Is a Water Softener Worth It?
When you step into your shower each morning, you notice soapy scum clinging to its tiled walls. You always use a dishtowel to scrub water stains off of the clean plates and glasses you remove from your dishwasher. After a load of laundry finishes, you notice that your favorite shirts look a bit duller and feel scratchy against your skin. You, like most homeowners across the United States, probably have hard water running through your home.
Hard water gets its name from the high concentration of calcium and magnesium particles it contains. While these minerals pose no risk to your health, they can become a nuisance by collecting on wet surfaces to form powdery white scale that eventually causes stains or clogs pipes. Many homeowners choose to deal with these problems by investing in a water softener system, which removes calcium and magnesium from city or well water before it enters their home’s plumbing. However, you may find yourself asking: Is investing in a water softener really worth it? Oftentimes, the answer is yes.
What a Water Softener Does
A water softening system consists of two tanks—usually installed in a garage or laundry room—one of which contains negatively charged resin beads and the other of which contains a brine solution. Any water drawn into your home’s plumbing system first gets pumped through the bead tank, where the negatively charged resin pieces attract and capture positively charged calcium and magnesium particles. This process “softens” the water before it enters the pipes and makes its way to your taps or water-using appliances, preventing scale and other crusty buildup.
Eventually, the resin beads in your water softener system will reach their mineral capacity. When this happens, the system temporarily stops drawing water from your well or the city’s supply so that it can regenerate. The brine solution gets pumped through the resin tank, where it washes the mineral deposits down the drain and away from your home. Once the regeneration process finishes, the brine tank refills, and your system begins softening water once more.
Is a Water Softener Worth It?
While it’s true that many households in the United States function without a water softener system enduring the headaches that accompany hard water is usually an expensive endeavor. You probably don’t realize how often you have to compensate for the calcium or magnesium deposits accumulating your home’s plumbing, or how much that compensation costs you. A water softening system provides homeowners with long-term value by improving:
Quality of Life
Right now, your freshly cleaned dishes always accumulate water stains while your clothing comes out of the wash stiff and dull. Odds are, you also deal with dry skin, and combing the snarls out of your wet hair has turned into quite a chore. To top it off, you probably use more soap, shampoo, and detergent than is strictly necessary. Chalk all of these problems up to hard water, which leaves fine deposits of mineral residue on all wet surfaces (including your skin and hair when you shower). The chemical composition of hard water also keeps suds from forming easily, which makes cleaning solutions less effective.
By investing in a water softener system, you can eliminate all of these headaches to improve your quality of life. You may even find that you can get by with using less soap, shampoo, or detergent than you needed before in order to keep things clean. In the long run, this saves you money when it comes time to replenish certain household essentials.
The Functionality of Water-Using Appliances
Mineral scale formation is a natural and expected side-effect of hard water. It will build up in your water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, and even your coffee maker. Some people may swear by the flavor of coffee made with hard water, but appliances are not designed to operate efficiently or effectively with elements clogged by mineral buildup.
Of course, you can spend your evenings using elbow grease and copious amounts of scale remover to restore functionality to your Keurig or allow water to flow freely once again through the kitchen tap. Or, you can invest in a water softening system and spend more time relaxing while you sip on your latté.
The Reliability of Your Home’s Plumbing
A scale-clogged coffee maker is irritating. A scale-clogged pipe running to your toilet, shower, or sink can be disastrous. That’s because clogged pipes often go unnoticed until it’s too late. Eventually, however, the scale buildup will eventually prevent water from moving through the pipe at all. When this happens, your pipes will fail, and you’ll have to pay for a plumber to replace them and repair the associated water damage.
Since a water softener system removes calcium and magnesium from water before it even enters your home’s plumbing, it prevents scale from ever forming in your pipes. Not only will this ensure you get to enjoy optimum water pressure, but it can also prevent an unwelcome and expensive surprise caused by mineral buildup.
How to Choose a Water Softener
While investing in a water softener for your home can allow you to experience a wide variety of benefits, you’ll want to be careful to choose a system capable of sustaining those benefits over the long term. After all, the last thing you want is for your new water softening system to quickly fail or cause more problems. When purchasing a water softener, first find an established manufacturer with a track record for creating reliable, high-caliber products. Then, make sure that they create a system that can handle the needs of your household.
Do you use a lot of water? You might if you enjoy long showers or your washing machine always seems to be running. Find a water softener that boasts a large tank and doesn’t require frequent regeneration. Could your busy lifestyle lead to forgetfulness when it comes to checking salt levels in the brine tank? Find a water softener system that will alert you when it’s time for a tank refill. A water softener system that comes with warranty coverage is also a must, since this indicates a manufacturer’s confidence in their products and protects you from financial liability should your system develop a defect.
Of course, those living in Florida can always turn to the local experts at Florida Energy Water & Air. As a proud partner of the industry-leading manufacturer RainSoft, we’d be happy to install a high-performing water softener system in your home. Contact us today to learn more.