Water Softeners Report

Do I Need One?

Water SoftenersDo I Need One?
  What is Hard Water?
  Negative Effects of Hard Water
  Benefits of Softened Water
  Measuring Water Hardness

Most water that is piped into residential homes in the United States is what is known as "hard water". Specifically, hard water refers to water that has a high proportion of minerals, particularly in the form of calcium and magnesium ions. As you will see, the hardness of the water leads to a range of negative impacts on your plubming system and appliance performance.
Did you realize that the water that flows through the pipes of your home contains more than just water?

In many cases, it also contains a certain amount of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, lead and limestone. Over time, these minerals can build up in sufficiently large quantities to produce negative effects on your household.

The list of negative effects from hard water is fairly substantial. Hard water leads to the build-up of scale deposits on the inside surfaces of pipes, which can cause plumbing clogs. Hard water also can impair and damage major home appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters. It can cause your kettles to get progressively worse with respect to their ability to transfer heat and, eventually, hurt the heating element. Hard water is the culprit behind water spots on dishware and cookware, white scaly deposits on showers and sinks, and soap scum on bathroom tiles. Over time, hard water can cause a substantial amount of unwanted wear and tear, clean-up effort, and financial expense.

By using a water softener to soften the water in your home, you can enjoy a number of benefits. You will need less soap and shampoo in the bathroom and less detergent for your laundry. When you shower, your hair and skin will feel cleaner, softer and less dry. You will need less dishwasher fluid to clean your dishes and they will clean easier and come out spot free. Your tiles will not have soap scum build up and the life of your plumbing pipes and fixtures will be significantly extended. Your water-based appliances will work faster, better, and longer. Your clothes will be cleaner and brighter after each wash and the fabrics will last longer.

In order to determine the current hardness of the water in your home, you can either use a do-it-yourself test kit or employ the services of a professional. There are several different scales which are used to determine the relative hardness of water. The most common are parts per million (PPM) or grains per gallon (GPG). The PPM measurement refers to the number of milligrams of calcium carbonate (or equivalent hard mineral, such as magnesium) per liter of water. The GPG measurement refers to the number of grains (each "grain" is 64.8 milligrams) per gallon of water. To convert from PPM to GPG, simply divide by 17.1. To convert from GPG to PPM, simply multiply by 17.1.

Generally, if you have a hardness level of 50 PPM or 3 GPG or higher for your water, you will be able to experience measurable benefits from the installation of a water softener.

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