Hard water is primarily the result of the presence of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water supply. Most homes have hard water and homeowners don’t realize the problems that it can cause. Hard water has been known to clog pipes, impact efficiency of water appliances and also leaves behind those unsightly water spots. The scale build-up of deposits on the inside your pipes is what causes clogs and impacts the service life of your water appliances and equipment. Most notably though hard water is harder to heat and results in an average of 20% more energy costs from your water heater unit. Investing in a water softener will help alleviate these issues and help optimize your water system.
The most common way to tell you have hard water is if there is a build-up of white residue in your kitchen appliances, shower heads and even your pots & pans. Not only are these stains difficult to clean and remove they are not very aesthetically pleasing. Who wants to unload their dishwasher to find that all the glasses have residue and the plates don’t look as clean as they could be. Unfortunately rewashing won’t solve this problem as this is a direct bi-product of hard water.
Another indicator is that your skin might feel dry or your hair might feel brittle after a shower or bath. This is because with hard water it is very difficult for soap scum and shampoo to be removed from your body and hair. With softened water your skin will be left feeling softer and your hair will also feel smoother to the touch. You’ll also find that you will need less soap and shampoo due to the rich lather that softened water is able to produce.
Depending on where you live and your local water source your water will have a different level of hardness. To properly size a unit you must consider the hardness level of your local source, the number of people living in the home and your household water usage habits. It is important that the unit be sized to your specific needs otherwise you risk wasting water and energy which increases the units operating costs.
There are different types of water softeners such as the conventional salt based units and newer salt-less units. Salt based water softeners are much more effective due to the ion exchange process utilized to remove the hardness from the water source. Salt-free units utilize a carbon based media and require less maintenance but are not as effective in really hard water situations.
Another concern amongst salt-based softener users is the added sodium into the water supply. The amount of salt added to the water is fairly negligible when compared to the average individuals daily salt intake. For a complete water system solution we recommend pairing it with a Reverse Osmosis water system for your drinking and cooking water. These systems can be installed either next to your water softener or in a cabinet in your kitchen. Water flows through various filters in a number of stages until the end result is great tasting water for you and your family.
Contact us to learn more about water softeners and obtain a quote for your home.