Water Softening Basics
Water is the Earth’s universal solvent. As water passes through the atmosphere in the form of rain, snow, sleep, hail, dew, or fog, it picks up impurities and gases. It also picks up impurities as it travels through the earth as ground water. Calcium and magnesium are in plentiful supply. While they are not found in their elemental form in the earth, they occur in combination with other elements in an abundance of forms. The term harness was originally applied to waters that were hard to wash in, referring to the soap wasting properties of hard water. Dissolved calcium and magnesium are the primary hard water minerals that are responsible for most scaling in pipes and water heaters. Hard water causes numerous problems in laundry, kitchens, and baths. Hardness prevents soap from lathering by causing the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water. Soft water is water that contains few or no hard minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
Our Water Softening Process
Water softening involves a process referred to as an “ion exchange”. This removes dissolved minerals that cannot be trapped by a standard filter. Softeners use fresh resin beads that have sodium ions attached to them. As water enters the tank, dissolved calcium and magnesium are attracted to the resin. The resin then exchanges the sodium for the dissolved minerals. The water is rid of these impurities leaving you with softer, mineral-free water that is much easier on everything that uses water. When the resin beads become exhausted by removing the hardness minerals, a process called regeneration occurs. This restores the effectiveness of the resin beads, enabling the water softener to continue to create soft water.
Our Water Softening Systems
Because water is a precious resource, we are constantly looking for ways to use technology to conserve it, which is why we provide W.E.T. Water Efficient Technology tracks your 90-day water consumption history along with hourly usage of each day. This is important because your system knows exactly when to regenerate which ensures you will never go a day without soft water. When combined with proportional brining, a process that saves you salt, it allows a water softener to be one of the most efficient appliances in your home.
Our water softening systems incorporate W.E.T. technology – saving you money by maximizing efficiency. Click here to watch a brief video demonstrating W.E.T. technology.
Advantages of Water Softening:
- No scale buildup on sinks and faucets.
- Less soap scum and stains in tubs, showers, and shower doors.
- Cleaner, brighter clothes and whiter whites.
- Softer laundry, linens and towels.
- Cleaner, smoother skin and hair.
- Spotless dishware.
- Reduced hard water buildup in your dishwasher, hot water tank, and tank-less water heater. Water will heat faster.
- Appliances work more efficiently and last years longer.
- Pipes are cleaner with less corrosive elements and scale buildup.
- Appliances need less detergent and soap, which helps you save money and causes less harm to the environment.
Soft Water Myths
Water softeners put salt in your water.
It’s true that you you’ll need water softener salts, but you shouldn’t taste salt in your water. Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove minerals like calcium and magnesium, which make the water hard. You are not drinking salt water.
The amount of sodium in softened water is unhealthy.
How much sodium a water softener adds to your water depends on how hard your home’s water is in the first place. That being said, the typical amount of sodium in softened water is too small to have any sort of negative impact on your health.
Water softeners purify water
Water softeners are specifically designed to reduce the hardness of water. They do an excellent job of removing minerals and metals that cause scale and create all sorts of household headaches. However, water softeners do not filter out all contaminants. This is another reason why you may need a reverse osmosis system.
Water softening takes away healthy minerals.
When some people hear how water softeners remove calcium and minerals they think the softening process is taking away important nutrients. After all, calcium and magnesium can benefit things like bone health. The truth is that the calcium and magnesium deposits in hard water are inorganic minerals, which don’t provide the same benefits as obtaining minerals from food or supplements. The calcium and magnesium in hard water cannot absorb as nutrition into the cell walls and thus gets deposited elsewhere into the body. These inorganic, or non-living, minerals cannot be utilized by humans or animals.
Soft water leaves a film on your skin.
Some people notice a different feeling on their skin when they first shower in soft water. It feels slick, and some might even say slimy. This is not a film being left behind on your skin, and it isn’t soap that doesn’t wash away either. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When you have hard water it does leave soap scum on your skin. What you notice after showering in hard water is not a sign you’re “squeaky clean,” but instead, that you are covered in a sticky residue. The slickness on your skin when you bathe in soft water is actually your body’s natural essential oils. It’s how clean is supposed to feel!
Water softeners waste water and energy.
Our water softening technologies help save money and energy by learning your home’s water needs and using only the amount of water and salt that’s necessary for regeneration. Soft water is more efficient at cleaning, that means you’ll use less detergent and chemical-filled cleaning products, which in turn reduces water pollution.
Water softeners cost a lot of money.
Putting a water softener in your home will require an initial investment, but in the long run it will put money back in your pocket. Perhaps the biggest savings come from your water heater. These appliances operate much better on soft water while hard water makes them inefficient and forces you to run the water heater at a higher temperature. That’s one way a water softener will lower your utility bills while extending the life of appliances. Water softeners help keep other appliances running longer, too. Soft water reduces the amount of laundry detergent you use to clean clothes by more than 50-percent, and prevents colors from fading.
You don’t need a water softener if you have city water.
This might be one of the biggest misconceptions of all. More than 80-percent of all homes in the United States have hard water.