How Effective Are Water Softeners?
Water softeners are designed to remove the hard minerals from water. These minerals can cause stains and discoloration to occur on your clothes and household items. They can also affect the quality and lifespan of your appliances. Adding a water softener to your home can improve the cleanliness of your plumbing and decrease the amount of time it takes to clean.
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Hard water is a type of water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions. Because these ions are corrosive, they can damage the pipes in your house. If left untreated, this can cause the pipes to break or clog. This can lead to an increased risk of lead, copper and other dangerous contaminants in your drinking water.
Soft water contains less of these mineral ions and leaves your skin and hair softer. This can help reduce the amount of tangles and watermarks that are left on your clothes. It can also help reduce the amounts of limescale deposits that are left in your hair. Using a water softener can also help you save money on detergent and other household products, as well as the energy used to heat your home.
The level of hardness in your home’s water is based on the number of grains per gallon (gpg) of water. When water is too hard, it can leave behind a buildup of scale in your pipes. This can reduce the efficiency of your household appliances and can eventually lead to irreversible damage to your plumbing. You should have your water tested to find out if it is hard enough for you to use a water softener.
Generally, you should purchase a salt-based water softener to remove hard water. However, it’s important to understand the difference between a salt-based system and an ion exchange system. Salt-based systems require a salt reservoir for the brine solution. Also, you will need to add water for backwashing the resin bed. Depending on your location and the configuration of your water softener, the amount of wastewater you will generate will vary.
If you are concerned about the environment, you should consider an ion exchange system. Unlike a salt-based softener, an ion exchange system does not discharge wastewater into a sewer. Instead, your wastewater is sent to your local wastewater treatment plant. A good ion exchange system should be electric-metered with an on-demand control valve.
When your water softener isn’t working, you may notice a change in the way your water tastes. Some people have reported an increase in sodium and potassium. This is because salt replaces the minerals that have been removed from the water. Sodium and potassium are important nutrients for healthy blood circulation. High amounts of sodium can have negative health effects, especially if you’re genetically predisposed.
If you have concerns about the health of your family, you should contact your doctor before buying or installing a water softener. People with high blood pressure should separate the softened and unsoftened water in their home.