What You Need To Know About Hard Water
With about 85% of homes in the US supplied exclusively with hard water, it is not an overreach to assume that hard water is the most common type of water supplied domestically all across the country. But what exactly is hard water, and how does it affect those who use it at home for such crucial activities of daily living as washing, cleaning, and drinking?
Hard water is water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are beneficial in helping people meet their recommended daily intake when consumed in drinking water, they do have some unpleasant side effects that, though generally considered safe, can be quite unpleasant in most cases. This is why people choose to install water softeners at home.
Understanding How a Water Softener Works
As its name suggests, a water softener works by “softening” hard water. That is, it removes the excessive amounts of calcium and magnesium present to counteract the unpleasant side effects of hard water. There are different methods to make this happen, resulting in different types of water softeners that homeowners can install at home.
Of the three, the most common is through ion exchange. This method removes calcium and magnesium by swapping their ions with sodium ions. Another method called reverse osmosis uses a series of filters that remove not just these minerals but other impurities in the water. The last method used to soften water is called salt-free. Similar to reverse osmosis softeners, the salt-free method uses a mechanical filter that removes only calcium from the water. Magnesium is left untouched.
Signs That Your Home Is Supplied With Hard Water
Even without prior knowledge, it’s easy to tell if a home is supplied with hard water. All one needs to do is look at how it affects everything it touches. Hard water usually leaves behind a trail of unpleasant side effects:
- Dry hair and skin
- Spotted glasses that don’t seem to ever come out completely clean after a round in the dishwasher
- Dull and faded clothes
- Scale buildup on pipes, fixtures, and appliances such as water heaters
While most of these reactions to hard water aren’t deal breakers, its cumulative effect over some time does have a greater negative impact on a few important things, namely that scale buildup caused by hard water mineral deposits can result in lost energy efficiency for appliances such as water heaters, which in turn translates to higher energy bills. Aside from this, mineral deposit accumulation could also shorten the life of water heaters and other plumbing fixtures as these minerals harden and make it difficult for water to either pass through a pipe or be heated efficiently in a water heater storage tank.
Why Whole Home Water Softeners Could Be a Great Fit for Your Home
The good news is that homeowners don’t have to suffer through these side effects. Installing a water softener for the entire home does alleviate these unpleasant conditions. It helps homeowners tap into water softener benefits such as saving time on cleaning scales and mineral buildup, giving them longer-lasting, better-looking clothes, better-hydrated skin, and hair, as well as reducing the costs associated with running inefficient appliances and replacing those that have broken down earlier than their intended lifespan due to the mineral accumulation associated with hard water.
About Capital Plumbing Contractors
Capital Plumbing Contractors is a reliable plumbing services company in Tallahassee, FL. Their team of expert and highly skilled professional plumbers offer a full range of plumbing services from water heater repair to bathroom remodeling and everything else. With competitive pricing and no overtime rates, their fast response times and polite, professional service have made them the plumbing company of choice among homeowners and businesses alike. Call them today for plumbing services in Tallahassee, FL.