The plain hard facts on water softeners

Are the clothes you are wearing hard and scratchy? Do you find it hard when washing your hair with shampoo? Do your glasses and dishes contain spots even when clean? If this turns out to be the case, you are afflicted by curds. Curds arise when soap dissolves into hard water. The good news is there is a remedy. The way to achieve this is by softening hard water. Hard water poses an impediment to most cleaning tasks.

What makes water hard?

Scientifically water is a universal solvent and can easily pick up a lot of impurities. The minerals are picked up as the water moves underground through rock and soils. The interaction dissolves a small amount of minerals and moves along with them in solution form. The main two minerals held in solution form are magnesium and calcium.

How destructive is hard water?

poisonHard water poses on health hazard. Instead, it’s good for body nourishment. The body needs calcium and magnesium as some of its dietary requirements. Some medical studies suggest that the minerals reduce heart diseases. Hard water above all is considered as a nuisance. When clothes are washed in hard water, they appear scratchy, dingy and emit a sour smell. Glasses and dishes when washed in hard water develop spots. The shower doors, walls, sinks and bathtubs develop a stubborn top film layer. When hair is washed in dull water, it becomes dull and lifeless. All this brought about from the interaction between soap and hard water. Thick soap curd forms on the skin. This film interferes with the ability of the soap to rinse out the bacteria and dirt. Instead, it leaves behind cloth, hair and plumbing fixtures. Hard water also presents a strong challenge to plumbing. Hard water also reduces the useful life of washing machines, dishwashers, and heaters. The result is a creation of scale on water coils present in water heaters. This reduces the water flow to the house.

Are water softeners the remedy?

When planning to buy a house which receives its water supply from a well, test the water to determine its hardness. Also, check it for its quality and containments. When water is tested for its hardness, it is done in milligrams per liter or grains per gallon. If your test reveals over 100 Milligrams per liter and the water becomes a nuisance it will be the perfect time to have a water softener installed. There are several water softeners on the market today. Most softeners work on the principle of ion exchange to remove the mineral particles from the water. The minerals get caught up in the beads and sodium flows into the water.

The amount of sodium present in the water might not be noticeable but the process removes most of the minerals present in the water. Those on low-sodium diets may opt to use potassium chloride which softens the water.

Types of water softeners

water softenersThere are the basic water softeners or the automated versions. The basic versions require occasional backwashing to remove minerals that accumulate inside. The resin beds are then re-saturated with sodium. The automatic softeners such as the Fleck 5600SXT are equipped with devices that carry out the regeneration process on preset schedules. The most sophisticated version can activate the regeneration process using their own sensors that measure the amount of water passing through or sensing the water hardness.