Water Softening In General
We often hear and use the terms hard water solution, soft water, and water softener systems, but what do they actually mean? How can a liquid be hard anyway???
These terms refer to the levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium positive ions in the water. Hard water has higher than ordinary level of these minerals, soft water is the opposite. Units like mg/l or grains/gallon is being used to express this. These minerals dissolve into the water from soft rocks containing calcium and magnesium and other mineral deposits.
Water hardness depends on the source and the geographical location of your home. Some areas the water is softer than others, but approximately 85% of US households are using hard water.
What is water softening, and why is it important?
Water softening is the act of getting rid of these ions, or exchanging them for other materials like water softener salt.
Hard water is better for your health than the softened, as it is a source of calcium in your diet, while it can damage water pipes, household appliances like dishwasher, washing machine. Some opt for using calgon water softener to avoid this, which prevents fouling in heating equipment and damage to the washing machine.
Also makes difficult to clean clothes as more soap is needed for the same cleaning power. Hot water tank could gradually become less efficient because of scale problems, it’s life is shortened, also cost more to warm up.
Soap lathers better in soft water though, but having a bath in hard water, makes you feel cleaner. You might see a layer of residue after having a bath, which indicates the hard water problem. Although there are skin problems associated with hard water, especially for sensitive subjects such as children and the elderly.
If softening water then you will be saving on cleaning products like detergent, fabric softener and home maintenance chemicals like descaler.
Home Water Softener Systems are very useful, but they have downsides as well:
Waste water is generated by the discharge of sewage to some of the water during the regeneration of resins with water softener salt. Also there is a risk of premature oxidation of the galvanized steel installations. Risk of bacterial growth in wet resins, which can be a danger to health. Softeners disinfection is generally done with hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid and chlorine.
Softened water has less taste because it is not as rich in calcium and magnesium ions as hard water.Generally speaking, softened water is more beneficial to appliances than to human beings.
Thanks to human ingenuity, there are countless hard water solution available on the market. The basic idea behind water softening is as the water passes through the system, the undesirable ions cling to the so called water softener resin, while some sodium or -if using potassium chloride water softener- potassium chloride gets released into the water.
There are salt free water softener systems as well, like pelican or kinetico water softener. Electrical, or reverse osmosis water softener is also a good solution, to reduce the salt content in your drinking water. You can find reviews on these here on his site in other . These are usually small easy to fit units.
These water treatment systems usually remove the existing limescale from water pipes, after the first month, although they cost more than the cheaper products.