Ontario Plumbers Share Information on Water Softeners
The Importance of Water Softeners for Your Home
Whether your house has water that’s too hard, creating scale and plugging hoses, or wreaking havoc on your skin and hair, you’ve probably considered installing a water softener. But you may be wondering, do they really help? And, what’s all involved? The below information will help you better understand water softeners and whether they’re the right choice for you and your home.
What Are Water Softeners?
Water softeners work to remove hard minerals from your water, making your water “soft.” This is important because hard water can damage your plumbing and even negatively affect your hair and skin.
Water softeners use a process called ion exchange to remove the hard minerals (like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium) and replaces them with sodium ions.
To break it down further, a water softener has two tanks, one with resin beads that are sealed, and one that you put salt in. The resin beads attract the ions of the hard minerals, keeping them out of your water. But at some point, they’ve attracted all they can. The water and salt mixture in the other tank then flushes and cleans the resin beads so they can return to attracting the hard minerals once more.
Homeowners with water softeners have to add salt to their salt tank whenever it drops past a certain point, so the saltwater can continue to clean the resin beads. The amount of salt needed all depends on how much water your residence regularly uses.
Water Filtration Vs. Water Softeners
You may be wondering whether you could just use a water filter instead of a water softener. They remove minerals and particulates too, right?
Well, water softeners are specifically designed to remove hardness-causing minerals and use salt to do this. Water filters can remove the same minerals, and other particulates as well, and they use a variety of methods to do so, such as reverse osmosis.
For which one your home needs, that really depends on your water quality and the problems impacting you. If your water tastes or smells funny, a filtration system may be the best solution. If your water leaves limescale on everything, then a water softener may be a better choice. If you’re unsure, call a local water expert and they can help you diagnose your problems.
What is Hard Water?
Minerals in water are what make water “hard.” What minerals you have in your water and how “hard” it is depending on where you live, and whether your water comes from a well or municipality.
Neither is better than the other, and both can have hard water. Calcium and magnesium are the most common minerals that cause water hardness.
The minerals are from dissolved solids, such as limestone, that leach into the water from the ground and travel into your home. Hard water is not dangerous to drink, and the only reason you may notice it at all is because it can leave limescale on appliances like coffee pots or tea kettles.
Also, hard water limits soap and shampoo’s ability to lather and can leave your hair limp and your skin dry or uncomfortable. The dissolved minerals can also cause scaly buildup on your plumbing and pipes and can cause corrosion, or damage your appliances. So, if you suspect you have hard water, it’s best to consult a professional and consider a water softener system.
ClimateCare Can Help with Your Water Softener Needs
ClimateCare is a co-op of 34 independent Ontario based heating and cooling retail contractors. They’re 100% Canadian and locally run. Their exclusive program keeps you worry free by offering regularly scheduled maintenance on everything from furnaces to water softeners.