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Do You Need a Whole-Home Water Softener?

What Exactly is Hard Water?

While it’s not harmful to people who drink or bathe in it, hard water is far from harmless. The mineral content of the water determines whether it’s hard or soft. Hard water has a high mineral content, mostly calcium and magnesium. There are different levels, ranging from moderate to very hard. Read on to find out the negative effects of hard water and how a water softener can help. 

How Do Water Softeners Work?

softenerWhole-home water softeners pull minerals out of hard water through a process called ion exchange. Simply put, there are two tanks in a water softener. One tank, called the softener tank, has special resin beads inside that are negatively charged. These beads attract the positively charged mineral ions as the hard water flows through them. 

The second tank in the system is called the brine tank. It has salt pellets or potassium chloride pellets that are submerged in water. Since the resin beads in the softener tank can’t continue the ion exchange process indefinitely, they need to be “recharged” with salt water. So a built-in computer will measure the gallons that pass through the softener tank. Once the pre-set number of gallons passes through, the system will automatically flush the saltwater through the softener tank, which removes the built-up minerals and “recharges” the beads. 

Signs Your Water is Hard

signsThere are many telltale signs that a home has hard water. People with hard water often say they feel a film on their hands after washing them with soap and water. This is because the high mineral content leaves a residue on the hands and anything it touches. Hard water also dries out the skin and hair, often making people itchy and causing their hair to look lifeless. 

Appliances, dishes, and clothes aren’t immune to the effects of hard water either. Pipes, appliances, and other plumbing fixtures experience a reduced lifespan thanks to hard water. Dishes that have already been washed typically have a filmy residue or water spots left over, making it nearly impossible to get them to look clean and shiny. Hard water has a similar effect on clothes. They come out looking like they’re faded and still dirty. Homeowners can also see the impact of hard water on their utility bills as it climbs, thanks to efficiency loss. 

The Many Benefits of Whole-Home Water Softeners

Whole-home water softeners benefit both the house itself and the people inside it. Mass amounts of sediment are no longer building up in the pipes and other plumbing, extending their lifespan and eliminating the need to pay for premature replacements. Eliminating hard water can also reduce the number of repairs the plumbing will need. 

The faucets and plumbing fixtures will no longer look white with chalky mineral buildup. Clothes and dishes can get clean, and hair retains color and life. Skin will look healthy and hydrated again. Finally, the plumbing system and appliances will be more efficient without hard water, which can lower utility bills. 

About Rooter MD Plumbing LLC

Rooter MD Plumbing LLC has over 40 years of experience serving the residents of Livonia, MI, and the surrounding areas. They provide on-time arrivals, convenient scheduling, and personalized solutions. Call them today for plumbing services in Livonia, MI.