Hard water has an elevated level of mineral content, including calcium, magnesium and iron. These dissolved minerals can have a major effect on your home, leading to a buildup of scale, damage to plumbing pipes, a lowering of soap performance, dry skin and many more. In extreme cases, hard water may smell bad and it can even stain your laundry. For these reasons, many people install a water softener to remove the hardness and make their water easier to use. In this article, we will look at some pros and cons of a water softener installation to help you make an informed choice for your home.

How Does a Water Softener Work?

There are a few methods, but the most efficient for home use is an ion-exchange system. The incoming water passes through a resin media bed and the hard mineral ions are exchanged with sodium (salt) ions. If the user is very sensitive to sodium, it is possible to use a more benign, potassium based water softener salt instead. Periodically, the water softener will recharge. This is a cleaning cycle that rinses the collected mineral content on the resin media into the drain. To keep the system working, some occasional maintenance is required and the water softener salt levels must be topped up.

5 Pros of a Water Softener Installation

  1. Reduced Strain on Plumbing Systems: Soft water doesn’t form a thick layer of scale that narrows plumbing pipes and that can lead to corrosion problems.
  2. Kinder on Appliances: Softened water will not damage your water using appliances and your energy bills may be lowered because heating elements can work efficiently.
  3. Longer Lifespans: Your plumbing system and water using appliances will last longer.
  4. Improved Laundry Results: Softer water can easily form soap suds leading to improved laundry results even at lower temperature settings.
  5. Soft Skin and Better Hair: Softened water is kinder to your skin and there is no mineral content to tangle in your hair which makes it hard to manage.

3 Cons of a Water Softener Installation

  1. The Cost: There can be a significant upfront cost to consider when you install a water softener in your home.
  2. Filtration and Purification: A water softener will not remove contaminants other than the aforementioned dissolved minerals. If you have specific water quality issues they will need to be solved with other water filtration systems.
  3. Low Sodium Diets: If someone in the home is on a low sodium diet they could be affected by the minute quantities of sodium added during the ion-exchange. But, this problem can be solved if you switch to a potassium based water softener salt.

In Conclusion

When people switch to softer water, they are often surprised at the difference and they would not go back to using hard water. In the medium to long-term, the purchasing, installation, and running costs are offset in many ways. Less soap is required for bathing and cleaning, lower temperatures save energy, and appliances last longer. If you want to invest in a water softener for 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.