1. What is the difference between city water and well water? — City water is pre-treated to make sure it is free of bacteria, viruses and common contamination sources. City water is regulated so that the contaminants regulated by the EPA fall within or below EPA guidelines. Well water is untreated water from an underground aquifer that is pumped into a house. Well water may contain higher than average levels of iron or sulfur, or other contaminants.
2. Why are whole house water filters considered point of entry systems? — The filtration system is installed at the point where the main water supply enters the home, delivering filtered water to all subsequent outlets.
3. What is hard water? — Hard water contains a higher than average amount of dissolved minerals (primarily calcium and
magnesium), and a higher concentration of multivalent cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+).
4. Does having hard water mean it is contaminated? — No, hard water is more of a nuisance than a health issue, and is not
considered contaminated. Most water sources in the USA are considered hard. Is hard water safe to drink? — Yes, hard water is healthy enough to drink.
5. What is soft water? — Having soft water means you have a lower concentration of dissolved minerals and multivalent cations in your water. The most recognizable trait of "soft" water is how much more soap lathers, as opposed to hard water, in which soap lathers less.
6. Does having soft water mean it is clean water? — Soft water does not mean clean water. Your water can be soft and still
have contaminants present in the water. Soft water simply has a lower concentration of dissolved minerals and multivalent cations. Is it safe to drink? — Yes, soft water is considered potable as long as the water has not passed through a sodium-based water softener. Drinking water from a sodium-based softener increased your daily intake of sodium, which can lead to health problems in sodium-sensitive individuals.
7. What is a water softener? — A water softener is a system designed to remove/reduce calcium and magnesium from the water by exchanging it with sodium (or sometimes hydrogen or potassium). This is done through an ion exchange resin that alters the molecular structure of the calcium and magnesium from a divalent ion to a univalent ion, making the water "softer." Do softeners reduce chemical contamination? — Softeners do not remove chemical contamination themselves, but softeners sometimes have a carbon filter working in conjunction with the softener to treat contamination.
8. What type of filtration mediums do you use in the top tank of the EQ-300? — The EQ-300 top tank contains a KDF-55 medium (A mixture of 55% copper and 45% zinc mineral alloy) for the reduction of chlorine and certain heavy metals*, as well as a crushed mineral filter stone to enhance the water's pH and control scale* on internal plumbing. Both media are bacteriostatic*, which means they prohibit bacteria and algae from growing or developing within the system.
9. What type of filtration mediums do you use in the top tank of the EQ-300-WELL? — The EQ-300-WELL top tank contains a KDF-85 medium (A mixture of 85% copper and 15% zinc mineral alloy) for the reduction of chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and heavy metals like iron, as well as a crushed mineral filter stone to enhance the water's pH and control scale on internal plumbing. Both media are bacteriostatic, which means they prohibit bacteria and algae from growing or developing within the system.
10. What is KDF? — KDF stands for kinetic degradation fluxion, which is a redox filtration medium. KDF uses a unique combination of copper and zinc that creates an electrochemical reaction. During this reaction, electrons are transferred between molecules, creating new, harmless molecules and compounds. Free chlorine, for instance, is changed into benign, water-soluble chloride, which is then carried harmlessly through the water supply. Similarly, some heavy metals* such as copper*, lead*, mercury* and others, cling to the medium's surface, thus being effectively removed from the water supply.
11. What type of medium is used in the bottom tank of the EQ-300 — The EQ-300 bottom tank contains a carbonized coconut shell medium that reduces synthetic chemicals* and VOC's*.
12. What type of medium is used in the bottom tank of the EQ-300-Well? — The EQ-300-WELL bottom tank contains a carbonized coconut shell & catalytic medium that reduces synthetic chemicals, hydrogen sulfide gasses and VOC's.
13. What percentage of chlorine do Aquasana Whole Home Systems remove? And for how long? — The EQ-300 is certified by NSF International to reduce >97% of chlorine for 300,000 gallons.
14. Does either the EQ-300 or EQ-300-WELL remove calcium? — No. The KDF medium in the top tank of these systems change the structure of calcium into a form of calcium called aragonite, which has trouble sticking to the inner walls of plumbing and therefore reduces the possibility of scale buildup in plumbing.
15. What is the flow rate of the EQ-300? — All Aquasana Whole House Systems perform at 7 gallons per minute (gpm).
16. Will I experience a drop in water pressure after installing the EQ-300 or EQ-300-WELL? — As long as your home is less than 3500 sq. ft. and you have 3-1/2 bathrooms or fewer, you should not experience any noticeable drops in pressure. If you have a larger home, we can build a custom system to deal with the typical water capacity of your home.
17. What is chloramine, and does the EQ-300 remove it? — Chloramine is a disinfection agent used as an alternative to chlorine in some city water treatment facilities. They use chloramines for two big reasons: (1) chloramine is less reactive, so it does not create as many disinfection by-products as chlorine, and (2) chloramine is more persistent, and remains in the treated water through the distribution network all the way to the taps in the homes the treatment facility serves. The EQ-300 is certified for the removal of chlorine, and the process of removing chlorine is similar in most respects to the process used to remove chloramine. The key difference is that chloramine exhausts the standard activated carbon in the bottom tank of the unit quickly, making the EQ-300 a little less effective at removing it*. For customers with chloramine in their water, we upgrade the media in the bottom tank of the EQ-300 to a catalytic activated carbon, which has a higher surface point. This type of activated carbon is able to handle the aggressiveness of the chloramine for a longer period of time than the standard coconut shell carbon used in the bottom tank of the standard EQ-300. The part number for this system upgrade is EQ-300C, and it is available for purchase by calling the Aquasana Water Specialists at 866.662.6885.
18. Does the EQ-300 remove bacteria or viruses? — No, if you are concerned about bacteria or viruses in your water supply, we recommend that you add a 0.35-sub-micron post-filter and an ultraviolet light sanitation system after the EQ-300. The AQ-UV-20 ultraviolet light sanitation system uses ultra violet radiation to sanitize drinking water as it passes through the system, which changes the DNA structure of microbiological contaminants and some cysts. UV light radiation also prevents bacteria and viruses from reproducing, and microbiological contaminants cannot survive without constant reproduction.
Important Note: The AQ-UV-20 will not sanitize properly without a sub-micron filter. If sub-micron filter is not used before the UV system, microbiological contaminants can hide behind microscopic particulates, which will cause the UV radiation to lose its effectiveness. This is known as a shadowing effect. A 0.35-sub-micron filter must be used before the UV system to prevent the shadowing effect.
19. Does the EQ-300-WELL remove bacteria or viruses? — Yes, the EQ-300-WELL sanitizes the water with its AQ-UV-20 ultraviolet light sanitation system in the last stage of the unit setup. The AQ-UV-20 ultraviolet light sanitation system uses ultra violet radiation to sanitize drinking water as it passes through the system, which changes the DNA structure of microbiological contaminants and some cysts. UV light radiation also prevents bacteria and viruses from reproducing, and microbiological contaminants cannot survive without constant reproduction.
Important Note: The AQ-UV-20 will not sanitize properly without a sub-micron filter (which is included in the EQ-300-WELL setup). If sub-micron filter is not used before the UV system, microbiological contaminants can hide behind microscopic particulates, which will cause the UV radiation to lose its effectiveness. This is known as a shadowing effect. A 0.35-sub-micron filter must be used before the system to prevent the shadowing effect.
20. Do I need a licensed plumber to install the EQ-300 or EQ-300-WELL? — Yes, Aquasana recommends you have a licensed plumber install the system for you, to ensure that the system is installed properly. Since most licensed plumbers carry insurance to cover any damages caused by an installation error, having a licensed plumber install the system for you will give you the security that the work was done properly and that the installation is backed up by the plumbing company's insurance plan. Not having the system installed by a licensed plumber will void the warranty of both the EQ-300 and EQ-300-WELL.
21. Is UV effective against protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia? — Yes, as a result of recent findings by academic researchers, it has now been proven that UV is the best available technology to treat these protozoan cysts. In addition, the dose levels required to inactivate these cysts are actually quite low: less than 10 mJ/cm2 for 99.9% reduction of both Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia.
22. Why do I need to disinfect my water supply? — Disinfection is recommended for all water supplies that are not protected by a municipal water source. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainties that exist with our current water supplies, we can no longer rely on the fact that our water supplies "may be safe". By providing your own disinfection, you are taking the responsibility of ensuring the safety of your water supply for you and your family.
23. Does UV remove E. coli? — Yes, E. coli requires a UV dose of between 6 to 10 mJ/cm2 to achieve a 4-log (99.99%) disinfection. This is well within the capabilities of our UV systems which actually deliver a minimum of 30 mJ/cm2.
24. Is UV 100% effective? — UV disinfection typically offers a 4-log reduction (99.99%) for both bacteria and most viruses. UV is more effective than chemical disinfection processes at destroying a wide range of viruses.
25. How do I know the system is working? — The UV system is equipped with a "lamp-out" monitor which gives an audible and visual signal in case of lamp failure.
26. Do I need to disinfect my municipal water supply? — Our municipalities work very hard to provide safe, disinfected water for their customers. This is quite evident when you consider the difficulties involved in providing safe drinking water through a vast distribution network. If you use water that comes from a municipal water supply and wish to provide your family with added "peace of mind", then we believe a UV system acts as an inexpensive insurance policy against the possibility of drinking bacteriologically contaminated water.
27. How much does it cost to operate UV systems? — UV systems are extremely economical to operate. A typical 10 gpm whole house UV system operates on the same power requirements as a 40 watt light bulb!
28. Will UV change the taste of my water? — No, UV is a physical disinfection process. It does not change the taste or odor of the water. It simply provides safe, reliable disinfection and adds nothing to the water.
29. Should I shut my UV system off when I am not using it? — No, the UV system should be left on whether you are using the water or not. The lamps age regardless of the amount of water drawn through the system. By leaving the unit on, you will eliminate the potential problem of having contamination pass through the system while the unit is off. However, if water is drained from your disinfection system (e.g. winterizing), your UV system must be switched off.
30. What are the annual maintenance requirements? — UV lamps have a useful life of approximately 9000 hours which means that the lamps require annual replacement. The UV light may offer illumination beyond 1 year, however there will not be enough UV energy to provide adequate disinfection. Proper maintenance of any pre-treatment is also required. The sleeve should be cleaned at least once a year.
31. Do I need to consider the quality of my water prior to the UV? — Yes, our UV filter is designed for water that has already been filtered through a home filtration system and not as a standalone unit. For UV to be effective, it is recommended that the influent water contain the following:
• Iron < 0.3 ppm (0.3 mg/L) • Manganese < 0.05 ppm (0.05 mg/L)
• Hardness < 7gpg • Tannins < 0.1 ppm (0.1 mg/L)
• Turbidity < 1NTU • UV transmittance > 75%
* Not part of NSF certification