Having pure, safe drinking water is a must for any home. Many homes have issues with minerals building up in the pipes. Minerals that interact with the pipes and each other can accumulate in the inside of the pipes. This narrows the area that water can flow through and can severely damage your plumbing system, appliances and impact your health. Filtering and removing minerals like magnesium, calcium, and other metals is the process of “softening” the water.
There are several benefits to having a water softening system. Though initially they can seem unnecessary, water softening systems actually make great investments. Contaminants like lead and plastic easily end up in tap water. People actually pay for water that has minerals added to it. Water that comes from lakes and rivers almost always have mineral traces in them. The difference is that these minerals are beneficial to us and pose no harm if we consume them, unlike lead and other metals.
While water commonly has some level of magnesium, calcium, and zinc, sometimes these minerals can occur in our water at high levels, which can wreak havoc on our home’s plumbing system. When calcium and magnesium carbonates accumulate in the pipes, the buildup eventually forms into chalk and limestone. If this hard water goes untreated, the limestone and chalk can form and block your pipes.
How Does a Water Softener System Work?
A water softener is a whole-house filtration system that removes hardness-causing calcium and magnesium minerals from your water through a process called ion exchange, which eliminates calcium and magnesium from the water. Water softeners traditionally treat hard water by adding sodium to it. Salt reduces the buildup of scale, otherwise known as the calcium deposits.
When the hard water enters the mineral tank, it flows through a bed of spherical resin beads. These plastic beads, usually made from polystyrene, are negatively charged with a sodium ion. The calcium and magnesium minerals have a positive charge. Since opposite charges attract, the negative charge of the minerals is attracted to the positive charge of the resin beads. As the hard water passes through the resin, the beads grab ahold of the mineral ions and remove them from the water. When the bead seizes the mineral ion, the sodium ion is released. The column of resin strips all the hardness out of the water as it passes through the mineral tank and softened water flows out into your plumbing system.
Water Softeners Preserve Your Plumbing System
Left untreated, hard water deposits will accumulate in your shower, hot water heater, and in your pipes. Eventually, it will completely clog the pipes in your home, leading to expensive pipe and appliance replacements. As your pipes clog up, the flow of your water slows leading to more accumulation. With improved water flow, you’ll use less water and energy overall, which translates into smaller utility bills.
Improved Water Quality
As we just mentioned, the buildup of deposits slows down your plumbing’s water flow.
You’ll notice a drop in water pressure. When you get out of the shower, you may notice that your hair can be dry and brittle. The hard water has left traces of calcium and magnesium on it. It can also make the color of your hair look duller or even frizzier. You skin will feel dry, too, because the minerals have depleted the natural oils. A water softener system will help to preserve your skin and hair’s natural oils, leaving your skin smooth. And, you’ll have cleaner and better tasting drinking water too.
Spend Less Time Cleaning
As scale builds up over time, you will notice a white crust and hard water stains on your faucets and fixtures. This accumulation is difficult to remove and may require heavy-duty scrubbing or cleaning chemicals to remove. Without hard water, you reduce the amount of harsh chemicals and time spent cleaning. In severe cases, scale buildup can permanently damage your appliances and plumbing fixtures. You could wind up spending hundreds of dollars to replace your faucets, washing machine and dishwasher.
Cleaner Clothes and Dishes
Your appliances will work better when a water softener system removes scale from the pipes.
Hard water leaves traces of minerals on your clothes and dishes, just like your hair and skin. These traces can become trapped in your clothes and on your dishes and cause their colors to fade. As a water softener system improves the flow and quality of your water, your appliances will be able to clean more efficiently and use less soap.
Choosing and Installing a Water Softener System
Installing a water softener may seem arduous or costly, but it can be done in a few hours.
Before you invest in a water softener system, verify that your home does, in fact, have hard water. If you’ve noticed white crust and hard water stains on your fixtures, you can have your water quality tested. Wolfer’s offers free in-home water tests. Once you have determined that your do have hard water, you should call your plumbing experts at Wolfer’s. We can help you choose the right water treatment system for your home. Plumbing systems vary home to home. The older your home, the more likely it is that you have a build-up of mineral deposits. The installation process can be complicated and requires special skills, like solder copper tubing with a blow torch.
If there is a lot of buildup on your fixtures, your plumbing may have irreversible damage to them. You should call Wolfer’s to assess the damage. you may even need to replace your plumbing system altogether. In less serious cases, there may be minimal buildup.
An important part of owning a home is having a complete home service contractor with the right skills and experience for the job you need completed. For over a century, Wolfer’s Home Services has been the contractor of choice for quality-minded customers. We offer complete HVAC and indoor air quality services as well as complete plumbing services, and water treatment designed specifically for your home or business. Besides the fact that we have earned a reputation for being the best in the business, there are many more reasons to choose Wolfer’s for all your home service needs. Call Wolfer’s Home Services at 503-220-1901 or request your appointment online and work with a company that’s dedicated to ensuring your complete satisfaction.