Hard Water Treatment Options
How Water Quality Impacts Ionizer Performance
Water quality will play a significant role in how your water ionizer – in fact any ionizer - performs and its longevity. An ionizer requires mineral content to create those valued alterations in pH, ORP and to also produce molecular hydrogen. Minerals are not only required, they are good. Calcium, potassium and magnesium all naturally occur in water and are called the “essential alkalizing minerals” because they are essential to our health.
The minerals in water are conductive. Conductivity allows for the electrical charge that produces the alterations we are seeking in alkaline, ionized water. Minerals provide a certain “vitality” to water.
Water that lacks mineral content, such as water from reverse osmosis or distillation, has no conductivity and is considered by many to be “dead” or denatured water. It is important to note that all water found in nature has some level of dissolved mineral content, so these types of “pure” waters are literally a man-made phenomenon. Our bodies are designed to drink water with minerals, to use calcium for bones and magnesium for the heart etc. and mankind has been doing so since the dawn of time. It is only in the last few decades, that we have been exposed to pure and mineral free water - often in bottles.
The more mineral content your water has, the more easily your ionizer will alter the water and the better performance it will achieve and conversely. Water with a high level of mineral content is called hard water, while water with a low mineral content is called soft water.
That stated, all AlkaViva water ionizers will produce an ideal range of healthy drinking water, in both hard and soft water areas, unless used in extreme water quality situations. Please contact AlkaViva Technical Support if your water is unusually hard or soft as you will probably need pretreatment (more details below).
Hard Water Explained
What is Hard Water?
If you live in a hard water area, perhaps you have noticed mineral deposits on your dishes and hot water kettle, or rings of insoluble soap scum in your bathtub. These are signs of hard water. Hard water is water that contains high levels of scaling calcium, iron or magnesium mineral ions. These minerals do not pose any health threat, unless in very high amounts, but they can engage in reactions that leave deposits or scale that may damage surfaces or appliances.
Hard water mineral deposits or “scaling”, is the precipitation of minerals which form lime scale. Scale can clog pipes and can decrease the life of virtually all appliances in the home, especially those that use hot water. Scale can do the same thing to your water ionizer, decreasing water flow, performance and longevity.
Signs of Hard Water
* Difficult to form lather with soap
* White mineral deposits on your glassware
* Soap scum in your bath tub
* White mineral deposits on your shower head
* White mineral deposits in your tea pot, iron, or other electrical appliance that uses water
Hard and Soft Water Areas in the USA
According to the United States Geological Survey, 85% of US homes have some level of hardness in the water. In most areas, the level of hardness is acceptable for ionizers. However, be aware that there are isolated pockets in Arizona, Southern California, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, the Midwest and in well water sources all over the US, that have extreme hard water, which can cause ionizer malfunction and/or long term scale damage.
The softest water occurs in parts of New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. It is important to note that these are generalities; you can find well water sources in soft water areas that have very hard water and conversely, you can find soft water in hard water areas.
NOTE: The above map is only to be used as an approximation and used to gain a general understanding of the water quality with respect to hardness of a given geographic area. The measurements in any area can be higher or lower, especially if you are on well water. If in doubt about the hardness of your water please contact AlkaViva Technical Support.