Protecting Against Lead in Water

Lead is a naturally occurring element found in the Earth’s crust in small amounts. It can be beneficial in specific uses, but it is a harmful metal to a person’s health and there is no safe level for lead exposure to humans. People are exposed to lead products that range from lead-based paint, air, soil, dust inside homes, food, pottery, and even drinking water. Consuming high levels of this metal can cause health issues once it enters the blood, especially for younger children.

Effects of Lead

The EPA is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water that is considered safe with minimum health effects. The standard allowed for lead is set to zero, and even at low levels, lead can be very harmful and can accumulate in the body over time. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause brain disorders and severe kidney damage. The effects of lead do not equally impact individuals. The risks will vary depending on the person, the chemical properties of the water, and the amount of lead consumed. Specific issues found in people:

  • Pregnant Women – As discussed above, lead can accumulate in the body over time and can be found in a person’s bones along with calcium. Lead is released from the mother’s bones when maternal calcium transfers to the fetus to help develop bones for the baby. The lead can also cross the placental barrier that can expose the fetus, possibly causing reduced growth and premature birth.
  • Infants and Children – Infants who consume water with lead content may be at a higher risk of exposure since the large volume of water they consume is relative to the proportion of their smaller body size. Children are often vulnerable to lead poisoning due to the fact they drink more water and have developing bodies. High levels of lead exposure can cause convulsions, significant neurological damage, organ failure, coma, and even death. Lower exposure of lead can cause hearing loss, reduced growth, and an increased chance of learning and behavior disabilities.
  • Adults – Adults who are exposed to lead can suffer from health issues such as cardiovascular effects with increased blood pressure and hypertension. In addition, older persons can develop kidney damage and complications with reproductive organs.

How Does Lead Get in Tap Water?

Lead is in all areas of our environment and can be found in the air, soil, and water. Lead can even be found within our homes in certain places. Most lead contaminates come from human activities such as the use of fossil fuels and gasoline, factories, or lead-based paints. When lead is released into the air, it can travel long distances before it settles in soil or water supplies. Lead can merge into drinking water, causing corrosion to take place, and eating away at the piping within homes. In older houses, before 1930, lead was used for soldering pipes. It wasn’t until the early 1980s when we saw a decrease of lead being used for pipes in homes.

Lead Removal

If you suspect that lead may be in your water, we advise that you get your water analyzed by a certified laboratory, or at minimum, purchase a DIY self-test kit to determine for sure. The good news is, lead can be removed from your drinking water. The simplest way to solve this issue is by using the correct water filter after the contamination source is identified. The three basic water filtration methods to remove lead are:

  • Reverse Osmosis – The most popular and inexpensive option, and it can eliminate 95% of lead in water.
  • Activated Carbon Filtration – This option allows the activated carbon in filters to absorb minerals such as lead and magnesium from the water, decreasing the amount of lead supply significantly. However, the disadvantage is that the filter cartridges may fill up quickly and need replacement often. The lead removing capabilities also decrease after a certain amount of water has been passed through the system.  
  • Distillation – This method produces the purest water, but it comes with an expensive price tag and requires a lot of electricity and processing time as well.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your home’s unique water quality needs, including arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more. More information on water treatment solutions, including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal, can be found online at

The Importance of High-Quality Drinking Water

Hydration is key to all living things, and without it, we would only live for about five days. Our bodies are more than 50% water and it helps maintain our normal body temperature, lubricates joints, and enables the body to rid waste through urination, sweat, and bowel movements. Doctors advise us to drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day and studies have shown that women, on average, will consume approximately 91 oz. of water and men will drink about 125 oz. of water every day. Part of this consumption of water is from foods such as fruits and vegetables. It seems quite simple why water is so important to our health, but understanding the different risks from contaminations and how to protect your drinking water can be more in-depth.

Is Tap Water Safe?

In general, tap water is considered to be safe to consume if it comes from a public water system that is run and maintained by a municipality. When drinking water exits a treatment facility and travels to your home, the quality standards must reach strict safety requirements. Unfortunately, even with these safety policies, it does not mean that the water is free of any contaminants, but that the levels of the pollutants are low enough not to cause any health risks. Accidents do happen and if the water supply does become contaminated with something that can create illness, the supplier must inform consumers within 24 hours and offer alternative suggestions for safe drinking water.

Types of Contaminations

There are a few ways that water can become contaminated. Water can contain microorganisms like parasites and bacteria that are added to the water from human or animal feces. It can also become contaminated from industrial waste such as spraying crops that contain chemicals or nitrates used in fertilizers that run off the land. Sometimes the natural deposits from underground can have various minerals like lead or mercury that can enter the water supply. Lead can also transfer to a water source through old lead pipes as well. Even pipes that claim to be “lead-free” can contain as much as 8% lead. To avoid lead consumption when using tap water, use water from the cold tap and to let the water run for a minute before using it.

A Solution to the Problem

Often, when a contamination notice is sent to homes about a water crisis, it is advised to boil your water for 24 to 48 hours, so many consumers are under the impression that contaminates can be removed by heating the water to cleanse it. Boiling water will indeed kill germs; however, contaminants such as lead, nitrates, and pesticides will not affectedly be removed using this method.  It may have an opposite consequence since boiling will reduce the amount of water when it evaporates, making the concentration of the contaminate even higher. There are four main types of water filters that are more beneficial for contaminant removal:

  • Activated Carbon Filters – These can remove organic contaminants that change the taste and smell. Certain systems are designed to remove chemicals such as chlorination by-products, pesticides, and some metals like copper or lead.
  • Reverse Osmosis – This filtration system can remove nitrates, sodium, pesticides, and petrochemicals.
  • Ion Exchange – This type of filter can remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, and they are used in combination with other systems such as carbon absorption or reverse osmosis.
  • Distillation – This method creates distilled water by collecting condensation of steam from boiling water.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your home’s unique water quality needs, including arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more. To learn more information on our water treatment solutions, including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron and odor removal, visit

What You Should Know About Hexavalent Chromium

Due to the rising attention given to the seeping of hexavalent chromium (or “green goo”, as called by area residents) in Madison Heights, MI, it is important to understand how you can protect your family from such dangers should they arrive near your home.

What is Hexavalent Chromium?

While the hexavalent chromium (made famous in the movie Erin Brockovich) seepage in Madison Heights poses little health risk to residents due to differing drinking water sources, it is important to understand exactly what this health risk is and what it can do to you and your family. Hexavalent chromium, according to this OSHA article, is one of the valence states (+6) of the element chromium, usually produced by an industrial process. Cr(VI) is known to cause cancer and targets the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin, and eyes.

What Can be Done to Prevent This?

What happened with the Electro Plating Services building in Madison Heights was the result of gross incompetence with waste disposal by the owner and thus posed a huge risk to residents who are Ill-equipped to deal with such contaminants when the seepage was discovered, as reported in this WXYZ article. A net positive with this unfortunate incident is the growing awareness of how to deal with potentially harmful contaminants in your home’s water going forward. One proven combatant to contaminants like Cr(VI) is reverse osmosis, which sends water through a thin membrane that naturally filters particles too small to be filtered through prefilter systems located within the overall reverse osmosis filtration system. By installing a system like this in your home you’re able to keep harmful contaminants, not only Cr(VI) but a vast quantity of other similar agents, out of your home’s water and keep your family safe.

Reynolds Water is the best local source that provides you with a variety of filtration systems to keep your family safe. Give us a call and we can hook you up with the right system for your family at the best price in the area.

Why You Should Have A Water Filtration System

Without water, we could not live so it’s easy to see why choosing the best source for the cleanest water is an important decision to be made. Industrial chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides are found in water supplies all over the world and it is up to us to protect ourselves and our families from the pollution we can potentially put into our bodies. The good news is there are many affordable options that are available to produce and improve water quality.

Knowing You Water

The first step to improve your water quality is to know exactly what type of water you are currently dealing with. There are several ways that water testing can be performed some more accurate than others. The most simplistic form of testing is by using your senses of sight, smell, and taste. With sight, you may notice cloudiness or particles that float or if the coloring of red, brown, or orange it could indicate rust from corroded pipes. As for the smell, certain aromas will inform you of chemicals that are in the water such as bleach type which could be chlorine from the local facility. Or perhaps you smell rotten eggs, and this may indicate somewhere through the water’s course there is bacteria growth. Lastly with taste, if the water instantly doesn’t taste normal it is best to never swallow it. The next option for water testing is to have a professional water treatment company to test your water supply or purchase an at-home water test kit. These tests can determine if the water contains harmful materials and reveal the water’s pH and hardness. If your water source is from a private well, it is advised to have the water tested twice a year.

Water Filter Options

Water filters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and each one has unique features that will benefit a home differently depending on your water quality needs.  The first question to ask yourself is what impurities are you wanting to remove from your water? After reviewing your water quality report or speaking to your professional water treatment company, you can decide what type of filter you are needing to use.

  1. Pitcher filter- The simplest water filters to use that fit inside a pitcher that can be kept inside the refrigerator. This style is inexpensive and easy to use but the lifetime is short and typically only removing few contaminants such as chlorine from the water.
  2. Faucet mount filter- this style is exactly as its name implies and is located directly under your faucet. They require little installation with easy replacements and are an inexpensive option. These filters can remove a decent number of contaminants but be sure to research what exactly it can remove to be safe.
  3. Countertop filters- These filters will not take up space under your sink but can however clutter your countertops. They work best for filtering large amounts of water without having to modify any plumbing. Installation can be done hooking to your faucet or be freestanding as well. An advantage is they do not clog as often as a faucet-mounted system but are not compatible with all types of faucets either.
  4. Reverse osmosis– A process where water is forced through a membrane that filters molecules that’s are physically larger than the water molecules. This type of filter is very well at removing minerals however it cannot remove chlorine or volatile organic compounds which are more of a cause for concern so many ROS systems combine prefilters and carbon filters to help this issue.
  5. Whole-house filters- This type of filter is installed directly in the water main and filter all water coming into the home. An advantage is they have a long lifetime and are an inexpensive option for removing sediment, rust, and sometimes even chlorine. Unfortunately, they can not remove most other contaminants, so it is important to pair this with another drinking water filter. They are on the pricier side in relation and must be installed by a professional water treatment company.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Salt Vs Salt Free Water Softeners

A recent debate that is brought up often after water softeners are which systems are better, the salt based or salt free softeners? Several factors will need to be considered when answering this question. In this installment we will look at how both systems work and what advantages/ disadvantages of each to understand which system is best suited in a certain situation.

Salt Based Water Softeners

Taking a closer look at how these products work, these systems are designed to remove hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water which than provided soft water. This process of hard water removal is done through “ion exchange”. Salt based softeners require the use of salt pellets and regeneration periods or a recharge cycle. As a result, these systems will prevent scale buildup, reduce future staining on appliances and laundry, and personal hair and skin softness. They will ultimately save you money by prolonging the life of your water base appliances and use less soap/ detergent when cleaning. If your home has high levels of hard water, this type of softener will be your best choice for your concerns.

Salt Free Water Softeners

Despite their name, salt free water softeners do not soften hard water. They work by crystallizing calcium but does not remove it. Salt free water softeners are more specifically a water conditioner that prevent the hard water from adhering to the surface of an object such as the inside of your water pipes. An advantage of using this type of water softener/ water conditioner is that they do not waste water the same way as traditional softeners. They are also less expensive to operate and require less maintenance. This method of hard water treatment is not as effective as a salt-based system and will not be able to remove high levels of hard water.

Choosing Potassium Chloride

A third option that can be done to remove your hard water issues but will remain on the healthier side would be soften water by using the alternative of potassium instead of sodium. Potassium is an essential mineral that provides good health to people and to the environment. Water conditioning units at Reynolds Water are designed to use potassium just as well as the use of sodium. Simply change the product by changing to a different bag option and your set.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Types of Salt for Your Water Softener

As being a home owner, certain appliances will need to be maintained in order to keep your house running efficiently including your water softener. Regularly, the salt supply will need to be replenished in order to keep hard water from coming into your water system. While out shopping, you may find yourself questioning what the best choice for salt is exactly to purchase since there is a variety of choices to choose from. In todays article we will discuss the difference between the salt options and help you decide which choice is best for your softener and home.

Sodium Chloride Options

Water softeners or conditioners can be used with either sodium chloride (most commonly called salt) or potassium chloride. When at your local grocery store or home improvement store one thing to keep in mind when looking at the bags for purchase, its important to notice the purity levels. Many of the bags sold in these places will contain high level of water insoluble material. This impurity over time can cause buildup in the water reservoir or cause the water softener to not function properly. If you notice this buildup occurring, the brine tank will need to be cleaned more often to avoid this from happening in future. A closer look at sodium chloride and you will see there are 3 different forms to choose from: pellets, crystal, or block salt. Salt pellets are the most common and typically are the less costly than potassium pellets. Like many things found in the consumer world, spending a little more money upfront for higher quality products is well worth the expense since this typically will mean less maintenance and fewer cleanings needed to keep your softener functioning efficiently.

Potassium Chloride as Alternative

If sodium chloride doesn’t seem to be the right fit for your homes needs, the alternative option can be potassium chloride for your brine tank. Potassium chloride is 99.9% sodium free, so this option is great for individuals who are looking to decrease their sodium intakes. The largest disadvantage with this type is the price tag attached is much higher in comparison to sodium chloride. It can also be less readily available when searching at your local stores and your options are smaller. Switching your home form sodium to potassium may require an increase of salt dosage on the program settings value by an extra 10% to guarantee proper regeneration. If needing assistance with this, Reynolds Water Conditioning technicians can assist with this.

Salt Maintenance Tips

Checking your salt level inside your brine tank monthly is recommended. If your system regenerates more frequently, more checks and salt refills will need to be done more often as well. The salt in the brine tank should be at least 3 to 4 inches above the water level, but less than 4 inches below the top of the brine tank for best efficiency. If regular checks on the salt levels are performed you will begin to have non conditioned water through the household and will notice hard water by orange appearance, smells and taste different from before. Be sure to loosen any hardened salt around the edges of the tank or any large solid masses also known as salt bridges before adding additional salt each time.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Basic Water Softener Maintenance

Maintenance and service on water softeners is pretty basic when it comes to the world of appliance upkeep.  The exception to this, however, is the initial installation of the water softener.  Determining the water hardness level, regeneration timing parameters, salt to use, and when to refill the salt so the softener can perform properly can be a bit tricky.  Proper water softener set up can make long term maintenance easier and the softener perform more efficiently and last longer.  

Ongoing Maintenance – Tips for Residential Water Softeners

Avoid Salt Bridges

Salt bridges occur when an empty space is created in the brine tank between the water and the salt.  This prevents the salt from dissolving in the water which is how brine is made.  Without brine the resin beads that soften the water are unable to do their job. 

The most common cause of bridges are high humidity, temperature changes, or using the wrong type of salt.  Salt bridges make it appear that the salt in your water softener tank is full.  Your water, however, will be hard because the salt is not dissolving to make brine.  To remove a salt bridge, use a long handle and slowly push the top of the salt downward.  A little bit of pressure is all that is needed to break up the solidified salt.

Prevent Salt Mushing

Salt mushing is more serious than salt bridges.  This occurs when the salt dissolves and then recrystallizes to form a sludge on the bottom or the brine tank.  This thick layer of sludge keeps the softener from cycling properly during the regeneration process.  Hard water remains and a serious blockage is created in the tank.  If you attempt to remove a salt bridge and it does not break up, salt mushing is probably the cause of your hard water problem. The only way to fix the issue of salt mushing is to drain the softener of all water, remove the old salt and sludge, and replace it with fresh salt. 

To prevent both salt bridges and salt mushing it is important to use high quality salt products as they greatly reduce the potential for problems.  Also, it is important not to overfill the brine tank with salt.  Keeping it only half-fill will prevent older salt from sticking to the walls of the softener tanks.  Preventing humidity around the water softener can also help. An environment with high humidity can lead to condensation in the brine tank which will cause salt to bond together.

Water Softener Salt

In choosing salt to use in your water softener you will be able to choose from rock, solar, and evaporated salt.  Rock salt is the cheapest however contains the highest level of insoluble minerals.  When this occurs, the result is a muddy tank which decreases the softening efficiency and leaves impurities in your water.  Solar salt is more soluble than rock salt.  Solar salt is obtained through the evaporation of sea water and is found in crystal and pellet form.  The best option for salt to use in your softener is evaporated salt.  This is obtained through the combination of evaporation and mining.  Solar salt is 99.99% sodium chloride and is the purest form of salt.

Salt with high levels of purity leave less residue thus lower the likelihood of salt bridging and mushing.  Purer salt results in less maintenance and high-quality salt in pellet form helps to eliminate bridging issues. Water softener salt delivery allows you to order top quality salt brand products that address specific issues such as high concentrations of iron, rust stains, and salt free alternatives like potassium chloride. 

Resin Bed Cleaning

Resin beads are routinely recharged by salt, but this doesn’t mean that the resin bed shouldn’t be flushed every few months with a cleaner designed for water softeners every few months to keep it in top shape.  Water softening units can become polluted with iron, silt, metals, and a variety of different organic compounds which decrease your softeners efficiency.  The process to reduce the ineffective resin is fairly simple.  You will pour the manufacturers recommended amount of cleaner down the brine well and manually regenerate the water softener.  The cleaner will be discharged during the normal flushing process during the softening cycle.  This action cleans the resin and helps the absorbency of calcium and magnesium.

Clean the Venturi Valve

The venturi and nozzle work to create suction that moves brine from the brine tank into the resin tank during regeneration.  Sometimes this valve can become plugged up with sand, sediment, or dirt.  A clean valve is imperative for water softening to occur properly.  This can be accomplished by unscrewing the cover of the valve, removing internal parts, and cleaning them all with soap and water.  Completing this process twice a year will help keep the process running smoothly and more efficiently. 

Periodic maintenance, regular upkeep, and monthly checkups all prevent major incidents from compiling and affecting the quality of the water running through your home.  Hard water leads to major expenses, like new appliances, plumbing issues, and more, when left untreated. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

What Do I Need to Know Before Purchasing a Water Softener?

There are several different options when it comes to treating the water in your home.  The decision on whether you choose to install a water softener, water conditioner, reverse osmosis system, water purification, or water filtration system all comes down to the quality of the water from your tap.  Depending on the minerals and contaminants that are in your water the treatment option chosen for installation will vary.  Below are the most commonly asked questions surrounding water softeners and water treatment options.

What is hard water by definition?

All water naturally contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium that dissolve in it.  Water that contains more than one grain of a combination of minerals is considered to be hard.  To determine what level of minerals can be found in your homes water bring a sample from each faucet into Reynolds Water Conditioning Co

What should concern me about having hard water?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to having hard water is the scaling that occurs in pipes and fixtures.  Scaling occurs when water is heated and minerals re-crystalizing.  These scales then get into appliances that use water such as the washer, water heater, and dishwasher decreasing its lifespan.

Another issue made worse because of hard water is soap scum in showers, on your hair, skin, and even clothing.  Soap combined with hard water forms a scummy substance that accumulates.  Even after rinsing thoroughly soap scum deposits are still present.

Why do I need to soften the water in my home?

When your home has hard water, the installation of a water softener can often help.  Soft water is beneficial for a variety of reasons.  Not only does it prevent scaling, but it also allows you to use less detergent, reduces spotting on fixtures and dishes, helps to increase the longevity of appliances, and more.

Are there reasons I should not use a water softener?

If you are on a low sodium diet, you will want to consider a water softener alternative. Water softeners use a process of ionization using salt to soften hard water. Salt ions attract hard water minerals and deposit them on the water softener resin (simply put of course). Basically, the salt ions and mineral ions trade places with one another which is why the soft water contains extra salt. 

Do I need to soften water outdoors or on my ice maker?

Yes, the water in your ice maker should be softened prior to making ice.  Softened water does not leave scale deposits which water that has not been softened does. 

Irrigation systems are a personal choice.  If water is left untreated there is a high potential for outdoor staining to occur.  Hard water deposits minerals such as iron on to landscaping, siding, and outdoor furniture which overtime discolors the materials. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Stain Control for the Rust In Michigan Irrigation Systems

Rust is a common element in water that is flowing through Michigan irrigation systems.  One way that homeowners can ensure that this rust doesn’t cause staining to outdoor furniture, landscaping, or siding is to install a water treatment system that offers irrigation stain control.  Reynolds Water Conditioning Company offers a system that is designed specifically for this purpose.  In these systems a concentration of a bio-degradable solution is injected into the irrigation stream as it enters the irrigation system.

Irrigation stain control water treatment systems help to prevent the formation of rust and red water staining outdoors.  The solution that is injected into the water is safe in preventing stains without harmful acids and chlorides.  Not only does the solution prevent staining it protects against corrosion, pitting, and plant life damage. 

Now that we know how we go about preventing future staining it is important that we remove the rust stains that have already formed.  Landscape rocks are one of the most versatile materials that can be used when creating a natural space.  When rocks are exposed to the elements a natural unattractive red staining can occur.  It can come from the rust in the irrigation water and from a chemical reaction between irrigation water and iron that can be present on landscape rocks.  Most stains can be removed by using an oxalic acid bath or a combination of powdered clay and liquid rust remover.  There are also a number of over the counter products that remove rust all of which can be found at local hardware stores

Cleaning Small Landscaping Rocks

To safely clean your landscaping rocks first removal the built-up dirt and debris. Place larger rocks in a bucket.  Put on some rubber gloves and safety goggles combining one gallon of distilled water with one pound of oxalic acid crystals.  Mix carefully with a wooden spoon until crystals are dissolved.  Pour the solution slowly over the landscaping rocks to avoid splashing.  Use enough solution to cover the rocks.  Let this sit until rust no longer remains.  Add baking soda slowly to the oxalic mixture to neutralize it.  This will cause the mixture to bubble and foam up.  Once this process stops you can remove the rocks from the bucket with rubber gloves.  This mixture can be disposed of down the drain.  Rinse the landscape rocks with a garden hose. 

Cleaning Large Landscaping Rocks

Rinse landscape rocks with a garden hose.  Put on rubber gloves and mix rust remover with powdered clay to make a thick paste.  Apply a thick layer to the stains with a spatula.  Allow the paste to sit for 24 to 48 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap or a large tarp to allow the paste to dry completely.  Once the mixture is dry you can scrape it off with a plastic knife.  The rocks should then be washed off with a garden hose.  If rusts or stains remain the process can be repeated. 

Tips for Cleaning Rust

  • Test the acid solution/paste on an area of hidden rocks before cleaning the lot.
  • If the paste leaves marks on the rocks use a wet cloth and polishing powder to buff them out.
  • Always wear rubber gloves and eye protection.
  • Work carefully to avoid splashing on your skin.
  • Use caution to prevent breathing in dust from the oxalic acid and removed paste.
  • While cleaning keep pets and children away from the area.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at

Steps Involved In Cleaning Your Water Softeners Brine Tank

Part of owning a water softener is maintaining it.  One aspect of water softener maintenance involves cleaning the tank which holds the brine.  Cleaning a water softener tank should be done every five to ten years.  It is time to clean the tank when your water turns hard and the basic tank maintenance doesn’t fix the issue. Older water softening units can benefit from annual cleanings especially electric water softeners. 

The first step in cleaning the water softener tank involves emptying the tank.  This is done by locating the bypass valve and shutting off the water intake.  Water can be siphoned out of the tank.  After this process is completed you will want to remove the leftover salt and safely throw it away.  Water softener salt must be disposed of away from plants.  Water softener salt will kill plants and other landscaping plants and shrubs. Another way to get rid of large blocks of salt or bridges is to dissolve it in hot water. 

Once the water and salt have been removed from the tank homeowners should remove the brine grid that sits at the base of the tank.  Some water softening units have a mesh platform instead.  Set this grid to the side before cleaning the tank.

Once the water softener tank is empty and the brine grid or mesh has been removed it is time to clean the tank with a good amount of soap and water.  This mixture should be scrubbed all around the interior of the tank with a long-handled scrub brush.  After the tanks has been thoroughly cleansed the soapy water can be dumped out and rinsed with clean water.

After this has been done the homeowner should clean the tank with a combination of bleach and water. Stir the bleach/water combination in the tank and let it sit for fifteen minutes to completely disinfect the tank.  Organisms have a difficult time to grow in the concentrated brine however the bleach and water mixture makes sure.

Once this process has been completed and the bleach/water combination has been rinsed out it is time to replenish the tank with water and salt.  First replace the grid into the bottom of the tank.  Add water softener salt and water back into the tank when it is back in place.  Give the tank a couple of hours before you regenerate the water softener as this time is needed in order to dissolve the salt within the tank. 

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditioners, water filtration and purification, reverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at