Hard water in your home can impact your health, your appliances, and the beauty of your home. Hard water causes staining on your showers and tubs. It also causes problems with how your pipes and appliances work. By installing a water softener system, you can prevent hard water from damaging your property.
What Is a Water Softener?
There are many sizes and varieties of water softeners. Once you buy a water softener, you can place it in your utility closet, basement or garage. It should be installed wherever water enters your house.
Normally, the water softener will include a narrow tank and a wide, short brine tank. The softener tank hooks up to your water supply. A small tube connects the softener tank and the brine tank. A discharge hose connects the softener tank to a drywell or drain pipe. This kind of system is typically used with ion exchange systems where minerals in the water exchange ions with sodium or potassium.
The main goal of a water softener system is to reduce the mineral content in your water. These systems are extremely popular for homeowners who suffer from hard water. Depending on the size, model, and type of softener, homeowners can expect to pay $2,000 or more for their system.
Different Kinds of Water Softeners
With an ion exchange softener, ions in the water are exchanged for the ions from potassium or sodium. This exchange removes the ions that lead to water hardness. By using this kind of system, you can protect appliances like dishwashers and washing machines from hard water.
Unfortunately, there are some major drawbacks to using this kind of system. There has to be a substance involved to exchange ions with hard water, which is why these systems use sodium and potassium. Because of the sodium and potassium, these systems have high salt levels. This means that an ion exchange system is not suitable for your drinking water source.
A salt-free water softener is a popular choice for residential consumers. It does not use any filter, so homeowners do not need to use potassium, chemicals, or salt. This means that the mineral levels in the water are not changed in any way. The biggest issue with this form of water softener is that it is not particularly effective in a home that has extremely hard water.
Reverse osmosis is a technique that uses a semi-permeable membrane to filter out impurities. You can think about the semi-permeable membrane as a kind of net. The net captures larger molecules, but the smaller molecules can squeeze through the holes in the net. With a reverse osmosis softener, high-pressure levels force all of these small molecules to go through the net so that only impurities are left on the other side. As a result, up to 98% of impurities are removed from the water.
When you have a magnetic softener, the added ions are removed using a magnetic field. Magnets are placed in or around the water pipes. Because impurities in the water respond to a magnetic field, the composition of the water is altered. This change is only temporary, so the water will return to normal if the magnetic field is removed.
No matter what kind of water softener you choose, you will need to install the system correctly if you want it to function properly. In addition, you will need regular maintenance work to keep it in working order. When you need help installing or maintaining your system, contact the professional team at Pioneer Plumbing & Septic!