Water hardness is a key characteristic of water quality. While hard water has no serious health effects, soft water is easier on your pipes, appliances, clothes, skin and hair. For these reasons, if the water in your home is naturally hard, you’ll probably want to invest in a water softening solution.
What Is Hard Water?
When we talk about hard water, we’re referring to water with an especially high concentration of minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium. Water with more than 120 mg of minerals per litre of water (or 7 grains per gallon) tends to leave a scummy or chalky residue that can build up in pipes, stain porcelain, and leave your hair and skin feeling dry and brittle.
Signs You Need a Water Softener
Some of the key signs of hard water include:
- White, chalky residue or scaly build-up on sinks, tubs, faucets, glass doors/windows, pipes and appliances
- Spots on dishes when they come out of the dishwasher
- Mineral stains or rough textures on your clothes
- Difficulty getting soap to form a lather
- Dry skin and dull, brittle hair
- Lower water pressure from build-up that reduces the inner diameter of your pipes
If you experience any of these, you might need a water softener in your home.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
A water softener is an appliance that connects directly to your home’s water supply and removes the minerals that cause hard water. Most water softening systems do this by running hard water through negatively charged resin or zeolite beads that trap the positively charged minerals. The minerals are essentially replaced with sodium or potassium ions in a process called ion exchange.
The resulting water is free of the minerals that cause build-up in your pipes — saving you on repair costs down the road — and can be used throughout your home for drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing.
Installing and Maintaining Your Water Softener
If you think you might have hard water, give us a call. We’ll perform free water testing and then recommend the right water softening system to ensure you and your family can enjoy soft water throughout your home.
Once it’s installed, your water softener requires very little maintenance, but there are a few things you can do to keep it running at its best:
- Refill the system periodically with sodium or potassium pellets to keep the resin electrically charged. Be sure to choose high-quality pellets designed for use in a water softener, and don’t overfill the tank.
- Keep the resin bed clean to make sure no bacteria or fungi form in the tank.
- If you notice your system isn’t performing well, check for salt bridges (a crust of salt on top of your brine tank) or salt mushing (a sludgy mass of recrystallized salt at the bottom of the brine tank). In either case, you’ll need to remove the salt and drain the brine tank — you may need to break up a salt bridge with a broom handle first — and then refill it with salt and run a regeneration cycle.
- Keep the humidity low in the area around your softener to avoid salt bridging and mushing.
Treat Your Water Right with Water Treatment Solutions from Enercare
Hard water can be a pain, but the good news is that it’s easily treatable. Contact us today for a free complete water assessment. Along with water softeners, we also offer whole home water filters, reverse osmosis water systems and other treatments to ensure you have the highest quality water for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and drinking.
If you want to discuss your water treatment options, fill out the following form and one of our team members will get in touch with you soon.
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