Why would I need soft water? What is hard water anyway?
Hard water is water that has any level of dissolved rock in it. The calcium and magnesium can cause all sorts of issues, including dry skin and hair, faster breakdown of linens in the laundry, and scale buildup on your shower doors, faucets, dishware, and every other water using appliance in the house, including your plumbing. A water softener not only solves every one of these problems, but also causes your soaps to work more efficiently, resulting in a significant drop in the amount of soap you use. This makes everything easier on the environment and on your wallet as well. Whether or not a softener is beneficial to you depends on how much hardness is in your water. We offer free water tests, which can answer this question for you.
Do water softeners put salt in the water?
A water softener does not put salt into the water. It merely exchanges calcium ions in the water for sodium or potassium ions. The amount of sodium or potassium coming through in soft tap water is extremely low.
For example, in 10 grain hard water, the amount of sodium in an 8 ounce glass of soft water is typically equivalent to the sodium in one slice of white bread. Soft water, by dietary standards, would be considered a “low sodium” beverage. Consumers may use potassium as a regenerant if you prefer not to clean out the system with sodium. Be sure to check on the efficiency of the water softener before using potassium as it is higher priced and 25% less efficient than sodium as a regenerant.
Will a soft water system affect my septic tank?
The idea that softened water will negatively affect your septic tank is a myth. The impression is that the high levels of sodium will adversely affect the bacteria in the tank. On the contrary, it has been shown that the slightly elevated concentration of sodium actually brings the tank to a more optimal range for bacterial growth and can promote development. Also, the amount of water backwashed from a softener is actually less than a typical washing machine, so the increased water flow is not of concern.
I hear that using soft water helps the environment, why?
With soft water, you can cut back on your soap usage by up to 75%. This means that you put that much less soap and chemicals down the drain, and you also go through far less soap containers which can end up in our landfills if you don’t recycle. Also, you can switch to using all natural soaps because the chemicals found in traditional detergents are no longer necessary to fight the hardness that was previously in your water. This further reduces chemical use, and is easier on your pocketbook.
What is a “no salt” system?
“No salt” systems are not true water softeners. The only way to remove hard water deposits from your home is through the ion exchange process of a softener. No salt “softeners” do not remove any hardness minerals from the water. These types of systems are typically whole house carbon filter systems called conditioners. They improve bad tastes and odors and reduce chlorine, but will not prevent hard water problems.
If a consumer is looking to protect their home from hard water damage, they should shop for a real water softener. The claims made by these “no salt” systems are not certified by any third party testing lab such as the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and companies that sell these systems often make unsubstantiated statements about their products.