A water softener is a mechanical appliance that connects to your tap system and, quite literally, softens your water. You probably have questions, so let’s dive into everything you need to know about this helpful household device.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
Softeners work by removing hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium ions from water and replacing them with softer sodium and potassium ions. This process is known as ion exchange. And softeners can use up to 25 gallons per day to keep a home’s water regulated.
What’s wrong with having hard minerals in your water? Quite a lot. Read on to learn about the benefits of soft water and how having it in your home can be good for both your wallet and your health.
When You Should Get a Water Softener
The kind of h2o you have running through your appliances matters for the following reasons.
- Laundry Wear and Tear. Water with a high concentration of hard minerals can negatively affect the quality of your clothes when you put them in your washing machine. When your wash is done, the residue left by those hard calcium and magnesium ions is going to stay on your clothes, leaving them feeling rough and looking faded. Although there are special detergents that combat this issue, washing machines that use softened water will be most effective at resolving this problem.
- Damaged Pipes. Another indicator that you may need a softener is if your pipes are damaged or not working properly. The hard minerals in your water may be restricting the flow of water in your system, which in turn will lead to the accumulation of limescale. The problem with limescale buildup is that it can clog the valves in your dishwasher and washing machines and cause leaks. And when leaks happen, the lifespan of your appliances becomes lower and you’re going to have to either pay for more frequent repairs or get new machines.
- Hair and Skin Damage. Hard water doesn’t just affect your appliances. It can damage your hair and skin as well. When you dry off from a shower, those hard ions remain, leaving your skin dry and leathery. Using soap and shampoo helps but they’re not going to get everything off. This is when a softener really comes in handy.
What to Look for When Buying a Water Softener
There are many different kinds of softeners on the market today. Because of this, it’s important to understand their differences and which one is going to be best for your situation. Resources like La Nuageuse will help, but you should know what makes a good softener yourself.
A big factor is size. To determine how big of an appliance you’ll need, you are going to want to calculate how many grains of hardness per day your softener needs to remove. Figuring this out is not as tough as it sounds.
First, you need to calculate how much h2o is used each day in your household. A suggested formula is that you take the amount of people in your home and multiply that by the amount of water they use daily. Generally speaking, the average person uses about 80 gallons of h2o per day.
A simple h2o test will let you know how many grains per gallon is in your water. And all you have to do is multiply your home’s usage with your water’s grains per gallon. Once you have this number, look at potential softeners with a capacity that fits your household’s needs.
Is a Water Softener Worth It?
Having a softener may seem like a luxury at first but after taking a deeper look into it, you’ll start to see some serious benefits in the longevity of your appliances and belongings. Take a hard look at your home’s water. It might save you more money than you can imagine!