“Hard” water is water with high concentrations of dissolved calcium and magnesium. A water softener uses ionization to remove the excess minerals.
Basically, the softener is filled with beads that contain an electrical charge that attracts the magnesium and calcium. Those minerals are removed as they pass through and are replaced by sodium on the other side of the filter.
Water softeners offer a number of benefits:
- Economic benefits. When you use hard water, you end up using more soap and detergent than you would otherwise. That’s because soap doesn’t lather up as well in hard water. Also, hard water itself can stain clothes, pipes, showers, tubs and sinks, costing you extra in maintenance and replacements.
- Environmental benefits. Water softeners allow you to use water more efficiently in your home by using less to accomplish the same tasks. They also decrease the amount of wastewater that has to be treated in local plants. Of course, pipes and appliances that last longer have environmental benefits in the form of less metal and chemical waste.
- Health benefits. Water softeners remove magnesium and calcium, which may be present at unsafe levels in your hard water. Hard water also tends to be tough on your hair and skin.
The types of softeners available — manual, semi-automatic, automatic and fully automatic — refer to the way the machine is recharged, which is the process by which the gathered minerals are replaced by new sodium ions.
For help choosing a water softener or for help testing your water for hardness, contact the Home Comfort Experts. We serve Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan.