Culligan Blog

UnderSink vs. Whole Home Water Filtration

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Is it time for better-tasting or harder-working water at home? Start by learning the differences between two of the most common types of household water filtration: point-of-use and point-of-entry.

Point-of-Use vs. Point-of-Entry

  • Point-of-Use - Commonly known as drinking water systems, point-of-use treatment refers to any under-sink filtration system installed at the tap level, or other direct water-access point.
  • Point-of-Entry - This refers to filtration systems installed at the entry point of water lines to the house. These are often referred to as whole-house systems, and other variations on whole-home filtration terms.

Now that we know what we're dealing with, there are essentially two questions to consider when evaluating what will work best for you and your home.

Step 1 - What are you filtering?

Do you need to filter out fairly benign contaminants, like chlorine, or mild dissolved solids or sediment? Is there something more sinister, like arsenic, lurking in your water? Learning what's in your water is the first and most important step in deciding what kind of water filtration system is right for you, whether it's whole-home filtration, point-of-use, or something altogether different.

Start by scheduling a free water test from your local Culligan Man. He or she will come by to sample your tap water and run tests for the most common water contaminants, so you can find out whether you need to address water issues right in the kitchen or throughout your home. Your Culligan Man is also a great resource to ask for advice once you do know what is, or isn't, in your water.

Step 2 - Why?

It's also important to isolate why you're thinking about filtering your water. It's one thing if you have a contaminant issue that's making water smell or taste bad, but if issues are more subtle there can be additional factors to consider when it comes to your drinking water quality, and its impact throughout your home.

  •   Skin conditions or allergies in the family?
  •   Low (or zero) tolerance for house cleaning?
  •   Heavy coffee or tea drinkers in the household?
  •   Hate the way laundry feels?
  •   Avid gardener?
  •   Well or municipal water?

For example, if your household hates its scratchy laundry and drinks a lot of coffee, you might want to consider whole-house filtration for the added benefits it can bring to your home (softer laundry, better-tasting coffee and tea, etc.). Similarly, families with allergies find that treating or softening water all over the house can help reduce some common allergy symptoms. On the other hand, if you're strictly interested in improving the taste of your tap water, under-sink filtration may make more sense. Talking about these issues with your Culligan Man can help you decide what will work best for you and your family.

Water Boil Alerts: What You Need to Know

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When the word comes out that your area has been affected by a boil order, it's time to take stock of affected water and manage its reach in your home. Any place in your home that uses water is affected, from the kitchen to the laundry room. Start by following these guidelines to avoid contact with contaminated water.

Stay Safe from Contaminated Water 

  • Don't drink the water, prepare food, brush your teeth, or use any materials that have been in contact with water.
  • Throw out ice cubes, coffee, tea, and any stored beverages made or used with your home's water.
  • Turn off water or block access to refrigerator water dispensers and faucets to provide a visual reminder and help curb normal habits.
  • Boil water for a minimum of three minutes and use that water to clean containers to store sanitized water.
  •   Use boiled water to clean any dishes and utensils you plan on using.
  • Wash hands and prepare food with boiled water.
  • Do not use your dishwasher.
  • Have young children take sponge baths to prevent any swallowing.&

Culligan Man Tip:Place bottled water or pre-boiled water containers in bathroom sinks as a visual reminder to brush and wash hands with clean water.

Hydration Tip:A pinch of salt can help improve the taste of "flat" boiled water for drinking.

After the Boil Order is Lifted

Keeping you and your family safe and healthy during a boil order extends beyond the duration of the order. To make sure your home is prepared to integrate safe, uncontaminated water back into your routine, ensure any remnants of contamination are addressed before you go back to business as usual.

  • Run the dishwasher through an empty bleach cycle.
  • Flush water lines.
  • Boil faucet screens.
  • Purge and sanitize water-using appliances, including the refrigerator water line, icemaker, coffeemaker, and tea kettle.
  • Change your refrigerator's water filter.

Optional but recommended:Run a bleach cycle through your washing machine.

You'll also want to make sure you sanitize any water filtration or water softening systems after a boil order has been in effect. Contact your Culligan Man to help you navigate this process, and ask any more questions you may have about bringing your home back from the boil order.

Explore Your State's Common Problem Water Issues and Solutions

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The single best way to know what's in your water is to be your own best resource. We want to help you do just that by providing tools and information to help you make smart choices about your water. There are a lot of things you can do to find out if you have problem water, the causes behind it, and what options you have for addressing it.

Diagnose Problem Water

The signs that point to problems in your water are often the most obvious, but key factors to be aware of are:

  • Appearance: Water is cloudy or discolored. Common in many states and municipalities, you can explore water problems by state to see if the water where you live is predisposed to run less than clear.
  • Odor: Water has a sulfurous, chlorinated, or other suspicious smell. Almost every water treatment plant in the country uses some amount of chlorine to treat water, so you can use our state-by-state guide to get a handle on whether your region has particularly low or high levels in the water supply.
  • Taste: Water can take on a variety of tastes for a number of reasons, the most common across the country being bitter or salty. Like the range of water itself, total dissolved solids and minerals responsible for unwelcome tastes depend largely on the geography and landscape of your particular area.
  • Side Effects: Often, the signal pointing to a water problem can be what's left behind: film, soap scum, limescale, and/or corrosion on pipes, fixtures, and appliances. Read more about the problem water in your city.

Deliberate

Do you need to address a water problem? This can be a matter of personal preference, especially if symptoms are severe or are causing real aggravation in the home. Consider these factors to help determine whether it may be time to call in a Culligan Man:

  •   Are symptoms getting worse?
  •   What is typical for water in my region? Learn more.
  •   Are common household fixes able to mitigate any effects? Learn more about easy ways to solve for problem water.

Delegate

If water problems are getting worse, or you've determined your home's water is atypical for the area and it's beyond simple fixes like cleaning with vinegar, you can always call your local Culligan Man for a complimentary water test. He or she will be able to help you determine if a whole-house water filter or a water conditioner is right to fix appearance, taste, and odor issues in your water.

Even if water is typical for your area, or some solutions are helping, water problems can be a headache you don't have to deal with. Your Culligan Man is the perfect resource to help you determine what kind of solution is right for your water.


Looking For a Simple New Year’s Resolution? Here are 12 Reasons to Drink More Water in 2015 (courtesy of our friends at Greatist.com)

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Water It Down

Water is the second most popular beverage in the U.S....after soft drinks. This is a scary statistic, since sugary soda is a big health hazard, increasing the risk of obesity, stroke, and other heart problems. However, these dangers can be avoided if people choose to drink water instead, which doesn't have any negative side effects. So, this new year, put the sugary stuff to the side and make water the number one drink of choice. The benefits really are endless. (Just take a read!)

  • Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body's fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.
  • Calorie control. Forget other diet tricks-drinking water could also help with weight loss, according to WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2). , Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds.  The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories.
  • Muscle fuel. Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don't have enough water, they get tired. So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats.
  • Clearer skin. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores. Water can help flush out toxins and decrease occurrence of acne.
  • Kidney function. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don't need in the body. Let's drink to that!
  • Productivity boost. In order to really focus, a glass of water could help people concentrate and stay refreshed and alert.
  • Fatigue buster. Move over coffee-water can help fight those tired eyes.  One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7 Eleven kind.)
  • Hangover help. If alcohol has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache.
  • Pain prevention. A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated.
  • Keep things flowing. Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Luckily, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly.
  • Sickness fighter. Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather.
  • Brain boost. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it's unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn't hurt to try it out! 

So, What is Your Action Plan? 

The amount of water people need per day is up for debate, but studies suggest adults need nine to 16 cups of H2O. This number, however, varies depending on activity level, age, and how much water people are consuming in coffee, tea, or water-rich veggies and fruit.

Here's how to keep yourself hydrated: Begin by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, and 30 minutes before eating any big meal. (This will help control appetite, too.) Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. And spice up those taste buds with a squeeze of citrus to the glass! Before you know it, all the benefits of water will be right at your fingertips…. and in your body.

Source: http://greatist.com/health/reasons-to-drink-water; WebMD.com, 2014

Soft Water for Better Quality of Life

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Investing in a Culligan water treatment solution (http://www.culligan.com/en-us/d/homes/water-softener/) is proof that one small change can have a big impact on your home's quality, and the quality of life of the people in your home. Besides the many benefits of drinking more water, having fresher, filtered water in your house can improve appliance efficiency, cut down on cleaning time, reduces wear and tear on plumbing, and contributes in a variety of other ways around the house.

Here are some additional ways that soft water can benefit your household:

  • With a Culligan water softener, your silverware and glassware are cleaner and shinier.
  • Your hair and skin feels softer, cleaner and smoother with water treated by a water softener.
  • Hard water treated with a water softener greatly reduces housework by eliminating the formation of soap curd.
  • Hard water made soft through a water softener restores the rich lathering of your soaps and shampoos, thus reducing the usage and costs of these products by 75%.
  • Fabrics are also softer without hard minerals becoming trapped in them. Fabrics last longer and whites stay white without the dingy gray caused by hard water. Having your water softened will provide softer, brighter clothes and will extend their life as well!
  • Soft water also preserves the life of all water using appliances such as coffee and ice makers, dishwashers, and clothing washers. According to Consumer Reports, a water heater protected by a Culligan water softening system will also reduce the yearly energy cost of that appliance by 22%-29%.
  • Having a water softener in the home reduces greenhouse gases equivalent to removing one SUV from the road for one year. (Source: Consumer Reports)

So, call your local Culligan Man today to get an expert recommendation about which product is best for your household. http://www.culligan.com/en-us/d/appointment/schedule-an-appointment/

Seven Reasons to Drink More Water This Winter

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Water isn’t just about staying hydrated during the dry, cold months of winter. It is truly an essential component to our overall self care from our skin to our energy level to our organs. Here are some important reasons to keep the water flowing this winter season:

  1. CLEARER SKIN
    Bodies that don’t consume enough water have a tendency toward break-outs on the skin. Drinking water helps remove impurities from our bodies. If we don’t drink enough water, these impurities have to find a new escape route… like our pores! This reason to drink more water will help you have clearer, healthier skin this winter.
      
  2. BETTER DIGESTION
    Consuming plenty of water each day helps our bodies digest the food we eat much more easily. During the winter months and holidays, many of us gain a few extra pounds. Drinking water can also reduce weight gain by helping our bodies properly process the food we consume. Drinking ice cold water is even said to help burn calories!
      
  3. ENERGY
    Did you know that the number one cause of daytime fatigue is dehydration? If you are one of those people who must have a caffeine blast mid-day, you just might be dehydrated. Without ample amounts of water, our bodily functions slow down and use up extra energy. This reason to drink more water will help you feel better during the cloudy, dreary days this winter.
      
  4. FIGHT WEIGHT GAIN
    Many times, our brains misinterpret thirst for hunger, causing us to eat unnecessarily. If you feel hungry around snack-time or shortly after a meal, try drinking a tall glass of water before grabbing a snack.
      
  5. DETOX
    Drinking more water will help to detoxify your body. Drinking water helps push impurities and waste through our bodies in order to keep us healthy and energized. As one of the best reasons to drink more water, this is especially important during the winter months when we have a tendency to be more sedentary.
      
  6. HEALTHIER & BRIGHTER SKIN
    When we don’t drink enough water, our skin becomes dehydrated just like our bodies do. Dehydrated skin has a dull, scaly appearance that can be avoided by consuming plenty of water each day. Dull skin can be even more of a problem during the winter months due to the weather. The harsh, cold winter air can chap our skin and the dry air from the heaters in our homes can dehydrate and further dull our complexions.
      
  7. WATER LOSS
    Just because you don’t sweat as much during the winter months as you do during the summer does not mean that your body isn’t losing water. During the winter, water vapor escapes from our bodies through our breath. Drinking water in the winter helps seal in the crucial hydration necessary to fight off sickness and boost immune systems.

So, stop what you are doing and grab a tall glass of water! It’s just what your body needs.

Source: Women’s Health, 2014; WebMD, 2014  

What Exactly Is Reverse Osmosis And Why Is It Such A Good Option For Treating Your Water?

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Reverse osmosis (commonly known as "RO") serves as a great (and simple) solution for purifying water and removing foreign substances.

What is "RO"?

Reverse osmosis is a process that forces water through specialized membranes and exerts a certain amount of pressure on it to remove foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules and minerals. Reverse osmosis is a water purification system used around the world to help improve water for drinking, cooking and other important uses.

What are the health benefits?

RO water is likely to contain fewer contaminants. Although contaminants may not be in your water, lead can be relatively common out of most taps. Especially in areas where the water pipes and infrastructure are old and are in need of repair. Too much lead in your body can lead to increased blood pressure, reduced fertility and nerve damage. Lead toxicity can also cause brain damage and anemia in children. An RO system is also great for filtering out parasites such as cryptosporidium, which is a common contaminant in lakes and rivers. Cryptosporidium infection leads to stomach cramps, fever and diarrhea.

 It tastes better!

Taste is obviously very subjective, but RO water is usually rated as better tasting than tap water by people who directly compare the two in blind taste tests, according to the National Rural Water Association. Lead, iron, nitrates, sulfur-based compounds and various chemical residues often make tap water unpalatable. The removal of these substances by reverse osmosis can give drinking water a cleaner or fresher taste.

What works best for you?

Every household and business is different. Your local Culligan Man can test your water for free, and customize a multi-stage reverse osmosis system that meets the needs of your individual water. Call today!

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