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The Hard Water Corner

Common sense information about a common problem.

Soft Water and Snow Birds

Soft Water and Snow Birds.florida snow bird

It’s not hard to understand why it is that so many experienced citizens relocate here to North East Florida for their retirement. What’s not to like? Located close to water at every turn along with pleasant weather most of the year make our area an ideal location.  The only ice around here is in your freezer and the hardware stores don’t stock anything related to snow.

snow birdsHowever if you are relocating from the North East then you may never have had the need for a water softener before.  Florida Water Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of water softeners for Del Webb Ponte Vedra, Nocatee and the greater Jacksonville FL area. Our experience with the water softeners and the come and go lifestyle of snow birds have lead me to write this blog. I regularly get asked about the following two topics.

Turning off the water supply when leaving town-Does it hurt the water softener?

Most of our snow bird customers like turning off the water to the entire home when leaving town. This does not hurt the water softener in any way. It will actually save your salt supply in the softener tank by turning off the water. However you do not want to unplug the water softener. It’s critical to leave the system plugged in while you are away. Sometimes people unplug the softener when the turn off the water because they don’t want to hurt the softener. You cannot hurt the softener by turning off the water but you should leave it plugged in.

Noticing a strong rotten egg smell upon your return-is it the water softener?

No. The water softener cannot produce the odor of rotten eggs. The leading cause of rotten egg odor in your home is the water heater. Upon leaving town water naturally stops flowing through the plumbing system causing the water to become stagnant. In the water heater it’s nice and warm which makes a great place for bacteria to grow. When bacteria die and decay it gives off the smell of rotten eggs. The best thing to do to eradicate this problem is to drain down the water heater once you get back in town. You can either use a hose to drain down the water heater from the garage or you can use the bath tub. To use the bathtub simply open the hot side only and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the water heater). You may want to open a window as the smell could be very strong depending on how long you have been gone. The water heater will refill with fresh running water and the smell will be gone. There is a way to confirm that the smell is coming from the water heater. First select a faucet inside the home that has independent hot and cold valves (not a blended valve where one lever controls the hot and cold as these fixtures provide a mixture of hot and cold which makes it hard to isolate). Next run water from the cold side only fill a clean cup about half way and put your nose as close the water in the cup and smell. Do the same thing on the hot side. 90% of the time you will find the hot side is the only side with the smell. If the softener could cause a smell like rotten eggs it would be consistent on the hot and cold side of the plumbing system.

I hope this helps and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.


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