Yet another record day here at Water Value on Monday. There were a few systems ordered over the weekend but by far Monday was the busiest. And all orders shipped on time too, which is a good test of our systems and procedures. It’s comforting to know that we could handle at least twice that volume and still get our orders out same-day.
We are continuing the sale on the Fleck 7000 models. Back in November we reduced prices by 30% and volume increases for that model have stayed at 30% or higher. We see no need to put them back up to regular price just yet.
Our costs have increased on the PurTest water testing kits. We are currently looking at a number of options to provide a handy, convenient and cost effective way for our customers to purchase water testing kits. The kits that we have in stock now will remain at the current price, but if you see the words “Temporarily Out Of Stock”, please do not order that kit. We do not have any. At this writing, the bacteria testing kits are the only ones we lack.
We had a shipping damage a couple of weeks ago that should be addressed. Normally, damages do not occur at all except around Christmas time when UPS and FedEx hire temporary workers to help out with the increased load, but this one took place right around January 5th or 6th. The order was for a couple of bags of softener resin which is packed in a box. The box arrived damaged and taped up and the bag inside was ruptured and had obviously lost resin contents. The customer did the absolutely correct thing by notifying UPS, the shipper, but the customer did not notify us until about two weeks later. Yes, all of our UPS shipments are insured but if we are unaware of the damaged item, it could take several weeks for UPS to notify us of it and set up a replacement. Contact UPS or FedEx if they damage your order but please be sure to contact us with as much detail as possible as well. That way we can get a replacement out to you right way and you won’t have to wait for the shipper to go through their channels and paperwork before contacting us. We are here to make your water treatment equipment purchases as smooth and seamless as possible.
I received an email from a customer concerning his Microline reverse osmosis system and which filters he should buy. I called him at the phone number he left and we got the RO matter straightened out right away. But then we started talking about another purchase he made from us about a month ago that I was unaware of until the phone conversation.
He bought some activated carbon for his whole-house carbon filter system along with some washed gravel for a base. Anyway, he goes on to tell me that he was having trouble with one of the bathroom’s in his house. The iron concentration was terrible there. So what he did about it is something I’ve been studying and reading about in the Water Technology trade publication. He basically cleaned out his pipes, but it’s how did it that was clever. He used gravity to force an iron removal chemical down through his water pipes. The fact that he figured out what was wrong and what he had to do about it was the amazing part.
I get phone calls all of the time from people with the same problem. The trade publication describes a device that can be built to clean pipes with either bleach (for bacteria and iron) or some type of iron eating acid (for iron buildup). As it turns out this customer did both, but he did it without the need of a special device or re-plumbing as the trade publication recommended. He filled his bathroom sink basin with the mixture he was to flush the pipes out with, then he located the lowest point in his water pipe system. In this case it was his hot water heater. He then shut all of the faucets off to everything in his house. He opened the drain cock on his water heater until the water stopped. A vacuum built up enough to stop the flow of water. Then he closed the valve and went up to his bathroom sink, attached a hose to the faucet (with a tight seal) and opened the faucet. The other end of the hose was in his sink’s basin with the mixture. The mixture was sucked up into the faucet and down through the pipes into the water heater. He then closed the faucet and went down to the water heater again and opened the valve, drained until it quit, shut it off, went back upstairs… You get the picture.
So when the mixture was sucked out of the basin, he turned his pump back on, opened the bathroom faucet and let all of the junk run out of the pipes. It was loosened up by the chemicals and now was running down the drain. He says his water is perfect now, and I’m sure it is. New carbon in his filter, refreshed softener resin bed (another story for another time) and cleaned water pipes. But the main thing is, he figured out what he needed to do and devised a very effective method to do it.
Hiring a professional to clean water pipes in this manner would cost hundreds. I’ve known of this procedure for some time now and just recently read the industry recommendation for assembling a portable device to do it, but that method requires some plumbing too. This guy’s method requires a bucket to mix his chemicals in, a short hose to run from the water heater’s spigot and another short hose to attach to the bathroom sink’s faucet. That’s it. And now with his carbon filter and softener, his pipes will stay free from that iron buildup indefinitely.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this treatment to everyone. You’ll notice I did not list the chemicals he used. They are all easily obtainable products but at least one of them is not intended for this type of use. But he knew what he was doing and was able to ensure that the water pipes were chemical free before putting everything back into service. Now the filters and membrane he’s buying for his Microline will last to their full potential and he won’t have stains in that sink or toilet anymore.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. I had a woman call today, she had a very heavy accent but that’s not what was unusual. She wanted to buy a rather expensive RO system, and again, that’s not that unusual, but she wanted 5 of them. Again, not all that unusual, but when I told her that 5 of any water treatment system on our web site qualifies for a quantity discount, she was unable to give me a fax number or email address to send the quote to. Also, she insisted that I take her credit card number for payment yet she couldn’t provide me with an address to ship the products to not to mention a billing address.
Also, I have spent about 90% of my days with this company on the telephone with people over the last 5 years and I know “voice over IP” (VOIP) when I hear it.
I’ll be reporting this episode to the bank tomorrow morning as they were closed at the time I took this call. I just hope they catch these people. I don’t see how they can though because she would not leave me any contact information at all.
An important consideration here: If she had tried to order online (which is much more secure than the telephone in my opinion), we would at least have a shipping address and IP address which is much more than I got from her. Believe me, for security purposes, the 128 bit encryption offered by today’s web sites is the safest way to go if you’re giving out your credit card information. I’ll have another article to better explain that in the near future.
I had an idea today. Actually, the idea didn’t pertain to today’s work load at all. The phone was relatively quiet and easy to keep up with. But I get complaints sometimes that our customers (more accurately, people asking general questions) have a hard time getting through on the phone. At any given time we have 6 people here that could answer the phone. Half of them might not be able to answer water treatment specific questions, but at least they could handle the general questions. We have 4 phone lines but one of those is tied to a fax machine for quotes and even orders, and the 3rd line is used for the voice mail which most people do not use anyway. So that leaves 2 phone lines which are normally always occupied. If we could free up one more line, that would give the people that do not want to leave a message a chance to hear a human voice.
So I came up with this idea. I’ve been getting a bunch of spam email for these fax services that assign you a fax number where incoming faxes are accepted, converted to email and sent to our email server. This would mean that there would be an extra phone line open and we could accept 33% more phone calls, and the voice mail line would be able to handle the rest. Yeah, you think they’d give me a promotion for this idea…
Anyway, does anyone know of an email fax service out there that’s reasonably priced and is not “efax”? I have to stay away from efax because of a problem my brother had with canceling that service a couple of years ago… Sure would appreciate some advice.
Water Value Company is also using FedEx Home delivery for many of our products. If you have a shipper preference when you purchase, there is a “Note To Seller” box on our shopping cart checkout form, just let us know.
Keep in mind that we will choose the quickest shipper for you. Also, FedEx is not available at our Phoenix, AZ manufacturer just yet (but we’re working on it!) so if you are in Oregon and you place an order, it will most likely ship via UPS regardless.
And don’t forget, Alaska and Hawaii residents; we will work with you but you must contact us for a shipping quote before you purchase. Thanks!
Welcome to the new Water Value blog. This one actually resides on the Water Value server so it won’t be moving anymore. Let me know what you think!