Are you finding you sink riddled with stains and your skin is dry and itchy? You could be facing a problem with hard water. You need a water softener which helps increase the lifespan of your clothes and plumbing. Water softeners are known for taking extra calcium and magnesium ions by exchanging with potassium and sodium ions. To understand how much water softener you need, determine the degree to which your water is hard first.

What is a water softener?

A water softener is made up of three crucial components, a brine tank, a control valve, and a mineral tank. These three components work hand in hand to remove minerals found in hard water. They also monitor the flow of water as well as cleaning the whole system.

Brine tank

It helps the water softening system with regeneration. The brine tank is found adjacent to the mineral tank and is a shorter tank. It holds a high concentration of salts which help restore the resin beads to positively charged ions. If the brink tank runs out of salt, hard water will easily pass through.

Control valve

Control valves help measure the amount of water passing through the mineral tank. It has a meter that tracks the volume of water passing through the mineral tank. They allow water softening units to work efficiently in the softening process. For perspective, they act as a traffic cop in your water softening system.

How does it work?

Water enters the softener tank and passes down through the resin beads. Resins have negative charges which attract positively charged minerals. The process is known as ion exchange. Mineral deposits are known to cling to resign and helps soft water to exit. Time will come when the softener tank must be regenerated. And this is where the brine tank comes in. You will need to add some potassium pellets to the brine tank.

Tanks are filled and rinsed with water as the process repeats itself. Calcium and magnesium ions from hard water are attracted to plastic beads. Salt comes in diluted quantities and has smaller electrical charges. These charges are forced off the beads and suspended in the softened water. Beads are coated with minerals to ensure the control valve starts a new regeneration process. It will flush hard mineral water down the drain.

Signs you need a water softener

Clothes are gray and faded

If you notice your bed sheets and clothes look faded, this is a sign of hard water. Most of the time, they feel itchy and are hard to wash. A reason for hard water is the lack of other mineral substances contained in your water. To reduce the grayness, get a loading washing machine with liquid detergent. You can also add vinegar to the fabric softener compartment or get Calgon liquid water softening detergent. Try adding sodium tripolyphosphate in your wash as well.

Skin is dry and itchy

Hard water is known to cause dry, itchy hair and skin due to a lack of calcium and magnesium. Using shampoo and soap can prevent dry, itchy hair and skin. Minerals in water settle in your skin and soap which didn’t dissolve well in hard water can’t remove them. It will leave a residue on the skin that irritates it, making it feel dry and rough. Hard water is known to block pores and causes blackheads and inflammation. It is also known to make the skin feel leathery.

Glassware becomes brittle and easily damaged

Getting rid of hard water stains can be a gruesome experience. When hard water stains are found on glassware, breaking is easy. To avoid this, run your glasses through a dishwasher with a solution of ½ of vinegar with no soap added. You can use this trick for silverware as well. Make sure you avoid powdered soap as they are more abrasive and won’t dissolve completely. You can also soak your glassware in the sink for a while in water and vinegar solution.

Plumbing needs constant repair

Hard water is known to attack steel pipes with immense power. Water won’t flow well due to limescale. Repairing your plumbing is expensive and causes wear and tear. The flow of your pipes will become more restricted thanks to limescale build-up. Water pressure lowers due to pipes having too many minerals and limescale build-up. Limescale can start building up around the valves and can lead to water leakages. These problems are due to using hard water.

Benefits of having a water softener

Saves money

Having a water softener saves you money from costly plumbing bills. Mineral build-up in pipes will cause havoc in your appliances which requires frequent repair. Having a water softener will lower your electric and gas bills significantly. Pipe narrowing caused by damage causes failure to transfer heat. You will then be forced to run your water heater high to compensate for the slow connection. This results in high electric and gas bills.

Cleaner hair and a soft skin

Using soft water is hugely beneficial to both hair and skin. Families and residents in homes with water softeners bathe with soft water and, thus, enjoy a deeper lather. Soft water is known to balance your hair’s pH level. Scale build-up from hard water will increase in your pipes, causing water pressure from the shower to decrease. Low water pressure does not help rinse soaps and conditioners off your body or shampoo.

Brighter and softer clothes

Water softener prevents the effect of hard water on fabrics. They help to make clothes look smooth and more radiant. Hard water causes clothes to fade in color over time. Soft water is a better option. Soft water is known to dissolve in fabric more comfortable making cleaning clothes effective. By dissolving detergents more effectively, soft water becomes an ideal choice. You can use less detergent and no fabric softeners with soft water.

Clean dishes

Hard water makes dishes have a cloudy appearance once they dry. Water softeners help fix this problem at the root. They help remove minerals before having a chance to build-up on your dishes. You get more cleaning action in your dishwasher routine thanks to soft water.

Homes should depend on soft water as high efficient appliances won’t run appropriately with hard water. Visit your nearest Water-Right dealer as they are equipped to help you with water needs and problems.

Resources – Huffington Post, Water-right Group, Freshwater systems, The Spruce

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