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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.