What Homes Benefit From a Water Softener?
Deciding which water softener to pick can be tricky at first. Understanding the benefits of installing one can help homeowners decide if a softener is right for them.
First things first: what exactly is a water softener?
Made simple, a water softener is a filtration system. This filtration system removes magnesium and calcium from the water, which is what makes it “hard’ in the first place. By eliminating those minerals, homeowners get a softer and cleaner feel to their water. No more stains on dishes, and no more itchy skin.
Benefits of Installing a Water Softener
Some of the benefits of a water softener include:
- Eliminating water stains caused by hard water: Dishes and utensils will have a shiny look, instead of having water stains on them. Dish soap will also dissolve in soft water better then it would in hard water. This is due to less mineral content in softened water.
- Better hygiene and softer skin: As mentioned before, due to the number of mineral backup from hard water, soaps tend to have a harder time dissolving. But, with soft water, homeowners get a deeper lather into the skin, due to how easy the soap dissolves. A deeper lather equals cleaner skin and hygiene.
- Longevity: Because water softeners stop plumbing damage, they can expect to have their piping and appliances around for a longer time, since softened water reduces scale build-up on pipes, dishwashers, fixtures, and washing machines.
Installing a Salt-Based Softener
There are two systems available for residential consumers: salt-based softeners and salt-free softeners. Both come with benefits and drawbacks. A salt-based softener uses resin and brine to remove hardness from water. As incoming water flows across a resin, hardness is captured. When the resin is full of minerals, the briny water is used to rinse the hardness out of the resin so it can be reused.
Salt-based systems have two drawbacks: they are more expensive to install and usually require some maintenance. Since they have a brine tank, salt levels must be maintained by adding a special salt to the tank periodically. Otherwise, the system won’t work.
Installing a salt-based system has many benefits. By removing hardness from the water, homeowners will extend the life of their plumbing and appliances. Soaps will work better because there is less mineral interference, so dishes and clothes will get cleaner. Additionally, their skin will benefit because soap residue will wash off completely instead of settling on the skin.
Choosing Salt-Free Water Softeners
A salt-free softener eliminates minerals differently. Water passes through what's called a “catalytic media.” Once it passes through it turns the minerals into a “hardness crystal.” This process prevents the hardness from forming scale and interfering with detergents and soaps. Commonly, these are called “water conditioners.”
Some of the benefits include:
- Cheaper upfront costs
- Smooth-feeling water
- Reduced scale
- Low maintenance
It's always best to contact a professional before beginning this process.
About A River City Plumbing
Located in Post Falls, ID, A River City Plumbing has been around for over 30 years. Their motto is “Honesty and Integrity” and they always put their clients first. Avoid surprises on the next project with honest, upfront pricing from a locally owned, professional plumbing company.