Effective Solutions to Hard-Water Problems
Do you have a problem with hard water? No matter - we have an effective solution for you.
How to Get Great Performance From Your Water Ionizer Even With Hard Water
The solution to great performance is to fix your source water to be closer to the perfect amount of hardness, i.e., calcium carbonate levels of about 80-120 ppm. Water ionizers can often work fine outside of this "perfect" range, but may not get as good performance as they could if you fixed the hardness.
- To add hardness, use an In-Line Remineralizer or several (if your source water is too soft)
- To remove hardness use an RO-Remineralizer System (often advised if the hardness is over 150 ppm). Also an RO is needed to remove sodium from sodium-softened water.
- [Note: Never use a reverse osmosis if you don't also use a remineralizer. Our RO-Remineralizer System is specifically configured to work with water ionizers properly.]
- [Also Note: If you remove calcium with an RO, you are making it softer and therefore harder to ionize. So, use a stronger water ionizer or program-setting when you're pairing it up with a reverse osmosis source water, or use more In-Line Remineralizers.
Because hard water is easier to ionize than soft water, you will want to bring your water up to at least 80 ppm (which is considered medium-hard) for best performance. But, bringing your water up to medium-hardness means you will need to protect it from hard water damage. Read the next section to learn about protecting your water ionizer.
How to Protect Your Water Ionizer From Hard Water Damage
The solution to protecting your water ionizer from hard-water damage is to use an EOS (Elimination of Scale) filter, for all water up to about 120 ppm. Use the Ultra-Spartan Ionizer Shield for water hardness over 120 ppm.
- When you see any kind of hard water scale build-up on your spout, you know the inside water lines probably also have scale.
- Another clue to a scaling-problem in your water ionizer is if the water ionizer's flow-rate becomes slower over time. Never let your water ionizer slow down to a trickle. This could irreversibly harm the machine.
Here is the recommended treatment for prevention of hard water damage. It is organized based on the average hardness (amount of calcium carbonate) in your water.
- 0-50 parts per million: This is soft water. You don't need hard water protection, but you will need to add one or more in-line remineralizer filters to have enough calcium in your water to get good ionization. Once you bring the hardness up with a remineralizer it's best to install an all-natural, healthy, EOS scale elimination filter.
- 50-80 parts per million: This is a low-level of hardness, so it's close to being soft. Water doesn't remain the same every day of the year. It fluctuates, and for this reason it may be sometimes too soft. Use an in-line remineralizer filter. But, also just to be on the safe side install an EOS filter.
- 80-120 parts per million: This is medium-hard. Water ionizers like medium-hard water, because it's easy to get great performance from your water ionizer with this level of hardness. The EOS (Elimination of Scale) filter is recommended for protection against scale.
- 120 - 200 parts per million: This is very hard, and so use the Ultra-Spartan Ionizer Shield for protection or use an RO-Remineralizer System to make the hardness more perfect for combined performance & protection purposes.
- Over 200 parts per million (or if the water contains high sodium): use an RO-Remineralizer System
It's best to prevent scale build-up, by using the treatment recommendations above, but if you didn't do that you can remove scale using either vinegar or citric acid, which are about equally good for removing scale. See the next section on how to remove scale using a technique called the vinegar wash.
How to Do a Vinegar Wash
For the vinegar-wash, use either straight vinegar or a solution of one part vinegar to one part water.
- Raise both the alkaline spout and the acidic hose to a position higher than the ionizer.
- Then pour the vinegar solution into the spout until it starts to run out of the acidic hose. I use a rubber suction-ball-syringe for this. It takes about a cup of solution.
- Keep the ionizer like this, with the hoses positioned above it, for several hours or overnight.
- Then rinse, using the filtered-water setting for a minute in the morning.
- If this doesn't fix the flow-rate, even after repeating the procedure, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Study the picture, or click link to see the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0tDKuw3j8A)
If you want to remove scale from your spout, remove it from the ionizer and soak it overnight in the vinegar solution. Then in the morning the scale will rinse off easily.
If you prefer to use a citric-acid cleaning filter, most manufacturers have them, and they fit right into the water ionizer's filter slot. These work on the same principle as a vinegar wash. Just insert the filter and turn on the water flow for about 2 seconds (enough time to get the solution into the water cell). Let sit over night, then flush the system in the morning for a minute or two.
Either way, do find a way to keep the alkaline and acidic hoses up higher than the top of the machine for the entire night. Otherwise, the softening solution (vinegar or citric acid) will escape and you'll need to do the process all over again.