What is meant by “hard water?” Much of the water that is found in our natural water supply is what we know as “hard water”. Its called “hard water” because it has a high concentration of minerals. This content consists primarily of iron, calcium and magnesium ions. Although hard water is not necessarily dangerous to consume, hard water does create some nuisances. Hard water deposits leave behind nasty spots on our glasses, dishes, mirrors, shower door, eating utensils and stains in sinks and commodes. Hard water makes it difficult for soap and shampoo to lather and do their job, so we use far more of these products than we need to use, which results in more soap scum build-up in our holding tanks and on our tank sensors. Hard water speeds up the deterioration of hot water heaters, faucets, and water lines.
Is a water softener really necessary for my RV? Absolutely not — but then again, it is not absolutely necessary to have an RV. You have an RV because you enjoy it and you are able to afford the luxury of having what you want. A water softener is a luxury. It makes your shower more luxurious and your daily chores such as washing, cleaning, and washing your vehicles easier. It extends the life of your appliances such as ice-maker, water heater and coffee pot. It reduces the amounts necessary of detergents, soap and shampoo, which not only saves you money, but reduces the amount of them that wind up in your holding tank, resulting in soap scum build-up, and fouling of tank sensors.
How do I regenerate my Mark 8000? To regenerate your Mark 8000, you simply dissolve a box of common table salt in some water, unscrew the large cap on top of the softener head revealing the large opening and pour in the salt water solution. Let it stand for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes is up, flush the unit for a few minutes to remove the salt water. Reconnect the water supply to your RV and you are ready for several more weeks of soft water.
Is the Mark 8000 heavy or difficult to use? The Mark 8000 weighs about 19 pounds. Using the Mark 8000 is very simple. Simply connect it in-line on the exterior of your RV with the standard white garden hoses that all of us RVer’s use.
Does the Mark 8000 replace the need for my carbon water filter? No. You still need to use an extruded carbon filter such as the WaterPur CCI-10-C to improve the water quality for your family. The proper carbon block reduces chlorine taste & odor, reduces cysts, reduces VOC’s, and reduces sediment particles. The Mark 8000 removes the mineral deposits such as calcium and magnesium that make your water hard. After water is softened, soap and shampoo lathers easier, ugly mineral spots don’t form on your dishes, silverware and glasses. Your skin and hair will also thank you.
How much resin is in my Mark 8000? The Mark 8000 contains ¼ cubic foot of high quality gold resin — twice as much as the 1/8 cubic foot found in lesser units on the market. This allows for twice as much water to be processed between regenerations.
What is this resin that you talk about? The resin is the part of the softener that is doing the ion exchange — or removal of calcium and magnesium. It is important to choose a unit with the largest volume of the highest quality resin. The Mark 8000 uses a high quality gold resin — not black or umber.
Approximately how long will my softener work before I need to regenerate it? That depends on the condition of the water that you are treating. The Mark 8000 has the capacity to remove 8000 grains of hardness. If your water source is 10 grains hard, then you can treat 800 gallons. If your water is 5 grains hard, you will be able to treat 1600 gallons. This is why we did not place a meter on the Mark 8000. Water softening is a function of hardness not metered gallons. Hardness test strips are easy and convenient to use to determine if regeneration is necessary.
Do I need to disassemble my Mark 8000 or know or do anything technical to regenerate the resin? No! We have chosen to use a more expensive head so that all you need to do is unscrew the large cap on top of the head (no tools needed), pour in salt water, let stand for 30 minutes and flush. You’re back in business enjoying soft water.
I have seen some units which advertise that they don’t need salt. They say they use Potassium Chloride instead of salt. Wouldn’t that be a better unit to have? If someone tells you that, he is demonstrating his ignorance of basic water softener function. Potassium Chloride is a salt just as Sodium Chloride is. Salts are formed when an acid and a base combine. We designed the Mark 8000 to use table salt (sodium chloride) because it is inexpensive, dissolves easily, is available anywhere (you don’t have to carry it with you) and it is very efficient in the regeneration of your system. Potassium chloride is usually found in the form of large pellets which need to be crushed into a powder before use. We thought you would rather spend your camping time enjoying your family and friends, instead of searching out specialty stores which carry potassium chloride, and then crushing it into a powder.
I have seen automatic water softeners. Why is the Mark 8000 not automatic? An automatic softener initiates the regeneration cycle by using an electric timer or a flow meter. Just think how many times you have to reset the clock on the micro wave — and I’ll bet you never do reset the clock on the VCR! Most flow meters are inoperative or inaccurate at flow rates of less than 2 gallons per minute. (The flow rate at any faucet in your RV is 1 gallon per minute. The meter wouldn’t even register if you don’t have the bathroom and kitchen sinks running at the same time. Who knows when an automatic unit will decide to regenerate? Maybe in the middle of your shower! During this regeneration process, the unit can rinse and backwash for 40 minutes or longer. At 1 gallon per minute, that is 40 gallons of water! Where is it going? On the ground? That is illegal and will get you kicked out of any campground. Maybe they plumb it into your holding tank. Most holding tanks have a capacity of 40 gallons or less. If you have 5 gallons in there already, and you add 40 more, where do you think it goes? Does it go out the holding tank’s overflow? Think again, there is no overflow. It will come up through your toilet and be on your floor!! You could leave your holding tank valve open. Do you remember when you got your first RV and thought that was a good idea? The guy that bought it after you traded it in still can’t understand why it smells so badly, why the sensors don’t work and how all those solids got dried out and caked on the tank’s insides. Additionally, since all automatic softeners use a brine tank, you have an unsealed container of salt water, which when it travels down a road and hits a bump, it will splash out in your basement or wherever you have it. This is one of those times when simple is better!
I have seen units with lights, meters or timers. Why doesn’t the Mark 8000 have them? These items are most often seen on automatic regenerators. Please refer to the discussion above on automatic softeners. We don’t know what the light does, but we do know that we have seen a unit that plugs into 110vac and sits outside in the weather. It had no ground fault protection and was not UL listed. This is not a risk we are willing to take to have a light that does nothing. We have seen another manually regenerating unit that has a meter. The instructions tell you that the meter will not record at less than 2 gallons per minute. The rate of flow in your RV rarely reaches 2 gallons per minute. The meter looks impressive, but is useless. Even if the meter did work and was accurate, what does it tell you? It can only tell you the amount of water that has passed through it, then it shuts off the water at the preset number of gallons. This information is useless for calculating regeneration time unless you know the numerical hardness of the source water expressed in grains per gallon or parts per million of CaCO3. (Remember 7th grade Algebra? 2x + 3y = C. You need to know the value of two variables before you can solve the equation). With a $500.00 tester the meter could be useful if it measured less than 2 gallons per minute, but it doesn’t. All that aside, I don’t want the water to stop in the shower after I get my hair lathered up!
Some Web sites advertise a water softener for spot free rinsing of my vehicle. Does the Mark 8000 give me spot free car washes? No and neither do they. We can give you an almost spot free wash in most circumstances. The Mark 8000, like the best residential and commercial softeners, removes limestone/calcium and magnesium — those minerals and salts which make up hard water. It does not remove negatively charged ions such as fluoride (a beneficial element in drinking water). A reverse osmosis unit or a special deionizing resin (which cannot be regenerated and is expensive to replace) is required to remove such elements. The Mark 8000 will greatly reduce the tendency of water to spot on a vehicles surface, but no softener can completely eliminate them. If someone tells you theirs can, they are not telling the truth. After washing my wife’s black car with the Mark 8000, I can wipe off any remaining spots in less than 3 minutes. “Almost spot free” or “virtually spot free” is not good enough for us to promise it to you
I have seen some softeners on auction sites for less than $100. Are they the same as the Mark 8000? No. We have investigated several that use a similar looking tank. However, 1)they do not use the same superior quality gold resin, 2)they use less resin, (some with only .15 cu ft compared to the Mark 8000’s .25 cu ft. 3)Some have a head which must be disassembled to regenerate, 4)some specify rock salt for regeneration, 5)some have the fittings for the attachment of hoses molded into the plastic head whereas the Mark 8000 has brass fittings. 6)They are “no name” orphans backed by someone in cyberspace. 7)They have less hardness removing capacity. 8)Some sellers charge inflated shipping rates with handling charges. Quality does not cost—it pays.
How are my fresh water garden hoses attached? They simply screw onto the brass fittings like they screw onto the faucet and the inlet of your RV. The Mark 8000 has brass fittings which are designed to last as long as the rest of the unit, which under normal situations will be over fifteen years. Because an RV water softener will be outside and exposed to the sun, it must withstand ultra violet rays. The units with cheap imported plastic fittings will be hard pressed to last 24 months in the sun. If plastic fittings are screwed into the head and they break off, the head may need to be replaced. A replacement may not even be available. If the threads are molded into the head and it is cross threaded or the plastic threads wear (which they will because the brass ends of your hose are harder than the plastic head and you remove and reattach them each time you set-up your RV) you will need to replace the complete head. The brass fittings in the Mark 8000 are at least 500% more expensive than plastic, but we want to supply you with the best, not the cheapest. The Mark 8000 also comes with plastic caps to prevent leakage during transport. You can store it on its side without fear of getting water in your luggage compartment or basement.
What is the pedigree of the Mark 8000? The WaterPur Company of Greenwood, Florida. The WaterPur Company has been in the RV water filtration business since 1997. Every corporate officer and most every employee of WaterPur and their related companies is actively involved in Rving. We use what we sell. We know what Rv’ers need and want, because we are they! Over 30 different name brands of RV’s install WaterPur filters in every vehicle which they manufacture, and have for the past 7 years! WaterPur did not just appear yesterday, and it is not going to disappear tomorrow. There is pride and integrity behind the Mark 8000.