Frequently Asked Questions

What causes the white spots?

The white spots from hard water are the hardness left after the water evaporates.  That same buildup occurs in your water heater, dishwasher, clothes washer, pipes and fixtures. Learn More

Can water softeners remove the rust so I don’t get stains?

Yes!  and unfortunately no.  Rust comes in several forms and one type a water softener can remove and the others pass right through.  That is a big reason why we need to do a professional, in-home water test.  We make recommendations based on your water chemistry, plumbing and your needs.  A test in the home is the only way to do that.  If a softener cannot remove the iron, we have options. Learn More

Do saltless water softener systems work?

There are options for salt-less treatment systems, but very few do much of anything you expect, want and need. We have options shown on our Salt-less but they have limitations and may cost more than your budget allows.  So there are limited options and we have replaced too many wires, magnets, “molecule aligners”, etc. that customers have purchased hoping it does what they want.  Unfortunately, with the quick fix salt-less options the customer only gets their hard water and have a reminder of a bad decision wrapped around or bolted to their pipes.  We are here to help by not only providing you with soft, clean water, but we will remove that reminder of your bad decision and dispose of it accordingly.

What causes the slippery feeling in soft water? It feels like soap won’t rinse off.

The truth is that washing in hard water leaves a residue of soap and minerals on your skin. You may have noticed that it leaves your skin feeling dry.  Softened water removes the lime and soap from the skin completely, helps prevent the drying effects, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.  Without the residue, you can now feel your skin’s natural oils, and it does feel more “slippery”.  The trace of sodium in soft water, as well as certain brands of soap, can add to the slippery feeling.

If I get a water softener, do I have to drink soft water?

The answer is “It depends on your plumbing.”  The standard for many years has been for the plumbing to leave outside faucets and kitchen cold lines “hard”.  The kitchen cold being hard means you do not have the benefit of fully soft water at your kitchen sink, but if that is what you prefer, then no you do not have to drink soft water.  If plumbing is accessible in the basement we can leave the kitchen cold line hard or convert it to soft.  If your raw water is something you prefer not to drink and soft water is not your favorite either, then we can provide a reverse osmosis drinking water system that removes the sodium from soft water and most everything else to a specific drinking water faucet. Learn More

Aren’t the minerals in hard water good for me to drink?

Hard water minerals, calcium and magnesium, sound like something you would want in your body. Unfortunately, when dissolved in water, the minerals are in a form (inorganic) that the body cannot readily absorb.  So you get almost no benefit from drinking hard water.  In some people who are prone to getting kidney stones, it might even contribute to their problem.

What is TDS?

TDS is short for “Total Dissolved Solids.” That means anything that was a metal or a salt (rocks included) that is dissolved in water can be measured and is stated in parts per million (ppm) typically.  So your raw water & your soft water will measure about the same level of TDS.  Only a Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System, deionizer or distiller can lower the TDS contaminants in your water to very low levels.   Our bottled water is also a good option for you to drink high purity water.

What does Gordon Water Systems test for when in the home?

We test for the main issues in the home that can be present and are of the most concern for families that affect the water that goes on you, like hardness, iron, chlorine (if city), tannins & pH.  We also test for some things that affect the water that goes in you, like nitrates and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS.)   The nice thing is we also have 2 labs we work with, where we send samples for further assessment.  One lab is for problem water and properly treating the water that goes on you, and that is free of charge.  The second lab is an EPA approved lab that will provide 63 test results which mainly we use for the concerns for the water that goes in you.  The latter test does have a cost of $49.95, but is well worth it!  Many customers have discovered things present in the water that they do not wish to drink and will then purchase an RO system to address those contaminants. Learn More

Does Reverse Osmosis (RO) remove fluoride?

Yes, an RO will reduce fluoride and typically 90% or more of fluoride is removed. The Kinetico K5 system is the most highly rated RO for contaminant removal.   Keep in mind carbon filtration alone (eg., Brita & Pur) will not remove fluoride.

I like to drink bottled spring water. Why do I need to drink your water?

Bottled spring water is effectively well water that at least meets minimum government guidelines. There are a number of reasons to drink either our 5 gallon bottled water or drink your own water that you filter at home or work.

  • Our Bpa Free 5 gallon bottles are reused (cleaned and sanitized after each use) such that in a 5 gallon bottle’s lifetime, it may equal over 15,000 half litre sport bottles… think of the future with even a portion of that many sport bottles per family in landfills! Learn More
  • All of our bottled water is processed by Reverse Osmosis, so you know it is waaaayyy cleaner than minimum government guidelines like Spring Water only meets.
  • Our Mineral Enhanced bottled water starts out as high purity reverse osmosis water and we add in laboratory grade minerals for flavor. Quite honestly we designed our mineral enhanced water to make the best possible cup of coffee. So if you like clean water with a little mineral flavor, then this is the best bottled water option! Learn More
  • If you would like to make your own high purity water with some minerals put back into the water, then get the Kinetico K5 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Station and with its FlexFiltration® you can add the mineral cartridge!  The bestest solution ever!  Thats right, we said bestest! Learn More

In a softener that uses salt, does the salt soften the water and am I bathing in salt water?

The salt you use in your brine/salt tank does not soften the water. There are polystyrene beads in the softening tanks that do the actual removal of the hardness (calcium & magnesium) but those beads need cleaning in order to keep softening your water.  During regeneration the water softener uses salt water from the brine tank to clean off the hardness and replaces it with a sodium ion.  So there is sodium in soft water, but not salt (sodium chloride) that we think about.  If a small amount of sodium is an issue for you due to a strict diet, then the reverse osmosis is the answer for all the water you drink and cook with everyday.   Learn More

How high or low can I have the salt level in my salt tank?

If you want, you can fill the salt/brine tank to the very top, but do NOT get salt down the brine float well (the 3” – 4” plastic tube down one side of the salt/brine tank) as salt pieces can jam the float causing the system to not regenerate (clean itself) properly, which will cause hard water to be allowed into your home. You don’t want hard water in your home, that would be bad.  The absolute lowest you can let a softener get on salt is if you look in the salt tank and see water and still see some hard salt in the water.  At least you will have one more regeneration before that bad hard water starts breaking through.  The best is if you can see water, add salt and fill it up about to the top of the brine well tube.  That will approximately 120# – 160#  of salt in most salt tanks.

Can I use any salt in my salt/brine tank?

Sure, but be prepared for service calls if you go with cheap salt. Some pointers are below:

  • Sometimes you will see water softener Rock salt – NEVER use rock salt. It’s good for melting ice & snow, but bad for softeners (way too much dirt in it!)
  • Solar salt is pretty low cost too, but it is salt that is dried in the sun…. not the cleanest either.
  • There is a big brand name salt nearly everywhere. It is pretty good, but we have service calls that require us to clean out the brine tank, repair or replace the float and even work on control valves due to salt mushing up and clogging ports and lines in the softener.  Service calls cost more money than the possible savings on a bag of salt.
  • We carry DuraCube® salt from Cargill. DuraCube® is a pressed flake that is 99.8% salt and the 0.2% that is not salt is a forming agent that keeps the integrity of the salt as it dissolves.  Cargill has been known to cover a service call charge if their salt mushes up and causes an issue for you.  We carry both the Blue Bag (regular) and the Red label bag (Rust out) style salt.  Both salts are available for delivery or pickup at one of our convenient locations.  We even have salt punch cards = pick up customers get 1 bag FREE with purchase of 10 bags (10 punches.)  Some folks forget the card and just buy 10 bags and get the 11th FREE every time they come in… once a year for some folks ‘cause their Kinetico is soooo efficient! Learn More

My bottled water cooler does not flow any water or very slow water?

That’s an issue especially when you are really thirsty. There are 3 reasons no water flows out from a bottled water cooler:

  • The bottle is empty so put a full bottle on!
  • The water guard air filter got wet and does not let air in. Pull out the air filter from the back and let it dry out.  Air and hence water should flow right away once you pull out the filter.
  • The thermostat is stuck & needs replacing. Ice has built up on the inside and if plugging the spigot.  If this is the issue just unplugging unit for a few hours will melt the ice and water will flow again but you will need a service call to replace the thermostat or the whole cooler if you bought a cheepy cooler from a big box store.  If you rent from us, just call us and we will come out there to fix it!

I just picked up water or got a delivery and the first bottle I put on has a metallic odor and taste. What is it?

The water is perfectly fine to drink!  We, like the water bottling industry, use ozone to sanitize water for drinking.  Ozone is an unstable Oxygen molecule (O3) that sanitizes as it falls back to a normal oxygen molecule (O2.)  That peculiar odor or taste comes when only two things occur:

  • Relative humidity and temperature are just right for ozone production and retention in the bottle.
  • You have a very freshly bottled bottle of water, typically within 24 hours. Once you have opened it, it will dissipate quickly.

What is the pH for common items?

pH                      PRODUCT

14                                sodium hydroxide

13                                lye

12.4                             lime

11                                 ammonia

10.5                             manganese

8.3                               baking powder

7.4                               human blood

7.0                               pure water

6.6                               milk

4.5                               tomatoes

4.0                               Root Beer

3.0                               apples and most soda pop

2.0                               lemon juice

0                                  hydrochloride acid