If your home has hard water running through its pipes, it means H20 that’s contaminated with dissolved “hard materials” like calcium, manganese, magnesium carbonate, and more. These minerals can not only affect your health over time, but they can wreak havoc on your metal pipes causing sediment buildup and eventually hard-to-bust through clogs. They can also destroy the mechanical components of your dishwasher, clothes washers, and water heater also.
According to SFGate.com, the installation of a water softener, like a Kenmore water softener from EcoPureHome, will assist in dissolving those hard minerals, cut way back on their buildup, and save you money in precious repairs to appliances. You will also feel better inside and out. In fact, adding a water softener to your plumbing system is one of the best ways you can construct a much healthier home. That said, what are some of the specific things you should be looking for in a brand new home water softener?
The First Step is Measuring Water Hardness
Before you even start searching for the right home water softener, you need to know exactly how hard your tap water is. Your options are pretty much limited to either hiring a reputable professional water testing company to come in and perform a water test, or you can buy your own home test kit and do it yourself (DIY). If you go with the latter, you will be required to dampen the test strip included in the kit. The strip will then turn a certain color depending upon the amount of undissolved hard particles contained in the water sample. Other kits might have you add a tablet included in the kit into a clear glass of water. Just like the test strip, the water will change color according to how hard it is or isn’t. A color-coded bar indicating the severity of hardness will naturally be included with the kit which is measured in Grams Per Gall or GPG.
How Big a Water Softener do You Need?
While your new water softener needs to be big and powerful enough to handle the amount of minerals you must dissolve in order to achieve soft water, you also don’t want something that’s overkill and that will cost you unnecessary cash in energy expenditures. Water softeners operate by exchanging salt tablets that dissolve in the water for the calcium and other hard minerals poisoning the water. Every so often, a water softener will be required to recharge itself in order to rid the system of the minerals that it collects. The recharge usually occurs every three days or so, depending upon your needs and particular hard water situation. Your system needs to be large enough to provide soft water for the duration of that recharge period. Says SFGate, the easiest way to calculate your needs is to multiply the number of people living in your household by 75 which is said to be the number of gallons of water used by the average person on a daily basis. Then multiply the total gallons by the GPG of water hardness in order to come up with a fairly accurate capacity size for the water softener you require.
Dual Tank Soft Water Systems
Typical soft water systems contain one tank that collects the hard minerals that are removed from the tap water. In theory, hard water flows into the tank, and soft water should flow out. But a second or dual tank, will hold salt water which is utilized during the recharging phase to flush hard minerals from the water. This allows for keeping soft water available all the time. If you have a large family that requires a large amount of soft water, a dual system might be the way to go, rather than one very big single-sized unit.
Saltless Water Softener Systems
Those more healthy conscious homeowners who are watching their salt intake might prefer a saltless water softening system. One of the most popular options is a softening system that uses potassium chloride as a means of ion exchange in the dissolving of hard minerals. You might also explore a reverse-osmosis system that fits right on the water taps and that can eliminate most of the salt and hard minerals from the home H20 supply, leaving you with pure drinking and washing water. Other manufacturers have come up with magnetic water softeners that attract the hard metals in the water as they pass through the pipes without giving them a chance to build up and cause blockages. However, this last method is said to have been challenged by the Water Quality Association saying they are not as effective as advertised. But you be the judge.
Quality soft water is not only essential for keeping household appliances from being damaged, it is also important for good internal health and healthy skin. If your home is plagued by hard water minerals, you should seek out the best soft water system for your family’s needs and wants. Do the research. Your healthy lifestyle might just depend upon it.