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Everything You Need to Know About Residential Water Treatment

How often do you think about your home’s water quality? Probably not that much, right? At least, until you have to scrub those hard water stains on the tub or your tap water starts tasting funny.

Ever wondered what causes that strange-tasting drinking water or those unsightly hard stains? The answer can vary, but minerals and contaminants are common culprits.

The good news is, installing a residential water treatment system will remove contaminants, protect your plumbing system, and even improve your health. Let’s explore the different types of water treatment systems and how they work.

Residential water treatment systems: the basics

We’ll admit, the science behind water treatment systems can get a little jargon-y. So we’ve done our best to explain how these systems work in plain English. We’ll cover carbon backwash filters, water softeners, reverse osmosis faucets, and water conditioners.

Carbon backwash filters

During the water treatment process, Phoenix water treatment plants use chlorine to kill viruses and bacteria. Chlorine in municipal water can cause everything from chemical-tasting drinking water to allergic reactions.

Carbon backwash filters are often installed alongside a water softener system to remove chlorine, pesticides, and other contaminants from drinking water. These filters contain a “medium” — in this case, activated carbon — which filters impurities. 

Here’s a simplified overview of how it works. Water flows through the top of the filter tank and through the mineral tank, which contains the activated carbon. The carbon traps chlorine molecules and sediment. The treated water then exits the filter.

When the filter has trapped the maximum amount of contaminants it can accommodate, the system automatically activates a backwash sequence for cleaning.

Types of carbon backwash filters

We recommend two main types of carbon backwash filters: catalytic activated carbon and coconut shell-high activated carbon (CS-HAC). 

The main difference between the two is that catalytic activated carbon filters reduce chlorine, chloramine (an alternative to chlorine), and hydrogen sulfide in drinking water, while CS-HAC filters remove only chlorine.

What type of filter will you need? That depends on what chemicals are present in your drinking water. Chlorine is common in city water, while hydrogen sulfide is often present in well water.

If your well water contains sulfur, a catalytic carbon filter will work best. Here are a few signs your water might contain high levels of sulfur:

  • Rotten egg or metallic odor
  • Murky or rust-colored water
  • Orange stains in your sinks and showers

Water softeners

Carbon filters are great for dechlorinating your drinking water, but they can’t remove the minerals that cause hard water. Only a water softener can do that. Water softeners use salt or ion-exchange resins to remove minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Benefits of using a water softener system

No more hard water stains

Say goodbye to hours of rigorous scrubbing! Soft water doesn’t leave behind mineral stains, helping you keep your bathroom sparkling clean.

Healthier skin and hair

Did you know the minerals in hard water affect how well your soap and shampoo lather? It’s true! Soft water washes away soap and shampoo more easily and doesn’t leave behind any residue that could leave your skin or scalp feeling dry.

The minerals in hard water can also cause dry skin. To compensate for the loss of moisture, your body will produce more oil, which could lead to acne and clogged pores.

Reverse osmosis faucets

Although water softeners remove the bulk of minerals from your water, they don’t remove bacteria or other contaminants. That’s why water softener systems are often paired with reverse osmosis faucets.

A reverse osmosis faucet filters out bacteria and sodium, leaving you with the cleanest, highest-quality drinking water. These faucets pressurize the water and filter it through several fine, fragile membranes to capture small particles. The clean water is separated from the contaminated water, which is usually washed down the drain. 

Water conditioners

Whereas water softeners use salt or ion-exchange resins to remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, salt-free water conditioners alter the minerals present in hard water. This prevents scale from building up in your plumbing pipes. Some of the best water conditioners on the market also remove existing scale from your pipes. A water conditioner is a great companion to a water softener to fully treat your water and maintain your plumbing system.

How to choose a water treatment system

Do you need a carbon filter, water softener, water conditioner, and a reverse osmosis faucet? Not necessarily. It all depends on your water source and the contaminants present in your water.

Here at George Brazil, we source our water treatment products from Wood Brothers Industries. The systems we use are formulated specifically for Phoenix water. Here are some of the brands we have experience installing and maintaining:

  • Clack™ Coconut Shell-High Activated Carbon Filter
  • Clack™ Catalytic-High Activated Carbon
  • Flow-Tech™ Home Water Conditioning System

The best way to discover what treatment system(s) you need is to book a water quality test in Phoenix. Schedule your water quality test in February and save $40 with our special offer!

When you book a water treatment installation service with George Brazil, you’ll never have to worry about hidden costs or unpleasant surprises. We’ll only recommend products you need. And if your water treatment system requires repairs or maintenance, rest assured we’ll fix it fast.

Got questions about water treatment systems? Our expert technicians have answers! Give us a call, send us a message via web chat or email, or connect with us on social media to schedule your water quality test today.


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