Frequently Asked Questions

Browse Hellenbrand Water Center’s FAQ’s regarding
common water issues in South Central Wisconsin.

Q. Where does my water come from?

Water is continuously on the move, traveling through soil, city filtration facilities and finally making its way through miles of pipelines into your home.

Q. What are the most common water issues in my area?

The largest water issue in south central Wisconsin is hard water. Which is where having a
Hellenbrand water softener will help the water quality in
your home.

The aquifer supplying our drinking water in south central Wisconsin requires little treatment.
Madison Water Utility disinfects it with chlorine to reduce the risk of microbial contamination.
Small amounts of chlorine kill bacteria and viruses potentially present in groundwater. Chlorine
also travels with water, ready to kill microbes that it might encounter. The goal is to maintain a
chlorine residual above 0.1 milligrams per liter (mg/L) at all points in the distribution system.
Typical concentrations range from 0.2 to 0.4 mg/L.

Q. What is the typical water hardness (on scale) for water in my area?

Madison’s tap water is considered to be “very hard,” because of the minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the rock formations from which we draw water. This water contains 18–20 grains of hardness per gallon. There are no harmful health effects associated with these minerals (in fact, some believe they are beneficial), but measuring them does provide a guideline as to how water use may be affected. For example, hard water does result in more scale buildup and you need to use more soap and detergents.

Q. How can I find more information about water in my area?

We can get you all the information you need, as well as perform a free water analysis on your home’s water. Or you can visit for more information about water issues specific to your area.

Q. What is hard and soft water?

Hard water is high in minerals like calcium, magnesium and carbonate. It can occur with both city and well water, and takes a huge toll on your home, clogging up your appliances, creating spotty dishes and leaving your skin dry and your clothes dull and scratchy.

But with a Hellenbrand single- or twin-tank home water softening system you can reduce the effect these minerals have on you, and your home. Softeners remove unwanted contaminants

before your water even travels through your pipes, into your water-using appliances or before you switch on the taps of your bathrooms and kitchen—giving you softened, mineral-free water to every room in your home.

Q. What is the difference between softening water and filtering water?

Softening water involves a process called “ion exchange,” which removes dissolved minerals like as calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese—particles that can’t be trapped in a filter bed. To remove these particles, softening systems contain hundreds of resin beads charged with sodium. As water enters the tank, dissolved calcium and magnesium are attracted to the resin, forcing the resin to exchange its sodium for the dissolved chemicals and freeing the water of impurities.

Filtering water removes impurities using either physical barriers, chemical processes or biological processes. Each method cleanses water to a varying degree to suit specific water uses like drinking water, irrigation, aquariums, ponds and swimming pools.

Q. Why is iron a problem in my water?

Whether you have a city or well water source, iron is a contaminant that often makes it into your home, if left unfiltered, iron can cause your water to have a metallic taste and create hard- to-remove rust stains on household fixtures and appliances.

Hellenbrand has several filtration technologies that help reduce or remove iron from your home. Like the patented twin-tank Iron Curtain 2.0™ that uses oxygen to filter out iron, manganese and sulfur particles. Or the Hellenbrand ProMate 6 Storm, which uses ozone to precipitate out iron, manganese and sulfur to reduce nuisance bacteria.

Q. I am connected to a city water source. Since they treat water, does that mean my water is already soft?

Most municipalities don’t soften water in a central location before providing it to your home. This unsoftened water can cause a buildup of minerals, also called “scale,” and can harm the efficiency and shorten the lifetime of your water-using appliances and fixtures. Even if your municipality is using surface water, reservoirs or lake water you may need a softener to help reduce the buildup of minerals in your home. Your local water pro will be able to test and verify if you’ll need a softener to reduce or remove minerals from your water supply.

Q. How do I decide which softening system is right for my home?

We’re here to help you determine the right product to solve your specific water issues—starting with a free water test. Free-Water

Q. How can I treat my well water?

Your local Hellenbrand water pro can test your well water and recommend a softener or whole home filtration system customized to treat your needs and give you benefits like:

  • Saving up to 70% on soap and water usage from hard water removal
  • Extending the life of your dishwasher, washing machine and other water-based appliances
  • Whiter, brighter and less scratchy clothes
  • Cleaner fixtures and stain-free sinks, tubs and showers
  • Softer skin and more manageable hair
  • No more spotty dishes

Q. My water tastes normal, so why would I need a drinking water system?

Ordinary tap water can contain contaminants like iron, lead, chlorine or nitrates that you can’t see, taste or smell. A Hellenbrand reverse osmosis water treatment system filters out up to 99% of contaminants left behind by standard filtration. Giving you the peace of mind that your water is 99% contaminant free.

Q. How often should I change my filter?

We can provide insight on how often to change your filters based on what’s in your home’s water and your water usage. Contact our Water Center Team today at 608-849-5717.

Q. What if the water from my reverse osmosis filtration system has a taste to it?

You could be due for a filter change or might need a different kind of filter cartridge if there have been changes in your water.

Q. Why does soft water make my skin feel slippery?

A water softening system (link to water softener landing page) removes contaminants in your water so your skin is rinsed completely, without hard water minerals left behind to trap residue and traces of soap, dead skin cells and other particles that can make your skin feel dry and scratchy. The slippery softness you feel is what your skin is supposed to feel like.

Q. Why isn’t my softener using much salt?

Hellenbrand products are built for ultimate efficiency and use less water and salt than most competing systems. However, if for some reason your water isn’t feeling very soft and the level of salt isn’t decreasing, give us a call.

Q. Does hard water affect my water heater and bathroom fixtures?

Mineral build-up caused by hard water can reduce the efficiency of your water heater up to 24% while softened water can help maintain its original factory efficiency ratings over a 15-year lifetime.

Softened water also helps keep your showerheads and faucets at their highest flow rate longer—while fixtures exposed to hard water can lose up to 75% of flow rate in less than 18 months.

Q. Why does my water smell like rotten eggs?

This could be a sign of excess sulfur in your home’s water. A Hellenbrand filtration system will precipitate out iron, manganese and sulfur while also reducing bacteria and eliminating rotten egg odor.