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FAQ: Water Quality Matters

FAQ: Water Quality Matters

Avoid Costly Maintenance and Repairs

Always Use Soft Water in Your Optima Steamer


One of the most common causes of malfunction and performance loss in any steamer is scale—the build-up of hard water minerals in the boiler and on exposed outlets, fittings and nozzles.  Scale coats important sensors and clogs pipes, triggering machine errors and impeding the output of steam. If scale is not dealt with, it will destroy expensive components and eventually weaken the integrity of the boiler. Using softened water is the most important choice you can make to increase the lifespan of your Optima Steamer, not to mention the savings of time and money when following preventative maintenance.

The perfect water for the Optima Steamer is…

…Soft water between 10 and 40 ppm TDS

Water’s hardness is the amount of scaling minerals it contains. The best way to test this is to use a “Total Hardness” test strip, which is typically measured in GPG in the U.S.A., or grains per gallon. The water’s “Total Dissolved Solids” is the amount of dissolved substances in the water, and is usually measured by PPM, or parts per million. This measurement tells us how “dirty” water is, with 0 (zero) ppm water being purified. However, purified water *will not* work with the Optima Steamer as an electrical signal is conducted through the water and purified water does not conduct electricity.

Steamericas Recommendations for Water

  • DO NOT USE: Reverse Osmosis (RO), Deionized (DI) or Distilled water. The water will not be detected in the boiler and will cause errors.
  • Purchase “Total Hardness” test strips and test your water supply. If your water is higher that 1 GPG, you will need to soften your water. Read below for some pointers about softening water.
  • If using filtered water, purchase a TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids) and test your water.
    • If your water is below 10 ppm, you may encounter errors using this water.
  • With very hard water or high TDS readings, we recommend speaking with a water treatment specialist.

Is Scale Really That Big of a Deal?

Yes. If you have ever had scale problems with your Optima Steamer, you know that descaling isn’t something you want to do often. On top of added maintenance, some components susceptible to scale (such as water pumps, valves, heaters and the boiler) can become corroded or damaged and require replacement. Scale even causes errors and malfunctions that take up time and effort. After considering the cost of parts, labor and the downtime of your machine, it’s a no-brainer to make sure to use softened water in your Optima Steamer. So what options are available?

FAQ: Water Quality Matters

Softeners vs. Filters

Depending on your water supply, 1 or both solutions may be required. Typically, in the United States, water will require some amount of softening. For customers with well water or other reservoirs commonly plagued with heavy mineral content, a filtration system followed by a softener may be ideal. Regardless, there are options available to you that will help prevent scale from destroying the inside of your machine.

Softeners Filters
  • affect water by changing the presence of scale minerals
  • affect water by preventing particles of certain sizes to pass through, letting only smaller water molecules through
  • Softeners have traditionally used resin tanks and consumable salt-based mediums to chemically alter the water. Modern solutions use other methods to affect the scale’s ability to attach to metals, but are far less effective compared to salt-based systems. Softeners, however, do not remove other contents in water that may also affect performance. Check your local municipality for any regulations regarding water treatment.
  • Filters will use various materials to effectively “strain” water, capturing the particles in the water. Filters use multiple stages and passes to push water through a series of filters. Filters are more effective for polluted water supplies or for targeting specific elements.

Does Steamericas Offer Any Softening Solution?

Yes: the Omega Softener.

For customers with average-hardness water who use their Optima Steamer intermittently throughout the day, the Omega Softener may be an affordable, effective solution.

FAQ: Water Quality Matters

FAQs About Water