Having hard water can have a big impact on your home. It can shorten the lifespan of appliances, increase your energy bill by raising the cost of heating water, and leave you with stained fixtures, clothing, and skin after a shower.
Essentially, a water softener system is a device that removes calcium and magnesium ions from your water. It does this by using an ion exchange process. These minerals are often referred to as hard water minerals because they tend to cause problems with soap lather, maintenance of appliances, and the usage of hot water heaters. This kind of water can also lead to mineral deposits in your home that are ugly to look at and can be dangerous if they build up enough heat during use. Additionally, hard water has been shown to contribute towards scaling issues in plumbing fixtures – especially when coupled with high amounts of sulfur in your local drinking water.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water has a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals, along with traces of other elements, are naturally found in the earth and remain in our lakes and rivers. As water travels through these natural deposits and becomes contaminated with these minerals, it becomes what we call hard. The amount of these minerals in your water can vary greatly, but they each have their own unique scale. Hardness is generally measured using a scale from one to fifteen. Water with concentrations of calcium carbonate above 121 mg/L is considered to be hard water.
How Does Hard Water Cause Problems?
Excessive minerals in your water can cause a variety of issues for your household. These minerals can build up inside your plumbing fixtures, especially your hot water heater. This build-up can lead to an increase in electric usage and an overall decrease in the lifespan of your water heater. Water that is too hard can also leave behind deposits when it comes in contact with soap. The minerals can prevent the soap from lathering (which can be frustrating for any homeowner)!
How Does a Water Softener Work?
The basics of how a water softener works are fairly simple. It uses an ion exchange process to swap out the unwanted hard minerals with a sodium solution that is much less harmful to your home. A softener system will generally have two separate tanks – one to hold the hard water and one to hold the soft water. The water that comes into your home will first go through a feeder. The feeder will put the water through a series of minerals that will pick up the hard ions. The now-hard water will then go into the first tank where it will be released into the air flow. A sensor will then take the water and deposit it into the second tank where the sodium ions will be released.
Choosing the best water softener system for your home can be an excellent investment for households with hard water that experiences a lot of the issues caused by excess minerals. It can protect your appliances, prevent minerals from building up in your plumbing, and even help to extend the lifespan of your plumbing fixtures. It will also make it easier to wash your dishes and clothes!