Have you ever stopped to think about the quality of the water you’re using in your home? Many homeowners are completely unaware that they’re using hard water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning their clothes and dishes. Hard water is water that’s rich in the minerals calcium and magnesium, which are picked up as the water flows through the ground before reaching your household. The vast majority of homes in the United States are located in areas where hard water is prominent. Unfortunately, the presence of ions from these minerals can cause damage to your plumbing, appliances, and clothing, and hard water is also bad for your hair or skin. Having a water softener installed in your home can eliminate these issues and actually save you money.
What Is Water Softening?
In simple terms, water softening is the process of removing that calcium and magnesium from the water. In most cases, a water softening system will be combined with a water filtration system, and they will be installed in your home in tandem. Typically, the two systems come in the form of a tank with multiple layers that your water has to pass through before being used. The first layer will usually be activated carbon, which serves the purpose of catching contaminants in the water. The next layer will be something called ion-exchange resin, and that layer is where the softening takes place. Basically, this resin removes the calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with unharmful ions of sodium and potassium. Finally, there will usually be one last layer of gravel, which has the goal of catching any contaminants that may still remain in the water. Once your water has gone through these layers, it will be cleaner, healthier, and better for your household systems.
Softened Water Can Save You Money
One of the biggest problems with hard water is the fact that it’s damaging to the plumbing and appliances in your household. When hard water flows through your pipes, those ions of calcium and magnesium leave a residue behind, which is also referred to as ‘scale.’ If enough of this scale builds up, it can take up so much space in your pipes that it actually begins to restrict the flow of water. As a result, higher pump pressure is required just to push water through, and more energy is needed to keep the water hot or cold. This directly leads to your household energy costs rising, and it can force you to pay for pricey plumbing repairs. This scale buildup can also result in the water pressure from your faucets becoming weaker or inconsistent.
Besides that, hard water can be detrimental to your appliances and worsen their efficiency. Devices like your dishwasher and laundry machine have a much harder time working with this mineral-rich water, and doing so forces them to exert more energy to do their jobs effectively. Additionally, the scale buildup left behind by hard water can cause damage to these machines, which may result in you needing to replace them sooner or pay for costly repairs. This can even be the case for smaller pieces of equipment such as ice machines and coffee makers. When your water has been softened, there’s no calcium or magnesium present to leave behind that harmful scale. As a result, you end up saving money on energy and getting longer lifespans from your appliances.
Softened Water Is Better for Your Hair and Skin
Another problem with hard water is the way it interacts with your hair and skin. Because of the minerals in the water, it actually removes much of the natural oil from your skin and hair when you wash with it. For your skin, this can result in dryness, itchiness, and irritation. Alternatively, your skin is able to absorb softened water much more effectively because of the lack of minerals. This results in it being softer and less likely to become cracked or dry. As for your hair, hard water can cause it to become dry, frizzy, and brittle. Washing with it may even result in your hair color becoming duller. Washing with softened water, on the other hand, actually helps to improve your hair’s pH level, which will make it healthier and more vibrant.
Bathing with softened water is also more effective for keeping you clean. The presence of calcium and magnesium in hard water causes it to be far less soluble when mixed with soap. This results in soap scum being formed, and it also makes it difficult to achieve a good lather. Because softened water doesn’t contain these minerals, it’s able to achieve a deep lather and a much more thorough cleaning job.
Hard Water Is Rough on Your Clothes and Dishes
Remember the aforementioned scale buildup that can occur in your pipes? Well, the same concept can result in mineral deposits on your clothing. When your laundry machine uses hard water, these mineral deposits can end up on your clothes and dull their colors over time. In some cases, the residue will even result in the appearance of stains or your white clothing becoming dingy. Not only will using softened water eliminate this problem, but it will also result in your clothes being both cleaner and softer after a wash. Additionally, you may even save some money on detergent due to the softened water dissolving it more effectively.
If your home uses hard water, you may have also noticed your dishes having frequent water spots or a cloudy appearance. These things are also caused by the minerals in the water, and it’s very difficult to avoid them without installing a water softening system. Without the calcium and magnesium, there’s no residue being left behind on your dishes and silverware, and the deeper lather of dish soap will do a better job cleaning them.
Softened Water Saves You Time
When your household is using hard water for everything, you end up spending a lot of extra time cleaning and recleaning things. In addition to the time you may spend rewashing dishes and laundry, you’re also probably spending a lot of time cleaning lime buildup and soap scum off the surfaces in your showers and sinks. It’s inevitable that if your water contains these minerals, this frustrating scale is going to get left behind in many different places. When you have a water softener, the residue simply doesn’t exist, and you don’t have to spend hours each week doing extra cleaning chores.
At Sunrise Plumbing, we offer excellent service, free quotes, and financing with approved credit. We offer water heater repair and drain repair services. We want our customers to enjoy the high-quality service they deserve, and our number one goal is to keep them comfortable throughout the entire year.