With more than 30 years’ experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Mark Nelson is a Class 1 Drinking-Water Operator and a CBWA (Canadian Bottled Water Association) Certified Plant Operator. As founder and president of Nelson Water in Ottawa, Mark focuses on dealing with challenging water treatment system designs for problem water. He also heads the largest water bottling plant in the city of Ottawa with a delivery network throughout the Valley.
There are times when our homes tend to use larger volumes of water, and this can lead to a shortage for many key tasks. This is especially true when you receive visitors for the holidays when more water is required. Many homes have a water softener installed and the extra volume of water usage can affect the efficiency. But, if you adopt a proactive approach, it is possible to plan ahead and be better prepared for these situations. In this article, we will detail five ways that you can get your home ready for additional water consumption.
1. Water Testing
There are a large number of contaminants found in private wells and public water supplies. Some of these contaminants are natural and others are man made. But, both of these broad categories of contamination can enter our water leading to reduction in the quality. Some contamination can be obvious to our senses, but this is not necessarily the case and laboratory testing is the only way to really understand the makeup of your water. Certain contaminants are removed at the water treatment plant, but there are others that are not removed and break in the pipes can allow them to enter after treatment. A lack of water quality can make the water unhealthy and less palatable for drinking, cooking and even bathing. If you want the best quality water for your guests, invest in a professional water test and you can make informed choices based on the results.
2. Optimize Your Water Softener
A water softener is essential if you want access to soft water for your home. This is an ideal appliance to protect your plumbing system, fixtures and water using appliances from potential damage. Soft water is easier to use, it’s kinder on your skin and it will improve your laundry results. But, a water softener needs to be optimized to ensure that it’s working efficiently. An increase in the demand for softened water can be smoother if the settings on the water softener are adjusted. To put this into some perspective, it’s worth bearing in mind that a single extra person taking a 5 minute shower can use up to 50 gallons of water! Many modern water softeners have a control system that’s pretty easy to understand, but getting the best performance can still be tricky. If your home life has changed radically recently or you want to prepare your home for an increase in water consumption, get in touch with your local water treatment specialist.
3. Use Water Softener Salt
Some people try to “save money” by using sidewalk salt or even table salt in their water softener systems. This is a false economy because these types of salt do not perform well and they damage your softener, which can lead to an expensive repair bill. The main problem with sidewalk salt is that it contains a lot of minerals that damage sensitive components. Sidewalk salt is low grade and it is filled with impurities. There are different grades of water softener salt, but they are all superior to sidewalk salt. There are sodium and alternative potassium softener salts for people that follow a low salt diet. Whichever water softener salt you choose, you can be assured that your softener will run more efficiently.
4. Stock Up on Water Softener Salt
The holidays can be a stressful period for many people and it’s easy to forget about things that you need to keep your home running smoothly. This is especially true when you have visitors and maintaining a supply of soft water is reliant on softener salt. For this reason, it’s a great idea to get your salt deliveries organized now and have a reserve in place.
5. Store Extra Water as a Backup
At this time of year, the weather conditions can be extreme and very changeable. It’s easy to get caught out if you need something from the store and deliveries may be unreliable. A water softener is very vulnerable to temperature extremes so if you are worried about your system, contact your local water treatment specialist. They can help you to weatherproof your system to protect it against the elements. But, if the softener is damaged and you need an essential repair, it may not be possible to get it fixed right away. This means that you may need to switch to hard water for your drinking, cooking, cleaning, and other needs. It’s hard to store adequate volumes of water to meet every need because we use a lot of water every day. But, setting aside a few liters of water per person for drinking and cooking is a smart move. You can store the softened water in bottles in your refrigerator to save money on purchasing bottled water. Just keep the stored water out of direct sunlight to prevent mold growth in the bottles. Water will store just fine under these conditions, but it can take up a lot of room in your home. Fixing the water softener or filtration systems should be a priority.
As you can see, there are at least five steps that you can take to ensure that you receive adequate volumes of clean and softened water to meet your needs. Using these five tips as you prepare for the holidays should help you to keep your home running smoothly. If you have not had your water softener serviced in a while, this is also a great time to schedule an inspection. Your local water treatment specialist can examine and clean the equipment to ensure that it’s working efficiently. This is the ideal opportunity to ask about optimization issues that can save you a lot of money on your water bills. When you have peace of mind that your water needs are taken care of it’s easier to relax and enjoy the holiday season.
If you want to learn more about maintenance and winterizing your water softener, contact your local water treatment specialist today.