In places such as the United States, hard water is a relatively common thing. That’s why some people choose to get a water softener for their homes, as it can help improve the quality of the water that supplies their homes.
If you find yourself dealing with hard water and are considering a solution to this problem, chances are you’ve also considered getting yourself a water softener as well.
But, of course, you might still have some questions about it. “Is getting one necessary?” “How does the maintenance of this go?” and “What is the average lifespan of a water softener?” might be some of the questions you have regarding this.
Fortunately, we might be able to help you know more about water softeners and why they might be suitable for your home.
Isn’t Water A Liquid?
The phrase “hard water” might seem a little strange to you, especially if you aren’t familiar with the term. While water is indeed a liquid, specific characteristics make water hard. Specifically, the presence of minerals such as magnesium and calcium in water is what would make it hard.
You might think that this isn’t necessarily a problem; for as long as your water is still free from contaminants such as bacteria and heavy metals, there are still several problems that can come with hard water usage.
Hard water can cause skin irritation and dryness, as the minerals can diminish the natural oils that your body produces. These minerals also make it harder for soap to clean deeper and more effectively.
Aside from effects on your skin, the hard water can also cause mineral buildup in your pipes, faucets, and appliances. If you leave the minerals to build up, you could cause your plumbing to clog or even damage it, resulting in your spending on repairs.
Appliances that heat your water can also get damaged by hard water as these minerals can also harden, build up, and affect how well they function. This can then result in you having to buy a new appliance, which, of course, is costly as well.
These are just some of the adverse effects hard water usage can have. That’s why, if this is a problem, it might be a good idea to get yourself a water softener to help prevent these things from happening.
So, How Does A Water Softener Fix This?
Before we delve into how a water softener does its job, it might be good to know what a water softener consists of. A typical water softener would have a mineral tank and a brine tank. The mineral tank contains a bead bed where the hard water passes through to become softened. The brine tank, which contains sodium, helps supply the bead bed with sodium ions that charge it to help with the softening process.
A water softener operates on the principle of ion exchange. Calcium and magnesium are minerals that have a positive charge. On the other hand, the water softener has a bead bed that is negatively charged with sodium ions.
When you have a water softener, you link the pipe supplying your water to the tank with these beads. The hard water runs through these beads, where their negative charge will attract the positively charged minerals, remove them from the water, and exchange them with sodium. After this, your water becomes softened and is now ready for you to use!
Of course, this process of ion exchange is actually very complex and intricate. But, for the sake of brevity and simplicity, this is how it basically works.
Is It Worth Getting One?
If you find yourself in an area that supplies you with hard water, getting one for your home might be a good idea. While this might be a pretty costly investment, with water softeners costing hundreds of Dollars to even over a thousand dollars, it’s one that is definitely worth it. Not only does it help give you more quality water to drink and use, but it also helps lessen the damage that your plumbing and appliances would get if you were to use hard water.
Of course, as with any other piece of equipment that you get for yourself, the key to making sure that your investment lasts is through proper maintenance. Whether it be annual inspections by a water softener technician or you periodically checking on it to see if it’s functioning properly, doing your best to maintain and care for your softener can help your investment last you for up to 15 years.