From the Experts

From the Experts

Do “No-Salt” Water Conditioners Make Water Soft? - 11/19/2010

Written by Bret Petty, Research and Development

Bret has over 30 years of water treatment experience with Aqua Systems. Bret is also the former president of Aqua Systems. Today Bret focuses his time on product development and problem solving challenges.

The market is being flooded with advertising that could lead consumers to believe that you can get rid of your water softener, stop buying salt, and get the same results without using salt. This message resonates with just about everyone who lugs salt to a water softener. I don’t know anyone who would not be interested in giving up loading salt in water softeners. However, dealing with the salt is for a reason. It is a great trade off for soft water. Soft water protects your plumbing system, makes cleaning much easier, and feels great to bathe in. So can you get soft water with a “No-Salt” conditioner? The answer is No.
I believe the advertising is extremely deceptive because it doesn’t tell the consumer that you don’t get the same result. In fact, you have to dig deep in the websites to find the disclaimers. One of the big advertisers even discloses that you will get white crust all over your fixtures with their “No-Salt” water conditioner. They go on to explain that it is easy to clean up. But, you have to dig deep to find this information. The fact is you can’t get soft water with a “No-Salt” water conditioner.
The “No-Salt” technologies are referred to as Physical Water Conditioners (PWC). These systems include magnets, electro-magnets, electrical frequency, and crystallization polymers. All of them claim to change the structure of hardness minerals, in a way that prevents scale from forming. Of all of the technologies, only the crystallization polymers have shown any effectiveness in reducing scaling, and those results can’t be achieved, with reliability, in every application. The rest of the groups have only supplied information that is generated from within their companies. Some may refer to “Customer Successes”, but it is being reported from within.
A fundamental problem with all PWC products is that you can’t verify that they are doing anything. There is not a test that can show a difference in water before and after the treatment, not one. There is not a detectable difference in the feel of the water, the reaction with soaps, or with laundry. The water before and after the treatment is the same. So that leaves you with one claimed benefit, scale prevention. The problem with this is that you can’t see inside of the plumbing. So you can’t know if it is having any effect on scaling. You are left to have faith that scale is not forming inside your plumbing. You can’t see it, verify it, or prove the PWC is working. If you disconnect a water softener, and install any PWC, you will immediately get white crust forming all over your fixtures. You will also immediately lose the soft water feel while bathing.
So how do these companies get away with the advertising? Great question. To begin, it might help to define some terms. Water Softening means to remove hardness minerals. However, what does conditioning mean? Conditioning can mean anything. I could run my hand through water to condition it, but condition it for what? The water quality industry has always done a good job at policing the message of its members. However, the PWC companies don’t see themselves in the same industry. They have crafted their own niche and don’t want to be bothered by others. They don’t subscribe to the same disciplines as the water quality industry. This is the opinion that I have formed in watching all of this unfold. I believe these companies are playing on consumer emotion by selling a message that dances around truth, then buries the details in website copy. 
If you want soft water, and want to reduce handling salt, there have never been better options. Aqua Systems’ softening technologies have reduced salt consumption to minimal levels. The use of salt is a great, green, tradeoff to problems caused by hard water. Soft water reduces energy consumption used to heat water, saves appliances from un-necessary wear, reduces soaps, and eliminates the need for harsh cleaning products. These claims are not internally generated, hyperbole, they are known facts and confirmed by various third party testing. All of these benefits are achieved with something natural we get from the ground called salt. 
In summary, dig deep for the facts. If you want soft water, you can’t get it from “No-Salt” water conditioners. If you love soft water, and you want minimal salt consumption, and you still want to get a great shower, it can all be done with technology from Aqua Systems.

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First Step In Being Green…Stop Wasted Water In Your Home - 10/13/2010

Written by Bret Petty, Research and Development

Bret has over 30 years of water treatment experience with Aqua Systems. Bret is also the former president of Aqua Systems. Today Bret focuses his time on product development and problem solving challenges.

The message for everyone to live green has been well promoted, but what does it mean? 

Green Hands and Water Image

The message is usually coupled with the marketing of “green” products for consumers.  Living green starts with more consideration to the resources that all of us share.  Everyone can learn to be more efficient with what is needed, without real sacrifice.  Efficiency will lead to less waste while still having everything we need to run our homes.  You don’t have to buy products to start living green.  You can start by giving attention to what is being consumed in your home.  Lets take a look at water.


The first step in being green is to stop wasted water in your home.  This effort can begin with focusing attention on common trouble spots.  What is the potential loss from a toilet that is stuck open?  A flush tank toilet that fills at a rate of 1/2 gallon per minute will run 720 gallons down the drain everyday.  Some toilets can run as much as double that amount, if stuck open. In addition to the wasted water, a running toilet can waste the capacity of your water softener.  This will lead to poor water quality, wasted salt, and use of more chemical cleaners on fixtures.


It is very important to pay attention to the toilet mechanisms in your home.  Make sure you check the toilets in your home that are not used frequently.  Bathrooms located in areas that don’t get much use can easily be overlooked.  Make sure that the flapper is seating properly, and that the level control is shutting off the water completely when full.


Toilet tank maintenance is also important.  Most everyone would like to believe that items in our home are maintenance free.  While some items might be maintenance free, toilets are not.  Flush type tanks hold water in the open air.  It is important that you keep this tank clean.  Doing so will also help in keeping it working properly.  You can add a ½ cup of bleach to the back of a toilet.  After flushing the toilet, add the bleach just after the flapper seats.  This will keep the bleach from running down the drain.  After letting the bleach sit for about an hour, scrub the waterline with a small brush.  This will break up the bacteria growth.  An alternative to bleach would be white vinegar used in the same method.  This is a good time to inspect the flapper in the bottom of the tank.  A flapper valve that doesn’t seal can lead to a large amount of wasted water.  It is a good idea to always keep a spare on hand.  Replace an existing flapper at anytime that you identify a problem.  Replacing the flapper is a cheap fix to stop wasted water.


Make sure that other water-using items in your home are shutting off properly.  A good example would be a humidifier that is installed on your furnace.  A humidifier can stick open leading to large losses of water.  You want to make sure that your RO drinking water system is designed with a shut-off, and that it is working properly.  Always make sure that outside spigots are shut off, and that hoses are removed before freezing temperatures set in.


So, the first step to living green is paying attention to what is consumed in your home.  After taking steps to eliminate waste you can examine more efficient products.  One example is the high efficiency water softener.  Did you know that Aqua Systems has softeners that function on less than half the amount of water and salt as older systems?   Our current technology provides soft water at a fraction of the resources needed to operate than older models.  You don’t have to give up water quality for efficiency.  Water softeners have always been a green product.  With soft water you use less energy to heat water, and it can eliminate harsh cleaning products required to clean up hard water.  Green living starts with eliminating wasted water, and can be completed by upgrading to a high efficiency water softening systems.

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President’s anti-cancer panel recommends home filtered water - 5/19/2010

Written by Don Line, President, Aqua Systems

President’s anti-cancer panel recommends home filtered water
Says systems can decrease exposure to carcinogens

Lisle, Illinois — In its official annual report, the President’s Cancer Panel is recommending that people use home filtering devices to decrease exposure to cancer-causing agents.

“This reaffirms what independent testing shows,” said Peter J. Censky, executive director of the Water Quality Association. “Home water treatment is a proven final barrier against many harmful chemicals.”  READ MORE

CLICK HERE to read the full "2008-2009 Annual Report - President's Cancer Panel - REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK".  Filter recommendation can be found in the report, on page xix.


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Independent study: Softeners among ‘very best’ household energy savers - 4/21/2010

Written by Don Line, President, Aqua Systems

Independent study: Softeners among ‘very best’ household energy savers
Devices offer green benefits to water heaters, appliances, showerheads

LISLE, Illinois -- Water softeners can save significant amounts of money and energy in the home, a major new study by the independent Battelle Institute revealed.
Softeners help preserve the efficiency of water heaters and major appliances and keep showers and faucets unclogged, the report found. The study was commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) in 2009. Battelle Memorial Institute is a renowned independent testing and research facility dedicated to applied science and technology development.  READ MORE

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Great time to start with soft water - 9/22/2009

Written by Don Line, President, Aqua Systems

Fall is a great time to get a new water softener. As the winter approaches, so does the dreaded dry and itchy skin that comes with the colder and dryer air. Soft water will help you rinse cleaner, and leaves the natural oils that you body produces. The result is skin that is far less dry and itchy in the winter. Also, with increased work-load on your water heater and other energy using appliances, it’s a great time to install a new Aqua Systems softener to help protect these investments.
Right now, Aqua Systems has great deals on water softeners and drinking water systems. Stop by or call today to find out more.

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Aqua Systems’ founder Lou Petty is on the cover of this month’s Hendricks County Business Leader - 8/12/2009

Written by Barbara Kiefer, Marketing


Aqua Systems’ founder Lou Petty is on the cover of this month’s Hendricks County Business Leader publication with a full page article in celebration of Aqua Systems’ 50 year anniversary. Below we have posted a portion of the article. If you would like to view the complete article a link is also noted below:


Saturdays are special to Lou Petty. They don’t have to be, but they are. As someone who retired a dozen years ago, leaving the business he founded in the hands of a generation different from his, the 73-year-old could be at home relaxing or attempting to lower his golf handicap of 22.

Instead, Petty most Saturdays can be found from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the offices of Aqua Systems in Avon. Shooting the breeze and pressing flesh are primary components of the job description as Petty hobnobs with longtime customers and warmly greets potential new clients. He is the face of Aqua Systems, a man grateful to have seen virtually everything in his industry, but anxious to see more.

“(Lou) is the reason we’re here. We’ve got people who start working here and never
leave,” says Mike Bowling, who has been with Aqua Systems since 1990 and is now its
Certified Specialist and Retail Director. “Lou is the same guy. He’s genuine. He’s true. His influence is still there across the board.”

This Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 5-7) qualifies as landmark on a couple of levels for
Petty, most-impressive being that it marks 50 years in the water business. Secondly, it’s the 20-year anniversary of Aqua Systems moving business operations from the southeast corner of the square in Danville, its home from 1964-89, to its present address of 7785 E US Hwy 36 in Avon.

The Avon of two decades ago and Avon today share a common ground in name only.
When Aqua Systems elected to move east, its neighbors were, laughs Petty, “pigs, cows and deer.” Farmland dominated the then underdeveloped eastern half of Hendricks County. Unlike the majority of businesses that in time broke ground, however, Aqua
Systems had a three-decade head start in terms of name recognition.

Petty it turns out had another built-in ace in the hole in son, Bret. The second of his three children with wife, Wanda, Bret Petty was, as his old man puts it, “born into the business and hated it. He used to tell me that after college he was going to get in his Fiat and head west.” While attending Indiana University,
Bret became involved in a program on entrepreneurialism and used Aqua Systems as a case study. In time he began restructuring the business from afar.

“He overhauled it completely while he was in college. I’ve got to be honest, I was nervous,” admits Lou, who says between 1980-82 was when Bret’s teachings truly went into effect. “You cannot build a business as long as you oversell the business. (Bret)
said, ‘we need to eliminate direct sales and sales commissions.’ It’s the way the franchise was designed, but we shifted gears and that’s when our concept was born. Why not do an honest presentation and show people how to shop and compare.”

Now 50, Bret Petty lives in Avon. His insights and business savvy are among the primary reasons Aqua Systems remains, and historically has remained, ahead of the business curve. At the same time, Bret is the kind of person who will downplay his significance within the company.

“It embarrasses him to take the credit for this, but he deserves all of it,” beams Lou. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. And to think when he was young I just hoped and prayed I would get him out of (Avon) high school.”

Told of the compliment from his father, Bret laughs. “I guess I’m paying them all off pretty good,” he says. “In my mind the great story is I recognize the opportunity of being the son of a guy who went out on his own. We just happen to be lucky that my dad and I have different skillsets that pair up well. My dad knows everybody. He’s everybody’s friend. I’m the background person and I’m extremely fine with that. I would put things together and he would talk about the product.”

Talking about the product. Where does Lou Petty begin? Aqua Systems has evolved into a multi-pronged force in the water industry, specializing in everything from filtration to water softening to coolers and dispensers to bottled water. According to Bowling, Aqua
Systems advertises in print publications approximately half the year during the warm weather months, yet word-of-mouth remains a potent promotional mechanism.

“I am so proud of this company and the people who work here. In this economy, we’re still doing great and that says a lot about the people,” says Lou. “Our customer base is so happy that they are our sales force. And, no, they’re not on the payroll. If they see a competitor’s car in a neighbor’s driveway, they call that person and say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”

Want to hear more? Stop by Aqua Systems some Saturday morning. Lou Petty will be more than happy to oblige.

Click Here to view the complete article.

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