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What Are the Benefits of Water Softeners?

a shower head

So what does “hard” water really mean? 

When rain falls, it is pure water. Once it seeps into the ground, it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water that has collected a large amount of such minerals is called “hard.” In fact, about 85 percent of water in the United States can be classified as hard water.

Is a water softener worth it? It’s important to first see if you are noticing the signs of hard water. Seeing stains on your sinks and tubs or on your kitchen utensils? It’s a good bet you have hard water. Seeing scale deposits on kitchen appliances and plumbing is another sign. Are you having to use more soap than usual? Hard water doesn’t lather well, so you have to use more. Hard water will also face your clothing and make your skin and hair feel dry after a shower. 

Water also has a continuum of … Read Full Post »

Do I Have Hard Water?

a shower that has been turned on

Both seasoned and first-time homeowners have asked the pros, “Do I have hard water?” It’s hard to know if you have hard water if you don’t know the signs to look for. Homes on well water or city water can have hard water. The signs that you have hard water include everything from dry, itchy skin after a shower to spots on your dishes and silverware after running the dishwasher.

Many people don’t even know exactly what hard water is. Put simply, hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals. This specifically means minerals like calcium, limestone or magnesium. But, hard water can also have trace amounts of other minerals as well. These minerals are naturally occurring, and they are safe to drink. Their tiny particles dissolve into the water and typically aren’t visible to the naked eye.

As tiny as they are, though, they are abrasive. These particles become … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Water Softener Leaking?

a kitchen with stainless steel appliances

A leaking water softener is an irritating problem to have in your home. Not only can the leak cause quite a mess, but it can also impact the appliance’s ability to do its job. Without a properly working water softener, you may start noticing signs of hard water again. For example, your home’s water might leave spots and residue on your glasses and faucets, and start to dry out your skin and hair. This is why it is important to identify the source of the leak before it becomes an even bigger problem.

As with any kind of appliance, water softeners only last for a certain amount of time. Their typical lifespan is around 10 to 15 years. At this point, the water softener can start to have issues like leaks or could stop working altogether. However, having a leak does not necessarily mean that it is time to buy a … Read Full Post »

Is a Water Softener Worth It?

a sink and dishwasher that would benefit from a water softener because hard water is wearing down the appliances

Water softeners are valuable for many different reasons. They can lengthen the lifespan of your home’s appliances and prevent your family’s skin and hair from getting dry and itchy. Water softeners can also help prevent minerals from building up inside your pipes and water fixtures. Plus, they can reduce spots on glassware and soap scum in your sink and tub.

However, not everyone needs a water softener. You really only need one if you have hard water in your home. Otherwise, if your water is already soft, then using a water softener doesn’t have many benefits.

Water softeners work by removing unwanted minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, from the water in your home’s plumbing. Magnesium and calcium are both positive ions. The resin beads in a water softener hold negative sodium ions. As water flows through the softener, the resin beads in the water softener attract the minerals that need to … Read Full Post »

How Long Do Water Softeners Last?

a kitchen with white cabinets

Softening water can help prolong the life of your home’s pipes, water heater and other appliances. Plus, it can make your water easier on your skin and hair. This is because hard water not only dries out people’s skin, but the sediment in hard water can also build up in your plumbing.

Water softeners work for about 10 to 15 years, but a variety of factors can affect how long the equipment lasts. For one, the quality and type of water softener that you own matters. This is because some types of water softeners can degrade more quickly. For instance, water softeners that run on a timer system instead of on-demand may run through water and regenerate more often than needed. These systems replenish salt based on a set schedule, even if you haven’t been using much water. This can make the system work much harder than it needs to and … Read Full Post »

What Size Water Softener Do I Need for My Home?

There are many benefits to having a water softener, but going through the process of purchasing one for your home can be confusing. What size do you need? What are grains? What type of water softener is best for what you need?

If you live in an area with hard water, you’re probably already aware that a water softener can help get your dishes cleaner, leave your skin and hair feeling softer and extend the life of your appliances. The first question you probably have after deciding to buy one of these appliances: “What size water softener do I need for my home?” The first thing you should know is that the square footage of your home isn’t necessarily the biggest consideration when looking at water softener size. Instead, you should consider how many water outlets there are in your home. The more water your home can potentially be using at … Read Full Post »

Why Does My Water Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Water that smells like rotten eggs coming out of a shower head

Whether you turned on the sink to do dishes or started the shower to get ready for your day, if your water smells like rotten eggs, you’re probably concerned. Many questions may be running through your head, including: Is this water still safe to use? Can I fix this myself, or do I need to contact a plumber?

There are a few different reasons why your water smells like rotten eggs and depending on the cause, the water may or may not be safe to use, and you may or may not be able to fix this problem yourself. Generally speaking, water smells like rotten eggs when there is sulfur bacteria present. Paying attention to when you notice the foul smell can help you determine what exactly is wrong and whether the water is safe to consume.

If the smell is constant when you are using water from your tap, it is … Read Full Post »

Signs Of Hard Water: Tips From The Experts

A cream colored bathroom that is suffering from signs of hard water

Water isn’t something homeowners typically think much about. Turn on a faucet, crank up the shower, push a button on the dishwasher or washing machine and the water flows. Depending on where you live, however, your home might have what’s commonly referred to as hard water, which means that you have dissolved magnesium and calcium compounds and possibly other metallic elements in your running water. If your pipes or appliances are showing signs of hard water, it might be time to take action.

Homes get their water from different naturally occurring sources. Groundwater, a common source, flows through limestone or other rocks, absorbing the minerals contained inside of them. Over time, those minerals build up in a home’s plumbing system. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85% of homes in the United States have some level of hard water.

Your water would be labeled “hard” if it contains more than 61 milligrams … Read Full Post »

Pros And Cons Of Water Softeners

A bathroom

For those who live in an area with hard water, installing a water softening system is a popular solution. As with any decision about your home, there are pros and cons of water softeners. On the positive side, these systems can help protect your hair and skin from chemicals, make cleaning easier and help you save money, among other benefits. The only true downside to installation is the up-front cost. If you can overcome that barrier, most homeowners say they wish they had made the switch earlier.

A few of the other advantages to installing a water softening system include:

  • A longer life for your pipes, drains and appliances.
  • Much easier cleaning and maintenance of your clothing, linens and home.
  • A reduction in your overall energy consumption by almost 30%.
  • A cure for dry, itchy scalp and skin.

Of course, there is an added cost associated with installing and maintaining a water softening system. However, many … Read Full Post »