Well Chlorination (Shocking)
Hot Water Odor
Drain & Purge a Well Tank
General Water Questions
Living with Softened Water
Q: What options or arrangements can I make for equipment I need in my home?
A: Ideal Water offers several terms of payment.
1. Purchase - Cash, Check, Credit Card, or Financing for qualified buyers.
2. Rental w/ Purchase Option - Cash, Check, Credit Card.
3. Rent to Own - Cash, Check, Credit Card.
Q: Do I have to purchase the equipment?
A: No. Ideal Water has Rent-to-Own plans, and non-terminating Rental plans with purchase options. Certain products which Ideal Water carries need to be purchased outright.
RENTAL w/ Purchase Option
Upon installation, a rental system would incur an installation fee and subsequent monthly rental fees, which are billed quarterly (every three months).
All of our rental systems include a purchase option which can be exercised at any time.
IDEAL WATER PURCHASE OPTION
You may, at anytime, deduct up to the first twelve months of paid rental fees and the paid normal installation fee from the contractually stated purchase price.
Example: Installation fee: $80.00, Rental Rate: $15.00/month, Purchase Price: $645.00
- After 9 months of payments you decide to purchase the system.
$645.00 - [$80.00 + $135.00 (9 x $15.00)] $215.00 = $430.00 Balance
* Bonus *
While renting a system from Ideal Water, parts and labor are guaranteed. When a system is purchased from Ideal Water, parts and labor are guaranteed for twelve months (1 year) following the purchase date.
The purchase option allows you the ability to extend the guarantee coverage an additional year without any additional expense.
** IMPORTANT **
The purchase price Ideal Water commits to at the time of installation is the purchase price you pay then, or six months from then and beyond (less your paid installation fee and up to the first twelve months of paid rental). Ideal Water has only one price for your system, and that’s what is committed too.
Ideal Water has a rent-to-own program that has a predetermined termination point. The rental equipment will be considered purchased at the end of the contract. During the rent-to-own contract Ideal Water will guarantee the equipment for both parts and labor. At the end of the contract, ownership of the equipment is transferred to the consumer and a one year parts and labor guarantee is then in affect.
Well Chlorination (Shocking)
Q: Why should I shock my well and plumbing?
A: The shocking (disinfection) of a well and plumbing system destroys any possibility of bacterial contamination to be present in the system. This process will only kill bacteria present in the system at the time of disinfection and is not designed for an ongoing contamination problem.
Q: Do I need to have someone shock my well or can I do it?
A: Ideal Water, as part of the services we perform, can shock your well for you. However, the directions for this process are here, should you choose to do it yourself.
Q: How do I shock my well?
A: Ideal Water provides the following information to give you, the consumer, the understanding of the process of chlorinating a well. Although the instructions here are universally accepted, variables may exist that may need to be addressed. Because of this, Ideal Water recommends contacting a qualified professional. Ideal Water is always available to perform such services and will gladly set an appointment to do so.
One should always use caution when working with chlorine products. ALWAYS follow the manufacturer's safety directions. It is recommended that rubber gloves, protective clothing and safety goggles be worn. Wash immediately if you come into contact with chlorine. Electrical hazards also exist; it is recommended that the power to the well be turned off prior to any work being performed.
Determining the amount of bleach needed to shock the well:
In general, for clear well water use 3 cups of regular (unscented) bleach per 100 feet of depth of the well. For example, if your well is 300 feet deep, use 9 cups of bleach; if your well is 110 feet deep, use 3 cups, etc. Well water containing hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor), iron (brown water) or manganese (black water) will require additional bleach since chlorine is used up by these contaminants through a chemical reaction. Due to the presence of many organic contaminants in the Mid-Hudson Valley we recommend ½ to 1 full gallon of bleach for every 100 feet of well depth.
Adding the bleach into the well:
Remove and inspect the well seal on top of the well casing (it should not be cracked and should fit snugly on the well casing). Some older wells maybe buried which would require that the soil be removed to expose the top of the well casing so the seal can be accessed (buried wells are more susceptible to contamination, it is recommended that the well casing be extended to 12" above the ground surface). Dilute the bleach by about 50% and pour the bleach into well casing by having it wash down the inside of the casing. Attach a garden hose to an outside spigot and put the end of the hose into the well casing. Turn on the spigot and let the water in the hose run for about 1/2 hour into the well. After the 1/2 hour, smell the water coming out of the hose; if it does not smell of chlorine, continue to let it run into the well and smell it every so often until the chlorine odor is present. If a chlorine odor is not detected add more bleach until a chlorine odor is detected; this maybe necessary due to hydrogen sulfide, iron or manganese in the well water.
Once the odor of chlorine is detected, turn off the hose. If you have a water softener, activated carbon or other water treatment system put it on bypass NOW so the chlorine will not damage the unit or be removed by it. Turn on each water faucet in the house until you can smell chlorine; this is necessary in order to disinfect the whole house plumbing system, which may have been contaminated. Reinstall the well seal on the casing and let the system sit at least 8 hours or overnight. DO NOT use the water during this time, in order to get the best contact time in the pipes and well, and because the water will be highly chlorinated.
Flushing out the bleach after disinfection:
After disinfection it is necessary to flush out the highly chlorinated water so the water can be used for domestic purposes. It is important NOT to run the highly chlorinated water into the sewer system to avoid disrupting or overloading the system. It is recommended that the garden hose be used and the chlorinated water be flushed onto the driveway away from vegetation of value. Flush the well until no or only a slight chlorine odor can be detected. A swimming pool chlorine test kit can be used. Then go into the house and turn on all the faucets for 5-10 minutes to flush the highly chlorinated water out of the house plumbing system.
If you noticed a brown (iron) or black (manganese) discoloration of your water during disinfection, It is recommend that an empty load of laundry be run to ensure that all discolored water is flushed from the pipes supplying the washing machine. This problem is caused by chlorine reacting with iron and/or manganese in your water. This reaction creates a colored precipitate that can stain your clothing and plumbing fixtures.
Testing your water after disinfection:
Once you have disinfected the well, it will be necessary to test your water (again) to be sure the problem of bacterial contamination has been solved. It is very important to WAIT 7-10 DAYS AFTER DISINFECTING YOUR WELL TO RETEST YOUR WATER. This amount of time is necessary in order to obtain a representative water sample from the aquifer. If a sample is collected before this amount of time and there is a problem with bacterial contamination, it may not show up, and you may risk the possibility of becoming ill from drinking your water.
Dutchess County, NY Health Department.
Hot Water Odor
Q: Why does only my hot water smell of rotten eggs?
A: Domestic hot water heaters are manufactured with a sacrificial anode usually made of magnesium. This anode is designed to prolong the life of the water heater, electrolysis that normally attacks the tank, attacks the anode. Unfortunately the byproduct of this process is the resulting “rotten egg” odor.
This situation can be corrected by replacing the anode, if possible, with one made of aluminum. If desired, the anode can be removed completely.
Regardless of how the odor is remedied, Ideal Water recommends that a cup of standard household bleach be poured into the water heater prior to reinstalling the plug or new anode. This will help rid the water heater of any lingering odor.
Q: Can Ideal Water remove or replace the anode in my water heater?
A: Yes, Ideal Water performs this service for our customers regularly.
Drain & Purge a Well Tank
The instructions provided here describe a typical private well system with a submersible pump. Should your system deviate from the described, contact Ideal Water to determine the needs of your particular system. Ideal Water can perform this procedure for you. Call for an appointment.
Under normal operating conditions the water that comes up from the well may have sediment in it. As time passes the sediment accumulates in the bottom of the tank. Eventually the sediment fills to the top of the inlet pipe and increased amounts flow in the stream of water. (Figure 1) The increased volume will clog filters sooner than what has been experienced.
Draining or “blowing down” the tank will help rid the tank of this accumulation.
The following steps will guide you through the process:
- Turn the well pump off at the breaker or pump control switch (typically a switch located near the tank).
- Connect a garden hose to the boiler drain or hose bib at the bottom of the well tank. Run the hose to the outdoors.
- Shut off the main shutoff valve. (See Figure 2)
- Open the hose bib to run the water until the tank is empty. You want to take notice of the discharge water when draining the tank. Running the water into a clean bucket helps determine the amount of sediment in the water.
- When the water stops running, switch the pump on for approximately 30 seconds.
- Continue the cycle of running the pump and draining the tank until the all of the discharge water remains clear and free from sediment.
General Water Questions
Q: How do I know if I have hard water?
A: The only definitive way to know that you have hard water is to test for it.
Other issues with the water may mask themselves as hard water (i.e. elevated total dissolved solids), but are indeed not, nor can they be remedied with a standard water softener.
Most likely the main symptom of hard water is a build up of white calcium deposits on fixtures. This is sometimes called “soap curd”.
Make an appointment with Ideal Water to determine whether or not the build up that you’re getting is indeed hard water scaling. The test is FREE!
Q: What is water hardness?
A: A common quality of water which contains dissolved compounds of calcium and magnesium and, sometimes, other divalent and trivalent metallic elements. The term hardness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water; hardness typically causes the buildup of hardness scale (such as seen in cooking pans). Dissolved calcium and magnesium salts are primarily responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters and cause numerous problems in laundry, kitchen, and bath. Hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (or ppm) as calcium carbonate equivalent.
The degree of hardness standard as established by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (S-339) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) is:
||1.0 to 3.5
||17.1 to 60
||3.5 to 7.0
||60 to 120
||7.0 to 10.5
||120 to 180
Q: Is hard water the only test Ideal Water will do for free?
A: No. Ideal Water routinely tests for the aesthetic conditions in the water, such as sulfur, iron, manganese, chlorine (when necessary); as well as nitrates, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and sodium. Together, these results create your water profile, which allows us to determine the type of equipment to recommend. Again, these tests are FREE.
Q: Why do I need water treatment, but my neighbor doesn’t?
A: The assumption here is that you are not on a public water supply. This means that at least one of you has a well. It is possible to have a private well or be on municipal water and not need any form of water treatment. The water from a private well comes from an aquifer under the ground. It is possible, given distance between the two wells, and differences in the depth of the wells, that each well could be on two completely separate aquifers.
Q: Other than hardness, what other problems can my water have?
A: The most probable issues with water are: lead, nitrates, iron, sediments, low/high pH, bacteria, and sulfur (rotten egg smell). Recently, issues are arising with arsenic, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and Radium/Radon.
Q: Does any one piece of equipment correct all of these issues?
A: No, nor would you want one that does. Water treatment is a complicated process, and to devise one system to correct most, if not all of these issues would be ill advised. Yes, there are systems that can treat a couple of issues within one machine, but even those systems have their proper applications.
Q: What treatments does Ideal Water offer for removing bacteria from my water?
A: Ideal Water offers two forms of water sterilization, chlorination, and ultraviolet (UV).
First, I’d like to clarify a misconception about the sterilization of water from bacterial contamination. The two processes mentioned here, chlorination and UV, DO NOT remove the bacteria from the water. What they do is render the bacteria harmless, by killing it; as with chlorination, or by destroying its DNA so it cannot replicate; as with UV.
Q: Do I have a choice as to which type of system I use in my house?
A: Yes, in most cases you may have an option in treatment. However, chlorination must be used in certain circumstances (Iron Bacteria or Sulfur-Reducing Bacteria). Otherwise, the choice would be yours.
Chlorination has some drawbacks: The system needs continuous monitoring for residual chlorine; Chlorine is a chemical that needs to be removed, thus an additional cost for a carbon filter for dechlorination; and the injection pump needs periodic maintenance.
UV, for the residential consumer, is more cost effective and user friendly.
Q: What is ultraviolet (UV) light?
A: Ultraviolet light exists at the invisible, violet end of the light spectrum. Although we can't see UV light, we are exposed to a small amount every time we walk out into the sun. The water treatment industry uses special lamps that emit UV light of a particular wavelength in order to disinfect water.
Q: Is pre-treatment of my water required for a UV system to work?
A: The UV system should always be installed after any other water treatment equipment. Ultimately, the quality of your water will determine if additional pre-treatment is required. Chemicals such as iron and calcium carbonate can form deposits on the UV lamp's protective sleeve, reducing the light that can penetrate the water. Water softeners and iron removal systems are sometimes required. Chemicals such as iron, tannins and humic acid are able to absorb UV light and thus reduce the amount available for disinfection. After performing testing your water, Ideal Water will recommend the specific treatment devices which suit your water supply.
Q: Does a UV system consume a lot of energy?
A: No, a UV system able to treat the water for a typical house will consume about the same amount of energy as a 60-watt light bulb. UV is a cost-effective, natural way to increase water quality.
Q: I am on municipal or public water, do I need to test my water regularly?
A: No, not necessarily. Public water supply companies are regulated by Federal and state standards, to test the water being delivered on an ongoing basis. Should a family member or house guest have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness, or your plumbing is showing signs of corrosion, or perhaps there are water stains on fixtures or in the laundry, you should have your water tested.
Q: When should I test my private well?
A: As a rule, Ideal Water suggests you test your water for biological contamination or other contaminants whenever there is doubt to the safety and quality of the water.
Testing once a year for bacteria and prior to bringing an infant into the home is widely recommended. Ideal Water believes that a test for nitrates should be conducted before bringing an infant into the home.
Q: My well tested negative for coliform bacteria. Does this mean I will never have a bacteria problem?
A: No. The sample that tested negative was just that; a sample, for that time and place when it was drawn. The environment is always changing, and with the ever increasing development of land, wells that were free from contamination for years suddenly have problems. For this reason Ideal Water suggests the installation of a UV system as a preventative measure should the homeowner be concerned.
Q: Will Ideal Water test my water for me?
A: Ideal Water will, for a fee, draw any number of samples following the proper protocols upon request. The samples could either be delivered to a New York State Approved Laboratory by the homeowner or Ideal Water.
Contact your local Health Department for your nearest laboratory or click here for the New York Association of Approved Environmental Laboratories
Living with Softened Water
Q: Is the sodium in softened water harmful to people on restrictive salt diets?
A: The amounts of sodium (Na) in softened water are miniscule compared to other normal dietary sources of sodium. In fact, ion exchange softening with water 75 grains per gallon of total hardness would add less sodium to the drinking water than allowed in beverages meeting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations for “low sodium” labeling. In establishing a salt-free diet for patients, physicians should not overlook the fact that even hard water may contain appreciable amounts of sodium. To determine the amount, a complete analysis of the water is necessary.
Q: How much sodium is put in water when it is softened?
A: The amount of salt added to water when it is softened is directly related to the amount of hardness that is being removed. The following table gives some examples:
Sodium added to water from softening
Examples are per 8 ounces of water
6 grains = 11.3 mg/L
15 grains = 28.0 mg/L
25 grains = 46.6mg/L
* A slice of bread contains 114 mg/L of sodium
* A 3oz. slice of ham contains 1,114 mg/L of sodium
Q: Does soft water cause clothing colors to fade?
A: No. However, detergents and other washing aids become much more active in softened water. It is important, therefore, to cut down on the amounts of cleaning and bleaching compounds when using soft water.
Q: What causes etching of my glassware in the dishwasher?
A: It is caused by the strong phosphate sequestering agents (e.g., trisodium phosphate) in dishwashing detergent. It may also be triggered by the combination of extremely hot water, soft water, and too much detergent. The high water temperature can cause the detergent phosphate compounds to break down into an even more aggressive form. If hardness is available, it will consume the most aggressive of these sequestering chemicals. Otherwise, however, the detergent agents can actually extract elements directly from the glassware composition. The solution to etching is to use less detergent and water temperatures less than 140oF when you have soft water. Water softening is such an enhancement that the dishes will get cleaned just as well with less detergent and 120o-140oF water in softened water.
Q: Is soft water safe for my septic system?
A: Yes it is. Click here for a report summary on the affects of softened water on septic systems.
Q: Will my new Ideal Water softener help me conserve energy?
A: Yes it will. Click here for a report summary on the water softeners and energy conservation.
Q: Will my water taste different after it is softened?
A: Possibly. Sometimes the customer does not detect any change in the water, and if they do they usually like it. For those customers that want an improved taste to their water we can add a point-of-use activated carbon filter under the kitchen sink to improve the taste of the water.
Q: What benefits should I expect from having soft water?
A: Softened water has many benefits: Appliances last longer and have better performance, soapy film on tubs and shower tiles may be reduced, shampoos and soaps may rinse better, water heaters may operate more efficiently, and scale build in pipes is reduced. Purdue University conducted an 18 month study on softened water and laundry entitled “Benefits of Using Soft vs. Hard Water in Laundering Operations”, and concluded that the life of clothing can be prolonged by as much as 15% when using soft water.
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