appliances, increasing the possibility of failure.
o Coffee makers
o Hot Water Dispensers
Scale builds up on the inside of a water heater making them more likely to fail.
Salt Based Ion Exchange:
This type of softener cycles water through two tanks. One tank has special resin beads and the other is filled with brine (water saturated with salt). It works on the principle of ion exchange. Basically, it softens hard water by substituting sodium for hard minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Dual Tank Softeners:
This is a type of softener that operates with the same ion-exchange. The difference is this type has two mineral tanks. The purpose of this is to have softened water always available. In a single tank model like above, the softener is not softening water when it is regenerating. (This is why they are usually set regenerate very late at night) In a dual tank model, when one tank is regenerating the other is softening.
Other types of things sometimes referred to as softeners are actually Descalers. These are products that don’t actually soften the water but are designed to prevent the scaling of minerals within the plumbing system. These types of model are preferable to having no treatment method at all but will not be better than the softeners above.
Metered v. Timed Control Valves:
Almost all softeners we sell will have a metered control valve. However, there is a Timed control valve as well. The difference is a metered control valve regenerates based on actual usage and the timed control is set to regenerate at a set time interval.
The advantage of the metered control is salt savings. These are estimated to be up to 30%-35%.
Our Control Valves are all Clack valves which are thought of as preferable to other types.
Pro Series vs. Contractor Series:
We stock a Watco Pro Series and a Watco Contractor Series. Some of the main differences are warranty, plastic covering, brine tank, and bypass valve. The Pro Series is slightly more than the Contractor Series because of the additional features.
The Pro Series has a 3-year Complete Unit warranty with a 5-year warranty on the valve and a 10 year warranty on the tank. The Contractor Series has a 1-year complete unit warranty with a 5-year warranty on the valve and 5-years warranty on the tank.
The Pro Series has a plastic jacket around the mineral tank as opposed to just the fiberglass. It has a cleaner look and collects any sweat off the tank.
The Pro Series comes with a 18x40 Brine Tank where the Contractor Series comes with a 17X15X36 Brine Tank.
The Pro Series comes with the valve Bypass Valve where the Contractor Series does not.