Facts about Hard Water
Water that contains a high level of dissolved minerals is referred to as hard water, which can cause problems for your home's plumbing system and water-using appliances and can be attributed to spotted dishes and dry, itchy skin. The best way to combat hard water is with a home water softener system.
Hard water occurs when heated, dissolved hard-water minerals re-crystallize and form scales that can clog plumbing. Some of the most common problems include:
Mineral Deposits. Scale, as well as lime deposits, can take their toll on water-heating appliances, such as dishwashers and coffee makers. Without the use of a water softener, they are more likely to need repairs. These deposits can also damage the inside of your water heater, causing reduced efficiency and potential water heater failure – which will require plumbing repairs.
Soap scum. Minerals found in hard water can react with soap to create bathtub ring and tile scum. Hard water can also cause spotty dishes and make laundry gray and stiff.
The Water Softener Solution. You can turn your hard water into gentle, soft water by installing a water softener system or conditioner. There are two main types of water softeners:
Salt-based. A salt-based water softener works by substituting sodium chloride (salt) for hard minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Automatic, or self-regenerating, systems consist of two tanks (mineral and brine) that exchange the hard minerals with salt until the sodium needs replenishing by adding new salt to the brine tank. Exchange tank softeners work in a similar fashion, but the regeneration of the depleted tanks takes place at off-site facilities.
Salt-free. There are a wide variety of salt-free water softeners or conditioners, including activated carbon absorption, magnetic, catalytic, and filtration systems. The advantage of salt-free systems is that they do not increase salinity levels in the public water system. Salinity, or the concentration of dissolved mineral salts in water, can impair the quality of fresh water and inhibit water recycling.
Rescue Rooter® can help you find the right water softener or conditioner for your home based on water "hardness", water usage, mineral levels, local regulations, and other factors.
Find out more about water softener system options and installation by contacting your local Rescue Rooter® home plumbing professional now.