Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a water softener and how does it function?

Water softeners generally consist of one or two fiberglass cylinders that resemble large scuba tanks. Each softener tank is filled about 2/3rds full with small smooth beads called ion exchange resin. When water flows through the ion exchange resin, the resin removes certain positively charged ions including calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese from the incoming water. These elements are the most common culprits of limescale build-up and water staining, respectively. Once the resin’s ability to remove these particles is partially depleted, a salty brine solution is used to clean/regenerate the resin. A water softener does NOT make your water salty any more than laundry detergent makes your clean laundry soapy. In both cases, the cleaning agent is rinsed away.

2. What are the benefits of a water softener?

A water softener provides numerous benefits. In the short term, you will probably notice, i) a decrease in lime-scale buildup on faucets and glass shower doors, ii) feel that your hair is more manageable and less brittle/stiff, and iii) see fewer unwanted streaks on dishes, and glasses.

Over the longer term, your plumbing fixtures and appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and hot water heaters will generally last somewhat longer, and your clothing will stay brighter and last longer.

3. What are the common water-related issues in my home that would benefit from the addition of a water softener?

The following problems will generally improve after the installation of a water softener: i) limescale formation in pipes, ii) stained or discolored sinks/toilets/bathtubs, iii) short water heater life, iv) mineral deposits on dishes and appliances, and v) unmanageable hair.

4. Why is water testing crucial for the water quality in my home?

At Friots we look at water quality from two different perspectives, i) the health of the home (staining, lime-scale build-up, corrosive water, etc.), and ii) the medical health of the residents (contaminants such as radon, arsenic, PFAS, etc.) Whether your home’s water is supplied by a municipality or a private well, it is important to understand what is and isn’t in your water. After having your untreated water tested at a certified lab, Friots can reliably diagnose your water and suggest alternative treatment methods that address your concerns and fit your budget.

5. What information does water analysis provide regarding the quality of my water?

A comprehensive water analysis will provide you with details about the presence or absence of a wide range of substances commonly found in water. It will also provide a roadmap for determining potential issues that, i) need to be treated, ii) could possibly be treated or iii) definitely don’t need to be treated. At Friots we believe that “less is more” and strive to never over-prescribe unnecessary water treatment equipment.

6. How does arsenic enter drinking water, and how does your equipment remove it?.

Arsenic is a relatively common naturally occurring mineral in certain parts of Friots service area. Groundwater flowing past these deposits underground can cause the water to be contaminated with arsenic. Although arsenic could potentially originate from other man-made sources these sorts of contamination issues are rare in our service area.

Arsenic has no smell or taste, so you cannot readily tell without a lab test if it is in your drinking water. Depending on the specific situation, Friots has multiple approaches to removing arsenic.

7. Can you describe the advantages of installing a reverse osmosis system in my home?

In technical terms, reverse osmosis is a process that forces untreated incoming water through a semi-permeable membrane, resulting in the removal of all particles larger than 0.001 micrometers.

In layman’s terms, reverse osmosis is in many respects the gold standard for the cost-effective treatment of drinking and cooking water as it eliminates almost all hazardous elements and often improves the taste of your water. Reverse osmosis is the most widely available broad-spectrum drinking water purification method on the market.

8. Can a reverse osmosis system work for both well water and city water?

Yes, a reverse osmosis water filtration system can improve your water quality whether you have a private well or city/town water. Frequently municipal water contains enough chlorine and chlorine byproducts that its odor and taste are quite noticeable.

If you are drinking bottled water, reverse osmosis is typically a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.

9. What is a radon removal system, and why is it so important for water safety?

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is formed through the breakdown of uranium underground. Uranium is often present as a trace element in granite. Although drinking water that contains radon presents some concern, the primary concern is the radon gas being released into the air when you bathe. Friots installs and services R.E. Prescott’s Bubble-Up radon gas removal system, which typically removes more than 99% of radon gas from incoming water. The unit works by blasting air through the untreated water, similar to how you might reduce carbonation in a soda by blowing bubbles through a straw.

10. What is a neutralizer in the context of water treatment, and when does it come in handy?

About 20% of the wells we encounter in our local service area have mildly to severely corrosive water. We define water as being corrosive water if it degrades or otherwise damages copper pipes and other plumbing fittings.

Neutralizers flow corrosive water through a bed of calcium carbonate (marble ground up to the size and consistency of sand) which is slowly consumed and renders the water less corrosive. In other words, the water will slowly consume the calcium carbonate rather than slowly eating the copper plumbing in your home.

11. What are PFAS, and why do I need a system to remove them from my water?

One of the most pressing water quality issues facing communities today is the presence of PFAS. PFAS is a broad assortment of man-made chemicals used in a variety of industries and has been linked to serious health problems. PFAS enters the water supply from sources such as industrial discharges, landfills, and fire-fighting foam. PFAS is sometimes referred to as a “forever chemical” because they are extremely strong molecules that tend not to break down in the environment or in your body.

12. How frequently should I have my water tested?

Although more frequent water testing is in some regards always better, lots of testing can be both expensive and inconvenient. In short, there is more than one correct answer to this question.

For certain elements like arsenic, testing as frequently as every 3 months may be advisable. In terms of the comprehensive testing of private wells in our service area, Friots recommends testing the water no less than every 1 to 3 years, depending on various factors including your level of concern.

As a general statement, the overall complexion of the well (iron content, corrosiveness, hardness) tends to change slowly over time, if at all. It is rather uncommon in our service area to see the complexion of a good experience a wholesale change.

It is not uncommon over the course of a year, however, for a well to develop certain problematic conditions such as coliform bacteria contamination that should be treated when discovered.

Similarly, you should have your water tested or call us if you notice any sudden changes in your well water quality or if a household member or visitor experiences any concerning symptoms.

Our Full Range of Services

water treatment slider

Water Softeners

Enjoy less soap for washing, softer and more manageable hair, and no unwanted streaks on dishes and glasses.

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water testing services

Water Analysis

Our standard water testing and analysis include assessments of water hardness, total dissolved solids, and chlorine levels.

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arsenic removal

Arsenic Removal

Friots has a long history and deep experience with cost-effective ways for arsenic abatement.

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hand holding a glass of water

Reverse Osmosis

Get pure, clean water for drinking and cooking with our reverse osmosis systems.

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radon removal

Radon Removal

We understand the dangers of radon gas and getting it removed from your house.

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Reach Out to Us With Your Water Questions

Are you trying to find a water treatment system that will work well and save money? Friots is the only place to go! With more than 50 years of expertise, we take the time to comprehend the chemistry of your water system at its core and provide dependable, affordable solutions.