The Benefits of Water Softener System Installation
Hard water—water that contains high levels of mineral salts like iron, magnesium, and calcium—is a fairly common problem in homes across the United States. Luckily, one of the main benefits of a water softener system is that it helps balance out your tap water.
Whether a home’s water is hard or soft is largely determined by the quality of its source and the natural mineral levels in the surrounding area. If the mineral content becomes too high, the typical solution is to treat the water with a water softener.
What Does a Water Softener Actually Do?
A water softener is a household device that reduces water hardness, as the name suggests. By utilizing a supply of salt, such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride, the softener allows sodium or potassium ions to replace the hard mineral ions found in the water. The newly conditioned water can then be utilized throughout the house while the wastewater containing the hard minerals is drained away.
To ensure that your water softener works efficiently for an extended period, it’s vital to have it installed by a licensed plumber with experience and to conduct maintenance regularly. Additionally, you must ensure that the salt supply is adequately refilled. If the water appears hard again after installing the softener system, the salt level may be low, or the unit may require maintenance.
It’s worth noting that there are salt-free water conditioners available that can condition water without using ion exchange. However, these alternatives are less common and are not discussed here.
The Many Benefits of Softened Water
Properly conditioning the water you use in your home can offer several benefits, resulting in cost savings and an enhanced experience. Here are a few common examples of the positive changes that softened water can bring to your life and household.
Reduces Mineral Buildup
When hard mineral traces are present in water for an extended period, they tend to accumulate on appliances, sinks, glassware, and dishes, causing unattractive stains, spots, and crusty buildup. A water softener eliminates these surplus minerals, minimizing the possibility of developing unsightly and potentially damaging things like toilet bowl rings and limescale.
Lengthens the Lifespan of Household Products and Appliances
When minerals accumulate in your home appliances’ internal workings and pipes, it can cause significant blockages or pressure changes that can reduce their efficiency, increase the risk of damage, and accelerate wear and tear. You may face significant plumbing damage or a major leak in extreme cases.
Moreover, you are likely to consume items such as conditioner, lotion, dish detergent, paper towels, and household cleaners faster than usual since you’ll need to use them more frequently to manage the consequences of hard water.
It’s Better for Your Skin and Hair
Using hard water can result in dryness of your hair and skin, creating challenges when trying to lather products or rinse cleanly without leaving behind a thin layer of soap. In contrast, the sodium (or potassium) ions in soft water can moisturize your skin and balance your hair’s pH level, resulting in a smoother and healthier appearance.
It Can Make Your Water Heater More Efficient
A water softening system helps maintain your water heater’s optimal performance by eliminating the hard minerals that cause buildup. According to Good Housekeeping (UK), a mere 1.6mm of scale buildup inside a water heater can reduce its heating efficiency by up to 12%. Improved efficiency results in the timely supply of hot water without the need for additional gas or electricity consumption to produce it.
How to Tell if You Need a Water Softener
Although hard water is widespread, it is not always readily noticeable. In reality, several homeowners use hard water unknowingly for an extended period before they realize it’s causing problems. If you are uncertain whether your water requires conditioning, the following are typical indicators to look out for.
Fixtures and Appliances Have Developed Unsightly Lime Scale or Staining
When you begin noticing white crusty buildups around your faucet or unusual stains in your bathtub, it could be a sign of hard water. Hard water tends to leave mineral deposits on different surfaces, which can become challenging to remove and worsen over time if ignored. To prevent further scaling and stains, consider installing a softener.
Your Skin and Hair Are Struggling
If you’re experiencing dry skin or problems with a pre-existing skin condition, it could indicate that hard water affects your skin’s health. Similarly, using hard water with high mineral content may result in dry, brittle hair and a flaky, itchy scalp.
Observe any outbreaks or alterations. If you notice an improvement when bathing or showering in a place with softened water, such as a friend’s house or a hotel, a softener might solve your home’s problems.
Your Water Tastes Metallic or “Dirty”
If the taste of unfiltered tap water resembles water that has been stagnant in an old pipe for an extended period, the cause could be the presence of iron or other hard minerals in the water supply. You should test the taste of water from various faucets in your house and compare it to water from a building with a softener. If you notice a metallic or unclean taste throughout your home but not in locations with a softener, hard water may be the culprit.
Laundry Is Stiff, Faded, and Not Always Clean
The effects of hard water on fabrics can be severe, as it can strip them of their color quickly and leave them feeling stiff and scratchy after washing. You may notice a powdery residue or evidence of detergent buildup on your clothing due to the water’s inadequate rinsing capabilities. If you find yourself using a laundry softener product more frequently than usual, it’s possible that you’re compensating for the effects of hard water.
Your Utility Bills Are Climbing for No Clear Reason
If your water, electricity, or natural gas costs seem to be rising without any obvious cause, it’s possible that things like reduced appliance function, longer showers, multiple washes, and poor water heater efficiency could be regularly eating up energy and costing you big. Dig into your energy usage habits and consider whether hard water might be causing such inefficiencies.
Soften Your Water with a Professionally Installed System from MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning
If you suspect your home is affected by hard water, installing a water-softening system might be worth it. In the Houston, TX area, MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning has been a dependable choice for homeowners seeking professional water softener installation, maintenance, faucet repair, plumbing inspection, and a broad range of general plumbing needs.
Our goal is to be your preferred option for commercial and residential plumbing, with 24-hour service available. We make it simple to receive affordable service even when you’re on a tight budget, thanks to promotional discounts, coupons, and convenient financing options. To learn more about our plumbing services or inquire about water softener installation for your home or business, please contact us at 281-603-9949 to schedule an appointment today.