The need for safe, healthy water is critical to all human life. Public water authorities do the best they can to provide us with water that is free of disease-causing pathogens and contaminants. However, that water passes through a series of distribution lines before it reaches our homes, and it may contain sediment or other impurities. The water available to us (excluding private wells) here in Southern California is generally safe and the taste is not too bad. But there are some things you can do to improve the quality, taste and safety of your water if you choose to.
Hard water contains elevated levels of calcium, magnesium, or both. White spots on faucets, shower doors, or cloudy film on your glasses and dishes are visible indicators of hard water in your water supply. Lime and scale buildup, though less visible, is a more serious problem for your plumbing fixtures, as they can shorten their useful life. Studies have shown that using a water softener can actually save you money by extending the life of your clothing, by enabling you to use less soap, by reducing energy consumption through making your water heater more efficient, and by extending the life of your appliances. Of course, you also get the added benefits of softer skin, shinier hair, cleaner dishes, etc. We recommend and stock the North Star brand of water softeners. These modern units are virtually trouble free, and require very little maintenance outside of occasionally adding salt. While many often think Southern California has the hardest water anywhere, it is not nearly as hard as other places in the United States. The hardness of our water does vary from area to area, so bring in a sample for a free test and we will tell you just how hard your water actually is.
When you use a water filter, water passes through a medium in order to trap any impurities you want to eliminate. Such impurities can result in a foul taste or odor, or sediment. We can help you with anything from a large filter with electric controls (which can serve your entire house) or a small, point-of-use unit, or anything in between. We have many filters to choose from with varying capabilities and price points. Each filter has its own specific application. Some serve tankless water heaters, others ice makers, others provide drinking water, etc. We stock and recommend the Aqua Pure line of water filters but we also carry replacement filters for other brands if you need one for your system.
This water is considered to be the same quality as bottled water, yet it adds the convenience of being available in your home. RO water is excellent for ice cubes, baby formulas, auto batteries, steam irons, and humidifiers, and the good taste will encourage you to drink more water. A RO system typically consists of the following stages:
- Pre-filter: Large particles such as silt, rust, and scale, are removed. This extends the life of your system and allows the membrane to attack smaller particles. This filter should be changed annually.
- Membrane: This is the center of the system and it allows hydrogen and oxygen to pass through its microscopic pores. Dissolved solids are now removed from the water and flushed to the drain. The membrane generally needs to be changed every 2-3 years.
- Storage tank: RO systems require the use of a tank, because the water needs to be stored as it is purified. Various systems will “percolate” at different rates, but 25 gal/day is usually plenty for most households.
- Post-filter: When your home or office demands water, it flows from the tank through this filter for a final polishing. Activated carbon removes any remaining tastes and odors, delivering to you only the freshest, cleanest water possible. This filter should be changed annually.
We recommend and stock the PureWater reverse osmosis systems and carry a full line of parts and dispensers as well. Bring in a sample of your RO water and we will test it for you to see if your membrane needs to be changed. Whatever your water needs might be, give us a call or stop by our store and see what we can offer, because there is no substitute for experience.
Biard and Crockett in Orange has been installing, repairing, testing, and certifying backflow devices since 1989. We routinely test and service units up to 10” and handle all the paperwork needed for the agencies involved. If you receive a notice to have your device tested, you can contact us. If you prefer, you can fax or e-mail us your paperwork (other arrangements can be made if you do not have access to a computer or fax machine). Many businesses and homes have their water system protected by a backflow prevention device. “Backflow” is the unwanted reverse flow of water or other substances into a potable water system.
Backflow prevention devices are installed to prevent the potable water from being contaminated if an incidence of backflow occurs. This can happen for two reasons: back-pressure and/or back-siphonage. For example: the water in an irrigation system comes in contact with pesticides, fertilizers and other residues and is therefore unfit for human consumption. The plumbing code recognizes irrigation systems as a hazard and requires that they be separated from the potable drinking water. There are different kinds of devices used to accomplish this separation and the water provider has jurisdiction over what type of device is required.
These devices require annual testing and periodic maintenance by specially trained and certified personnel. Backflow prevention is critical for maintaining the integrity of our drinking water. Trust the professionals at Biard and Crockett to help you make an informed decision about which backflow prevention device is right for your home or business. We’ve worked with every brand, and are prepared to stand behind our work. There is no substitute for experience.