Water, the elixir of life, is not always as pure and beneficial as one might think. In fact, an unseen hardness in your water can cause a cascade of issues in your household. Let’s dive into the intricacies of how a water softener works, highlighting its importance, and benefits. Understanding this will prove helpful for your skin, hair, clothing, plumbing, and appliances.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals are picked up by water as it travels through soil and rock formations. Hardness is typically measured in grains per gallon (GPG), with anything over 7 GPG considered hard water.
5 Signs You Have Hard Water
If you suspect your home has hard water, watch for these five signs:
- Cloudy Glassware: Hard water leaves behind mineral deposits that can make your glasses appear cloudy and dull.
- Buildup on Faucets and Shower Heads: As hard water flows through your fixtures, it leaves behind a layer of scale that can cause clogs and reduce efficiency.
- Difficulty Lathering Soap or Excess Soap Scum: Hard water minerals can interfere with the lathering of soap, leaving behind a film on your skin and in your sinks and tubs.
- Clogged Pipes and Appliances: Over time, hard water buildup can cause clogs in pipes, water heaters, dishwashers, and other appliances that use water.
- Dry Skin and Hair: Hard water can strip your skin and hair of natural oils, leaving them feeling dry and brittle.
How Does a Water Softener Work
All of those signs might feel like a bunch of bad news. But, don’t panic if you are having some of those issues. Water Softeners are the ticket to clean, pure, and soft water. Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove the minerals that cause hardness in your water. Inside the water softener tank, there is a resin bed made up of tiny beads. These beads are charged with sodium ions.
When hard water enters the water softener, the resin beads attract and hold onto the hardness minerals, exchanging them for sodium ions.
This means that the water coming out of your softener will be free from hardness minerals, leaving you with silky smooth skin and sparkling clean dishes. Now that we know how a water softener works, let’s cover why it might be a good idea for you!
Why Use a Water Softener?
Besides the obvious benefits for your hair, skin, and the appearance of your appliances, there are other reasons to use a water softener:
- Extend Life of Plumbing and Appliances: By removing mineral buildup, water softeners can help extend the life of your plumbing and appliances.
- Save Money on Energy Bills: Clogged pipes and appliances have to work harder, using more energy. By preventing buildup, you can save money on your energy bills.
- Less Soap and Detergent Usage: Hard water requires more soap and detergent to achieve the same results as soft water. A water softener can help reduce your usage and save you money.
Installing Your Water Softener
Installing a water softener is best left to professionals, as it involves plumbing work and electrical connections. Once installed, regular maintenance is required to ensure optimal performance. This typically includes replenishing the salt in the brine tank and cleaning or replacing the resin beads every few years.
When Do You Need to Replace a Water Softener?
With proper maintenance, a water softener can last up to 20 years. Signs that it may be time for a replacement include decreased efficiency or the need for frequent repairs. If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is best to consult with a professional plumber to determine if it’s time for an upgrade.
Understanding how a water softener works is essential for homeowners dealing with the nuisance of hard water. Not only does it protect your plumbing and appliances, but it also enhances your quality of life by providing soft water that is easier on your skin, hair, and household chores.
Three Kings Is Here to Help
If you’re dealing with pesky hard water issues, Three Kings Plumbing has you covered. Our professional team can install, replace, and maintain your water softener to ensure pure and soft water in your household. Don’t let hard water get the best of you—contact Three Kings today!