The U.S Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for regulating the quality of tap water, and it definitely does a decent job to curb contaminants.
There is still no guarantee you won’t have to worry about hard water, especially since water hardness isn’t deemed to be a threat to public health.
This brings us to our next question: Do you need a water softener?
Well, the short answer is yes – you do need a water softener if you want to save a lot of money and enjoy other benefits like shiny skin and lower maintenance.
In this guide, we will discuss water softeners and why installing one is necessary for a modern home.
What is a Water Softener?
Water softeners can remove hardness-causing minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from your water through a process called ion exchange. These devices are the best solution for eliminating the most prevalent and devastating water problem – hard water.
Hard water, to put it simply, is bad news for a modern home. It can scale builds up in your pipes that will not only clog them and decrease water pressure but will also reduce the lifespan of appliances like dishwashers and coffee makers.It can destroy hot water appliances as well. You see, the higher the temperature of the water, the higher the possibility for the solidification of calcium and magnesium that will ultimately harden into solid deposits inside your hot water heater.
You might have faced the common issue of scale accumulation on the heating element if you live or have lived in a hard water area. It’s these calcified rock deposits that start to crack and stretch once the temperature of the heater rises, eventually expanding the tank and creating a noticeable popping sound.
In the absence of a water softener, you’ll have to do numerous time-consuming and expensive tasks. Use more detergent that will make your clothes look grey and faded; cleaning dishes in a dishwasher will cause stains and streaks; your skin and hair will be itchy and lifeless since your soap and shampoo will not lather easily. The list is endless!
Your only way out to effectively eliminate water hardness is by investing in a high-quality whole house water softener.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
As mentioned before, water softeners employ a process called ion exchange that directly remove magnesium and calcium from the water.
As soon as the hot water enters the water tank, it flows through a spherical bed of resin beads. The resin has a negative charge, allowing the material to attract positively charged minerals in the water (ion exchange). The mineral deposits, in turn, cling to the resin while the now softened water exits the softener tank and flows throughout your house pipes.
We would also like to point out that there will come a time when the resin beads will reach their maximum capacity, preventing them from attracting any more mineral irons. At this stage, you need to re-generate the softener tank or have it flushed clean.
Why is a Water Softener an Essential Part of a Modern Home Today?
While the adverse effects on laundered clothes, and having to suffer itchy and dry skin and hair are annoying problems, the harmful effects of hard water on the plumbing system, appliances, and pictures are more problematic.
At first, the small deposits don’t do much harm, but over time, they can plug aerators and showerheads, seize valves, and block pipes. In more extreme cases, hard water deposits can even restrict water flow, putting undue pressure on the whole plumbing system.
If you’re willing to spend $90, you can receive a full report to determine whether or not your home has hard water. The analysis can also indicate the presence of other substances, such as sodium, chlorine, nitrates, and other dangerous bacteria.
As you can see, hard water can be a potentially serious problem – and installing a water softener is a perfectly reliable solution.
Additionally, we’ve compiled a list of the benefits of installing a water softener below to help you understand its importance further:
Helps Save Money
Soft water reduces costly repair bills, helping you save more money. You see, the water lacks mineral ions that produce buildup in your appliances and pipes. It also restricts the irreversible damage to plumbing and appliances caused by hard water.
Softened water penetrates and dissolves better with soap, creating a rich lather with more suds for your body, clothes, and dishes. Moreover, the transfer of heat and gas is more efficient as well because of no buildup.
Increased Lifespan of Appliances
Exposure to hard water can create layers and layers of calcium and magnesium inside water appliances like dispensers, water heaters, and shower faucets. Not only will this adversely affect the performance of these appliances, but it will also reduce their lifespan. However, soft water restricts this mineral accumulation, increasing their lifespan.
Better Skin and Hair
Soft water allows your skin to pick up and retain a higher level of moisture due to lower mineral content. It doesn’t remove the skin’s natural oils, lowering itchiness and irritation problems.
As for your hair, soft water maintains your hair’s pH level that makes it shinier and healthier with minimum frizz.
Reduced Cleaning Time
Cleaning bathrooms and kitchens in a home with hot water can be incredibly time-consuming. You have to regularly re-wash your dishes and do laundry, spending several hours a week at it. Let’s not forget scrubbing off the chalky lime and soap scum from the walls of your showers, sinks, and faucets too.
Using a water softener will fully dissolve and penetrate soap that will decrease the insoluble soap scum, helping you save cleaning time on a regular basis.
The Bottom Line
As you might have realized, a water softener in a modern-day home essential.
You should have the same level of concern to the water you use externally – just as you would for the quality of water you consume. Using soft water can help you take your first step towards self-care and ensuring your wellbeing.
The scientific process of water softening also has several other benefits that will protect and look after your plumbing system, water appliances, among other things, making it a household essential.