This started out as a reply to an email to Heather's parents, but I figured maybe other people are interested in the thought process about water quality.

        After lots of hours looking at water things today, I think we will definitely get a "MetalMaster" which gets rid of both ferric and ferrous iron, the sulfur smell (only in our hot water, one guy said that made sense, another guy wasn't sure, but the first guy sounded more knowledgeable about things), lead, manganese, and other things.  He asked if there was tannin in the water, so I need to check on that - he said it mattered maybe about getting a pre-filter or something - I have seen lots of units which have a large (5 micron) filter to get out big chunks of stuff before going into the more complex/expensive filters.  This particular filter has the bonus of no replaceable parts, and should theoretically last forever, which I didn't ask this company, but lots of other companies say 20-30 years, which seems ike a short "forever"...

        The electromagnetic conditioning/softening things sound dubious at best - almost every sales guy says they work great, and haven't had any issues, and almost every consumer says they tried them and they didn't work, or maybe made it worse, though there are some that say they think it did work, though they are also more careful now about watching for lime buildup, etc.  And the tiny little circuits shouldn't cost $300, so I think they are definitely a rip-off, and should make one if I ever become convinced they would do anything.  They also have static magnets, which seem like they would do even less, but since I found a homemade one that they say is stronger than the commercial versions they tested, and it can be made for ~$20, it is probably worth a try.
        I think I am going to ignore the sodium and alkalinity - the sodium sounds like it is only a concern for people who are on low-salt diets, etc. since the amount of salt in the water is much less than all of the food most people eat anyway.  We probably have a lower salt diet than lots of people, but there is probably still tons in various things.  Even Heather, who drinks 3 or 4 quarts of water a day, would only be getting a maximum of 100mg of sodium a day - so, sort of significant, but not really high, I think.  The alkalinity is only an issue for keeping the ph in balance, and worrying about the pipes being corroded, but since the ph is fine, I think we don't really need to worry about that - I didn't see
anyone talking about alkalinity being bad to drink.

        We flushed the rest of the bleach out of the system, so we'll see how the well does now.  I think summers are usually considered the dry times for wells - and Pittsburgh hasn't had much rain recently (and the person we are getting our water from for cleaning is concerned that we are taking too much water from their well, so we won't be getting as much from them any more (I think we have maybe gotten 70 gallons at most)) but we ran a ton of water out of our well today to get all of the bleach out.  I'd expect I probably ran the laundry sink for at least 45 minutes, and the upstairs sink and tub for probably 30 minutes each, at full blast, and I didn't see any signs of the water changing color or anything - the beginning is always the worst, and then after a while it runs almost clear.

        I read one thing that said testing for nitrates might be a good idea, since the alkalinity number is much lower than the hardness number, which means that other things are contributing to the hardness.  The numbers almost match up by adding the calcium carbonate, chloride and sulfate, but seems worth a check, particularly because babies are quite sensitive to nitrates.  And then tannin.  I am thinking I will test for that on Monday, and finalize the purchase of the MetalMaster, and then test for the bacteria next Monday, since we are supposed to wait a week for things to grow if they are going to.  I did discover that the well cap doesn't look particularly tight to me, and due to how they wired it, it doesn't seem like I could make it tight, so I need to talk to a plumber and see what he says - there were two bugs in the electric side of the well, and I am pretty sure they could have crawled over to the water side if they had felt like it.

Posted by Jon Daley on August 2, 2008, 10:24 pm | Read 39645 times
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I guess I never made a post about the Hardness Master - we did end up buying one this last July, since they promise a 100% satisfaction guaranteed, 100% money back, etc. But, I returned it in September since it doesn't work, (they have you do various things, like clean your hot water tank, and some other things that make it look like their device is doing something, when really, you could simply clean your tank by yourself without their instruction booklet).

They took their time about working on the credit, and I called again in December, since we still hadn't received it. I just realized today that we still didn't have the credit, so I called the credit card company, and it turns out it is too late to get them to force Vitasalus to give me my money back. (Vitasalus won't process returns earlier than a couple months, using the theory that you have to try it for a couple months before you would know if it was working). And then after they delayed and delayed, there isn't anything I can do. The billing office never returned my calls. The credit card company said they did just process a partial credit a couple weeks ago (100 days after I returned the product). So, I'll have to see if I can get the rest of the money back. Pretty crummy service if you ask me. The credit card company thought it pretty odd that they would take over 100 days to process the credit, and then not even credit the full amount like they promised.

They have lots of spammers and resellers, so I expect to get some comments here about how great they are, and how fresh their hair is, blah, blah, but if you are getting paid to sell these things, it is hard to take your word on it...

Posted by jondaley on January 14, 2010, 8:33 pm

Vitasalus stopped responding to my phone calls, but the better business bureau got them to respond.

They said that the reason they didn't honor the 100% money back guarantee was because the device was broken, so they had to get a new power supply (at a cost of $45 - note that this is one of those tiny power supplies you can buy for $4 at radio shack). But, if it was broken, why do I have to pay for it? Isn't that what a money back guarantee is all about?

Posted by jondaley on January 27, 2010, 9:52 pm
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