What is Considered Hard Water?
The difference between hard and soft water is the mineral count in the water. Hard water has a higher mineral count because it moves through calcium and magnesium deposits in the ground. Water has different levels of hardness, including moderately hard, hard, and very hard. The higher the mineral count, the harder the water. Hard water is safe to drink and bathe in, but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Read on to learn what hard water is capable of and how to protect against its negative effects.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
Water softeners eliminate the mineral deposits in water before the water goes into the house through an ion exchange process. This is important because hard water can damage appliances and plumbing. A whole-home water softener accomplishes this with two tanks: one filled with special resin beads and one called a brine tank filled with salt or potassium chloride pellets and water. The hard water goes into the tank with the resin beads, which attract the minerals thanks to their negative charge. The water then flows out of the softener tank and into the house for everyone to use.
However, although the resin beads don’t need replacing, they do need to be recharged occasionally. This is because they lose their negative charge after attracting minerals. How many gallons before a recharge depends on the system. When the built-in computer records the pre-set amount of water, it flushes the salty water from the brine tank through the softener tank. The salted water flushes the minerals and recharges the beads. That water is then flushed out of the system through a discharge hose. Then the cycle starts over again.
Signs You Have Hard Water
You may or may not know if you have hard water. One good way to tell is if you feel a film on your hands or body after you wash with soap. It often feels as if the soap doesn’t fully rinse off your hands. The minerals in hard water can also make your skin and hair feel dry and itchy. It can also cause hair to lose its luster.
Another sign that a home has hard water includes soap scum on glasses and dishes. If the dishes come out of the dishwasher with water spots, hard water is likely the culprit. Plumbing fixtures (faucets and showerheads) in a house with hard water will experience scale buildup. Lastly, the minerals in hard water prevent detergent from working effectively, leaving clothes looking dull.
Whole-Home Water Softener Benefits
All this stuff may sound pretty harmless, but the signs above are only the easily visible ones. Since homeowners can’t see inside their pipes, they don’t know the damage hard water is doing to them. Calcium and magnesium build up inside the home’s pipes, which leads to higher utility bills and less efficiency. It can also lead to costly plumbing repairs and damaged appliances.
With soft water, homeowners can rest assured that appliances like their dishwasher and washing machine will last longer. They can also get out of the shower feeling cleaner and enjoy healthy-looking hair and skin.
About RCL Mechanical
RCL Mechanical provides the residents of Taunton, MA, and the surrounding areas with award-winning service and professionalism. They offer flat-rate pricing and 24/7 availability. Call them today for plumbing services in Taunton, MA.
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