A water softener is a unit that is used to soften water by removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard. When water contains a high level of calcium and magnesium it is called hard water. Hard water constitutes several problems throughout your home that you may or may not have noticed. Hard water is known to clog pipes, complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water, and leave behind water spots. It creates a scale buildup inside your pipes and water appliances reducing the efficiency of your water heater. This means more energy is used to heat water which will result in increased energy expenses. Soap is also less effective in hard water because it reacts to form the calcium or magnesium salt of the organic acid of the soap. Skin washed in hard water is typically reported as feeling scratchy and dry as a result of the soap scum. Hair washed in hard water is reported as being dull-looking and sticky. Some may experience a few of these hard water results and others may be accustomed to the feeling of their clothes, bedding, skin and hair after washing. It is mostly important to protect your home with softened water to prolong the lifespan of pipes and home appliances from scale buildup and clogging.
Hard water can be treated with a water softener to reduce the negative impacts of hard water. Water softeners are specific ion exchanges that are designed to remove ions which are positively charged. Anti-scale systems transform calcium ions into calcium crystals which are stable and cannot attach to pipes, surfaces, hardware or other fixtures. The crystals are so small they are easily rinsed away by the water flow. They are harmless, neutral, heat resistant and completely stable and will not attach to any surfaces like your pipes and heaters to cause lime deposits.
Water treated with a water softener has many benefits:
- Cleaner and shinier silverware, glassware, mirrors, tiles, cars, or any plumbing fixtures.
- Softer skin and clean, smooth hair.
- Reduced soap curd makes cleaning easier and reduces housework.
- Uses less soap and shampoo because of the rich lather softened water and soap produces.
- Softer clothes without hard minerals trapped in the fabric, Fabrics last longer and whites stay whiter
- Preserves the life of all water appliances such as coffee machines, ice makers, dishwashers, water heaters and laundry equipment.
- Save money on monthly energy costs and damages to appliances.
Benefits of Salt-Free vs. Traditional Salt-Based Softeners
There are two types of water softeners, a salt-based water softener and a salt-free water softener.
Salt based water softeners will give you more of the “slick” feeling in the shower and you will notice the soap creating more bubbles. Other benefits you will see include brighter colors in your clothes, reduced scale build-up on your showers and softer skin. These salt-based softeners require routine back wash and salt tank refill monthly, or depending on usage.
Salt-free systems will also reduce scale buildup and provide brighter clothes and softer skin using a healthier method. The main benefit with salt-free systems is the ability to soften water without having to add sodium to the water. This is a more heart healthy and environmentally friendly system.
Traditional salt-based systems add salt to the water which can have a negative effect on people with high-blood pressure and heart disease.
Some cities are starting to ban salt-based softeners due to the high sodium content in the waste water. Salt-free systems are maintenance free and use no waste water, no electricity and no salt or chemicals.
In comparison to salt-based systems, salt-free systems are extremely low maintenance because the media can last up to five years without replacing.
Salt-based systems are heavy duty systems that do an excellent job removing hardness. They come with several maintenance and health concerns so it is mostly recommended to homeowners with extreme hardness levels. Salt-less systems are 100% salt-free and provide safe water families with infants, children and the elderly. Enjoy a peace of mind with salt-free softened water without the hassles of sodium, chemicals, wastewater and higher electricity bills.