We hope the following questions and answers will provide you with the knowledge to make wise decisions about your home or business water filtration needs. Any question you may have that is not answered below, please call us! 435-688-7873

Q: What is hard water and why should I care?

You asked, so here’s the actual equation behind hard water:

{ calcium, magnesium, lime } 1 grain = 1/7000th of a pound

To put this in perspective, a household of two, with water hardness of 16 grains per gallon (GPG), is about 334 lbs. of rocks in your water supply, in one year!

So how many grains per gallon are running through your water system? Folks in Washington County in Southern Utah can expect 16 GPG on the low end and up to a whopping 40 GPG on the high end.

Why should I care?

Hard water reduces the ability of soaps to suds and clean, leaves dingy gray residue on clothes, and spots on dishes. Calcium and magnesium in the water supply contribute to several problems in the home. Hard water is more abrasive than soft water. The tiny mineral particles combine with soap curd or detergents to become like little pieces of rock pounding away at clothing fibers and fragile glassware.

Over a period of time, the structural integrity of the product is weakened. This means glasses can become etched and the life of clothing reduced. Reduced water heating efficiency, increases water heating costs scale build up shortens the life of water heaters.Reduced detergent performance wastes detergent, reduced rinsing performance on dishes, clothes, bathroom tile, etc. Hard water dry’s skin and hair. A greater amount of shampoo and soap is needed to clean, and hard water doesn’t rinse. That means soap residues remain, leaving skin susceptible to blemishes and hair less shiny.

Hard water is tough on plumbing. and pipes, limiting the water flow, reducing the life of the product and increasing operating costs and maintenance on water-using appliances. Calcium build-up in valves and solenoids in water bearing appliances reduces appliance performance and life.

Just a few ways software water saves money:

Dish Soap Use 75% less No wiping, simply air dry
Automatic dish soap Use 75% less Sparkling clean!
Laundry soap Use 80% less Cleaner, brighter clothes
Hand soap (bar or liquid) Use 75% less No rings or scum to scrub
Bleach Use 75% less White is white
Pre-wash Use 50% less Cleans better
Fabric softeners Use 100% less No harsh effect on clothes
Dryer sheets Use 50% less Use them over and over
Mr. Clean, Soft Scrumbs, etc. Use 80% less Clean up is faster and easier
Toilet cleaners Use 90% less No hard water or iron stains
Tub & toilet cleaners Use 90% less No soap scum
Lotions & creams Use 90% less Hard water makes skin dry
Bubble bath Use 90% less Hard water kills bubbles!

Q: Does Utah have hard water?


Water hardness is one of the most common of all water problems. Its presence costs industry and consumers millions of dollars annually in equipment and plumbing maintenance and replacement. Hard water is found in 85% of the United States, U.S. geological survey.

Generally, 3 to 7 grains per gallon (GPG) of hardness is very easy to deal with. When it reaches 7.5 GPG, it is a lot harder to deal with. Most companies that make any type of cleaning products are made to work in up to 7 GPG of hardness. In Washington County Utah, we are 12 GPG to over 40 GPG in some areas. Look at the color green in the very bottom left hand corner of Utah map.

Q: Why not just go to Sears or Home Depot and get a water softener?

No matter which one you purchase, none have the capacity to be efficient, to give you true salt and water savings in the cleaning cycle. Plus they over clean or they under clean. The gallons of soft water they have between cleaning cycles are not very many.

At A Plus Water Filtration Systems, we go beyond just determining the type of system you need. We have over 20 years of dedicated water filtration business in southern Utah and Washington County. Additionally, we have over 30 years in the water treatment business. Our emphasis is on both servicing existing equipment as well as selling and installing custom built water systems for homes, businesses, and water bottling plants.

Unlike the more general water softener brands that are found in hardware stores, department stores and plumbing supply stores, which are designed to meet the general needs of homes across the country, our systems are designed from the ground up to meet the exact needs of your home or business. We custom build each system to give you the best possible water and economic payoff possible. We are second to no one on our warranties! We warranty our equipment from 5 TO 20 years up to A full lifetime, NOT A LIMITED WARRANTY. Compare this to the 1-5 year LIMITED warranties that accompany the general water softener brands sold in stores. Watch out for that word LIMITED it means, just that ! ALSO you deal with the manufacture, when you have a problem, not the box store you purchased from. We all know how much FUN that is.

The number one advantage of our custom built water softener and water filtration system is that we hand-select each component from the manufactures that have the highest quality standards and for which we know they will keep working, year after year. This is the key reason we are able to offer 20-year to lifetime warranties, signed and in writing. Anything we say, we will put in writing. Do not settle for anything less, from any one!


Q: Is my water supposed to feel slippery after I install a water softener?

Calcium and magnesium in water interfere with the cleaning action of soap and detergent. They do this by combining with soap or detergent and forming a scum that does not dissolve in water. Because these minerals react with soap and detergent, they remove the soap and detergent, thereby reducing the effectiveness of these cleaning agents. You can NOT overcome this by adding more soap or detergent. However, the scum that is formed can adhere to what is being washed, making it appear dingy. An automatic water softener connected to water supply pipes removes magnesium and calcium from water. This will reduce the amount of soap you need to use, and insures it will not remain in or on the item being washed, whether the item is tile, glassware, clothes, skin or hair.

The slippery you feel, is really softness you feel. It is your “real” clean skin.

When you use soft water, anything you put on your skin is thoroughly rinsed away, leaving behind the natural oils your skin produces.

Q: Is a water softener expensive to operate?

No, it is not expensive to operate.

It is the only appliance you will purchase that pays for its self. For a family of two or more, a water softener saves about $500.00 per year in cleaning products and hygiene products, including soap products, comet, soft scrub, bleach, shampoo, lotions, creams, etc.

Q: What Type of Salt Should I Use?

Use course salt, not pellets. Why?


  1. One or two people in a home or 2nd home
    1. Use only coarse, extra coarse, crystals, solar salt, solar salt crystals, granules, cubes or white crystal.
    2. Pellet salt is not recommended, no matter the brand name!!NOTE: pellet salt has a lot of powder in with the salt pellets, that you see as you pour the salt into your softener. This powder goes to the bottom of the salt barrel, the powder turns to a paste like state. 1 or 2 people do not use enough water to keep the water rotated in the salt barrel to keep the paste from building up more and more. eventually you may have to dig the salt paste out of your salt barrel and start over, that is not a lot of fun! Four people or more generally use enough water to avoid that problem.

      NOTE: pellet salt does not clean or give more soft water than coarse salt!! Three or more people in the family full time, fill the salt container up. When you start to see water in with the salt. Means you need salt NOW!

    3. Salt barrels that are in garages, keep half full of salt [ helps to keep salt bridges to a minimum ] and always keep salt above water level. You should keep 2 to 4 bags of salt on hand at all times so you do not run out. If you see water and salt below the water, you need salt yesterday, maybe even weeks ago, or a month ago. If this happens you should do a cleaning cycle, { regeneration cycle } 2 or 3 nights in a row to get a good cleaning of the system again salt below the water level you get about 5% to 10% salt water mix, salt above the water level you get 20% to 25% salt water mix, which cleans the resin a lot better. Salt water { or brine } is what cleans the resin in the resin [grains] tank that makes water soft. Salt does not make water soft,salt cleans the resin that makes water soft. The residue from salt that is left from the cleaning cycle, which comes out of your water tap is sodium bicarbonate, not sodium chloride, about 25 t0 75 parts per million per liter.
  2. To break up salt bridges a 4 ft piece of 1” PVC pipe works great
  3. Check the time of day
    1. If the clock is wrong, your softener may be in a cleaning cycle during the daytime hours when you use the most water. If that happens, it is all hard water that goes into the house during a cleaning cycle.
    2. A one piece softener [cabinet model] or a two piece softener. [salt tank & resin is separate] they can do only one thing at a time, provided you with soft water or be in a cleaning cycle {regeneration cycle}, not both. That is why the cleaning cycles are2 a.m. in the morning (unless you have a three piece water softener).
  4. We recommend to do extra cleaning cycle twice a year (e.g. January 1st and July 1st this will remove extra dirt and hardness from the system.)
    1. The best time to do the extra cleaning cycle is right before bed time when there is no water in use.
    2. Two hours before bed time mix 3 oz of bleach in 1 gal of water, pour mix in the round plastic cylinder in the salt.
    3. Just before bed do a manual cleaning cycle. Most softeners it is just a matter of pushing a button.


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Q: Do I Need to Use Less Laundry Detergent with Soft Water?

Yes! 50% to 80% less.

National average figures based on the average family of 2 to 4 average water hardness of 10 grains per gallon of hardness. Washington county average is 16 grains per gallon of hardness

Hard Water Cost Soft Water Saves
Total per Year $2,098.80 $1,080.00
Total per Month $174.90 $90.00
Total per Day $5.83 $3.00
Total over 5 Years $10,490.00 $5,400.00


Hard cost$10,490.00 soft water $5400.00 = soft water saves $5090.00 in 5 years, over hard water cost.

Yearly Cost Monthly Cost Yearly Savings Monthly Savings % Savings w/ Softener
Plumbing & Appliances $100.00 $8.33 $75.00 $6.30 75%
Personal Care Items $60.00 $5.00 $45.00 $3.75 30%
Clothing & Linens $300.00 $25.00 $90.00 $7.50 30%
Soap & Cleaning Products $800.00 $66.66 $53.33 $4.44 80%
Energy Consumption $200.00 $16.66 $40.00 $3.33 20%


Compiled from : US Department of Commerce, US Department of Labor, National Industrial Conference Board, Water Conditioning Reach Council, National Restaurant Association, American Laundry Institute, US Bureau of Standards, Orange County California Research Study.

Q: I’ve heard about those no-saltwater softeners. Are they legit?

Absolutely not!

If you believe its true, at least protect yourself, get a minimum of one year 100% money back guarantee. Also send a sample of water from inside your home 30 days after install of the no-salt water softener to an independent lab for testing, to verify that it is soft water. If the test verifies the inside is soft, you pay for the test and forget it; it works. The test confirms it is not soft water; they pay for the test, and return all you money for the equipment you purchased, and the install.

P.S. Salt does not make water soft, salt cleans the resin that makes water soft. Salt water, or brine, is what cleans the resin in the resin tank that makes water soft.

Q: Is it Better to Use Potassium Over Salt?


On the yes and no side, the no wins.


  1. Drink about 64 ounces of water per day. The added potassium is around 500 to 600 milligrams of added potassium to your diet.
  2. Better to use to water indoor plants with.



  1. 8 ounce glass of orange juice is 500 milligrams, baked potato medium 782 milligrams.
  2. Reverse osmosis is the best for plants, as close as you get pure rain water.
  3. The harder the water, your water could taste bitter, or have a metallic taste.
  4. Potassium in general is about 3 to 4 times more expensive. Salt $4.00 potassium $16.00.
  5. Potassium also has the same caution as salt, hi-blood pressure, heart, kidney consult physician.
  6. Salt bridging or caking in hot dry areas can be very bad, makes brine harder to draw out of salt barrels.
  7. Potassium amount used is 10% to 15% more than salt, in harder water conditions, above 10 grains.

Q: Does a water softener add sodium to my drinking water?

Yes, sodium bicarbonate water, not sodium chloride water. One grain of hardness equals about 30 milligrams of sodium per gallon of soft water, the harder the water, more sodium bicarbonate.

30 grain hard water would add about 900 milligrams of sodium bicarbonate [not sodium chloride] to your diet by drinking or eating food prepared from a gallon of soft water.


900 milligrams is about 31/100’s of an ounce.
It takes 28,349.6 milligrams to equal 1 ounce.

Consider a water purifier, reverse osmosis drinking cooking water system for your home, it will remove 99 percent of sodium from  your water.
Reverse osmosis systems filter water about 11,000 times better than fridge filters, faucet filters & pour through pitchers.

Q: Does the size of a water softener system make a difference?

Yes, yes absolutely!

8 out 10 homes have a softener that should have been, more capacity [ 32,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 grain unit ]. A softener should be sized more by how hard your water is, than people and home size. Most homes only have a 32,000 grain system.

Fact, a larger unit will save a lot of water and salt, also it does not work as hard, and you will have soft water all the time.

Q: Does a water softener filter or purify the water?

Yes, but very little.

Removes or reduces, sediment, sand, silt, chlorine, iron, lead, barium, calcium, nitrates, sulfates, radium, magnesium, lime, bad taste and odor.

Filter capacity of a water softener is about 1,000 microns in size, a human hair is 80 to 100 microns, a purifier, reverse osmosis filters water down to .0006 of a micron. [about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair].

Q: Is it true that a water softener wastes a lot of water?

No, not at all!

A water softener filter capacity is about 1,000 microns in size, a human hair is 80 to 100 microns, a purifier, reverse osmosis, filters water down to .0006 of a micron. [about 10,000 times smaller than a human hair]

Q: Will a water softener hurt my septic tank system?


There has been research, national sanitation foundation [NSF] for one. The added salt helps bacterial growth, in most cases the natural soil does not have enough salt. Also, the added salt from the water softener discharge is not every day; the slow salt wastewater does not cause an overload. The drain area of the septic system is also helped with better soil percolation.

Free Water System Estimate

Call: (435) 688-PURE (7873)

Email: [email protected]