We in the greater Madison, WI area are blessed with an abundance of fresh, clean water, unlike other parts of the country and the world. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what’s coming out of your tap. Unfortunately, some people may have sensitivities to things commonly found in tap water that don’t typically cause a problem for others. And, both municipal water systems and private wells can contain lead, different types of bacteria, and herbicides and/or pesticides. An appropriate water filtering system can eliminate any problems you may have.
We encourage our customers to have an independent test of their tap water to know what they’re dealing with, if anything. Most commercial water treatment system providers will do a water test for you, but too often that’s just what they use to try and sell you something. Don’t let someone scare you into buying a water filter system. It’s relatively easy to find information about your water supply if you’re on a municipal (city or county) water system – just call the local water authority and ask for their latest report on water quality in their system. This information is also typically available online – just look on your latest water bill for the web site. Having your water tested anyway is also a good idea, and you should have it tested regularly if you are on a private well.
What we do have in Madison is hard water. The underground water sources from where Madison draws its water contains a lot of minerals. There are no harmful health effects from these minerals, but they can build up in pipes, fixtures, and appliances that use water (washing machine, dishwasher, ice makers) and cause problems. This can be significantly reduced by using a water softening system.
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The professionals at EZ Plumbing have installed and serviced all sizes and types of water filtering and softening systems in many residential and commercial buildings over our 40 years of serving the greater Madison, WI, area. We will help you understand what you may (or may not) need, then help you choose the most appropriate and cost-effective system. We do not represent or work specifically with any brand of equipment. We recommend or choose the best equipment for the job at the price you can afford. If you like, EZ Plumbing can also service the systems we install, making sure you are protected and you get the maximum benefit from your systems.
Give us a call – we’ll be happy to come out and give you an evaluation and free estimate
About Water Filtering Systems
There are a number of types of water filtering systems available, differing by how and what they use to filter the water (filter medium), and also by the type of equipment involved.
|FILTER MEDIUM||TYPICAL USE|
|Screen (fabric, fiber, ceramic, etc.)||Remove particulates – sediment, grit, rust, dirt, etc.|
|Activated Carbon (AC)||Remove contaminants – pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, radon, THMs, etc.|
|Reverse Osmosis (RO)*||Remove inorganic compounds – salts, metals, lead, asbestos, nitrites, nitrates, etc.|
|Ultraviolet (UV)||Kill bacteria, viruses, improve taste|
|Water distiller||Boil water to remove dissolved solids – salts, metals, minerals, asbestos, particulates – and some organiccompounds that can’t travel through steam|
*Find more information on how RO systems may be the best solution for you on this page of our web site.
A combination of two type of filters is frequently used to resolve multiple issues. For example, an AC filter can be used together with an RO filter to handle multiple contaminates and inorganic compounds.
For any system relying on a filter medium, you must replace the filter medium according to the manufacturers instructions to make sure the system is doing the work you want it to do to its maximum effectiveness.
EZ Plumbing installs and repairs all types of water filtering systems
Water filtering system equipment commonly consists of one of the following types, depending on your needs:
- Counter top
- Under sink/wall-mounted
Additional information on checking your water quality is also available online. For example, a site called Hometips recently published a very good article on dealing with water quality problems. Here’s the link to help you learn more if you’re interested:https://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/drinking-water-problems-solving.html
About water softening systems
Water softeners protect your plumbing and appliances from hard water damage. They also help you save energy. EZ Plumbing installs and repairs all types of water softeners.
Your main water line is connected directly to the water softener. That way, all your water is softened before you use it. Note that we can install a separate water line from the main line to, say, a separate faucet if you prefer to drink unsoftened water – it’s a personal choice, but be sure to mention that to (or ask) your EZ Plumbing professional when they come out to talk with you about your system.
But, how do water softeners actually “soften” the water?
First, remember that saying water is “hard” means it’s high in mineral content – mostly calcium and magnesium. Over time, and especially when heated or boiled, those minerals leech out of the water and stick to the inside of your water pipes, the openings of faucets and shower heads, etc. When that happens, it’s called “lime scale”, which is that white buildup you see on fixtures. If you have pets, you’ve probably even seen lime scale buildup in their water bowl. Lime scale buildup can eventually completely clog a pipe or fixture, and it can even cause a pipe to fail and leak. Lime scale also causes a wide range of other problems as well – dingy clothes, rings on tubs, etc.
In a nutshell, here’s how a water softener works:
You can directly impact both the initial cost of a system and its ongoing operating costs by making various changes to your habits and lifestyles. The U.S. Department of Energy has a very informative infographic on their website that provides lots of suggestions and tips to help you become more energy-efficient, and it provides a lot of good information about water heating systems in general.
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- Water softeners typically contain a bed of resin material (located inside the water softener tank) and a tank to contain salt (called a brine tank). • Water from your supply line passes through the resin material and undergoes an ion exchange process – in other words, the calcium and magnesium’s ions (“hardness” ions) are removed and stay in the bed of material.
- Over time, the resin bed gets full of those calcium and magnesium ions and they must be removed. This is where the salt comes in.
- The water softener unit passes a brine solution (water + salt = brine) through the resin, stripping away the hardness ions and flushing them down a drain, refreshing the resin material anew.