Case Studies

Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 03:45

Barstow - Case Study

Customer Profile:

The Veterans Home of California is first and foremost a place where veterans come to live. It offers complete medical and dental care amidst the amenities of a small-town atmosphere. The organization’s goal is to enable all its residents to achieve their highest quality of life in an environment of dignity and respect.

The Veterans Home of California, Barstow (VHC-Barstow), which opened in 1996, is a 450-bed facility providing domiciliary (independent living), intermediate care and skilled nursing care to California veterans. Acute hospital care is available at either the Jerry L. Pettis Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., for eligible veterans or at the Barstow Community Hospital. Primary medical care is provided to domiciliary residents at the on-site clinic.

“We looked at several water softeners, but Hobart won out because it was the most cost-effective and because it didn’t require electricity. We often use generators at our facility, which can lead to circuit overload. Having a water softener that didn’t run on electricity was very appealing.”
Marcelo Quintua, chief engineer, The Veterans Home of California, Barstow


VHC-Barstow had nine water softeners, which were installed when the facility was constructed. Over time, some of these water softeners fell into disrepair and were neglected. The facility decided to upgrade all of its water softeners after experiencing rising maintenance costs due to scale buildup on faucets and its warewasher booster heater.

Scale buildup caused faucets throughout the facility to leak. As a result, the facility’s maintenance department was replacing three to four faucets a week. The facility’s warewasher booster heater was also vulnerable to scale and was replaced up to four times per year. In addition, residents were complaining of spotty glasses and other ware, which was a direct consequence of hard water.



  • Replace all existing water softeners to improve the facility’s water quality.
  • Reduce maintenance costs.
  • Improve warewasher performance (as a result of using softer water) to better clean ware.

Hobart Products Involved:

  • Hobart’s Whole-House Water Softener is designed to provide the softest water possible. The twin-tank water softener is non-electric and high-temperature compatible, yielding a continuous supply of soft water while lowering utility costs.
  • The Whole-House Water Softener allows a maximum flow of 40 gallons per minute, and its highly efficient twin-tank design ensures there’s always a clean, soft water supply, even when the system is regenerating.
  • Hobart water softeners increase both the life and efficiency of equipment by virtually eliminating the scale buildup caused by the calcium and magnesium in hard water.

“There is a noticeable difference in the quality of our glasses and ware. Sparkling ware conveys a much cleaner environment. Our residents are very pleased with the improvement and have told us so on many occasions.”
Marcelo Quintua

Actions Taken:

  • Marcelo Quintua, the facility’s chief engineer, had the water tested and found the hardness measured 11.0 grains per gallon. Water is considered hard if it measures higher than 1.0 grain per gallon.
  • Quintua purchased nine Hobart water softeners for the VHC-Barstow facility.
  • He placed four in the independent living facility, four in the healthcare facility and one in the nursing facility.
  • Reduce maintenance costs: Using the new Hobart water softeners, hard water is virtually eliminated. Consequently, maintenance has not had to replace a single faucet or warewasher booster heater.
  • Lower energy bills: One-eighth inch of scale buildup can increase energy bills by 20 percent or more (due to inhibited heat energy transfer). By eliminating hard water, the VHC-Barstow has significantly lowered its energy bills.
  • Happier residents: Since switching to the Hobart water softeners, the facility no longer has spotty glasses and ware, winning praise from residents. In addition, dishroom staff does not have to rewash spotty ware, which lowers labor and water costs.
  • Longer-lasting equipment: Hard water can shorten equipment life and inhibit performance. By filtering its water, VHC-Barstow has increased the life expectancy of its water-fed equipment.

Hobart is the world leader in commercial food equipment and service for the foodservice and food retail industries. Hobart manufactures products for warewashing and waste handling; food preparation; baking; cooking; weighing, wrapping and labeling systems; and Traulsen refrigeration. Hobart equipment is supported by a national network of nearly 1,700 factory-trained service technicians and 200 locations across the United States. To learn more about Hobart, visit

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