What To Expect From A Water Softener

Posted on: 4 April 2016

If you have noticed that your soap and shampoo doesn't lather as well as it should, or that your laundry looks dull and dingy, you may be wondering how to solve the problem. These are common signs that your water is "hard water" and contains high levels of magnesium and calcium. To correct the problem, you will need a water softener that removes the magnesium and calcium from your water. However, a water softener alone will not solve all your laundry and cleaning problems.

What does a water softener do?

A water softener introduces desirable compounds, usually sodium, to your water. As the water flows through the resin beads in your water softener system, the calcium and magnesium ions switch places with the sodium ions. This effectively removes the calcium and magnesium deposits from the water and adds a small amount of sodium. The resulting water is now referred to as "soft water" because it does not have any calcium or magnesium deposits in the water.

What can a water softener do for you?

There are several benefits to soft water. Some of the most common are:

  • Soaps, shampoo and laundry detergent all dissolve easier in soft water. You need less soap to create the same amount of lather, making cleaning more efficient.
  • Scale buildup is eliminated. This means your bathtub and shower won't form ugly scale, of course, but it also means your pipes and water heater will not get clogged with a buildup of calcium and magnesium either. This can save on plumbing bills.
  • Appliances, like dishwashers and washing machines, last longer and run more efficiently with soft water.
  • Soft water feels good. It will leave your hair and skin squeaky clean.
  • Laundry feels softer and looks brighter as there is no residue from calcium and magnesium to cling to your cloths. You may be able to give up fabric softener and laundry boosters, too.

What can't a water softener do?

If your primary reason for considering a water softener is because of dull or dingy laundry, or to make cleaning the bathroom easier, you need to know that a water softener alone will not cure all your woes. Consider some of the things a water softener won't eliminate:

  • Iron Deposits: If your clothes or the shower doors have an ugly orange tint, don't expect that to go away by getting a water softener. This is typically caused by iron deposits in the water. A water softener does not remove iron deposits. You will need a special filter to remove iron from your water.
  • Other Mineral Deposits: Water can contain other minerals that dissolve from the earth and enter the water supply. If other minerals are responsible for discoloration, the water softener will not solve the problem. If you suspect other minerals in your water, get your water tested for mineral content before deciding on a water softening system.
  • Soap Scum: Like it or not soap scum on the shower doors on in the tub is to be expected. While soft water won't develop scale (the hard, white deposits around faucets and drains) it will still form soap scum. It will be easier to clean, but don't expect your water softener to eliminate it altogether. Regular cleaning will keep it at bay, but if you neglect your shower or tub, soap scum will build up whether you have a water softener or not.

Are there any negative effects from water softeners?

Many water softeners operate by introducing sodium to the water. Although it is below the standards of safe consumption, some people are concerned about the addition of sodium. People with health conditions that require them to restrict their sodium intake should talk to their doctor before consuming water from the tap if they have a water softener. Not all water softeners add sodium. If sodium is a concern for you, talk to your contractor about it before choosing a water-softening system. they can help you choose the water softening system that is best for you and your family. Also, consider visiting websites like http://johnsonwater.com/.


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