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Is Drinking Softened Water Safe?

Have you heard of a water softener before? It’s a filtration system that produces soft water with little-to-no minerals because they’ve been swapped with sodium during an ion exchange process. This leads many people to assume that softened water is filled with high amounts of sodium, which makes it unhealthy. But in reality, soft water is safe to ingest.

This article is here to debunk myths and address a burning question: “Can you drink softened water?” Keep reading to know what it is, where it comes from and its effects on health.

What Is Softened Water?

Softened water involves the removal of dissolved calcium and magnesium by passing them through a filter tank. Regarding taste, soft water doesn’t differ from hard water. They don’t have distinct flavours, however, some say that the former has a hint of saltiness.

How Does Water Softening Work?

Softened water comes from an ion exchange inside a mineral tank filled with resin. What happens is the negatively charged sodium ions attract positively charged minerals like calcium and magnesium. 

When hard water enters the tank, the resin beads extract the minerals and let the soft water exit. 

Debunking Softened Water Myths

Many believe that drinking softened water is bad for your health, but this is not true. The best way to understand its differences is to unlearn or debunk the myths surrounding it. Some of these myths include:

Debunking Softened Water Myths - LG Home Comfort

Drinking Softened Water Is Unhealthy Due to Salt Content

Since water softener salt bags are added inside a tank, this increases the salt content of the water, leading people to believe that they’ll get sick if they drink soft water.

This myth is false because softened water contains sodium, but not salt (which is sodium chloride). Simultaneously, the amount sodium contained is too small to be considered harmful to your body. This is why it’s completely safe to drink.

Softened Water Has an Unhealthy Amount of Sodium

The body only needs 2,300 mg of sodium daily. This is why many are hesitant to drink soft water because they think they’ll exceed the recommended daily sodium intake. 

But again, this is just a myth! In reality, the amount of sodium added to water depends on how hard it is. Soft water usually contains 10 to 50 parts per million (ppm) of sodium. According to the drinking water standards, any water with a sodium content of up to 200 ppm is safe to drink. 

Softened Water Removes Essential Minerals

Removing minerals such as calcium and magnesium discourages people from drinking softened water. While this is a convincing myth, the ion exchange process removes the inorganic minerals contained in hard water. 

Your body cannot absorb these anyway since they are considered ‘non-living’ nutrients. 

Softened Water Is Purified

Soft water is not purified. The water softener is meant to remove minerals and replace them with sodium and not purify your water.

Do I Need to Soften My Water?

Depending on where you live, your region may naturally be exposed to harder water than others. In that case, a water softener is a great investment as it benefits multiple facets of your home, including:

1. Prevents the Build-up of Scale in Your Pipes

Scaling is the most common problem of hard water since it leaves a white chalk residue whenever it dries. When not taken care of, it can build up in your pipe system and cause blockages and a decrease in water pressure. 

One way to prevent this is by connecting your hard water deposit to a water softener. Magnesium and calcium are the main reasons for scale formation. By filtering them out, you reduce the possibility of scaling.

2. Lengthens the Lifespan of Your Appliances

Scaling also occurs in kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, dishwashers, and blenders. This can cause reduced efficiency and lead to permanent malfunction if left untreated. The answer here is to shift to soft water because it does not leave any residue and elongates the lifespan of your appliances.

Lifespan Of Your Appliances - LG Home Comfort

3. Prevents Soap Scum Build-up

Soap scum appears as a white or gray filmy layer over sinks and bathtubs—mostly caused by hard water. You can prevent this buildup by switching to soft water, keeping your bathroom spotless!

Make the Soft Water Switch With LG Home Comfort

Drinking softened water is now possible thanks to LG Home Comfort! Offering the best water softener installation service in the GTA and surrounding area, making the switch to soft water can eliminate inorganic minerals and reduce the effects of hard water, such as calcium buildup and grime. 

Our team of licensed technicians is specially trained to provide assistance and care that your home needs. 

Contact us now to get a quote for our services!

Why Is My Furnace Leaking Water and How to Fix It

When a furnace is leaking water, it can be a sign of a serious problem that needs a prompt solution. Water means moisture that can damage your home if not dealt with quickly. Plus, if it is not draining properly, it can result in your furnace running inefficiently, leading to more costly repairs in the future.

What Type of Furnace Do I Have?

Before answering the question, “why is my furnace leaking water?” you should first determine which type of furnace you have, as this is a factor contributing to this issue.

There are two main types, such as:

  • High-efficiency (condensing). These newer furnaces condense water vapor produced during combustion and quickly vent out the exhaust or flue pipe. They are typically gas-powered but can also operate on electricity. However, it’s more expensive and less common.
  • Standard efficiency (conventional). These are older furnaces that don’t condense water vapor and, instead, release it through the exhaust vent. Since they don’t collect any water, they typically aren’t prone to leaking.

If you are unsure which furnace type you have, look at its vent or exhaust pipe. If the pipe is made of white plastic, it is a high-efficiency system. Another way to tell is if your furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating is at least 90%, it is also high-efficiency.

On the other hand, if the exhaust pipe is metal, the AFUE rating is below 90%, and the furnace is 15 years or older, then it is a standard efficiency furnace.

Is It Normal if My Furnace Is Leaking Water?

Water leaks in furnaces are not normal. While this is a common problem homeowners encounter, especially for high-efficiency furnaces, you should fix it as soon as possible. As mentioned, it can cause further damage if not dealt with immediately, not only to the unit itself but also to the other parts of your home.

For instance, mold growth may occur when water accumulates near parts of your home that are not well-ventilated, such as the ceiling and walls. This can lead to health problems for you and your family, as well as structural damage to your home.

What Would Cause a Furnace to Leak Water? 

There are different types of furnace units, but these are possible causes for water leaking from a furnace:

Condensation

Condensation leak is a common problem for furnaces wherein warm and humid air mixes with cold metal, resulting in the formation of condensation. Condensation forms a pool of water underneath or near the furnace, typically draining away through a condensate line.

There are two possible causes of this issue, such as:

  • Damaged or clogged tubing

First, check how bad the clog or damage is by looking at the drain pan and outside where the drainpipe runs. Sometimes, it’s just a minor block that you can fix. Remove the blockage and turn off the furnace before doing so. If it is near the surface, poke your finger into the drain or use a wire or hanger to remove it. Use a drain brush or snake if you believe it’s in the middle of the line. A brush can also scrub the inside of the pan to remove any remaining residue.

If this is unsuccessful, get a wet or dry vacuum to suck up any debris. Attach the vacuum hose to the drain line’s end, and you may need to seal it with duct tape to avoid air. Turn on the vacuum and let it work. If the clog is more serious, use a drain gun to fire compressed gas into the line to break up any blockage.

If these all fail, you may need to replace the condensate line or have a professional inspect and repair it.

  • Floor drain clog

The floor drain is the part where the condensate line enters the floor. If it is clogged, water will back up from the line and spill out from the drain. Cleaning or replacing the floor drain can help in this situation.

Remove the drain cover and scoop out any debris you can reach. Then, use a plunger to push the clog down and flush it out with hot water to liquefy all the gunk. You may also pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, then flush it with hot water after 15 minutes. Don’t use harsh chemicals, as they can damage the drain.

  • Broken condensate pump

The condensate pump’s function is to push the water away from the furnace, but water will accumulate near or underneath the unit if it fails. If this happens, replace your condensate pump as soon as possible by following the instructions in your manual.

If you’re not confident in doing this yourself, hire a professional. Note that condensation only occurs in a high-efficiency furnace, so this is not an issue with standard units.

Broken Humidifier

Water dripping from a furnace may also come from the inside of your unit, specifically the humidifier. A leaking humidifier can cause water to go back into your furnace and drip from the bottom. This can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, and floors. To avoid this, regularly inspect the unit’s water lines for any signs of cracks or damage. It is also a good idea to install a shut-off valve to easily stop water from entering the humidifier when it’s not in use.

Not all furnaces have humidifiers, so this is not an issue if your system does not have one. In addition, this is less likely to happen if you maintain a regular professional checkup.

Malfunctioning Secondary Heat Exchanger

If you own a high-efficiency condensing furnace, it has primary and secondary heat exchangers. The secondary heat exchanger is a metal tube that partially surrounds the primary one that accepts combustion exhaust and transfers it out of your home through a vent. If there is any damage to this component, water dripping in the furnace may occur. This could be due to corrosion or a crack in the exchanger, both of which will need to be addressed by a professional.

To know if this is causing the problem, check the vents and ensure they are not blocked by dust or debris. If they seem to be clogged, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to unclog them:

  • Turn off the unit’s power and the gas or propane by shutting off the valve.
  • Remove any debris from the heat exchanger block with a wire brush. You can also use it to loosen any black soot or scale from the chamber in the heat exchanger. If you don’t have a wire brush, get a damp cloth with a cleaner specifically designed for gas furnaces or metal surfaces to remove stubborn dirt build-up.
  • Vacuum the entire block assembly with a strong hot vac. After then, connect the narrow vacuum attachment to clean all the loosened debris in the block and remove all remaining residue.
  • Reassemble everything, turn on the power and gas or propane and check if the problem has been fixed. Otherwise, you may need to replace the entire heat exchanger with a new one.

Ill-Fitted Exhaust Pipe

This is usually a problem in a conventional furnace. If the exhaust pipe is ill-fitted, it can cause water to drip from the furnace. When the stove is running, the hot combustion exhaust in the pipe condenses and forms a liquid that leaks out from any gaps or cracks.

To fix this problem, ensure all exhaust pipe connections are tight and secure. If there are any holes or cracks, use metal tape to seal them up. You may also need to replace your old exhaust pipe with a new one if it’s too damaged to be repaired.

After fixing all potential problems causing water to drip from the furnace, inspect the area regularly for any signs of moisture or dampness. This helps you detect any issues early on before they cause more damage. It also saves you time and money in the long run, as repairing damages caused by water leakage can be expensive.

Clogged Furnace Filter

A clogged furnace filter is one of the most common reasons for water dripping from furnaces. This happens when the filter becomes so full of dirt and debris that it can’t trap any more particles, allowing them to escape into your furnace coil.

To prevent this, replace or clean your filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on your filter type, you may have to clean it every month or two months. If all else fails and you still find yourself dealing with water dripping in the furnace, contact a professional HVAC technician.

Final Thoughts

Various factors can cause a furnace leak. If you detect any signs of water dripping from the furnace, don’t wait for it to get worse, as this can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, and floors. Consider the steps above in identifying and fixing the problem to help you save time and money.

If you need professional help repairing a leaking furnace, choose a qualified and experienced technician who can accurately diagnose and address the problem quickly and efficiently.

Boost Performance and Increase Savings with Proper Water Softener Maintenance

Water softeners remove minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and other organic compounds from hard water. This process is called ion exchange. Hard water is a common concern for many homeowners because it can cause problems, such as clogged pipes, spotted glasses and dishes, and appliance scale buildup. To prevent these issues and ensure the water softening process of your unit is efficient, you must perform regular maintenance on your home’s system.

This blog post talks about the most common issues in these units, easy DIY water softener repair advice, and some practical maintenance tips to extend the lifespan of your equipment.

How Long Do Water Softeners Last?

On average, the lifespan of water softeners can last up to 12 years, but they can last up to 20 years with proper care. This also depends on the brand you buy and the type of water you are using. Generally, salt-based softeners last longer than non-salt models.

Salt-free systems require frequent maintenance to keep functioning at their best, while salt-based systems usually require less maintenance but may need repairs more often.

Evaporated salt pellets are the best choice for your softener system as they help reduce the hard water minerals and make the entire system more efficient. It’s important to remember that you should not run out of salt, as this could cause damage to your equipment. Rock salt is also a common choice, but it tends to be messier and harder to manage.

Solar salt is another option, and it’s often the least expensive. Lastly, potassium chloride is a synthetic alternative to traditional salt that’s becoming increasingly popular due to its environmental benefits.

Common Water Softeners Problems and Troubleshooting

As a homeowner, you must watch out for potential problems and be knowledgeable about basic water softener troubleshooting. Common issues that can arise with water softeners include:

  1. Clogged Filters

Clogged filters will reduce your system’s effectiveness and lead to unwanted mineral buildup in your home’s pipes. It is often caused by debris buildup in the system. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to fix this issue:

  • Shut off the power supply to your water softener and disconnect it from the mains.
  • Remove the filter housing using a wrench if necessary.
  • Take out the sediment filter and inspect it for buildup or blockages.
  • If you find any debris, rinse it with warm water.
  • Reattach the filter housing and turn on the power supply to your water softener again. This should restore the normal function of your system.
  1. Salt Bridges

In some cases, salt can become clumped in your tank, leading to a phenomenon known as a salt bridge. This usually occurs when the water level is too low or if there’s moisture in your tank. To resolve this issue, you should increase the water level and add more salt until the bridge has dissolved.

Resin beads are responsible for trapping the minerals removed from your water supply. If your unit isn’t working properly, it could be due to defunct resin beads. While they may last 10 to 15 years, these beads gradually wear out over time and must be replaced for the unit to function correctly.

To check if the beads need to be replaced, buy a hardness test kit from your local hardware store and check for mineral content. If the results are unsatisfactory, it’s time to replace the resin beads in your system. Sometimes you know you need to replace your beads when your resin tank stops putting out soft water or runs out of soft water quickly.

  1. Excessive Water in the Water Softener’s Brine Tank

Although water is always present in the water softener brine tank as it has to dissolve the salts to form a brine solution, an excessive amount can indicate a problem. A leaky valve, a worn-out brine pick-up tube, or clogged flow control fittings could cause this.

To resolve this issue, consider the following:

  • Check the water level and inspect the parts for any damage or blockages. If there are, replace them with new parts.
  • Check the float valve if it’s set too high, as this can affect the water level. Read the manual of your unit and follow the guidelines given.
  • If your water softener is more than eight years old, it’s time to replace it. Choose a more efficient model for maximum performance.
  • Check if the water entry level is still working because a broken one can cause the system to fill with water. Inspect the brine tank for any cracks or buildup, and if there are any, replace it with a new one.
  1. Insufficient Water in the Brine Tank

If there’s too little water in the brine tank, the water softener regeneration cycle will be interrupted, and the system won’t be able to produce soft water. A clogged drain line, an inadequate salt dosage, or a low water level in the brine tank usually cause this.

To fix this issue:

  • Check the drain line for blockages and clean it if needed so the water can flow freely. You may soak in hot water and flush out to unclog any debris.
  • Check that the brine float switch is straight and can move freely up and down. If it’s stuck, clean all the parts in the brine. If the switch is broken, you have to replace it.
  • Add more salt into the brine tank until the water reaches the fill mark indicated on your unit’s manual.
  • Raise the water level in your brine tank using a hose to bring it up to its correct height.
  1. Noises

While this may not be an issue because water softeners are usually quite noisy, excessive noise can indicate a problem. A malfunctioning motor, worn-out parts, or incorrect settings could cause this.

To resolve this problem:

  • Check the valves and other parts for any wear or tear.
  • Make sure that all connections are tightened securely and that there aren’t any air bubbles in the line.
  • Replace any worn-out parts if needed.
  • Set your timer to the recommended cycle length as indicated in your unit’s manual.
  • Clean and lubricate the motor with oil to ensure it’s running smoothly and quietly.

Top Water Softener Maintenance Advice

To maintain your unit’s efficiency and avoid damage, there are some maintenance measures you can take:

  • Perform salt levels checks at least every 2 to 3 months, and add more when needed.
  • Clean the brine tank often to remove any sludge or dirt buildup. When cleaning water softeners, make sure to use an approved water softener cleaner safe for the system.
  • Change resin beads and replace them with new ones once they wear out.
  • Check for leaks in the valves and connections, as leakage can cause damage to your system.
  • Replace worn-out parts’ seals to ensure they’re tightly sealed and secure.
  • Call a qualified technician for water softener service at least once every year for optimum performance.

Final Thoughts

Water softeners are essential for providing you with clean and soft water. However, you must know how to use water softener properly and carry out regular maintenance to extend its lifespan and ensure optimal performance. Follow the tips mentioned above to keep your water softener in tip-top condition and enjoy its benefits for many years.

Reverse Os-what? – The reverse osmosis system and its benefits

Key Takeaways

 

  • Reverse osmosis is the process of reducing harmful chemicals, bacteria and impurities from your water supply to provide you with crisp, clean water
  • The healthy choice for people with weak immune systems and anyone who wants to reduce the sodium consumption
  • Energy efficient due to a system that uses no extra pumps to process the water
  • Environmentally friendly – no more need to buy bottled water and the plastic problem it generates

So… You happen to be chatting to your neighbor or friendly, HVAC technician about getting cleaner water at home. They suggest a reverse osmosis system and you nod your head with that poker face of understanding when you really don’t know what the heck they are talking about. Well before you jump on to Google to start yet another research session, we’ve got you covered with what a reverse osmosis system is and the benefits to your health and the environment.

How does it work?

Reverse osmosis works by passing water through a pre-filter, to remove sediment and chlorine, then through a semipermeable membrane with very small holes to push certain molecules out and keep others in, before a final “polishing” filter to provide the cleanest and purest water possible to your faucet. This results in eliminating almost all salt and 99% of bacteria and pyrogenic substances from your water. 

Ok, so that is the technical side, but in a nutshell, it is a high quality water filtration process that reduces the impurities from your water, providing you clean and refreshing drinking water right from your tap (Who wouldn’t want that?).

So what are the benefits?

Better tasting, smelling, and looking water

Because reverse osmosis takes out certain bacteria and chemicals, it makes the water taste fresher, smell cleaner and is crystal clear. Say goodbye to foggy ice cubes! 

Further to that, the impurities in your home’s water are going to affect the taste of the food you cook. When you think about it, the water you cook with, often ends up in your food. When you boil pasta, make soups, or bake homemade bread, pure water can make a huge difference in the way it smells and tastes. If you’re using municipal tap water for cooking, there’s a good chance you have too much chlorine in it. That will not only cause food to taste odd, it discolors it as well. And if you are a coffee or tea drinker, you’ll also find that it tastes better with reverse osmosis water.

Related Article: Four Reasons your Water Smells Bad

Good for your health

Among the other impurities that a reverse osmosis system cleans out are bacteria and other types of microorganisms. People who can be susceptible to infection due to a compromised immune system, can consume reverse osmosis water during and after cancer treatment, reports Medline Plus. 

It’s not just the most vulnerable members of the population who can benefit, however. According to the CDC, reverse osmosis water filters out lead and cryptosporidium, a parasite found in contaminated water. Lead has incredibly damaging effects on the human body. Cryptosporidium parasites can lead to fever, cramps, and diarrhea.

Lastly, RO filters remove sodium from the water. As you are probably aware, there is plenty of sodium in the foods we eat, especially for anyone who ever eats processed food or fast food. The process of reverse osmosis removes sodium molecules from water, reports the CDC. Large sodium molecules cannot pass through the membranes of the reverse osmosis filtering system. Drinking reverse osmosis water therefore provides benefits to people with high blood pressure, kidney or liver disease or any sodium restrictions.

Energy efficient and environmentally friendly

The high-pressure process by which purification takes place removes some very detrimental pollutants that could harm the body. This is all done through a system that is inline to your water supply, so there are no extra pumps that will cause excess energy to be wasted. The reverse osmosis filtration system doesn’t use any chemicals for purification, so it doesn’t compromise the environment at all. In addition, a reverse osmosis system uses substantially less energy than other ways to filter water, so this is a smart choice from an environmental perspective.

So many of us are guilty of having bought bottled water. Even though we know how bad this practice is for the planet, sometimes the convenience outweighs that consideration. However, those plastic bottles create a lot of waste as they all too often go unrecycled and end up in landfills. Plus, the bottom line is much of that bottled water isn’t as pure as you think. It’s just filtered tap water. A reverse osmosis system produces bottled water quality hydration in the comfort of your kitchen.

Maintenance & Cleaning

It is also very easy to keep clean. Unlike some filters that can get messy and elaborate, all that needs to be done to clean the system is to take the filter off, rinse it, then put it back. When you need to replace the filter, it is just as easy with no special tools or messy clean-up.

 

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If you’d like to learn more about having cleaner water through a Reverse Osmosis system, feel free to contact us at (1-866-438-5442) and one of our specialists will get back to you as soon as possible.

Terms and Conditions

  • Once an initial service has been completed, the customer will be on a one-year commitment
  • After the initial 12 months, the contract will be renewed on a month-to-month cadence
  • If a service is completed for the next year, it automatically renews the commitment for an additional year
  • Customers can cancel at any time after the 12-month initial commitment as long as the following year’s service has not been completed.
  • Customers need to provide 30 days written notice in order to cancel their plan