Do I Need a Water Softener for My Home?

JUNE 12, 2002

We all know our bodies need water daily, however we often forget how important water is in the home. Water allows us to cook, clean, water plants and do much more. Unfortunately, these tasks become   challenging if your home has hard water. If you have hard water, people often recommend that you get a water softener to manage your home’s water quality. But what exactly is hard water? How do you know if your home has it? And how does a water softener work?

Signs of Hard Water

Water often has high levels of magnesium and calcium from rocks and minerals in the ground, which can lead to hard water. If you have hard water, then soap and detergent are no longer as effective so you may see spots or buildup on your dishes and clothes. You may also feel a film on your skin after a shower due to the soap not fully dissolving and your hair may be dry or brittle.

Your home’s plumbing system can also be negatively affected. Deposits of calcium and magnesium can build up in your pipes, which can lead to a reduced flow of water, clogging and mineral deposits around faucets and shower heads. This buildup will cause your appliances and pipes to become inefficient, which can result in repairs or replacements earlier than normally necessary. Hard water can often be found in homes with private wells and homes on the city water supply.

How to Fix Hard Water

The solution to hard water in the home is a water softener. A water softener  is an appliance that connects directly to your home’s water supply. The water softener system will replace the minerals that cause hard water with the sodium ions found in salt to make the water softer. This process is known as ion exchange.

For ion exchange to function properly, the water softener relies on a mineral tank filled with resin or zeolite beads that carry a negative charge while the unwanted minerals have a positive charge. As the hard water moves through the tank, the minerals cling to the resin or zeolite beads trapping the minerals in the water softener tank, which results in softened water that you can use throughout the house.

How Much Salt Does a Water Softener Use?

When you’re treating hard water with a water softener, the amount of salt you use for the brine solution will be determined by the type of water softener system you have installed and how hard the water is that comes into your home.

At Enercare, we can provide you with water softening solutions, including water softeners rentals and water softener installation, and we can help you understand how salt plays a part in getting rid of hard water.

Reach out to us if you have further questions about water softeners or wish to schedule a free in-home inspection.