Have you ever washed a few dishes, let them dry out, and then found unsightly white stains all over them? If so, you might have been told that those are just harmless mineral deposits; that’s true, but why are they there?
Those deposits are the result of washing your dishes with hard water. Hard water is a frustrating issue that most Americans deal with–about 85 percent of Americans. Of those, only 30 percent use home water softening.
Home water softening is just what it sounds like: a way to reduce water hardness in your home. Anyone dealing with hard water can benefit from home water softener, but many remain unaware of the process.
Keep reading to learn how home water softening works, how it can benefit you, and how to choose the best water softener.
1. What Is Hard Water?
Before we talk about water softening, we need to define hard water. Water hardness is a scale rather than a fixed point; it’s a measure of how much calcium and magnesium are dissolved in water.
Soft water has very little calcium and magnesium. The more minerals are present, the harder the water is. Calcium and magnesium can cause scale on your pipes, itchy skin after a shower, and mineral deposits on dishes.
2. How Does Water Softening Work?
Most water softeners use a process called cation exchange. In this system, there are beads in your water softener that trap the calcium and magnesium in your water and replace them with potassium or sodium.
This does result in a higher level of sodium in your water. If your sodium intake is a concern, talk with your doctor before installing a home water softener.
3. The Benefits of Home Water Softening
Water softening mainly benefits your pipes. The calcium and magnesium in hard water can leave behind scale, causing mineral clogs and low water pressure.
The minerals can also clog up appliances that use water, causing them to break down more quickly than they would otherwise.
4. Choosing the Right Water Softener
If you’re dealing with hard water and want to address the issue, there are several things you need to consider. First of all, what kind of softener do you want? Ion exchange softeners are the most effective.
You also have to determine what size water softener you need. This largely depends on the size of your household.
5. Installation and Maintenance
Installing a water softener is a rather involved process; you have to shut down your water main and drain your pipes before the real process even begins. It’s best to hire a plumber to handle the installation.
Most home water softeners don’t require much maintenance–you’ll just have to refill the machine with pellets regularly.
Mastering Home Water Softening
Home water softening offers plenty of benefits, improving the lifespan of pipes, and appliances as well as improving your showers. With so many great reasons to try home water softener, why wait?
Installing a water softener is an easy way to spruce up your house; once you’ve done that, it might be time to take on a bigger project. Visit our home improvement blog for more ideas for home renovation!