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Water conditioning: This is a method of reducing the effects of hard water.

In water systems subject to

heating hardness salts can be deposited as the decomposition of bicarbonate ions creates carbonate ions
that precipitate out of solution. Water with high concentrations of hardness salts can be treated with soda
ash (sodium carbonate) which precipitates out the excess salts, through the common-ion effect,
producing calcium carbonate of very high purity. The precipitated calcium carbonate is traditionally sold to
the manufacturers of toothpaste. Several other methods of industrial and residential water treatment are
claimed (without general scientific acceptance) to include the use of magnetic and/or electrical fields
reducing the effects of hard water.

What Is Water Conditioning?

Water conditioning is defined as a means to strain out impurities from a water source. In order to shed
some light on the subject of water conditioning in a household setting I have provided the following
comparison of commonly used terms on this subject.
Water Conditioning as it pertains to household use can be broken down in two types: Water
Softening and Water Purification.
Water Softening is the practice of removing Totally Dissolved Solids (TDS) from the water in a process
called ion exchange. The ion exchange process percolates water through bead-like spherical resin
materials called ion-exchange resin. Ions in the water are exchanged for other ions that are fixed to the
beads in an exchange. The softeners contain beads that exchange two sodium or potassium ions for
every calcium or magnesium ion removed from the softened water. The TDS in water causes many
problems in a household. They are harmful to your plumbing and appliances, uncomfortable to you skin
and hair, and leave a mess wherever water is present.
Hard water is the most common water problem in the Tampa Bay Area. Most of our water comes from the
Florida Aquifer where it is exposed to the minerals that make our water hard. The most common
hardness causing minerals in our water supply are Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium.
Calcium deposits are very evident in the shower, on your glassware, and at your kitchen sink and are
commonly referred to as soap scum and water spots.
These particles are also left behind in your dishwasher, hot water heater and the plumbing throughout
your home. While they are not as obvious they still cause problems and decrease the life span of the
Hard water also has an adverse effect on your laundry. The particles essentially beat up your clothes and
towels leaving them dingy and rugged looking.
Probably the most noticeable difference between hard water and soft water is with your hair and skin.
Removing the hard water particles allows your soap and shampoo to lather properly and provide your
skin and hair with a much cleaner feeling.
There are two methods of Ion Exchange for a household
Automatic Water Conditioners: While there are many different brands of automatic water softeners that
vary in price and reliability, they all basically go through the same process. A typical water softener is an
appliance that requires water, electricity and salt to perform the regeneration process. When operating
properly the softener backwashes the resin, doses it in salt, then rinses out the salt before putting the
system back into service. The problem with automatic water conditioners is that the valves, motors and
other components necessary to perform this operation are subject to the water, salt, electricity and the
harsh Florida sun. This is not a good combination for any appliance.
Portable Exchange Service, which is what we do at Blair Water Conditioning, is a service whereby we
simply show up every four weeks and exchange your tank(s) with a fresh tank(s) packed with clean
regenerated resin. The regeneration process explained above takes place back at our plant in
Oldsmar. Some of the benefits of our system vs. and automatic system are as follows:
No equipment to buy/finance
No SALT to add
No electricity needed
No Salt Water discharge on your property
Saves about 10,000 water per year
No mechanical parts to breakdown
No timers to set
Minimal space required

Water Purification is the next step beyond water softening in a household environment. It is typically not
necessary or recommended to purify your water for an entire household. The reason for this is that
purifying water removes chlorine that does serve an important disinfecting purpose throughout the pipes
and fixtures in your home. Purified water, however, is highly recommended for drinking and
cooking. There are several ways to purify water and the two most common areCarbon
Absorption and Reverse Osmosis
Carbon absorption is a widely used method of home water filter treatment because of its ability to
improve water by removing disagreeable tastes and odors, including objectionable chlorine. Activated
carbon effectively removes many chemicals and gases, and in some cases it can be effective against
microorganisms. Carbon absorption is the process used in filters within your refrigerator, for ice cubes
and cold drinking water, and in pitcher type filters.
Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most economical method of removing up to 99% of all contaminants. The
pore structure of R/O membranes is much tighter than UF membranes. R/O membranes are capable of
removing nearly all particles, bacteria and organics. R/Os are used by nearly all bottled water
companies. Because it takes nearly 3 gallons of water in order to produce 1 gallon of purified drinking
water, it is not practical, or necessary to treat all the water within your household with an R/O filter. R/O
membranes are very restrictive to water flow therefore they typically require a storage tank in order to
provide water when needed. These systems are typically located under the kitchen sink and provide
water to separate room temperature tap as well as the refrigerator.