What is a home water softener system?
If you want to eliminate high mineral concentrations in hard water, a water softener system is the solution for you.
These systems–aka ion exchange units–are appliances that remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your water. The minerals are trapped by resin beads inside the device. When these beads are filled with such minerals, highly concentrated salts or potassium are then used to clean out the magnesium and calcium. This results in the creation of a chloride solution that easily washes waste water down the drain.
If minerals like calcium and magnesium aren’t removed from water, they tend to get deposited in the plumbing system and can harm the pipes, causing clogs or low water pressure or other problems.
Want to get rid of hard water? The licensed plumbers at The Happy Plumber Company can expertly install a water softener in Colorado Springs, CO. Learn more or get scheduled for a service today by calling (719) 426-6030.
5 Reasons to Install a Water Softener
There are several signs that indicate you might have hard water and might benefit from installing a water-softening system in your home.
- Mineral build-up on fixtures: White or cloudy residue around shower heads and faucets is a sure sign of hard water. This residue can damage fixtures.
- Lowered appliance efficiency: Hard water leads to scaling on appliances like dishwashers which makes them operate less efficiently and may cause damage and decrease their lifespans. Mineral build-up in the water heater can lead it to overheat and fail.
- Dry skin and lackluster hair: Minerals like calcium and magnesium can cause the skin to become dry and itchy. Hard water can also take the shine out of your hair and make it hard to manage. Soft water actually helps your hair look shinier and fuller and less damaged.
- Less effective cleaning: With hard water, you often find that soaps and detergents are less effective at cleaning. They often leave behind a filmy residue.
- Higher utility bills: Scaling causes your plumbing system as well as your heating system to work harder, using more energy.
Is it worth it to put in a water softener?
Along with ridding problems like those listed above, when you install a water-softening system, you’re going to find it benefits you in many ways. These systems not only eliminate calcium and magnesium but also iron. Too much iron in the water can lead to health issues including stomach problems and hemochromatosis, a build-up of too much iron in the body that can affect organs like the liver and pancreas.
Hard water is also tough on pipes. The mineral build-up can lead to clogs and corrosion.
So water softeners protect your health and pipes. They are also easy to install and low maintenance. Moreover, they are easy to run. Upkeep is minimal. After your initial investment, it costs about $100 annually to fill the system with salt. These systems also last about 8-10 years.
Is it healthy to drink water softener water?
When water is softened, there is the potential for an increase in sodium. While it’s still safe to drink for most people, the elevated sodium could cause problems for those with high blood pressure. The amount of sodium in the water will be determined by how hard the water originally was. If the original mineral content was less than 400 ppm, the sodium levels wouldn’t be nearly as high as mineral concentrations of more than 400 ppm.
If your water is really hard, and you have concerns about sodium content after it is softened, you might want to consider adding a reverse osmosis system to the water softener. The reverse osmosis system will remove the excess salts from the water, making it even safer to drink.
Can I water plants with softened water?
Generally, it’s safe to water your plants with softened water, as long as they are also getting sufficient rain water. But you shouldn’t water plants exclusively with softened water. The sodium chloride in the water will seep into the soil, and this can eventually damage the plants.
Hard water can actually be good for plants or you can attach a reverse osmosis device to the water softening system to remove the salts from the water. Reverse osmosis also helps with removing chlorine, iron and bacteria from the water.
If you’re growing vegetables in your garden, you’ll benefit from soft water when you cook them. Cooking with soft water is often quicker than cooking with hard water, and your vegetables will have a better taste and texture.
Are water softening systems good or bad for water heaters?
Unfortunately, both hard and soft water can damage water heaters. However, if you have hard water, water softening systems are much more beneficial overall to your plumbing.
While soft water can corrode your water heater, corrosion can be prevented. Anode rods inside the tank are there to prevent corrosion. Soft water, however, can cause the anode rods to corrode. Along with regular maintenance, to prevent this corrosion, you’ll want to regularly replace your anode rods.
Is there a way to soften water without a water softener?
An alternative to softened water is a water conditioner. Instead of removing calcium and magnesium from the water, conditioners crystallize the minerals. A seed crystal is formed and the remaining minerals attach themselves to the seed crystal rather than to surfaces such as pipes that the water contacts.
In general, conditioners and softeners are equally effective at managing mineral content in your water.
How long do water softeners last?
On average, water softening systems last about 8-10 years, with 15 years being the maximum lifespan. You’ll, of course, extend your system’s lifespan with proper maintenance and care.
Water Softener System Near Me
If you want to install a water softener system in Colorado Springs, CO, you can always rely on the experts at The Happy Plumber Company. Our plumbers are licensed professionals who provide a customer-centered approach to all plumbing services they provide. Book an appointment today by calling (719) 426-6030.