- Will a permit need to be pulled in order to install my water softener?
A permit could be necessary. Be sure to ask your rep if a permit needs to be pulled in order to install your unit in the city or county where you live. By making sure you have the proper permits from the start, you can be sure that when you sell or remodel your home later, you will avoid costly penalties. Choose a forthright company; it is their responsibility to keep you informed.
- How soon after installation will I have soft water?
Cold water turns soft immediately, and so does hot water from a tankless water heater. Traditional water heaters house hot water during the installation of your water treatment system. Thus, until the tank is empty, the water will remain hard. If you do not want to wait the 2-3 days it takes to empty your tank naturally, you can run your bathtub on hot until it runs cold. Your water will then be soft when your tank replenishes.
- What are the differences between purchasing a water softener at a home improvement store vs. from a company specializing in water treatment?
Purchasing a unit at a home improvement store is an option, but it lacks a professional company willing to maintain and service your machine whenever necessary. You are taking responsibility for paying for its install or doing it yourself and it may be worth it to purchase from a company that will professionally install it free of charge. Options are limited at home improvement stores, and with a water treatment company, you are more likely to find the best option for your home.
- Is soft water good enough to drink?
It all depends on personal taste. Soft working water that comes out of your faucet is in fact good enough to drink. However, that is by government safety standards. Some people may wish to have a better tasting drinking water, and there are plenty of good options for drinking water treatment systems, such as reverse osmosis or sink cartridge filter systems. This improved quality drinking water will not only taste better by itself, but it will improve the taste of your coffee and your cooking!
- What type of maintenance and upkeep is involved with a water softener?
Salt and/or potassium are necessary to upkeep your water softener. Well water may require food grade chemicals and bleach to treat it. Carbon bed systems will become saturated with chlorine and need to be changed. It all depends on the unit’s capacity and how much water your home uses.
- What if I’m not willing or physically able to add salt to the softener on a regular basis?
When purchasing from a water treatment company, most will provide a free salt delivery service. Your tank will never be empty and you can enjoy your soft water without the hassle.
- How long can I expect my water softener to last?
Life expectancy on systems does vary. Electrical softeners will last about 1-5 years depending on where they are stored. Units installed in the garage will have a little longer of expectancy. With non electrical units, like Kinetico, location has no bearing on expectancy. They usually last 20-30 years as long as they are kept up with. Chemical free systems last a year or two depending on the materials used to treat the water. Be sure to ask your rep what the expectancy of your machine will be
- What if I am renting my home or planning on moving in the next few years?
Most people do not know that water treatment systems are portable. Renters can purchase a system and move it with them as their family relocates. A lot of companies will also rent units to you. Warranties generally transfer with you.
- What is the typical warranty on a system?
Warranties are a reflection of how a manufacturer feels about their product. Be sure to be clear on what the warranty includes. Lifetime warranties are often misleading, and natural disasters are not usually included. Watch out for the mention of chlorine in the warranty. It is often put in our county and city water for treatment, and could render your warranty void if damages from chlorine are not included. Carbon tanks should be included in the warranty for your resin bed. Ten year warranties are also common. Not prorated warranties mean that if the prices of parts increase over time you will not have to pay the difference, while prorated warranties will require you to pay the difference.
- What is the typical guarantee?
Every company is different, but most will rely on Florida law which states that you have three days to provide a cancellation in writing and get your money back. Make a verbal and written cancellation to avoid problems in the future. Companies may offer 30 day money back guarantees, and it should also be in writing. You may not get the plumbing costs back, which are minimal, but you can use that plumbing again later if you decide to get another unit installed with a different vendor. Protect yourself and be informed!