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Facts About Water Treatments

Water Treatment Systems --
Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about water softeners and water filters



Q: What is water treatment?
Water treatment is the process of filtering or chemically treating water. The most effective ways to improve water quality are point of entry (POE) and point of use (POU). POE involves such products as water softeners and whole-house water filters. These remove such minerals as calcium and manganese that cause hard water or other sediment buildup from an incoming water source. POU involves such products as under-sink water filtration including reverse osmosis, which removes such harmful contaminants as arsenic, lead, sulfate, chlorine, VOCs, rust, sediment and more. 

Q: What are the benefits of water treatment?
Benefits of water treatment go beyond cleaner, odorless, better-tasting water. You also may notice a change elsewhere. Your skin may feel softer. Your hair may feel silkier. You'll notice that soap suds last longer and your clothes may feel softer. All with a reduced need for detergents and cleansers. Appliances like water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines will not only perform more efficiently but also last longer. Pipes and other appliances will also benefit from the reduction of calcium and magnesium buildup. And don't forget the impact on the environment -- fewer bottles heading to the landfill.

Q: Why should I choose The Home Depot?
We provide quality workmanship with the most experienced craftsmen. We provide various financing options to get your water treatment in place as promptly as possible. We back all our work with a 1-year warranty and offer extended protection plans beyond a manufacturer's warranty.

Q: What's involved in a FREE in-home water analysis?
Our in-home consultation will consist of the following: 

•  FREE in-home water analysis by a water quality expert.
•  Discussion about the benefits of water treatment solutions.
•  A basic plumbing and fixture audit to determine your family's water usage.
•  Design and selection of a water conditioning, softening and filtration system that's right for your home and family
•  Scheduling a simple one-day installation provided by a professional water treatment technician.
•  Review of financing options available.

Q: How much does a water softener cost to operate?
The benefits of softened water may outweigh the cost of the salt, water and energy required for operation. water softener salt likely will be a few dollars per person per month. Unless choosing the more expensive potassium chloride, a homeowner should recoup this expense by the diminished need for soap and/or detergent. You also may minimize the higher water bills associated with water softeners by selecting a water-efficient model with a control value that will prevent unnecessary regeneration. Finally, water softeners are very energy efficient, requiring less power to operate than most small household appliances.

Q: How may I protect my investment after expiration of my full in-home warranty?
 All of the water filtration products sold by The Home Depot carry a manufacturer's warranty. Warranties vary by product ,so make sure to reference the materials that come with your unit.  This manufacturer's warranty covers any defective parts that may occur within a specific timeframe. However,  it does not cover the labor required to replace those parts.

Q: How should I pay for my Home Depot installation service? What types of payment methods does The Home Depot accept?
A:  Our authorized installers accept personal checks and most major credit cards. You may also pay with a The Home Depot Gift Card or with your The Home Depot Consumer or Commercial Credit Card. Cash payments are only accepted in stores.

Q: Does The Home Depot offer financing options for customers?
A: The Home Depot helps make financing your installation easier. With numerous financing options, we can get your project underway as promptly as possible. These options include The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card and/or The Home Depot Project Loan. Visit our Credit Center for more details.

Q:  How will I know my service provider is authorized by The Home Depot?
All of our handpicked providers carry an orange The Home Depot Home Services badge. If this badge is not visible, ask to see it. This badge means they have undergone a thorough background screening process and are licensed (where applicable) and insured.

Q: What kind of warranty does The Home Depot offer? 
The Home Depot guarantees the quality of both its product and installation services for up to one year. If you have an issue, simply call us back and we'll take care of it.

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Q: Why does water needed to be filtered?
 Water is never destroyed. The same water that nourished the dinosaurs nourishes us as the never-ending water cycle continues to purify the same water over and over. However, as water falls back to earth as rain, it picks up air pollutants and dust. Once it hits the ground, this universal solvent dissolves and collects everything from sediment to pesticides. In the U.S., 80-90% of the total available water supply comes from this ground water.

Q: What role does water play in our everyday lives?
The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day. Utility water (water used in applications where water quality is not the most important concern like irrigation or pools) consumes 70%. Working water (water used for cleaning like bathing, clothes and dish washing) consumes 28%. Drinking water (water suitable for consumption) takes the final 2%.

Q: Why should I worry about my water?
In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act, requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the level of contaminants in drinking water at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. A local water utility may operate well within the EPA's guidelines, but water quality changes may result from water main breaks or extreme climate changes like drought or flood. Additionally, if a homeowner's water supply is not from a municipal source that supplies 25 or more households, then the water is not under the EPA's jurisdiction and it is up to the homeowners drawing from a private well to test and treat their water.

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Q: How often does salt need to be added to a softener?
Usually once a month. However, the more often a softener is regenerated, the more often salt needs to be added. 

Q: Is softened water safe to drink?
It still contains all the essential natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived of its calcium and magnesium content, and some sodium is added during the softening process, about as much as in a piece of bread. Individuals desiring to eliminate this additional sodium or potassium from their diet should opt for a reverse osmosis system.

Q: What is a salt bridge and how can it be fixed? 
A salt bridge is hardened salt that has created an arch or bridge in the salt tank which prevents the salt from coming in contact with the water in the brine tank. It can form in areas of high humidity and/or when one adds too much -- or the wrong kind -- of salt. To fix, follow the manufacturer's instructions to break the salt apart.

Q: Can brine from softeners damage a septic tank?
Not according to the Water Quality Association. It performed studies and concluded a properly placed septic tank that works adequately cannot be damaged by brine that is discharged from a water softener. (Softened water may reduce the amount of detergents discharged into a septic tank).

Q: Is softened water corrosive?
No. Water pH, dissolved oxygen content, ammonia, chloride and flow velocity cause corrosion, all factors unaffected by the softening process.

Q: Is a water softener a permanent fixture?
No. Most modern water softeners can be transferred to another location.

Q: Are water softeners noisy?
They create very little to no noise, mainly when water moves through the unit during the backwash cycle during regeneration.

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To schedule a FREE in-home analysis for water treatment, please call 1-800-557-5221.