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Your Guide To Perfect Tap Water - Water Softeners
Your Guide To Perfect Tap Water – Water Softeners
Water quality is a huge issue in the world right now. Thankfully, we are far from the most unfortunate when it comes to our drinking water. In almost every state we expect to turn on a tap and see clean, clear, potable water come out.
However, just because our water is clear, and tastes alright, doesn’t mean it’s free of unwanted minerals, chemicals and toxins.
And there’s a growing concern around our water quality. Rightfully so – we use it every day.
To cook, clean, wash our hands, heat our homes, let alone drink with a few cut up lemons slices!
So whether you’re on city supply or your own well, take a look at B&B Professional Plumbing and Air’s official guide to perfect water in your home.
Water Softeners – What Are They And What Do They Do
A water softener’s main purpose is to remove excess “hard” minerals from your tap water. These minerals are usually calcium, and magnesium.
The most common systems we install at B&B are whole-house filtration systems. This means that every drop of water that comes out of a tap in your home has had these minerals removed, and the water “softened”.
How do they work? Well, simply put (and without making this a full science class) water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove the hard minerals from the water, leaving it cleaner, and much more “home-friendly”.
And in more detail;
Your hard water flows through the system’s mineral tank and resin beads. These beads are filled with negatively charged sodium ions, and therefore they attract the calcium and magnesium ions, which are positively charged.
The sodium ions are then released in exchange for the “hard” calcium and magnesium ions which get left behind in the resin beads, giving you a perfect soft water for your home!
Now you’re thinking, how often do I have to replace the resin beads when they are full of calcium and magnesium ions, or no longer have sodium ions?
Good news, you don’t.
This is where the regeneration system comes in. It’s a simple system, and it works automatically. Its timing is programmed into the control valve by our plumbing technician, based on your house’s size, water consumption, and the concentration of hard minerals in your water.
When the time comes, the brine tank (a very concentrated salt water) will flush into the resin beads, replenishing the sodium ions so your system can continue working as good as new.
The only thing you will have to do is top up the salt in your brine tank. (Our plumbing technician will give you details on how frequently you should top it up).
Why Should You Install A Water Softener In Your Home
To make it super concise, a water softener will save you money spent on prematurely ruined appliances, it will save you time spent on cleaning those horrible scales and stains in the bathroom and kitchen sink, and it will save your hair and skin from drying out.
Hard water wreaks havoc on a home. That scaly stuff that builds up around your bathtub, faucet, and sink, is building up just as much in your pipes, in your hot water heat, in your dishwasher, and every other appliance that uses H2O.
Then, on a less severe side, dry skin, dry hands, dry and brittle hair, are all symptoms of poor water quality. When the water you bathe with has high amounts of calcium, it strips your skin and hair of its natural oils. Hard water does not react properly with soap either, which can result in a residue being left behind on your skin, and it also not being fully cleaned. Leading to skin issues.
If you’ve ever been to Hawaii and were amazed at how good your skin and hair got, it was likely because of the state’s super soft water supply.
Having beautiful hair and nails may have just as much to do with your water as it has to do with your nightly routine, and investing in a water softener may result in you being able to use fewer beauty products.
If you find you’re going through the moisturizer like nobody’s business, or emptying out the shampoo bottle to fight off the dandruff, it’s likely that you are part of the 90% of Americans that are dealing with hard water.
One more reason to get a water softener is to improve the longevity and feel of your clothing.
As mentioned, hard water does not work properly with soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener or pretty much all other cleaning products. The magnesium and calcium in the water restrict the soap from mixing properly, and usually leave a bit of “soap scum” behind.
When this is left on your clothes, they will feel stiff, and as if they didn’t really get cleaned properly. Those once fluffy towels may come out scratchy and hard, shirts may start to tear easily, and all of your laundry may lose its color much sooner than it should.
This is all caused by hard minerals getting built up in your clothes.
Or you may have noticed your dishes have residue left on them. You’ve got to polish your wine glasses after they come out of a full cycle in the dishwasher, just to get those smudges and marks out. You rinse your plates a second time because they don’t quite feel fully clean. This is all likely caused by hard water, and therefore will be solved with a water softener.
What Are The Differences Between Water Softener And Water Filtration Systems?
Water softeners and water filters serve the same purpose – improving your water quality, however they both do it in very different ways.
Water filtration systems focus purely on reducing the amount of, or removing completely, the contaminants in your water. Their focus is to produce healthy drinking water, free of toxins like chlorine, fluoride, atrazine, estrogen and more.
Both water filters and water softeners are crucial in making high quality tap water a reality for your home. Think of water softeners as what you use to get the best feeling and most usable water, and water filtration systems are what you use to get the healthiest and best tasting water.
Are Water Softeners Expensive?
The short answer, no. Water softeners vary in price depending on which brand you choose, and the size of your home. If you’re on a budget and need to know exactly what a water softener system will cost you, give us a call now at (813) 231-4400. One of our plumbing technicians will provide you with a free quote, and answer any questions you have.
If you’re not on a budget, you may be asking if a water softener is worth it.
Nearly all of our water here in the Tampa Bay area is hard. So you’re not alone in needing a water softener. This is because most of us use what is called groundwater. When it rains, water gets filtered and dissolved through limestone, which is what gives it the heavy calcium and magnesium content. Florida water is hard.
Floridians can think of water softeners as an investment, not a luxury. Your home will thank you the most, followed by your hair and skin. Water softeners tend to last more than 20 years when treated with care. Chances are good that the only money you’re going to be spending on your water softener is to top up the brine tank with salt, which shouldnt be more than $10-25 a month. They require practically zero electricity to run, and are really quite low maintenance.
When it comes down to it, hard water will take years off your appliances life. We’re talking dishwashers, water heaters, laundry machines, pool pumps, pressure washers, let alone facets, tubs, and sinks.
Extending the lifetime of your appliances by 20% will save you much more than you need to justify a water softener. And then you get to enjoy all the perks of soft water!
Should I Get A “Salt-Free” Water Softener?
Truthfully, they aren’t even water softeners. They’re water “conditioners”. They work by crystallizing the magnesium and calcium so that they don’t cause scale build up in tubs, sinks, and pipes. The hard minerals are still there, they’re just in a different form. So therefore they will still leave you with duller laundry, soap scum, dirty dishes, and poor hair and skin.
If your worry is around having too much sodium in your water, note that the amount is negligible. Less than 20 mg per glass will have next to no effect on your sodium consumption, or any health risks.
So then why would anyone want a salt free water conditioner? Mostly because of some municipal restrictions enforced in certain regions on flushing the heavily concentrated brine solutions down the drain.
Here at B&B, the only case in which we may recommend a water conditioner is to be placed before a hot water heater. Hard minerals do much more damage to appliances when they are mixed with hot water. Scale builds up around the water heater’s actual heating elements, which will seriously hinder how efficient it is.
How Do I Tell If My Water Is Hard Or Soft?
If you live in Florida, you can be fairly certain that your water has an unwanted amount of hard minerals in it, and that you could benefit from installing a water softener. However, there are a few ways to be certain.
Notice how many suds and bubbles form when you mix a bit of soap in with your water. If you find that it takes way more soap than it should to get a nice bubbly lather, you likely have hard water. If your clothes don’t feel as if they are near brand new when they come out of the wash, or if you can’t go a day without putting on moisturizer, you likely have hard water.
And if you would like to see the exact concentration of hard minerals in your water, then give us a call!
One of our friendly and professional plumbing technicians will be able to test your water for you, and give you a detailed water report.
Here at B&B Professional Plumbing and Air, we’ve been providing our neighbors in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco county with high quality plumbing services for over 25 years.
We pride ourselves in our professionalism, transparency, and quality service.
If you’re ready to start waking up with luscious, healthy hair, perfect skin, a dishwasher full of clean dishes, a water heater that works as if it was new, laundry that sparkles, and a tub that never has to have a scale scrubbed off it again…
GIVE US A CALL NOW!
We offer a variety of plumbing and water softener solutions. We have a system to suit each household’s needs, whether you’re on a budget or want to go above and beyond…
At B&B, we’ve got you covered.
We would love to have you as one of our incredibly happy customers.