Any Water Softener Can Use Salt or Potassium

Any Water Softener Can Use Salt or Potassium

Here at Royal Water Systems we not only install quality made water softeners, but we also service our customer base typically once a year or every six months as the situation may require making sure that the systems we install are not only working perfectly, but that the homeowner is happy and satisfied.  Sometimes though it brings up bad news and I wanted to get this out and perhaps save others of our customers and potential customers out there from getting ripped off.

I showed up by appointment at the home of a very fine,  3-year customer of Royal Water Systems to perform a routine filter change as I had for the previous 3 years since installing a water softener and reverse osmosis system in this particular home only to find a brand new softener installed by a competitor.  I was shocked.  Tests on the water softener every year proved it to be working perfectly and not a single complaint from the homeowner as well.  The homeowner informed me that someone from the competing company knocked on his door and he “upgraded” to a system that uses Potassium instead of Salt.  I asked the homeowner if he would mind sharing with me the price he paid for his new “upgraded” system and all I got out of him was that it was “bloody expensive.”  I didn’t really go over the details with him, but I let him know that he got severely taken advantage of to the tune of whatever he paid for the new water softener.  I will share the details of what actually happened here:

1.     First – ANY WATER SOFTENER CAN USE EITHER SALT OR POTASSIUM!!  You don’t have to make a single change to the softener either.  You don’t have pay someone to “convert” your softener over to salt or Potassium.  It’s just like going to the gas station – you can put premium gasoline, mid-grade gasoline, or regular gasoline in your car and simply drive off.

2.    Because my competitor sold the homeowner on a “upgraded” system that uses potassium he could and did install a softener of inferior quality.  My customer actually gave up his 15-year warranty water softener in exchange for a 5-year warranty softener and didn’t even realize it.

3.    The competitor gave the homeowner a free tank of Potassium.  Sounds generous, doesn’t it?  I asked the homeowner if he was informed of the cost of Potassium vs Salt and the homeowner said, “No.”  I told the homeowner he was in for a rude awakening when it came time to put more Potassium into his new “upgraded” water softener.  Potassium costs anywhere from $25-$35 per bag whereas Salt costs anywhere from $2.50-$5.50 per bag.  So the softener that I installed that cost him $50-$60 per year for salt will now cost the homeowner $350-$400 per year in Potassium.

4.    I asked the homeowner if he liked his Reverse Osmosis system.  He told me he loved it and that he can’t stand any other water but water from his Reverse Osmosis system and that he likes it so well he takes bottles of it to his workplace every day to keep himself hydrated.  I reminded him that when I installed his original softener he paid me extra to run extra plumbing so that his drinking water would not run through the softener at all and that besides that a Reverse Osmosis system will remove 100% of any sodium or potassium that a water softener adds to water.  In other words, this homeowner will NEVER receive a single benefit of the new “upgraded” water softener that uses Potassium and he would actually be better off to go right back to salt in his new “upgraded” water softener.

Sad but true!

Sam Nielsen - Royal Water Systems


Why You Should Consider Investing in a Drinking Water System

Why You Should Consider Investing in a Drinking Water System

I find myself in at least a half a dozen homes every day talking to people about their water.  Of course we sell water softeners, whole house filters, Reverse Osmosis systems, Iron Filters, UV Systems and pretty much anything that makes water more useful to homeowners as well as making much better for drinking.  One of the most common things that I hear when I’m in people’s homes is, “We’re not interested in Reverse Osmosis or Ultrafiltration because we just buy bottled water.”  Well here’s a few statistics that bottled water buyers might want to consider:

  • More than 300,000,000 tons of plastic per year are manufactured around the world and eventually discarded.

  • 1,000,000 plastic bottles are manufactured every minute throughout the world and production is only increasing.

  • An average of 15 tons of plastics are estimated to reach the oceans each year and the rest, whether they are discarded or make it to landfills can only end up in our soil

  • It takes 450 years for a plastic beverage bottle to decompose

Knowing this, I always try to sell my homeowners the factory instead of the bottle.  Did you know that Reverse Osmosis and/or Ultra Filtration is the exact process which bottled water companies use to bottle your water?  You can easily and for a few hundred dollars install a bottled water factory in your home that will give you water every bit as pure or filtered as the water you can buy in stores today and save the planet 450 years of work for EACH bottle of water you drink!

Did I Ruin my Utah Water Softener?

Did I Ruin my Utah Water Softener?

Today I had a very-worried-for-no-reason homeowner in Bountiful call me who had accidentally put salt into her water softener instead of the Potassium that she had been using since the day we installed her Utah water softener.  This homeowner was worried that she had destroyed her water softener, but she was greatly relieved to find out that she had done no damage to her water softener whatsoever.  All water softener owners should know that any water softener that uses salt (Sodium Chloride) can also use Potassium (Potassium Chloride) and the opposite is true as well.

Let me take a moment and explain why:

The hardness in your water are simply dissolved positively charged ions named Calcium and Magnesium.  The Sodium part of Salt (Salt is NaCl2 or Sodium Chloride) is also a positively charged ion was well when it is dissolved in water along with Potassium Chloride (KCL).  All a water softener does is remove the hardness in the water (Calcium and Magnesium) and it replaces it with the positively charged ions in either Salt or Potassium, whichever you decide to use.

Homeowners should also understand that they can switch back and forth between Salt or Potassium as much as they would like to with no real changes to the water softener itself or its programming.  I have heard of some of our competitors charging a homeowner $800 to “convert” their water softener from Salt to Potassium which is a total scam and homeowners should be aware of it.

The only thing that homeowners should be aware of is that if they have been using Salt and they want to switch to Potassium so they can drink the water, the effect of the Potassium will not have an effect on the water unless the brine tank was completely empty of salt and it will also require the water softener to regenerate at least 1 time before the water softener will pull the Potassium into the system.

Again, if we can be of service, please do not hesitate to call us at the number below.


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


Understanding Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water

Understanding Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water

Reverse Osmosis is the most effective and economical way to provide your family with high quality drinking water.  It is commonly used throughout the United States and especially here in St. George and throughout Utah and Idaho.  A good Reverse Osmosis water purifier system provides up to 97% pure water and it is literally that – pure water, not filtered water, but purified water.  Royal Water Systems has thousands of Reverse Osmosis systems installed throughout Utah and Idaho.  Most every family that invests into Reverse Osmosis loves it and is completely satisfied with it, but there are some families who are absolutely opposed to it and here are the pros and cons:

Pros of a Reverse Osmosis System:

1. Crystal Clear Ice Cubes.  Ice you buy is always perfectly clear isn’t it?  So why is yours cloudy?  The cloudiness is the impurities of the water that is now frozen in the ice.

2. Peace of Mind.  Most homes have city water or well water flowing into their homes.  Well water can have all kinds of heavy metals and impurities such as arsenic, barium, nitrates, and nitrides.  City water will always have chlorine, chloramines, or other impurities.  Reverse Osmosis removes all of these.

3. Cost effective.  Reverse Osmosis water is produced at $0.025/gallon.

4. Low Maintenance.  Filter changes cost less than $100.00/year (at Royal Water Systems)

5. No more buying and carrying water home.  Have all you want made right in your home.

Cons of a Reverse Osmosis System:

1. Commonly for every 1 gallon of water produced 4 gallons of waste water goes down the drain as the system flushes itself.

2. Storage tanks take up precious space under kitchen sinks.

3. There is no nutrition in the water, no minerals or vitamins.

     First of all it should be understood that Reverse Osmosis is a very good thing.  You have to admit that purified water with no minerals in it is far better than contaminated water with perhaps arsenic or chlorine in it.  We commonly add in a re-mineralization filter for many families that demand it – they purify their water and then add back in what they want to.  Now let’s look at the waste water – many people have the mistaken idea that when water goes down the drain it goes somewhere into oblivion.  This is not true.  All the water that was ever created with this earth is still here on this earth and is part of the hydrological cycle of the earth.  In fact when you think about it, the very water that you send down the drain today will make it to the ocean, be evaporated again, fall as rain, and could even be consumed by you again, and again, and again.  Water is not destroyed when it goes down the drain.  Storage tanks do take up room, but that will always be a part of reverse osmosis though we have been able in some instances to install the Reverse Osmosis system in the garage or elsewhere if plumbing permits.  If you have an unfinished basement this is certainly a possibility as you can see by the pictures.

Utah Water Softeners - Water Waste During Regeration

Utah Water Softeners - Water Waste During Regeration

One of the biggest concerns with owning a water softener is the waste of water during the regeneration cycle.  Here are four things that homeowners can do to minimize this waste and we will address them here.

1.      The first thing we need to look at as far as water waste is to look at the type of system that you have.  Older and inefficient water softeners regenerate off of a timer.  In other words, these water softeners are regenerating every so many days no matter how much water you use.  If your water softener is set to regenerate every 3 days it does not matter how many gallons of water you use in that 3 days whether it is 10 gallons or 1000 gallons the water softener is still going to regenerate using the same amount of water every single time, which can be up to 80 gallons of water for each regeneration.  There are many water treatment dealers today who still sell and install time-initiated water softeners.  It is my opinion that these systems should never be installed.

2.     Make sure the water hardness that the softener is programmed for matches the actual water hardness of your water.   Many plumbers are famous for just installing a water softener and walking away leaving the water softener at the default manufacturers program settings.  If the default program setting is for 20 grains of hardness and you actually only have 10 grains of hardness per gallon in your water you will waste 50% of your salt and twice as much water in regeneration cycles.

3.     If you have already had a newer system installed, you should consider having a professional look at the systems cycle settings and make sure the system is operating as efficiently as possible.  Many times the program settings are set for much longer backwash cycles and rinse cycles than they need to be.  Your water softener might be backwashing for 15 minutes at 2.7 gallons per minute when it only needs to backwash for 6 minutes.

4.     Make sure you have no water leaks in your home.  Fix that leaky faucet or toilet, even if it just dripping.  I’ve seen “small” or “insignificant” leaks that add up to 700 gallons of water per day wasted.  Think about this matter carefully.  Not only are you wasting water at the leaky faucet or sink or toilet, but you are also causing your water softener to regenerate a lot sooner than needed causing water waste there as well.

Give us a call at Royal Water Systems today if you would like your Utah Water Softener system looked at today.  We would be more than happy to show you what you can do, if anything to conserve water.


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


What is a Salt Free Water Softener System?

A salt free water softener system is a healthy and natural alternative to hard water problems in St. George. Salt-free soft water not only prevents, but also removes hard-water buildup that clogs and corrodes your water heater and other home plumbing fixtures and appliances. Our water softener systems use an eco-friendly process to condition all the water throughout your entire home. The resulting water is soft and healthy for all of your household uses, including drinking, bathing, washing, and lawn and plant watering.

Salt vs. Salt Free Water Softener Systems

I received a very interesting phone call today from a woman in Highland, UT and her request was very interesting.  She asked me to come over and not sell her a water softener but to help her understand the difference between all the salt free systems that are on the market today and the traditional systems that use salt or potassium.  I told her that I would be very happy to do so free of charge as long as she would spread the information as far and as wide as she could.  I also then realized that I needed to post the same information to my website so I could do the same.

Many people understand that a salt based water softener system removes hardness from water in St. George, but this is only half the truth.  The whole truth is that a salt based system exchanges the hardness in the water for the sodium part of salt.  In other words the hardness is physically removed from the water and replaced with sodium.  The technology is called “ion exchange” and ion exchange or salt based systems are simply the best and most economical way to remove hardness from water.  We all know the results of using a salt based water softener – with the hardness removed we gain the benefits of getting rid of hard water spots on dishes, sinks, and faucets.  Soap scum in bathrooms disappears.  No more hard water rings in toilets.  Dry and itchy skin is eliminated. Scale build-up in our plumbing and the destruction of appliances is eliminated and so on.

It is arguable whether or not salt free water softener systems should be called a “softener” or not.  I believe they should be called “conditioners” because they do not actually remove the hardness from the water.  All salt free or no salt systems on the market today are unable to remove hardness from water.  They can “bind or restructure” hardness in water very effectively which prevents scale buildup in plumbing and appliances.  All salt free systems, if you look closely at their websites hold up this one benefit of scale prevention more than any other because that is pretty much all they can do.

 Let’s look at common sense for a moment and compare salt free systems to a regular water softener:

1.       Scale Prevention:  Both salt and salt-free systems will provide this benefit

2.       Soap Scum:  Soap scum forms from soaps reacting with the hard water minerals in your water.  Remember, salt free systems do not actually remove the hard water minerals from your water and therefore soap scum will still form in your showers and wherever soaps are used if you choose a salt free system

3.       Dry Itchy Skin:  Dry, itchy skin comes from soap scum that is smeared on you when you shower.  Think about it with common sense – if there is soap scum on your shower walls, it’s on you too!  That grippy, squeaky, feeling you get with a hard water shower is the soap scum on your skin.  The slippery feeling of soft water is not soap or salt, it is your natural skin and the way it should be.  The results of softer skin from a salt free system if at all, will be very marginal

4.       Laundry:  Your laundry soaps will still react with the hard water minerals present in the water from any salt free system.  Your laundry for the most part will still be crusty

5.       Hard Water Spots: When you leave a water drop behind on any surface evaporation will eventually happen.  Use common sense again.  The water evaporates and leaves everything else behind – minerals, chemicals, whatever was in that water is left behind and that is a water spot, therefore salt free systems do NOT get rid of hard water spots.

All this being said, you should know that I have installed hundreds of Pelican Salt Free water softener systems in St. George for some of my customers, but here is the reason why – the customer’s needs demanded a salt free system.  They are all customers and if you are a person too that:

·         Hates the feel of soft water

·         Cannot, will not, or does not haul salt

·         Do not care about anything besides scale build-up. Or you only care about preserving your plumbing and water-using appliances and that is it

You will be happy with a salt free system and in this view of the salt free systems, they are a good thing.

But if you are a person that cares about all the other benefits of a salt based water system, you will absolutely hate a salt free system.  Many people are inclined to install a salt free system just because they do not want to haul salt.  In the old days water softeners were salt hogs, but today we are installing many water softeners that need the salt tank filled only once per year for some customers.

If you have any further questions, or would like additional information, please feel free to send me an email at:

Why Pay More for a Utah Water Softener?

Why Pay More for a Utah Water Softener?

I lost a bid today!!  The reason why I lost the bid is because the homeowner informed me that my competitors made him believe that he should be “very careful” of water treatment companies that do not even have a storefront.  The dumbest thing about this whole experience for me is that when I first went to see the homeowner the install was going to be very difficult but I figured out a way to get a water softener installed for him.  So what happened at the end of the day is the homeowner had to call me to find out just how I was going to do the install in his home so that he could tell my competitor how to install his water softener.  Therefore, the homeowner was discouraged from buying from a company that does not have a storefront (us) and ended up buying from a company (them) that could not figure out on their own how to even install a water softener in the homeowner’s house!  On top of that the homeowner said, “I know I am going to pay a lot more for the water softener, but at least I’ll feel more comfortable.” Does that make sense?  It really does not, but hey, you can’t win them all, can you?

It’s true.  Royal Water Systems does not have a storefront.  We do not have a secretary to sit at a desk and answer phones.  We do not have an inside sales team to take sales leads and pass them on to commissioned paid outside salesmen.  We do not have a massive fleet of vehicles with insurance expenses as well.  It is not our effort to be the biggest water treatment dealer in Utah, only to be the best and we have found out that we do not need these things to install great products and offer 5-Star service to our customers.

Why don’t we have these things?  The reason why is because we do not have to pay rent or a mortgage on a building for a storefront.  We do not have to pay a salary to a secretary to answer phones and push paperwork around the office.  We do not have to pay for an inside sales force.  We do not have to pay for a high-paid outside salesman.  We do not have to pay for a fleet of vehicles and we do not have to pay for the insurance on these vehicles either.

It makes perfect sense.  When you see a casino or a great big tall bank skyscraper, who do you think built that great big building?  Who do you think pays for the staff?  The honest and simple truth is – their customers did.  Royal Water Systems does not believe in that.  We simply keep a warehouse to inventory our products in and then service our customers from our vans and we don’t need a lot of people to do it either as long as we install high quality systems that won’t be breaking down and giving us and the homeowner a lot of trouble.

I constantly bid against the biggest and most well-known water softener dealers in Utah.  Their bid is usually always around $3000 - $3500 and many times I find that my competitors really tried to stick it to the homeowner with a $5000 $6500 bid.  My bid for a water softener is almost always around $1500 - $1700 and most of the time my product is superior and sometimes far superior and I don’t just say that either.  I know that I am installing systems that will be absolutely trouble free for at least 15 years.  Also, you should understand that I don’t need a storefront or an inside sales team or an outside sales team or a fleet of vehicles to put a quality Utah water softener in your home that was made right here on the Wasatch Front and you don’t need me to have a storefront to make sure that the systems I put in your home will be serviced each year and have any and all filters changed. These systems are installed in your home they are serviced in your home.  I have to come to your home and do a water test and a plumbing inspection before I can ever even consider putting a water softener or a Reverse Osmosis drinking water system in.  I will also have to come to your home to service those systems when they need it.

So you can have it 1 of 2 ways:  You can spend $3000 - $6000 and help a water treatment company pay for their building and all their employees, their insurances, and their vehicles, etc.  Or you can spend $1500 - $1700 for a quality made water softener and have it installed.

Which would you rather do?


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems



Can a Water Softener Stop Hard Water Spots From Sprinklers?

Can a Water Softener Stop Hard Water Spots From Sprinklers?

Apparently there is a thorn in the side of many homeowners out there!  Many homeowner’s days are ruined right at the beginning of the day when they walk outside to drive to work and find their new car (or old car) completely covered in hard water spots from the sprinklers.  Some of my customers have even told me how they have to wash their cars with vinegar to remove these extremely undesirable water spots as well, so I thought I would take the time and add a little note to my blog.

Many customers ask me if it is possible to run their outside water through their water softener just so their car does not get water spots on it.  The simple answer to this question is, “No.”  I know it’s not what homeowners want to hear, but it is the truth and this is the reason why:  Your lawn, shrubs, flowers, and other vegetation need the hardness in your water for nutrients to grow.  A water softener is going to remove the hardness and replace it with Sodium which will kill most any vegetation over time and I am sure most homeowners don’t want that.  Also 99% of the time the water supply to your outside irrigation, sprinklers, and drip systems does not come from inside the house but usually comes from the main water line running to your house before it enters your home.  Another thing to think about is water pressure.  A water softener is always installed after a pressure regulator and your outside water is always connected before the water pressure regulator.  Sprinklers use a lot of water and that means they need the 140 lbs PSI of water pressure in the main water line outside your house.  If you were to hook your sprinklers up to the 60lbs PSI of water pressure after the pressure regulator and after your water softener, your sprinklers would probably hardly even put out any water and therefore your lawn would die anyway, even if you are using Potassium in your water softener instead of salt.

So what it comes down to is a battle between the car or the lawn if you can’t somehow find a way to keep your sprinklers from spraying water on your car.  A couple of ideas you may consider is to change the times your lawn is watered to be times when the car is at work or somewhere else if that’s possible even if you have to operate your sprinklers manually. Or you may consider a fence or some sort of blockage so that the water cannot get on the car.  Probably the best option and the cheapest has been to get a waterproof car cover for your car.  I’ve seen some homeowners get so upset with it they put in that fake grass or AstroTurf, or whatever you might call it to solve the problem.

If anyone out there has a better idea, then I would be more than happy to entertain it and pass it on to my friends, associates and customers.

All the best,

Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems | 855-SOF-TNER

Understanding Water Pressure for a Utah Water Softener

Today I had a very unpleasant experience in Draper, UT.  I had a customer that did not fully understand water pressure not only for his water softener, but for his whole house.  To make a long story short – three years ago I sold this customer a water softener and installed it.  When I installed it I verified the water pressure of the home to be within the operating parameters of the water softener which it was at 60 lbs PSI.  I also explained the warranty and the exclusions of the warranty to the customer as well, but apparently he did not understand. Therefore, I am writing this article and posting it my website and hopefully it will help because I lost a very valuable customer today and all for a misunderstanding.


So here is how water pressure works:  Every home should have a water pressure regulator just like the one shown in the picture.  Water first flows through a shutoff valve and then through one of these pressure regulators.  The pressure regulator regulates the pressure down from the 140 – 150 lbs PSI that is at the street to anywhere from 25 – 75lbs PSI.  Your home should never have more water pressure than this.  All of the plumbing in your home and every water using appliance should never see water pressure greater than 75 PSI.  The water pressure regulator is part of the plumbing in your home and not part of any water softener or appliance.  It should be known that pressure regulators wear out over time and the truth is that I have seen them go out and stop working in a home that is only 5 years old and I have also seen them wear out in 20 years.  There is no way that any water softener company can keep track of and manage the water pressure in your home every single day and therefore water pressure is always an exclusion to any water softener warranty.  It is always the responsibility of the homeowner to manage and maintain the water pressure in their homes.

What so often happens is that these water pressure regulators fail and when they do the water pressure in your home can rise to 150lbs PSI and split water heaters, water softeners, reverse osmosis systems or even blow apart plumbing joints causing serious damage and a lot of remodeling in some cases.  Whatever is the weakest link in your plumbing that is what will give out first.  This is what happened in the case with this customer.  He blamed me for his pressure regulator failing which split a filter housing and did some damage to some drywall and I did not even install his pressure regulator! 

We recommend installing a water pressure gage in your plumbing and in a lot of cases we install them so homeowners can maintain and manage their water pressure.  If your pressure regulator is looks old or if you know it is over 10 years old, I would just replace it and save yourself a headache down the road and possibly a serious remodeling project.

If you are a Royal Water Systems customer and you have us change your filters, your water pressure is checked every time we do a filter change for you just as a courtesy.  It would surprise you how many times we find high water pressure and replace a pressure regulator right there on the spot for our customers before any damage is done to their home or their water softener system.

Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


Utah Water Softener In-Home Estimates

Utah Water Softener In-Home Estimates

I don’t know about most other water treatment companies but at Royal Water Systems, we offer in-home estimates that are always free of charge.  I get asked, “Why do you have to come to my home to give me a price for a water softener?” all the time.  Well, I can tell you that for us, it’s for very good reasons.

Most homeowners think, and they are probably right, that if they call a salesman over to their house they are going to get hit with some high pressure sales tactics.  I know these tactics exist in our industry and probably a lot of other industries that deal with homeowners directly.  I also know that homeowners have no use for them and this is why some homeowners are very hesitant to invite out a salesman.  At Royal Water Systems, we don’t have salesmen.  What we do have is people that love doing water treatment on both a residential and a commercial level.  We also have people that love to help other people out with the talents that they have been given in the water treatment field.

First of all, it cost us time and money to do free in-home estimates.  I think that’s pretty easy for anybody to see and understand.  The reason why in-home estimates are so important to us is due to the simple fact that there are questions that will need to be answered before any water softener can be installed.  Your house may not even be able to have a water softener installed in it.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have sold a water softener over the phone, taken a deposit, and then showed up to do the install and there was literally no way for the water softener to be installed.  It was a waste of my time and a waste of the homeowner’s time as well.  So in-home estimates answer questions that we will have and it always will spark more questions from homeowners than they ever had before. Here is a list of questions that always come up with homeowners when we do an in-home estimate:

·       Outside faucets – will they be hard or soft?

·       Kitchen cold and refrigerator water – will it be effected?

·       Will both hot and cold water be soft?

·       What size of a system will be needed? – This can only be determined by testing the water at your house and finding out how much hardness is in your water and also the number of people the system will be servicing.

·       Will the system be using Salt or Potassium

·       Will the system be connecting to copper, pex, pvc, or cast iron plumbing?  We will need to know this so that we can bring the right fittings for the installation.

·       Is there a drain available to the water softener?

·       Is there an electrical outlet available to the softener?

·       Does the house have a pressure regulator and is it working?  Water pressure cannot be more than 75lbs.  This is required before a water softener can be installed.

·       Does the house have an expansion tank on the water heater incoming water supply?  This is another pre-requisite for a water softener.

·       Is there enough floor space for the water softener to be installed?

·       How much salt or potassium will the softener use?

·       Are there any filters to change?

·       What maintenance is required?

·       What type of salt should be used?

·       When and how long will the regeneration cycle be?

There are these questions and a host of others that are not mentioned here.  Answering these questions will save a ton of headaches in the future and it will also avoid unforeseen surprises for both Royal Water Systems and homeowners.  This is why we highly recommend them, even though they are costly to us.

If we can be of service to you in any way with your water needs or concerns, we promise we won’t send out a high-pressure salesman, but rather one of our employees that love to help people out with their water needs and concerns.

Kind Regards,


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


How Does a Utah Water Softener Work?

How Does a Utah Water Softener Work?

Utah is the hard water capital of the world and one of the most common questions when it comes to hard or soft water is, “How does a water softener work?”  Here are the answers to your questions:

“Hardness” in water is simply Calcium and Magnesium that is dissolved into the water.  Calcium and Magnesium are also positively charged ions as well.  This dissolved Calcium and Magnesium will react with soaps to produces soap scum and dry itchy skin.  They will also build up in plumbing and all water using appliances such as water heaters, clothes washers, dishwashers and toilets.  Unsightly toilet rings are simply Calcium and Magnesium that has solidified to the toilet bowl at the surface level of the water.  Water “hardness” or Calcium and Magnesium is also the white buildup you see on showerheads and the underside of kitchen sink faucets as well.  Again, it is also the white “film” or water spots seen on dishes when they come out of the dishwasher and the white “mess” that is commonly seen at the water dispenser on black or stainless steel refrigerators.

Softening water is simply the process of removing the “hardness” or the Calcium and Magnesium from the water.  The cheapest and most efficient way to accomplish this is through a process called ion exchange or, in other words, the process performed by your typical salt or potassium based water softener.  Salt is NaCl2 or Sodium Chloride with a positive charge of 2.  Sodium is also a positively charged ion as well.

In summary all a water softener does is exchange the positively charged Calcium and Magnesium ions the water for the positively charged Sodium ion in Salt.  Sodium does not react with soaps to produce soap scum and it does not build up in appliances, plumbing or fixtures which greatly preserves a home and will also improve the quality of life within the home immensely.

In detail, a water softener is filled mostly with cation resin beads which will be negatively charged and loaded with Sodium.  As your water flows through these resin beads, the positively charged ions of Calcium and Magnesium, or “hardness” will be attracted to the negatively charged resin beads just like opposite sides of a magnet attract to each other.  At the same time the resin beads collect the hardness they also release the Sodium from the resin beads into the water supply of your home.  Ion exchange has just happened.  The resin bead exchanged the Sodium and collected the water hardness.  After so many gallons of water run through the resin bed within the softener, the resin bed will become exhausted and unable to collect any more Calcium or Magnesium from your water.  The next process is to regenerate the water softener by flooding the resin bed with salt water or brine. Your water softener will reverse the flow of water through the water softener which will expand the resin bed and allow the brine water to saturate the resin beads.  Just as before, the resin beads will now exchange the Calcium and the Magnesium or the water hardness it has collected from your water supply for the Sodium part of salt.  The only difference in this part of cycle is that the Calcium and Magnesium will be diverted down the drain and no into your home.  So the water softener will first exchange the Sodium for water hardness and send the “soft” water into your home and then when the resin bed is exhausted it will exchange the water hardness for Sodium in a regeneration cycle and send the hardness down the drain.  When this regeneration cycle happens the salt molecule of Sodium Chloride breaks apart and the Chloride is diverted down the drain with the water hardness.

Some people may choose to use Potassium Chloride in their water softener instead of salt or Sodium Chloride.  The process is the same and works just the same only Potassium will be exchanged with the water hardness instead of Sodium.  Potassium simply provides a healthy drinkable soft water whereas Salt does not.

If you have any further questions of how we can help you, please feel free to give us a call


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


Best Water Softener Prices In Utah

Best Water Softener Prices In Utah

I was in Herriman, Utah today installing a water softener when the neighbor to my customer walked up and hit me with a point blank question: “Why does the price of a water softener vary so much from different suppliers?  Why can I get a water softener from Home Depot for $500 and also get a bid from a water treatment company for $5,000?” I told him that he just hit upon probably the most common question that I get from my customers.  Here is the reason why:

On the low end of the scale (big box retailers) it’s pretty easy to see what their game is.  It is to be the lowest price point to attract the most buyers and many people there are that go down this road.  I tell my customers to look at what they are getting for it. The best system you will get is a 1 year warranty system and when these systems need to be looked at or repaired homeowners can expect a few surprises:

1.     Home Depot is not going to send out a repair man in an orange shirt to fix your water softener.  Your system will be diagnosed and repaired by a third party.

2.     Expect trip charges at least from this third party.  They are not going to be coming out to your house for free

3.     When you receive a repair bill for $300-$400 and you only paid $500 for the water softener in the first place you won’t be fixing anything.  You will be replacing the water softener instead.  (This is usually where homeowners call me.  A lot of my business is replacing throw-away water softeners.)

4.     If you do replace the water softener with another 1-year warranty system, you will pay a plumber twice as much to remove the old system and install a new one.  Trust me, no one likes to remove a heavy old water softener from a basement.

The short version of this story is a very attractive entry price that will save you nothing at the end of the day.  Why a homeowner would even want to get tangled up in this scenario I can’t understand.

On the other hand, you do have dealers out there that will charge you a sky-high price and hopefully you will get a better system than a big box store system, but in some cases, I am sorry to say, homeowners don’t even get the short end of the stick, they get none of the stick at all.  There are only two reasons why any homeowner would ever get a $5000 or even a $6500 price for a water softener and that is:

A.     The water treatment dealer smells blood in the water and really wants to gouge the homeowner.

B.     The water treatment company is an extremely inefficient company with a ton of overhead and they want to pay for that overhead and their inefficient company.

At Royal Water Systems we keep a few commitments:

·       We will not sell junk.  We do not sell 1-year warranty systems at all. We do not import any water systems.  If we can’t put a water softener in your house that won’t just do its job and do it for years on end without any problems, we are not interested.

·       We will not sell inefficient water softeners that are salt hogs.  A timered water softener is not even in our inventory

·       By only installing quality made systems we can greatly reduce our overhead.  We do not need a host of repairmen.  We do not need a fleet of motor vehicles for those repairmen.  We do not need to pay for the human resources, or insurance for the repairmen or the vehicles.

·       We will keep the front end of our business just as efficient and free from overhead has the back end.  By embracing technologies that allow our offices to function seamlessly.

·       By doing a combination of all of the above we will offer the best water softener or water treatment equipment for the lowest possible price.

·       We will not leave any customer behind, but we will stand behind the products we sell and install and offer a level of after-installation service that is acceptable to our customers.


We invite you to give us a call today and set an appointment.  Without the pressure of a high paid salesman we will help you make your water exactly what you want it to be.  You’ll find us to be about half the price of high paid, inefficient water treatment dealers.  You’ll get an excellent water softener customized to your specific water.  You’ll get excellent follow-through service after the installation.  Isn’t that what you’re looking for?

All the best,


Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems


Water Softener Utah - Salt Free or Traditional Water Softener?

Water Softener Utah - Salt Free or Traditional Water Softener?

I get an unreal amount of requests from customers all over Utah who are interested in a salt free water softener.  Usually it is because the homeowner either cannot haul the salt or because the homeowner has a very inefficient water softener that uses a lot of salt.  Whatever the reason may be, I think it worth my time to explain the difference between salt free systems and salt systems here. 

Simply put – Salt Free Water Softener Systems only give you a single benefit and that is scale prevention.  Look at all the websites advocating them and you will find their first claim to fame is scale prevention and the protecting of your plumbing and appliances.  All other claims you will find to be very minimal.  We install a lot of salt free systems and have hundreds of happy customers that own them but we sold them a salt free system for exactly what it was.  Salt Free Conditioners are not a Water Softener, they never will be because they do not actually remove the hardness from the water, all they can do is change that hardness in the water and leave it there.

So, who are they types of people that really like salt free conditioners?  They are our customers that meet 4 criteria:

1.     They hate the slippery feel of soft water

2.     They can’t, won’t, or don’t haul salt

3.     Their plumbing will not allow a standard water softener

4.     The only reason they want a water softener / conditioner is to preserve the investment they have in their home.  They fully understand that they will still get water spots on dishes, soap scum on shower walls, dry, itchy skin will be unaffected, the softness of their laundry will be unchanged, hard water toilet rings will still be there.  All of these benefits that water softeners have given families for years will not be realized with a salt free system.

The major reasons why people want a salt free system is because they either are far enough along in years that they cannot physically haul salt or they already have a salt based water softener that was installed by one of our competitors who did not know what they were doing and the water softener is going through A LOT of salt.  In either one of these cases it is an inefficient salt based system that is the underlying reason of why people look to Salt Free Systems.  Once we explain to them that once they install one of our highly efficient salt systems and they can get all the benefits of soft water that they have always enjoyed and only have to haul salt less than half as often, we find that homeowners will almost always choose an efficient salt based system over a salt free system.

Yes, there is a market out there for Salt Free Softener/Conditioning Systems and we at Royal Water Systems have proved it.  I realized in selling and installing water softeners that there are a group of people who just will not have a water softener in their home – they just hate them.  So I took the approach, “How can I help these people out that just are not going to have a water softener, but they are also losing their investment in their home because of the ill effects of hard water?”  A salt free conditioner has been the answer.

The truth is that I, myself would NEVER own a Salt Free System because I love all the benefits of soft water.  But I also realize that it’s not my job to push my ideas of soft water on to my customers.  My job is to educate my customers and then once they are educated and can make an educated decision let them choose what they want their water to be.  I have found that if I do that I will always have happy customers and I won’t be removing systems that should never have been installed in the first place.

Let us know what we can do to help you with your Utah hard water problems.  We have helped thousands of families out and we’d love to help you out too.


Sam Nielsen | Royal Water Systems - | 801-850-1839


Quality Drinking Water Options in Utah

Quality Drinking Water Options in Utah

Some of the most common questions that come my way have to do with quality drinking water in Utah.  We realize that the best thing we can do at Royal Water Systems it to educate our customers on the options that are available to them and let them decide what type of system is the best for them but first of all it should be known that all of the systems are excellent systems, it just boils down to a matter of personal preference and choice.


You:  So many Utah families have no drinking water filter, or so they think they have no filter.  What these families do not realize is that they themselves are the filters!  Yes, it’s true – their body is what removes the impurities in their water.  What is not realized very much is that the incoming water to our homes can change at any moment and it’s no wonder that these families perhaps deal with a lot of sickness?  One question that every person should ask themselves is: “If someone took a noodle and put it into the water supply in your city and that noodle were to flow through all the pipes of the city and come out of your kitchen faucet, would you eat the noodle?”  If your answer to yourself were “No!” then why would you want to drink the water?

Refrigerator Filters:  Many families use refrigerator filters for their drinking water.  While it is true that any filter is better than no filter it should be known that refrigerator filters are the most basic type of filtration out there.  Refrigerator filters are simply about a fistful of granular activated carbon (GAC) that is sold to you for a huge price.  These filters are basically good for one thing – removing chlorine.  TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) readings from your refrigerator filter and your kitchen sink will be nearly the same.  Ice will usually be cloudy and usually there is still a white film, water spots and quite a mess right at the water / ice dispenser which continually has to be cleaned up.

Reverse Osmosis (RO):  This is probably the next most common drinking water purification system that is bought and installed in a Utah home.  RO is quite simply purified water.  Aquafina bottled water that is bought in nearly every store or gas station out there in the Western United States is simply RO water. A typical RO install will be underneath the kitchen sink unless the plumbing of the home can allow it to be installed in the basement.  A water line is usually run from the RO to the kitchen sink and through a dedicated faucet.  If the plumbing allows another line can be run to the refrigerator as well.  Some of the pros of an RO system are that at the refrigerator you will see crystal clear ice cubes, purified drinking water and no white film, mess or water spots on the refrigerator or in the water dispensing area.  RO Water is excellent for general cleaning in the home and the meals you cook will taste better if cooked in pure water.  RO Water can be used in irons and pretty much anywhere distilled water is used. Probably the two biggest cons of RO systems are the room they take up underneath the kitchen sink and also the fact the RO systems wash the impurities in the water to the drain meaning that an RO system will waste water to make pure water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.  Another argument seems to be that; “RO water is not good for you because it has nothing in it.  It removes the good as well as the bad.”  This is a true statement, but it also needs to be taken into perspective as well, meaning that if you can raise your water quality from, lets say a -10 to 0, isn’t that a good thing?  One more argument seems to be the maintenance or filter changes required for a RO system.  In most homes, if the RO System can be plumbed to the refrigerator there is usually next to NO EXTRA COST at all in owning a RO System because the money you put into refrigerator filters every six months is usually about the same money you would put into keeping the filters changed in a RO system once per year and you will get far better water as well.

Ultra Filtration (UF):  UF is something that as a little newer to the marker than RO and is also a very common system the we install for people to meet their drinking water needs.  UF will filter down to the sub-micron level meaning that it will remove sediment, bacteria, cysts, turbidity, E. Coli, Typhoid, Cryptosporidium, Insecticides, herbicides, phenols and chlorine.  What UF does not remove from water is TDS meaning that it will leave in healthy minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium, which is water hardness.  UF systems take up far less room than an RO system does due to the fact that there is no storage tank needed.  It will also give you and endless supply of healthy drinking water as long as the filters are changed.


Ultraviolet Light (UV):  UV kills over 99% of all bacteria.  It can be used as a point-of-use or a point-of-entry system meaning you can simply treat your drinking water or treat the water to the whole house.  Many of our customers look for a single system that will treat all the water in their home and give them drinking water as well.  The best way to accomplish this is to install a whole house filter to remove chlorine and a host of other contaminants found in water, soften the water with potassium, and then process the water through a UV disinfection system.

If you’d like more information on drinking water or would like to explore what options are available to you in a little more depth, please feel free to contact us at Royal Water Systems, Utah’s water treatment specialists!

Happy Drinking!

- Sam Nielsen

Royal Water Systems