Tag Archives: hard water

Top 5 Benefits of Adding a Water Softener to your Home

water softenerRecent studies have indicated the nearly 90% of homes in the United States have hard water at some level. While mildly hard water is not of major concern, those of you who rate higher on the scale should be concerned. Testing your water is the best way to find out the concentration of heavy metals in it, and upon getting the results; you may want to consider adding a drinking water filter system or even a whole house water softener to your home. Here are a few of the reasons why.

#1 Saving Money

Hard water can be a real pain if you are trying to cut costs. The high concentration of dissolved metals will reduce the effectiveness of your cleaning supplies. Failing to treat and remove heavy metals from your water is a very costly mistake.

#2 Extend the Life of Your Appliances

While not necessarily harmful to humans, you cannot say the same for appliances. If you are going to consider using drinking water filter systems in your home, then you may find it more cost effective to use whole home water softeners.

#3 Preserve Your Plumbing

As you’ve learned, hard water is the result of a high concentration of dissolved metals. When circulating through your plumbing, this water is prone to leaving deposits throughout the pipes and fixtures, greatly reducing there lifespan. By using home water softeners, you will save money on future repairs while enjoying better water pressure.

#4 Eco-Friendly

This is a multi-faceted statement and adding drinking water filter systems to your home is just one example. If adding that product encourages you to replace bottled water with tap, you can make a huge reduction in the amount of bottles introduced into landfills every year. Aside from that, your appliances will also benefit. For example, did you know soft water heats faster? This saves power and money.

#5 Improved Drinking Water

As we mentioned earlier, while hard water is not necessarily bad for you, it does often have an odd taste. This can be caused not only by the heavy metals, but also by bacteria living in your water. Overall, improving the taste and cleanliness of your water can be achieved through the use of drinking water filter systems.

Is Hard Water Harming Your Kitchen Appliances?

hard waterHard water is the name given to water that contains a high level of calcium and magnesium. While not necessarily harmful to humans, it can wreak havoc on your appliances. This can lead to costly repairs such as a hot water heater replacement, clogged dishwashers, and a host of other issues.

Untreated Hard Water Is Expensive!

Hard water can also cause added expenses even before you have to deal with something like a costly water heater replacement. Most people with hard water will also be forced to use more soaps, detergents, and personal hygiene items to achieve the same level of cleanliness. This is caused by the film often left by untreated hard water.

Are Heavy Metals The Culprit?

Determining rather or not you have hard water can be accomplished using an at home testing kit, although hiring a professional will allow you to further pinpoint the culprit.

Treating the Problem

Once you have determined whether or not you have hard water, you should look into treating and filtering the problems. Although there are several ways to treat it, they all focus on removing the heavy metals from your water supply in one way or another. Here are just a few of the common treatment methods.

Whole House Reverse Osmosis

This system is used for treating extremely poor water. This type of filtration uses a semi permeable membrane (filter) to block the passage of dissolved solids, thereby removing the dissolved metals from your water supply. The price of this system varies depending upon numerous factors, so contact an expert for all the details.

Drinking Water Filter Systems

If your water is not hard enough to cause a lot of issues, you may just want to look into a drinking water filtration system. These are available in a broad range of sizes and your exact needs will depend upon your water.

If you are not certain about your current water levels and do not want to measure them yourself, contacting a professional is a good idea. I mean, treating a problem that could prevent a major cost like a water heater replacement or purchase of a new washing machine, would be well worth the cost. Have your water checked today and find out how you could be saving money.

How to Stop Scale From Building Up on Your Plumbing Pipes

water softenersHere’s an interesting statistic: Only 1% of the water that comes into your home actually ends up in your body. So why focus so much on what you’re drinking? Because it’s important to your health. The rest of the water or “working water” can have an effect on the life of your plumbing and appliances so the quality of water in your home is important.

Hard water is usually the worst offender and homeowners who suspect they have a problem may need a water softener. It’s not too hard to tell if your water needs attention: If your soap fails to lather, or you notice water stains on your shower doors or fixtures, it may be time to get your water tested.

Testing is the only sure fire way to determine if your water is hard enough to be causing damage to your indoor plumbing. If the presence of excessive levels of calcium and magnesium are detected, it may be time to look for a water softener.

Why It’s Important

Hard water can cause all kinds of problems in a home. Some of the problems are superficial, such as hard water stains on your shower door or bathroom surfaces. But the real damage occurs from the build-up of scale—a chalky-like substance that clogs your pipes and drains. The scale builds slowly at first, but can eventually cause drains and pipes to clog. It can also create real problems in hot water heaters and water-using appliances.

A water softener typically uses salt to remove minerals and then replaces them with softer minerals like sodium and potassium, improving the life span of your indoor pipes and appliances.

Do Your Homework

You can buy a water softener outright or rent one by the month, but be sure to investigate the product and the company you’re buying from. You’re looking for a reputable company that offers the homeowner a guarantee.

Study the various water softeners on the market, and consider the size of your home, your family and your typical water usage. It’s important to calculate how much water you’ll need to purify. Since the average person uses 80 gallons of water per day, multiply .80 by the number of people living in your home and then multiply that number by 10 to represent the grains of hardness you’ll need in your supply. A family of 4 typically needs a 32000 grain water softener.

There are several different types of water softeners and it will take some research to choose the one that works best for your household and lifestyle. Some models add the minerals manually based on water usage while others are time based. You can also choose between models that are salt-based or use other technology to soften the water.

Salt-free Watering Softeners

What is Hard Water?

In a household where hard water is present, the repercussions can be frustrating and also damaging to pipes and water heaters. Hard water typically leaves a buildup of minerals on bathtubs and other bathrooms surfaces, and homeowners often complain of problems with their hair, skin or laundry.

In a nutshell, hard water is the result of ground water mixing with minerals from the earth—typically magnesium and calcium. Hardness varies from one geographical location to the next and is not considered a health hazard, but merely a nuisance. Nearly 90% of households in America have hard water.

All drinking water contains some minerals, but the hard and fast rule is that a level of hardness between 50 and 150 milligrams per liter is satisfactory. Anything over that will require some intervention to avoid the white powdery residue that accumulates and potentially shorten the life of water heaters, plumbing fixtures and water-using appliances. Other problems associated with hard water include laundry that feels stiff, hair that becomes dull and limp and soap that is difficult to lather.

Salt-free Water Conditioners

There are several ways to combat hard water, including using a filtered distillation process, or adding chemical softeners like borax or sodium carbonate. Water softeners use an ion exchange to replace the calcium magnesium that causes hardness. Other softeners—like salt-free units (also known as salt-free water conditioners) work by preventing a build-up of minerals.

Also known as descalers, salt-free water softeners don’t actually soften the water, per say. They work by preventing minerals from being deposited inside pipes, washing machines, and other appliances that use or heat water. The descalers transmit an electric charge which changes the structure of the crystal, preventing hard scale from forming, which is also known as electronic scale control. They’re a good choice for salt-free water softening.

Scale is a crystalized form of calcium, and it’s the culprit that creates residue inside pipes, causes your soap not to lather and leaves deposits on your plates and glasses.

Environmentally Friendly

Salt-free water conditioners also reduce chlorine, and are said to reduce odors and improve the taste of your drinking water.

They don’t use a backwash cycle like other water softeners, so water from your house is not only conserved, but returned back to the ecosystem. Salt-free water conditioners do not use chemicals either, which is promotes a healthier earth.

How To Properly Maintain Hot Water Heaters For Maximum Life Expectancy

Hard water damages everything it touches, including your hot water heater. Water purification water treatment that includes water softening equipment will protect the inside tank from the corrosive sediment that eats away at hot water heaters. Settling of the sediment on the bottom of the tank as well as the build-up and scaling on the heating unit itself can cause it to overheat and stop functioning altogether.

Two essential water treatment techniques to maintain the optimum functionality of hot water heaters:

  • Eliminate hard water at the water’s point-of-entry into the house. It is important that your hard water treatment effectively dissolves minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese which are what make the water hard. These minerals produce corrosive sediment that can wreck havoc on the functionality of water heaters. Scaling seriously affects the day-to-day performance of your water heater. Eliminate hard water with a whole home water treatment system that includes a water softener.
  • Drain hot water heaters annually. Start by turning off all power. Attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. You will drain out old stagnant sediment as well as water. By releasing the air valve at the top of the water heater the water will drain quicker. If the water tank is not cleaned regularly, the corrosive hard minerals will start eating away at the inside of the tank leading to permanent damage and leaking at the bottom of the tank.

Heavy minerals naturally sink to the bottom of the tank of traditional water heaters. Sediment can build up so thick that it encloses the entire heating element. This causes water heaters to use more energy to operate and sometimes even become non-functional.

By treating hard water and regularly draining and cleaning the unit, the life expectancy of hot water heaters increase exponentially. A home water treatment system designed to soften the household water will break down the corrosive hard minerals making it easier for the hot water heater to function properly.

Hard Water Makes Your Skin Dry And Dyes Clothes Gray

Hard water is such a common household water problem that chances are high that water softeners should be included in your household water treatment expenses. Tell-tale signs of hard water include clothes with a gray tint, worn-out fabric, spots on glasses, shower doors that now permanently look dirty, hot water heaters making unusual noises, brittle hair and itchy, irritated skin.

Water softeners are most effective when utilized as point-of-entry water treatment. Then all water being transported throughout your house is softened before you use it to clean your dishes, your clothes, or yourself.

Hard water has a high concentration of dissolved minerals. The most common and destructive are calcium and magnesium. With excess calcium in the water, there will be hard water deposits on anything that the water touches. Near the opening on a humidifier, dry gritty residue is a symptom of hard water. It can be damaging to clothes and appliances when hard water is not softened with your water treatment solutions.

Water softeners break down the molecules of the hard water so that soap works with the water and creates the reaction that will get your clothes, dishes, and body the cleanest. If your home is not using systemic water softeners as part of the household water treatment system, your detergents are not working effectively and your clothes come out of the washing machine looking dull and gray.

Here is a quick test to see if you have hard water. In a closeable container add soap to water and shake it up. Is it now a cloudy gray liquid with limited suds? That’s a sign of hard water. With hard water you have to use more soap and therefore more water. If you live in an area with high water costs, then the longer you go without a home water treatment system the more ineffective your soaps will be and therefore the more water you will have to use. There are simple and effective water softeners available.

Water Heater Replacement – How To Control Your Hot Water Bills

Hot water is a home essential but there is no limit to the money you spend on energy bills, water heater replacement and repair. Many households in the United States, especially in areas like Arizona end up paying too much in energy bills and heater repair cost because they do not realize the real culprit behind these problems: the hard water! Often times you may end up discouraged with your plumber for installing what you believe is a ‘low quality’ product in your home because your water heater does not delivery hot water quick enough, but the issue make not be the heater at all, but the water being fed into it.

Why Should You Install a Whole House Filter?

If you install a water purification system in your home, you will reduce maintenance costs on your water heater. Next time your garage floods because your water heater went out, just open it to see the sediments and bad odor; this is usually caused by minerals in the hard water and it affects the hot water production as well because sediment builds up on the walls, preventing heat sinks being in direct contact with the water. In some areas, the water hardness is too high; so much so that a thick layer of minerals will form on the heater walls and it will take hours for the water to heat up.

When you’re water heater is full of hard, calcium-rich water it constantly work to keep your water hot. Sometimes the cost to replace your hot water is more economical than repairing it because newer models are more energy efficient. The permanent solution to these problems and to enjoy instant hot water, you need to install a high efficiency whole house water softener so that can make your water soft. You will also save on your energy bills and all your plumbing fixtures and pipes will last much longer.