House-Building.com
NEWSLETTER #247
August 2006 House-Building Home Page




Water and Water Softners
For New Homes

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  Contents:  
     
 
  1. Introduction
  2. Water Sources & Testing
  3. Water Hardness
  4. Water Softeners
  5. Water Softener Solutions
  6. Summary
  7. Thought for the Day
  8. Subscriptions/Removal Instructions
Subscription and removals are automated and instructions can be found at the end of this newsletter.

 


All past editions of this newsletter are archived online at the following location. Please visit this page for dozens of informative past issues.

 

Introduction

The subject of this month’s newsletter will cover some of the issues associated with hard water and what you can do to mitigate some of the effects. As a prospective new homeowner (planning to design and build your new home), water is something we often take for granted. However, your water should be evaluated and a water softener installed, if the testing dictates.

As usual, in this newsletter, we will provide a number of links that will provide you with additional information concerning these subjects, which you can refer to for more information

Back to top

Water Sources & Testing

Many consumers take the source of water as a given in North America , particularly if you are hooked up to a city water system. City water systems can provide you with appropriate measurements concerning the quality of your water and, in particular, the hardness of the city’s water. Generally speaking, water that comes from a river or lake will be, what is considered, soft water, while water from wells will contain calcium and other minerals that may require treatment.

City water is also tested regularly for various sources of contamination and the appropriate steps are taken to ensure that the water is treated. If you have your own well, then you alone are responsible for the quality and health of your water. Although this particular article is focusing on water softeners and water hardness, we have included an excellent link with information regarding testing water for various contaminants, as well as steps to consider.

Consumers planning to build a home in the country on an estate or away from city water distribution have no choice. They must have a well drilled or arrange for water to be trucked in, which is not something seriously considered by most owners. Most consumers will arrange to have their new well drilled at the same time their home is being built so that it will be ready for them upon moving in.

One of the steps that some new owners will consider is to have their well drilled ahead of time to determine if there is a source of water on their property and also to allow them to have the water tested prior to having their home built. During the design of your home, you can then arrange for the appropriate water treatment equipment to be installed, such as a water softener.

Some Useful Links:
===============================

Water Testing
http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/watrtest.htm

Water Softeners
http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/badwater.htm#soften

Back to top

Water Hardness

Hard water is usually caused by calcium or magnesium dissolved in the water. The source of your water will usually determine if your water is considered hard or not. For example, well water is often hardwater,since it has many minerals that have been dissolved into it, whereas, water that is taken from a lake or river and treated is often much softer. In fact, you can talk to a local resident were you will be living to find out if water hardness is going to be an issue before you build. However, proper water testing is always encouraged. The United States Geological Survey indicates that 85% of U.S. homes have hard water.

The classification of water hardness is indicated in the following chart.

Classification mg/l or ppm

grains/gal

Soft 0 - 17.1

0 - 1

Slightly hard 17.1 - 60

1 - 3.5

Moderately hard 60 - 120

3.5 - 7.0

Hard 120 - 180

7.0 - 10.5

Very hard 180 & over 10.5 & over

Your local water company can often provide information and advice to you regarding the hardness of your water and the steps you might take to treat it. Consumers should also have their water tested from time to time, as well, for hardness and other minerals, such as sulfur or bacteria, especially if your water is coming from a well on your property. Another way to tell whether or not your water is hard is by the following types of symptoms.

  • Dish soap and soap in the shower does not lather
  • Scaly deposits in the sink, your kettle and dishwasher
  • Your skin is dry and your hair appears dull
  • Your dishwasher leaves spots on the glasses and dishes
Anyone who has these symptoms and does nothing to treat the water will find that the life of their appliances will be reduced due to the scale deposits, over time the water flow in your plumbing will be restricted and it can even increase the cost of heating your water as the water heater becomes coated with calcium deposits inside. It should be noted that drinking and cooking with hard water is not considered a health risk.

Visit some of the links below for more information on water hardness and testing.

Some useful links to check out
===============================

Hard Water Testing
http://www.hardwater.org/hard_water_testing.html

Culligan
http://www.culligan.com/index.cfm/id/97/title/Hard%20Water.html

Information on Hard Water
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water

http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/index.jsp?what=publicationD&publicationId=175

Back to top

Water Softeners How They Work

For those of you who would like a little more technical information about water softeners, this section should suffice. Hard water has a combination of calcium and magnesium ions in it, which can leave stains on glasses and clothes and build up deposits inside your appliances and plumbing.

Water softeners have a bed of small plastic beads in them, which are coated with sodium. Some will use a chemical mix called zeolite, which is also rich in sodium. As you use water throughout the day, it passes through this bed of beads and the calcium and magnesium ions swap places with the sodium leaving the water much softer. You will notice an immediate difference in the amount of lather, soap will generate in your sink, dishwasher and clothes washing machine. ( Note: if you are using water for the first time from a water softener, you will want to cut down on the amount of soap you use to avoid too much soap suds.)

The water softener must also regenerate the beads with sodium from time to time and discharge the calcium and magnesium. Usually the beads will be soaked in a strong brine solution and then the left over brine and calcium is flushed down the drain. Water softeners come in a variety of models in terms of capacity, as well as manual and automated. The most basic is one that you will need to trigger regeneration yourself whenever you notice that the water is becoming harder, which means the sodium has been used up. Others can be programmed to regenerate every couple of days, while more sophisticated water softeners will regenerate based on demand and will only regenerate when needed. These systems can produce savings in water, as well as the amount of salt you need to use.

From a practical point of view, consumers designing their new home must allow for a location in their home to connect their water softener. Generally speaking, the following guidelines apply, although you should check with your water softener supplier for any special requirements and build these requirements into your design. Here is a short checklist to consider:

  • Unit must be located were it cannot freeze
  • Must be hooked up to your incoming cold water supply
  • Unit should stand upright, be inside and out of the sun
  • Allow a plumbing connection that bypasses the softener for outside watering
  • If you use evaporator cooling, check with your supplier for any concerns
  • Have your electrician add one 110 volt outlet were your water softener will be located
  • In addition to cold water supply, you also need a minimum of a ½” drain

Your local plumbing supply store or your general plumbing contractor can usually assist you with location and selection of a water softener. However, planning all of the above factors during the design of the home will ensure a smooth installation of your water softener.

Useful Web Links
===============================

Water Softener Installation
http://www.cornerstonewater.com/wsmanual.htm

Water Softener FAQ’s
http://www.culligan.com/index.cfm/id/31/linkId/0/flashID/2/title/FAQs.html

Back to top

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Net's Largest Selection of House Plans

Now with more than 21,000 plans, House N Home Plans features the largest selection of house plans available on the web coupled with the best customer service - live customer service reps standing by to help you from 6 am to 6 pm EST. A one-two punch that makes this the only house plans site you will ever need.


Building a new Home? Avoid home builder construction rip-offs

Avoid  Home Building rip off Until recently, Lawrence Thomas worked for one of the largest builders in the country. Lawrence shares knowledge he gained the hard way: Dealing with hundreds of angry homeowners while managing the warranty department for one of the country's largest home builders. This book exposes the inside secrets and tactics employed by builders, and is a must read for anyone planning on buying or building a new home. It’s a critical component of your education that will save time, money, and countless headaches. Order by phone, mail or online, 100% money back guarantee. Available as a printed book or an electronic document that can be download and you can begin working with immediately! Check it out now.


Considering a Hot Tub in your new Home??

Look no further. ThermoSpas Hot Tubs are offering up to $900.00 in cost savings discounts for House-N-Home-Building visitors.

 

Save Tens of Thousands and Cut the term of your loan 5-7 years - All without refinancing

Biweekly payments will save you tens of thousands in interest payments and cut the term of your loan by 5-7 years.   Here are a few other advantages: Builds equity in your house 2-3 times faster, lowers your loan’s effective interest rate, eliminates the need to pay mortgage insurance (PMI) sooner, enrolment requires no changes to your current mortgage, and you can select the convenience of an automatic debit from your account. Click here to find out more.  


The New House Building Guide – Learn How To Save Thousands Building Your New Home


Intimidated by the idea of being your own builder? You’re not alone. Most people don’t have the time, expertise, or contacts to perform this task. The good news is that you don’t have to. You can use your own builder and still save thousands. Get the House Building Guide and learn how. The Guide contains step-by-step instructions, sample specifications, an example building-contract, and dozens of money saving, convenience and healthy house building tips. This is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in building a new home.


Owner Builder Financing and Construction Support
(Save $25K or more)

Are you considering being an owner-builder, but are intimidated by the challenge of managing the process and finding financing. If you have the time, commitment and dedication to be an owner builder then you should definitely contact us. We offer 100% financing, a one-time close, no points, no interest payments during the building process, and construction support while you build. And best of all, when you are done, you will have earned, through your hard work, 25,000 - $75,000 of equity in your new home. For a no cost consultation, please complete the form found on our website, and someone contact you about this exciting opportunity.

The Home Renovation Guide
This home improvement directory is the perfect place to research a contractor to help you turn your dream home into a reality. With the help of this website, you can easily locate a contractor to help you with any aspect of home renovations from a window repair to a brand new design build.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Water Softener Solutions

New homeowners have several choices and design considerations once they have decided they need a water softener. The best time to install a water softener is while the plumbing is being initially installed in your new home for a number of reasons.

  • Locating the water softener in an out-of-the-way corner, with easy access
  • Integration with both hot water and cold water systems
  • Ensuring that plumbing for outdoor connections bypasses the water softener
  • Adding water softener plumbing after basements have been finished can be problematic
  • Adding an electrical outlet is also best completed while the home is under construction

Once you have decided that you need to purchase a water softener based on having your water tested, the next step is to select a water softener with the appropriate capacity for your home and your family. Some of the factors that you need to take into account will be:

  • How hard the water is
  • How much water will you and your family use
  • Future size of your family and water usage
  • What is the pressure of the water in your system?

Some of the other factors that you will want to consider before making your purchase include:

  • Evaluate different systems for
    • Cost
    • Maintenance
    • Warranty
    • Ongoing support provided by the dealer from whom you will be purchasing your water softener
  • Is installation included?
  • Will there be a bypass for your outside water taps?
  • Will the unit meet the needs of your growing family?
  • Are you buying or leasing?
  • Dealer references and local support
  • Do you need, or want, a maintenance contract?
  • Have you reviewed the warranty?

Many new homeowners will arranged for their homes to be built with the plumbing roughed in for a water softener connection and then arrange to have one installed after the home is built. With the plumbing, the drain and the electrical connections already in place it can be a simple matter for your plumber to hook up the water softener.

Useful Web Links
===============================

How Stuff Works – Water Softeners
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question99.htm

Culligan
http://www.culligan.com/index.cfm/id/97/title/Hard%20Water.html

Back to top

Summary

Hard water causes scaling in appliances, leaves marks on glassware, and can leave scales inside your plumbing. Soap will not lather, making dishes and clothes seem less clean. Although hard water poses no known health issues, many people would prefer soft water for washing and showering in.

Homeowners designing and building a new home should enquire about the hardness of their water available on the property or have it tested to determine if a water softener is going to be needed. Regardless, if you think that you may need a water softener, it will cost relatively little to have the plumbing, the drain and an electrical outlet roughed in during construction of your home for a water softener to be installed later. Anyone planning to have their basement finished, should always have the connections for a water softener installed before the basement is finished.

Standard purchasing provisions apply with respect to water softeners. Warranty, installation, maintenance, etc., should all be addressed before an agreement to purchase is made. Sizing of your water softener should also be considered based on the size of the family, the numbers of bathrooms and faucets. Your local water treatment company will be able to assist in this assessment.

Back to top

Thought For The Day

"There is no such thing as a "right" to do a wrong. - Abraham Lincoln

 

Subscription and Removal Information

This newsletter was sent to you because you visited our website and completed a subscription form or requested one of our free gifts.

To Be Removed
If you do not wish to continue receiving this newsletter please click the link at the bottom of this newsletter and follow the removal instructions.

To Subscribe
Was this newsletter forwarded to you and you wish to subscribe? To be put on our mailing list send a blank e-mail to newsletter1@house-building.com. Your address won't be shared with anyone else.

To Change Addresses
Do you wish to change the address this newsletter is mailed to? To do so, click the link at the very bottom of this email which says: "To stop further mailings or to change your details, click here". This will take you to a page that will enable you to make these changes to your subscription.



House-Building.com is a division of Todd, Michael and James, Inc.
4620 Derby Lane, Doylestown, PA 18901
866-423-0413(P)    215-371-3909(F)   Email: info@house-building.com
© Copyright, 2003-2005, Todd, Michael & James, Inc., All rights reserved

ADD THIS TO YOUR SOCIAL BOOKMARKS
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
|   Privacy Policy   |   Links   |   Affiliates   |   Newsletter   |   Testimonials   |   Photo Album   |   Site Map   |   Order   |