Frequently Asked Questions

What causes 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 of 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. Testing the home is the only way to do that.  If a water softener system cannot remove the iron, we have options. Learn More

Does a saltless water softener system work?

There are options for salt-less water treatment systems, but very few do much of anything you expect, want, and need. We have options shown on our Salt-less page, but they have budget limitations, among other things. We replace too many customer’s wires, magnets, “molecule aligners,” etc. that fell victim to the quick-fix curse. Quick fix salt-less options yield hard water and a reminder of a wrong decision wrapped around or bolted to pipes. A Gordon water softener system provides you with soft, clean water. And as a bonus, we will remove and dispose of that DIY reminder.

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 thoroughly, helps prevent the drying effects, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. Without the residue, you can now contact 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 cold kitchen lines “hard.” The kitchen cold hard meaning you do not have the benefit of sufficiently 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 cold kitchen line hard or convert it to smooth. 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. You receive almost no benefit from drinking hard water. Your water softener system reduces the risk of hard water that may contribute to kidney stone related issues.

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 deficient 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 two labs we work with, where we send samples for further assessment. One lab is for problem water and adequately treating the water that goes on you, and that is free of charge.  The second lab is an EPA approved lab that will provide 87 test results which mainly we use for the concerns for the water that goes in you. The latter test does have a cost of $189.99, but is well worth it!  It’s the things we can not see, smell, or taste that can be the most important things to address. 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 such as the PFCs/PFOS substances found in groundwater in northern Kent County in 2017. 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 several reasons to drink either our five gallons of bottled water or drink the water that you filter at home or work.
    • Our Bpa Free five gallon bottles are reused (cleaned and sanitized after each use) such that in a five-gallon bottle’s lifetime, it may equal over 15,000 half liter sport bottles. Think of the future with even a portion of that many sports bottles per family in landfills! Learn More
    • Reverse Osmosis processes all of our bottled water, so you know it is way cleaner than minimum government guidelines like Spring Water only meets.
    • Our mineral enhanced bottled water starts 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 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! 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 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. 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 every day.   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 not to regenerate (clean itself) correctly, which will create hard water to be allowed into your home. 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. If you can see water, add salt and fill it up about to the top of the brine well tube. An optimal amount is 120 lbs – 160 lbs of salt in your water softener system.

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 see rock salt advertised for a water softener system. NEVER use rock salt. It’s good for melting ice & snow, but bad for softeners because there’s way too much dirt in it!
  • Solar salt is low in cost, but it is salt that is dried in the sun and not refined in any other way.
  • Household salt may result in a service call that requires 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 pick up at one of our convenient locations. We even have salt punch cards = customers get one bag FREE with purchase of 10 bags (10 punches.) Some folks forget the card and buy 10 bags and get the 11th FREE every time they come in – once a year for some people because their Kinetico is too efficient! Learn More

My bottled water cooler does not flow any water or prolonged water?

That’s an issue, especially when you are thirsty. There are three 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. 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 is 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 cheap cooler from a big box store. If you rent from us, 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 an ordinary 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

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