Most people know what a water softener is but are unfamiliar with the negative effects of hard water, which is water that has a high level of the minerals Calcium and Magnesium. These minerals, over time, can adhere to the inside of your plumbing distribution system. There are destructive physical consequences of this, as well as the inability to achieve normal daily cleaning tasks such washing your dishes, your hair, skin or any surface in you home.
Water softening is the process of removing hardness and some other unwanted minerals from the water, thus reducing (or even reversing) these adverse effects.
Here is a quick list of why hard water needs to be treated:
- Hard water can form deposits that cause clogged pipes and plumbing trouble.
- Hard water makes it hard to clean around your home.
- It reduces the heating efficiency of a boiler and can cause overheating/failure. High efficiency water heaters often have water specs that can render your warranty null and void if not complied with.
- It can lead to galvanic corrosion.
- It can cause turbidity in swimming pools.
HARD WATER SCALE
The above chart shows levels of water hardness which can be identified with a water test. Anything from the yellow highlighted “slighly hard” and above may result in scaling on plumbing fixtures and inside pipes, dull laundry, streaky glassware and will make it “harder to clean” your skin and hair than with soft water. For more information on hard water, see the link at the Water Quality Association website at http://staging.wqa.org/Learn-About-Water/Perceptible-Issues/Scale-Deposits.
OTHER PROBLEMS FROM HARD WATER
Scale build up can also reduce the pipe opening diameter through which the water heater pulls water from. This makes the water heater worker much harder and reduces its useful life. Mineral build up can also negatively affect other water appliances in your home like your dishwasher and washing machine as well. This is easily remedied with a proper water softener installation.
Through the water softener’s Ion Exchange process, hardness minerals are “exchanged” for very low levels of sodium ions. The exchange, or water softening, is made possible because the minerals are ionic in nature (often called ionized impurities), which means they have an electrical charge. The ion exchange is based on the fact that like-charges repel one another and unlike-charges attract. The resulting sodium that is released is very low and only a potential concern for someone on a prescribed, low-sodium diet.
For more information on bad odors & taste in your water, see the link at http://h2ocare.com/bad-odor-taste-water/.
H2O Care, Inc. is an established Massachussets based, full service water testing and filtration company, formed in 1989 (Offices in Middleton and Hudson, MA). The company’s publications on common regional water quality problems in this region can be seen in Water Technology Magazine at our website in the publications section at: http://www.h2ocare.com. We can be contacted by phone at 800–539-1100 or by email at [email protected]