About NG Sales

My name is Tony Marlin, and I have been a plumber for over 30 years. I am currently a Master Plumber.

One of my plumbing specialties includes water treatment. As a plumber I installed a water softener in virtually every new home I worked on. One situation that frequently arose was the fact that after installing a water softener, the water pressure and flow rate in the home was drastically reduced. Many home owners would complain that while showering, if the toiled were flushed or the washing machine were used, there was an instant and significant change in water temperature. In evaluating the water softener control valves, I realized that there was a major reduction of pipe sizing within the water softener valve of virtually every water softener. This reduction in pipe size was the source of a significant drop in water pressure throughout the house, and the cause of the temperature swings.

In the mid 1980's I began teaching Plumber Apprentices, and a new beginning started for me. While studying the Plumbing Code, I realized that water softeners were addressed directly in the Code. I found that the code required that every water softener meet the following requirements:

  1. Water softeners must meet the required flow rate and pressure loss required by the sizing charts in section #6 of the code.
  2. All valves on the main water line must be full-way or “port” valves. (Whatever size water line supplies the water softener, must stay that size throughout the equipment.) “TM interpretation:”
  3. All water softeners myst be NSF 44 certified. (The entire system, not individual components)

For a one bathroom house, the plumbing code specifies a flow rate of approximately 12.4 gpm. A 2.5 bathroom house requires approximately 15.4 gpm.

Most of our competitor's softeners have a flow rate of 7-8 gpm. (The flow rate is required by the plumbing code and NSF to be listed on the equipment.) In order to meet the code, you would need to install two or three of these systems in parallel.

A washing machine filling with warm water requires a flow of approximately 9 gpm. One person showering uses 4-10 gpm. If a person were showering and another family member were to start the washer, what do you think would happen? You would end up with a sudden reduction of flow and temperature change. This is what people were experiencing and getting scalded. A large or Roman tub fills at 15-18 gpm at 40 psi, many homes today have one of these. With a flow restricting water softener, the time required to fill the tub would more than double.

Many water softener manufacturers believe that water softeners should be sized by the number of people in the home, or by the size of the home. In reality, the softener should be sized by using the plumbing code.

I realized that following the plumbing code simplifies the sizing process. Water softeners should be sized by the size of the incoming water line. The only questions that should be asked are "How much softening media do I need in my water softener to soften at full flow?" and "What size water line do I have? (3/4", 1", or a 1 1/4" water line?)"

Residential equipment should be sized in the same way as commercial equipment - using a full-flow valve with enough media to soften without restriction.

Generally, softeners designed for full-flow will be larger than those that are not.

In the mid 1990's I was approached by a large water treatment manufacturing company and was asked "why my plumbing company was able to sell and install so many water softeners?" At that point it became extremely simple for me, and my sales program was developed around only using equipment that met the plumbing code, flow rate, and was NSF 44 certified.

For all plumbing and service companies, I offer free training materials, web-cast training, and free on-location training in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Utah

Tony Marlin

(801) 362-8206

tony@ngsales.net

There is no excuse for not doing it right the first time!