If you receive hard water, you’re not alone. Around 85% of American homes have hard water problems to a greater or lesser extent. Hard water causes a number of problems in the home, including scale accumulation, plumbing pipe corrosion, brittle nails and hair, dry skin issues, excessive soap consumption, poor laundry results, and many more. But, you don’t have to live with hard water problems if you choose to install a water softener in your home.

Why is Water Hard?

Water is an effective solvent; after it falls as rain on the ground, it seeps into the soil, sand, and rock as it makes its way into underground aquifers and surface bodies of water. During this journey, the water takes on dissolved minerals which make the water hard. Even if you receive water from a municipal water supplier, it can still be hard. The water treatment plant will filter and disinfect the water to a basic standard, but the hardness will not be removed.

How Can I Remove Water Hardness?

There are ways to deal with the consequences of hard water. As an example: vinegar is effective at cleaning away scale deposits. But, until the root causes of water hardness are addressed, these problems will always return. It’s important to remove the hardness to prevent the problems we discussed earlier from affecting your home. The best way to remove water hardness is to install your own water softener system,

How Does a Water Softener Work?

The most effective way to remove dissolved minerals from your water is an ion-exchange water softener. This process passes the incoming water through a resin media bed with beads that carry a charge that attracts mineral ions. The charge is created by a coating of brine, and during the ion exchange, the mineral ions stick to the resin media, and the salt ions are added to the water. This makes the water slightly salty, but most people would not notice any difference. The resin beads are periodically washed clean with brine during the regeneration cycle to reset the system. It’s important to understand that a water softener is designed to remove dissolved minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and iron. If you have other water quality issues, you will need other filtration and purification systems to deal with them.

Sodium vs. Potassium Salt

The brine tank needs salt added to the water, and it’s important to choose good quality water softener salt. Lower grades of salt can cause problems that degrade the performance and efficiency. As we mentioned earlier, most people wouldn’t notice that any salt has been added to the water because the ion-exchange takes place on a minute scale. That said, if someone in the home is very sensitive to salt or on a low-salt diet, there is an alternative. Potassium is still a salt, it’s used in good quality water softener salt, and it’s more benign than sodium alternatives.

If you want to install a water softener in your home, contact your local water treatment specialist today.

By EcoWater Systems.

EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.