Good water quality plays a significant role in keeping our lives running smoothly. Ever notice those crusty white deposits on your faucets or struggle with soap that just won’t lather properly? That’s often a sign of hard water caused by minerals like calcium and magnesium. Thankfully, there are solutions, like water conditioners and softeners. They might sound similar, but they each have their own way of tackling complex water problems. Let’s delve deeper to discern which option best suits your home’s needs, considering the contrast between water conditioner vs. water softener.

Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener: Understanding the Difference

Alright, let’s break it down. A water conditioner is like a helper for your water. It doesn’t make your water soft, but it does some neat tricks to make it behave better. For example, it can change the chemistry of those pesky hard water minerals so they don’t stick to your pipes and faucets as much. Plus, it can even take out other stuff like chlorine. Another cool thing about water conditioners is that they don’t waste as much water as water softeners.

Now, a water softener, on the other hand, is more like a superhero for your water. It goes right to the source of the problem and gets rid of those minerals that are causing all the trouble. That means less buildup on your appliances and fixtures, which can save you a lot of headaches down the road. And hey, softer skin and hair are a nice bonus too! Plus, using a water softener means you won’t need as much soap or detergent for cleaning.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

Picture this: your water flows through a unique bed filled with tiny beads. These beads are like magnets for those minerals that make water hard. As the water passes through, the beads grab onto those minerals and hold onto them tight. Over time, though, the beads get filled up with minerals and need a little cleaning. That’s where regeneration comes in. The water softener gets an excellent rinse with water from a tank filled with salt. This rinse cleans the beads, removing all those minerals so they can work their magic again.

How Does a Water Conditioner Work?

Water conditioners have a few tricks to make hard water behave. Here’s a quick rundown of some common types:

  1. Electrically Induced Precipitation: This method harnesses the power of electricity to shake up those stubborn minerals in hard water. Giving them a little shock turns them into a soft sludge that’s a breeze to wipe away. It’s like waving a magic wand over your water troubles!
  2. Electrochemical Water Treatment: Have you ever heard of water getting a shock treatment? That’s what happens here. Zapping the water with electricity disrupts those pesky minerals, making them less likely to cause problems. Think of it as giving your water a mini spa day to relax and unwind.
  3. Template-Assisted Crystallization: This is a science experiment inside your water conditioner. Picture tiny beads coated with unique stuff that acts like a magnet for hard water minerals. These minerals are drawn and transformed into harmless little crystals as the water flows past. It’s like turning your intricate water troubles into sparkling gems!
  4. Magnetic Water Treatment: Some people swear by the power of magnets to solve their hard water woes. Bypassing the water through a magnetic field, this method aims to change how minerals behave, preventing them from causing trouble. It’s like giving your water a magnetic makeover, but experts are still debating its effectiveness.

Do you Need a Water Conditioner or Water Softener? We Can Help

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry; we have got your back. Here at Custom Plumbing of Arizona, we’re well-versed in water treatment, including the distinctions between water conditioner vs. water softener.  Whether you’re in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, or any surrounding area, we’re here to lend a hand. Call us at 602-866-2665, and let’s chat about how we can make your water worries a thing of the past.


Posted on Categories Water TreatmentTags , Leave a comment on Water Conditioner vs. Water Softener: What’s the Difference?

Having a water softener in your home can be a great way to improve your water quality. But in order for a water softener to work properly, it’s important to set it to the right hardness level. In this blog, we’ll take a look at what should your water softener hardness should be set at and why it’s important to get it right.

What Should My Water Softener Hardness Be Set At?

The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon (GPG), parts per million (PPM), or milligrams per liter (MG/L). The average hardness of the water in the United States is about 60 GPG, but the range can be from 0 to over 400 GPG. Water is considered “hard” when it has a high concentration of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. 


You can find your water’s hardness level by looking at the concentration levels:

  • Anything less than 75 mg/L is considered soft;
  • Anything between 76 and 150 mg/L indicates that the water is moderately hard; 
  • Anything between 151 and 300 mg/L indicates that the water is hard; 
  • And anything above 300 mg/L indicates that the water is very hard.

A basic rule of thumb is that the hardness level of water should not exceed 120 to 170 mg/L, which equates to around 7-10 grains per gallon of water. Whether you get a lab test or do it yourself at home, the hardness level can be determined by an accurate water analysis report. You can request this information from your city’s water department or purchase one independently.

What Happens If You Incorrectly Set a Water Softener?

A water softener will work more efficiently when properly set. For example, if the water comes from a municipality, it might already be softened. There is no need to apply a water softener in this case. If the hardness level is too high, the softener will waste a lot of water and consume more energy. 

The four parameters for setting up a water softener are frequency, time, length, and salt dose. A fundamental step in setting up a water softener is regeneration (typically where you center settings).

Regeneration cycle

A water softener regenerates cycles at different frequencies. For example, it might regenerate once or seven times per week if the water doesn’t harden after a cycle. A general understanding of how much water your softener can process, the cause of your mineral buildup, and the size of your tank can help you select the right frequency for you.

Regeneration cycle time

Water softening systems are designed to cycle in batches, so setting the regeneration time is essential. Because the system will not produce softened water during the scheduled regeneration period, select a time when water is not being used. Moreover, the process might be noisy and go on for hours. For best results, set a regeneration cycle at a time when demand for water usage during that time is low.

Regeneration cycle length 

You can set the length of your water softener’s regeneration cycle. The default cycles take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. That time frame is reasonable for most households and leaves you with soft water while also taking up a small amount of your time each day. 

Salt Dose

There are a few steps when finding the correct salt dose for your water softener. First, refer to the specifications from the manufacturer. Then, once you have a recommended setting, run the softener through a manual regeneration cycle. 

Then, measure the hardness of your water. Once you set a new salt dose to reach your desired hardness level, run an additional cycle and measure the hardness once more to make sure it is at your desired levels. Remember that extremely hard water may require extra salt to maintain sufficient softening levels. 

How to Change Your Water Softener Settings

Make sure the “hardness” setting on your water softener is the same number as the hardness measured in your supply of water. For example, if your water hardness reading were 12 GPG, the “hardness” setting would be “12”. Therefore, it’s best to set the hardness setting on your water softener 4 points above the amount of hardness in your water (plus 4 for every ppm of dissolved iron).

The hardness number measures the number of minerals your water contains. The higher this number, the more you have to adjust your water softener’s settings.  For example, if you already have 1 PPM of iron in your water and need to increase the hardness number by 2, set it to 4. Also, an older water softener might require a slightly higher hardness setting as its resin degrades over time. 

Electric water softeners typically work by regenerating the number of times a specific resin needs to regenerate. This resin can automatically or manually set the number on more basic water softeners.

Need a Plumber in Phoenix Today?

If you live in Arizona and are still determining what your water softener’s hardness should be set at, contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona for expert advice and assistance. Our experienced plumbers can help you choose the optimal hardness setting for your water softener to ensure that your water is free of hard minerals and impurities. 

Reach out to us today at 602-866-2665 to learn more and get your water softener set up correctly.

Posted on Categories Commercial Plumbing Service, Hard Water, Residential Plumbing ServicesTags Leave a comment on What Should My Water Softener Hardness Be Set At?

Is hydro-jetting safe for pipes? Hydro-jetting is an excellent solution for serious plumbing blockages. But is it always safe for your pipes? We break it down for you here.

Sometimes plungers and drain snakes just don’t cut it for tough drain clogs. When you need to break through a blockage so your water can drain properly, it may be necessary to try a high-pressure tool—instead of poking a hole through the debris that is clogging your drain, a hydro jet will completely clear the pipe.

The question that many homeowners have, however, is whether this method of drain cleaning is safe for their pipes. In most cases, hydro-jetting is absolutely safe and will not damage your pipes, but a few exceptions exist to prove the rule.

Here are a few scenarios to consider.

3 Scenarios When You Should Avoid Hydro-Jetting

  1. Your plumbing is damaged.

If your plumbing is damaged, hydro-jetting can make your problems exponentially worse. This method of drain and pipe cleaning uses a high-pressure stream of water to cut through, break apart, and push debris and sludge out of your home’s plumbing system. When your pipes have weak points—from rust or corrosion, for example—the pressure can be great enough to bust through the pipe.

When you have a broken drain or sewer pipe, the escaping water can cause serious problems, even total failure if the soil surrounding the pipe settles or erodes.

  1. Your plumbing is old.

Many homes were built 50 or more years ago, and some of them still have the original plumbing. The materials we use for plumbing today are much more resilient than their forebears. For example, PVC pipes are not prone to corrosion and breakage like old cast iron and clay pipes are, so hydro-jetting them is not as risky (though some risk still exists).

It is always critical to consider your plumbing’s age when looking for drain cleaning solutions.

  1. Your plumber is inexperienced.

Unlike a drain snake, using a hydro jet is reserved for professionals. However, it is critical that homeowners understand that not all plumbing professionals have the experience and industry knowledge required to keep their plumbing intact during the process.

A trained, experienced professional knows to inspect pipes for issues like those listed above before beginning work. Only amateurs begin work before a complete inspection that ensures the pipes in question are strong enough to withstand pressure up to 4000 psi.

Is Hydro Jetting Safe for Pipes?

This question gets a lot of attention in the plumbing community: is hydro jetting safe for pipes? The answer is a resounding yes, as long as a licensed plumber does it. 

Hydro jetting is a process that uses high-pressure water to clean and clear pipes. Many people are skeptical of this process because they believe it can be dangerous.

However, there are many safety features built into the hydro jetting process. First, the water is delivered using a continuous stream, which prevents it from building up in the pipe. Second, the water is delivered at high pressure, which makes it easier to break down dirt and debris. Finally, the water is delivered in a focused area, making cleaning the pipe easier.

Does Hydro-Jetting Need a Professional?

Hydro-jetting systems should be used with caution and only by professionals. In other words, don’t try to DIY your own hydro jet system or purchase a machine on your own. They are trained to use the right safety precautions and can also recommend the right nozzle for the job.

Also, using a hydro-jetting system eliminates the need to snake or remove chemicals yourself, which is always risky and can cause further damage. Instead, let a professional take care of it for you, and you won’t have any problems with your drain!  


  • The process is fast and efficient, which can help you get the job done quickly.
  • It is relatively safe compared to other methods, such as drilling and blasting. This is because it doesn’t involve any potential for Dust Explosions (which can cause serious injury) or fire. 
  • It is environmentally friendly – it doesn’t use harmful chemicals or explosives, so it has a minimal environmental impact. 

In a nutshell, hydro jetting is an excellent option for repairing or replacing pipelines – it’s fast, safe, and environmentally friendly!


Hydro jetting is a popular method of repairing and maintaining pipes, but there are some cons to consider before using this technique. 

  • First, hydro jetting can damage the surrounding area, especially if the pipe is buried underground. 
  • Second, jetting pipes are not always effective and may even create more problems. 
  • Finally, hydro jetting requires special equipment, so it’s not always practical for small businesses or home repairs.

When Do You Need Hydro Jet Cleaning?

It is advisable to get regular hydro-jetting every year or every other year on your business’ sewer line. This is especially important because restaurants and other establishments accumulate grease in the pipes. In addition, food grease can build up in the pipes, rendering them unusable. 

If you don’t get an annual hydro jet cleaning, choosing hydro-jetting over snaking can still be a good idea when you have a clog in the sewer lines. Hydro jet drain cleaning will remove the debris and remove your clogged line from being blocked again. Snaking also removes material but doesn’t create a hole through the clog, so water will continue to flow until it’s fixed.

Talk to the Hydro-Jetting Experts at Custom Plumbing of Arizona

Is hydro-jetting safe for pipes? The plumbing experts at Custom Plumbing of Arizona are experienced in using a hydro jet to clear the worst clogs. If we think your pipes are too old or frail to handle the high pressure, we will work with you to come up with another solution.

We are here to help you keep your plumbing working. Get in touch with us today and we will send someone to your home to complete your free estimate.

Posted on Categories Residential Plumbing Services, Commercial Plumbing Service, Plumbing Service & Repair Phoenix AZTags , Leave a comment on Is Hydro-Jetting Safe for Pipes? 3 Mishaps to Avoid

Why is water quality important? Your home’s water has a direct impact on your family’s health. Is it doing more harm than good? Here’s what you need to know about your water quality.

We don’t often think about water quality in our homes, at least, not in terms of health and safety. Most of us in the United States do not have to worry about it. Unfortunately, however, in some cases, we should be worried about it.

What if you found out that your water contained microorganisms, heavy metals, or minerals that could make your family sick? Your home’s water quality is an integral part of your family’s life. Your loved ones use it to cook and clean. They drink it straight from the tap to stay hydrated.

Here are some common problems that affect water quality, a few health risks from bad water, how to fix the problem before it gets serious.

Common Problems That Affect Water

Some of the most common water quality problems that affect homeowners include:

  • Hard water
  • High acidity
  • Contamination

Hard water does not cause health issues, but it can cause serious damage to your home’s plumbing. The minerals that make the water “hard” can build up inside the pipes and appliances in your home, leading to repairs that cost thousands.

High acidity in your home’s water, however, can pose a risk to your family’s health. Water with high acidity often contains heavy metals, which can be seriously detrimental if consumed in high amounts.

Water in your home may also contain decaying organic matter. If your water tastes or smells bad, you could have contaminated water that could make your family sick.

Health Risks of Poor-Quality Water

Exposure to heavy metals from acidic water over a long period of time can have serious health consequences. Among them are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, immune system suppression, and even organ damage. For young children, heavy metal exposure can result in developmental delays.

If your home’s water is contaminated, you could be ingesting dangerous bacteria, including e. coli. Some common diseases that can develop from contaminated water are Hepatitis A, Giardiasis, and Shigellosis. You can also develop respiratory infections, such as Legionnaire’s disease, by inhaling contaminated droplets.

The first step in addressing any water purity problems in your home is to have a complete test done. The test you choose should measure for pH, microorganisms, heavy metals, and hardness.

Once you have your test results, then you can start to work toward better water quality for your family.

Why Is Water Quality Important to You?

Are you worried about the quality of your home’s water? You don’t have to be. Contact Custom Plumbing of Arizona today to talk to us about your options for water filtration and water softener. We are waiting to take your call or answer your email. Don’t hesitate another second while your family’s health could be at risk.

Posted on Categories Residential Plumbing Services, Water TreatmentTags