The Problems With Sodium Water Softeners
Whenever you are using a sodium-based water softener with a water ionizer you should use caution. Sodium is a unique mineral and it has properties that could harm a water ionizer if used all the time. Here are some facts about sodium.
- Sodium is corrosive, and if used too much it could corrode the platinum off of the plates of your water ionizer. Platinum coated, titanium plates will probably last a thousand years without corroding unless something intense (like sodium) comes in to corrode them. There aren't too many minerals that could do any damage to platinum (one of the densest minerals on the planet) however sodium is one mineral that could do it.
- When you use sodium-based softened water without filtering out the sodium you subject your water ionizer day and night to the corrosive properties of sodium. I would not think your machine would last very long under these conditions, maybe a year or two.
- Sodium is very electrically conductive, so sometimes when wanting strongest ionization people will add sodium. I do sometimes. But use caution. Make sure to do this rarely and flush the sodium out of the system well before going off to do something else.
- Sodium is a mineral that our bodies need, but it can harm our bodies if we get too much. Sometimes people are told by their doctor that they should restrict their sodium. I can just feel that this is true, because when I consume too much I get body-swelling issues.
Water Ionizers & Whole House Water Softeners
Water softeners put excessive amounts of sodium into our fresh water sources and can harm our environment, but sometimes people have no other choice than to use a water softener. Water Ionizers can be safely used in conjunction with water softeners only when you follow the following guidelines. This is the solution to the water softener problem:
1. Reverse Osmosis Filters out Sodium that Water Softeners Put In
Reverse osmosis has become the world's customary way to remove sodium from water. It really is the only viable way to do it. Reverse osmosis systems can be installed under household sinks fairly easily (although a plumber is advised if you're not handy). It takes up about 1/3 or 1/4 of the average under-sink cabinet space. RO filters are usually fairly inexpensive, so in the end you may even be saving money when you install an RO system prior to your water ionizer system if you arrange to put blank filters into your ionizer. (Please contact us before doing any of that though to make sure your water ionizer is protected.)
RO is actually the best filtration, and it is great for eliminating hardness and sodium from your water. RO will remove up to 99.9% contaminants, it also removes salt and 100% of germs and viruses. You need a big enough tank and a suitable membrane. So, choose your RO systems with care. Also, make sure you get an ionizer that will allow slower flow rates if you're hooking into a reverse osmosis system.
2. After The Water Goes Through Reverse Osmosis, It Must Be Remineralized
Reverse Osmosis creates its own set of problems for a water ionizer in that it removes all of the minerals from the water. One needs minerals in the water in order to ionize. There are a few choices of solution to this is:
- Install a reverse osmosis system which also remineralizes the water properly. In other words it has the "remineralizer" built in. The Reverse-Osmosis-Remineralizer-System we sell was designed specifically to work with a water ionizer at a flow rate of 1.5 liters per minute. It is already calibrated to have the right pressure, flow-rate and minerals to ionize well.
- If you already have a reverse osmosis system you can read this post abut installing a remineralizer right into your RO system. You most likely can keep your own RO system and learn how to simply adapt your system to work well with a water ionizer.
Bypassing Your Water Softener
Another option when you have a whole house water softener is to bypass it with a line going straight to your under-sink area. You can then hook right into this line to install your water ionizer.
Another way to bypass a water softener is to make the cold water in your house all un-softened [i.e., hook the water softener up only to the line that feeds the hot water heater/tank].
If your water is too terribly hard [over 300 ppm of hardness]...we suggest you use the reverse osmosis option, above. Water ionizers do best with up to 120 ppm of hardness. We sell anti-scale devices for hard water which work well. But, if your water is too hard, an anti-scale device is not going to be enough; the water won't be able to split thoroughly enough, and you are not likely to get efficient results.