When Is It Time To Get a Water Softener?

What Is Hard Water? 

The U.S. Department of the Interior notes that, inevitably, minerals accumulate in water over time. Some homeowners don’t notice these minerals since the water heater eliminates them. However, if calcium and magnesium are in a plumbing system, one may experience “hard water.” 

While unpleasant, hard water doesn’t have to last forever. Using a water softener can eliminate or reduce the minerals in the plumbing system. A water softener uses a process called ion exchange to eliminate the minerals that make up hard water.  

What Is a Water Softener? 

softenerHard water contains a lot of minerals. The plumbing system must get rid of those minerals to get rid of hard water. This involves installing a water softener. Here’s how a water softener works: 

  • Hard water enters through the plumbing system and into the water softener. 
  • The water endures ion exchange, and resin beads attract the minerals. 
  • Finally, the water exits the water softener free of minerals. 

Homeowners can have whole home water softeners in different places. Some may have them installed near their water mains where water enters the plumbing system. Others may have them attached to their water heaters. 

The Four Signs of Hard Water 

signsHard water isn’t dangerous, but it’s inconvenient. Some signs of hard water include: 

  • Spots on dishware. After removing dishes from the dishwasher or washing dishes by hand, one may notice grayish spots on their glasses. These are built-up minerals on the surface due to hard water. It prevents dishes from getting as clean as they could. 
  • Dry skin and film left after washing hands. After washing their hands in hard water, homeowners may find that their skin is very dry and that a film remains on their hands. Again, this is from the minerals in the water. 
  • Water doesn’t stay as hot. When sediment builds up in the plumbing system, the minerals prevent the water from getting (and staying) as hot. Build-up occurs faster with hard water, which is more than inconvenient but can increase one’s energy costs. 
  • Faded clothes. When washing clothes with hard water, the colors of certain garments may fade quicker over time, and clothes can wear out faster. 

The Many Benefits of Water Softeners 

There are many reasons to install a water softener in one’s home. Some reasons include: 

  • It expands appliances’ lifespans. Hard water is hard on washing machines and dishwashers. Soft water is better for pipes and increases the likelihood that these fixtures and appliances will last longer. 
  • Cleaner dishes. Soft water erases hard-to-remove stains left by hard water and leaves glasses sparkling every time. 
  • More hydrated skin and hair. Taking a shower should make one clean––not covered in calcium and magnesium. These minerals found in hard water dry out skin and hair. With a whole home water softener, hair and skin can stay hydrated. 

About Heil Plumbing 

Heil Plumbing is a local family-owned company with over 40 years of experience serving its neighbors in Jessup, MD, and the surrounding areas. They provide straightforward pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and professional values. Call them today for plumbing services in Jessup, MD.