Types of Water Softener Systems
What is Hard Water?
Most of the water available on tap in our homes is ‘hard.’ This means it is full of hard minerals (such as manganese, calcium, and carbonates). Water softening systems can solve this issue, provided you get the ideal one for your needs. If your soap doesn’t lather well with water, your laundry looks dirty, and the coffee maker has a scaly buildup, you need a water softening system.
Technically, any water with more than 1 GPG of hard minerals is hard, but usually, water up to 3.5 GPG is considered soft, and if it is more than 10.5 GPG, it is considered hard.
Hard Water Problems
While hard water is not a health concern, it can cause additional expenses. Most of the problems it causes remain hidden till your plumbing or an appliance such as your dishwasher breaks down. When hard water is heated, minerals inside it recrystallize and form scales that can clog your pipes and stop the water flow. Appliances that utilize water can break down if the deposits accumulate.
Plus, if your soap doesn’t lather properly under hard water and laundry looks dingy, you need a water softening system.
Ion-Exchange Water Softeners
Also known as salt-based water softeners, these are the most popular systems that consumers get. The system has a resin that attracts magnesium and calcium from hard water for positively charged sodium ions. When the resin runs out of those sodium ions, the resin can be ‘reactivated’ with salt. Do this once a week to ensure you have a steady supply of soft water.
This system is designed to remove minerals that make water hard only. If the water contains bacteria or chemicals, you need more than a water softener system to make it usable. On the other hand, ion-exchange water softeners can last for a long time, provided they are maintained regularly.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
Salt-free water softeners do not require much maintenance as ion exchange systems since they don’t need salt to regenerate. While salt-free systems cannot remove hard minerals from water, they can prevent them from sticking together and forming a buildup.
While these systems are more expensive than the ion-exchange variety, they end up paying for themselves in the long run since you won’t have to splurge on bags of salt for their upkeep. These also take less space since they don’t have a tank for draining and brining. Plus, salt-free water softener systems also remove impurities such as chemicals and bacteria.
Electronic descalers are considered alternatives to conventional water softeners since they work without removing hard minerals. These use an electrical current to create a magnetic field that neutralizes said minerals and softens the water.
Minerals are unable to bond in this magnetic field which in turn prevents buildup. Electronic descalers are also reasonably priced compared to the ion-exchange variety and are also easier to install. The wires need to be wrapped around the water pipes. However, your electricity bill may be a bit higher each month.
Reverse Osmosis Water Softener
These aren’t water softeners per se, but like electronic descalers, they can be used as alternatives to conventional ones. Reverse osmosis water softeners remove impurities such as hard minerals in water via several filtration systems. These can also remove salt, carbon, and dissolved solids from water that can otherwise make it hard.
These water softener systems can also make water drinkable by removing odors, unpleasant tastes, and chlorine. A RO membrane forces microscopic particles and impurities out, leaving water pristine. Reverse osmosis softeners can be installed underneath sinks and can be maintained easily. All you need to do is change the sediment and carbon filter once in a while. Get regular maintenance done on your plumbing, and those filters can last longer.
Water Softener for Shower Heads
Showerhead softeners are cost-efficient alternatives to larger systems since they only treat water that comes through your shower. Installation is easy. All you need to do is unscrew your showerhead and screw on this one. If you cannot do this because of a disability or because the attachment is tricky, contact professional plumbers from Allbritten for the job. Get your plumbing checked out by them as well to ensure you get clean water from your pipes every day.
Showerhead water softeners use cartridges filters to filter impurities and hard minerals from water, and they should be replaced every two months or so. Some even come with vitamin filters that make water extra healthy for your skin and hair. Plus, these prevent your showerhead from accumulating buildup that can clog the holes.
Our Drinking Water Is Problematic
Today, most tap water is neither drinkable nor is it healthy. While contaminant levels meet federal guidelines, trace mineral levels are still quite high. That’s because national drinking standards are notoriously out of date. In other words, a water softener system is a necessity, not a luxury.
Take steps to purify your home’s water quality and ensure it is safe to consume by investing in any of the aforementioned water softening systems. At Allbritten, we can install a complete water filtration and softening system in your home.
Your drinking water may contain pesticides, nitrates, arsenic, drugs, and even carcinogens which can poison your family and prove fatal over time. The time to act is now! With a complete system at work, you won’t have to worry about your family’s health. Get in touch with us for a quote today!