How Do Water Softeners Work?
Most homeowners have heard of hard water, but not everyone knows what it means – or, for that matter, what to do about it. Essentially, the “hardness” of water refers to the level of dissolved minerals the water contains – the higher the mineral content, the harder the water. While hard water is generally safe to drink, it can cause many other problems (more on those below), so many homeowners install water softeners to combat the effects of hard water.
Water softeners are typically installed just downstream of where the main water supply enters the home. These devices remove dissolved minerals from the home’s water supply, typically using a process called ion exchange. The water passes through a tank with thousands of tiny resin beads charged with sodium ions. The mineral ions are attracted to the beads, which release their sodium ions in exchange. The beads are periodically flushed to dispose of the minerals and recharged with sodium ions, and the process repeats. This article will explain the negative effects of hard water and three key ways a water softener can protect against them!
Make Cleaning Easier and More Effective
One of the peskiest things about hard water is that it tends to leave a residue on virtually every surface it touches. This often comes in the form of cloudy water spots on dishes, silverware, and plumbing fixtures (showerheads, faucets, sink basins, etc.) as the dissolved minerals dry out, forming mineral scale deposits. Hard water can also lead to a rapid buildup of soap scum since minerals like calcium and magnesium make it more difficult to rinse the soap from surfaces. Additionally, clothes and linens washed in hard water can fade and wear out faster than usual.
So by installing a water softener, cleaning tasks will be more effective, and there will be less cleaning to do. With a water softener, clothes will be longer-lasting and stay brighter, glasses and dishes will be clean after washing with no spots left behind, and homeowners will save time having to scrub mineral scale and soap scum out of the sinks, tubs and shower walls since there will be less of it to clean!
Protect the Plumbing System
Cleaning scale buildup off of surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom can be a time-consuming hassle, but cleaning it out of the plumbing system itself is another matter entirely. Just as mineral scale accumulates on surfaces inside the home, it also builds up inside pipes, fixtures, and appliances. Over time, the scale can clog water supply lines, damage appliances like water heaters and washing machines, interfere with faucets and showerheads, and cause corrosion throughout the plumbing system.
This can lead to more frequent plumbing repairs and premature appliance breakdowns, potentially costing homeowners a lot of money. In extreme cases, it may even be necessary to re-pipe the home entirely if the scale buildup has gotten bad enough! So, it’s much better to avoid these problems altogether. A water softener helps prevent scale buildup from hard water, helping protect the home’s plumbing system and extend the lifespan of fixtures and large appliances throughout the house.
Hard water can also be a source of problems for the water heater. When minerals like calcium and magnesium are present in the water, they can form deposits on heating surfaces. This reduces the water heater’s energy efficiency as it takes longer to heat up and shortens its lifespan as the components can become corroded over time. A water softener can help by removing these minerals from the water supply, ensuring that the water heater runs smoothly, efficiently, and with fewer problems.
Help Improve Hair and Skin Health
Since hard water leaves behind mineral deposits and makes it harder to rinse away soap completely, it can also lead to dry, flat hair and dry, itchy skin. This is because the residue left behind by hard water interferes with the body’s natural oils and its regeneration and hydration processes. For those who take the health of their skin and hair seriously, this is a major obstacle to proper self-care. Even worse, dry hair and skin can lead to discomfort and irritation, especially for sensitive skin.
One of the critical ways a water softener benefits homeowners is that it helps maintain healthier skin and hair while improving overall comfort levels for everyone in the home. This can also mean that homeowners won’t have to spend as much on skincare and hair care products since they won’t have to compensate for the effects of hard water!
With all these considerations, it’s easy to see why a water softener can be a worthwhile investment for many homeowners. But to ensure it’s the right choice for them, homeowners should consult with a qualified local plumber to assess the hardness of their home’s water and make an informed decision!
About Master Plumbers Heating & Cooling
Master Plumbers Heating & Cooling is a family owned business serving Greensboro and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, honest information, and prompt arrivals. Call them today for water softener installation or repair in Greensboro, NC.
Distribution Links +