How a Water Softener Can Benefit You and Your Plumbing System
The hardness of water refers to its calcium content, which when high enough can cause a lot of inconveniences and damage over time. A water softener can counteract this by increasing the pH of your water, which can benefit your health and your pipes.
How Do I Know If I Need A Water Softener?
If your dishes are being streaked and left not quite clean when you wash them, or if your skin and hair feel itchy after a shower, or if there are inexplicable clogs, then you may need a water softener. All of these issues are side-effects of hard water, which can be tested directly using a kit you can buy yourself or you could check with your water provider.
A water softener alone will not solve some heightened hard water problems, such as clogs due to limescale or particulates in your water. In those cases you’ll need augers or pressure washing and additional filters, respectively.
How Does A Water Softener Work?
A residential water softener works by passing water through a trap that contains resin beads which absorb and exchange some of the hard calcium and other mineral elements for sodium or potassium. Since the resin and sodium have a negative charge, they are an-ionic, which attracts the positively charged calcium.
As calcium and minerals build up in the trap, the water softener will periodically flush it out and into the drain using a strong chloride solution.
Pros & Cons Of A Water Softener
Your home’s water is vital and personal to you. If you do have very hard water, then a water softener can provide the following benefits:
- Decreased chance of skin irritation
- Decreased chance of hair loss
- Decreased chance of ulcers
- Decreased chance of clogs from calcium and other minerals
But be careful to set up the softener correctly. If it is not set for your specific water’s hardness and it is not draining properly, then it could cause more harm than good.