A water softener works by softening water. It does its job by getting rid of minerals that harden the water. The water is hard if it contains high levels of magnesium and calcium.
Hard water causes many problems in your home, some of which are not noticeable. For one, it can lead to clogged pipes. It also makes it difficult for detergent and soap to dissolve in water, and leaves water spots behind.
It also triggers scale build-up inside the pipes and reduces the efficiency of your appliances like water heaters. This results to higher energy consumption since heating water would require more energy.
Hard water makes soap less effective. This is because soap reacts and forms calcium or magnesium salt. If you wash your skin in hard water, you will feel dry and scratchy due to the soap scum. Washing your hair would result to sticky and dull-looking hair.
You may get used to experiencing these inconveniences brought about by hard water in your home. You may also learn to live with the uncomfortable feeling in your bedding, clothes, hair, and skin after washing. But, if you do not do anything to soften the water in your home, you may soon spend a lot of money on damaged home appliances and pipes due to clogging and scale build-up.
You can treat hard water with water softener. This way, you can reduce the damaging effects of hard water. A water softener is an ion exchange designed to get rid of positive ions.
Anti-scale systems convert calcium ions into stable calcium crystals that won’t attach to surfaces, pipes, hardware, and other fixtures. The small size of the crystals make it easy to rinse them away. They are neutral, heat resistant, harmless, and totally stable. They will not attach to your fixtures and cause lime deposits.
Benefits of Softened Water
According to statistics, around 87% of American homes rely on hard water supply. While hard water is safe to use in general, it causes a variety of issues relating to cleaning and use of appliances. By using a water softener, you eliminate mineral concentrations in you hard water. You also enjoy the following benefits:
- Easier Cleaning – Washing dishes and clothes in hard water may result to white spots, soapy residue, and streaks. By softening the water, you can rinse soap residues in a more thorough manner. This way, your dishes, clothes, skin, and hair will look and feel cleaner.
Soft water will reduce the amount of detergent or soap you will require for cleaning. This will help you save money on cleaning products. Once you install a water softening device, you will find that your showers, bathtubs, and sinks remain cleaner and easier to maintain.
- Less Time for Water Heating – Softened water heats a lot faster than hard water. Water softeners help improve heating efficiency by around 22% for electric-powered water heaters and as much as 29% for gas-run units. Better efficiency means lower power consumption and lower utility bills.
- Longer Useful Life for Your Appliances – The minerals contained in hard water can accumulate inside your appliances. It will not only lower their overall efficiency. It will also shorten their productive life. Based on research, water softening devices help prolong the life of water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and other types of appliances that use water.
There’s no doubt you will save money with longer-lasting appliances. For one, there will be less need for repairs and replacements. This will also benefit the environment. You will help reduce waste, and contribute to the conservation of raw materials and power used in manufacturing.
- Cleaner Plumbing System – Untreated hard water leaves behind scaly deposits in your pipes and plumbing fixtures over time. Once the deposits accumulate, they begin to cause corrosion and clogging that, in turn, can shorten the lifespan of the plumbing system in your home.
You can get rid of these mineral deposits by installing a water softening system. This will reduce the build-up, and lower the risks of corrosion and clogs. You will not only prolong the life of your plumbing system. You will also make your fixtures function at a more efficient rate.
For example, you will avoid one of the most common and irritating problems caused by hard water: clogged shower heads. Hard water can render your shower unusable in two years or less, necessitating early replacement. You can addressed the problem by installing a water softening system.
Types of Water Softeners
There are two main types of water softeners: salt-based and salt-free. A salt-based water softening system helps produce a “slick” feeling while taking a shower. You will also notice more bubbles as you soap. You will also experience softer skin, less scale accumulation on your shower. Your clothes will also boast of brighter colors after washing.
A salt-free system will also produce the same results. The difference is that it will do its job in a healthier way. This is because a salt-free system’s main advantage is its ability to soften water, BUT without resorting to adding sodium into the water.
It is a friendlier system both for the environment and your heart health. A typical salt-based system adds salt to your water. This can spell trouble for people suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure. Because of salt-based systems’ high sodium content in waste water, a lot of cities have started to ban them.
A salt-free system needs no maintenance. It likewise uses no electricity, waste water, and salt or chemicals. Unlike a salt-based system, a salt-free system is quite low maintenance. This is because the device can last as long as 5 years without replacement. A salt-based system will need salt replenishment every month.
A salt-based system is “heavy duty”. It does a great job of removing hardness. There is no question about that. But, it comes with various health and maintenance issues. This is why it is ideal for use only by households with extreme water hardness levels.
A salt-free system is 100% salt-free. It produces safe water for homes with elderly, infants, and children.
If you have questions or concerns about hard water or if you need water softener system installation or repair services in Tucson, AZ, contact Spartan Plumbing right away.
My family will be spending our vacation at my brother’s beach house and I wanted to know how we can save on our water bill expenses. It helped a lot when your article stated that softened water can result in better cleaning because my family will definitely be needing to do a lot of cleanups like kitchen dishes and laundry. I’ll be looking for water softeners that I can check out and have installed at the beach house before we settle in. Thank you so much!
I noticed that my skin is starting to dry up, probably because of my hard water. Therefore, I have decied to start looking for a water softener service that will be able to address this concern. It’s great to know though that water softener can help eliminate those positive ions that continue to produce damaging effects.
Thanks for listing the benefits of a residential water softener. After reading some great news about its benefits on the internet, I am thinking of considering an installation. Since I want to have a constant supply of hot water when the winter season comes, I think it’d be worth it. I never knew that this can help achieve a cleaner plumbing system since the particles in the hard water are filtered out.
I loved learning that water softeners help to give appliances a longer life. My husband and I just purchased new appliances. We’ll have to invest in a water softener for our home to extend the lifespan of those appliances.
We just replaced our bathroom fixtures and discovered that there were so much hard water deposits, that it interfered with the flow of our water. I like how you said that soft water can eliminate clogged showerheads and that hard water can make your shower unusable in two years or less. We have decided to go with soft water to avoid constantly changing our fixtures. This is the fourth time we have had to change them in less than 15 years. We will call a water treatment specialist by the end of the week.
Absolutely! The benefits of a water softener are many. In essence, the softener gets rid of calcium and magnesium to make your water soft. They require very little maintenance and last between 15-20 years, reducing your electricity bill and eliminating scale throughout your plumbing.
It’s great that you pointed out how water softeners could help improve heating efficiency by around 22% for electric water heaters and as much as 29% for gas units. I was watching a science video earlier and I learned that there are actually hard and soft water. Soft water seems to be better than hard water so I’d like to try out having a water softener installed at our home.