If you live in an area where hard water is present, you may hear a few people complaining about it. Hard water can be a nuisance as it can cause scale build-up and it also stops shampoo and soaps from lathering properly.
A lot of people ask, do I really need a water softener? Below is a guide that will introduce you to what hard water is, how to determine if you have hard water and more. This will help you to understand whether or not water softeners are for you.
What is hard water?
Hard water is very natural; it hasn’t been touched by a chemical process. Hard water is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium – these are quite beneficial minerals to the human body, but they can cause damage to appliances that use water and items that are washed with the water.
Many people are put off from having hard water due to the scale build up in appliances and the plumbing system. One of the most common reasons for people wanting soft water is that hard water gives off a strange smell. The smell is often an earthy, sulfur like smell, and is due to the minerals found in the water.
Do I have hard water?
You can only have hard water or soft water in your home; there’s no in between. If you aren’t sure what type of water your home is receiving, it’s relatively easy to identify. After you have washed your dishes, inspect them. If the plates, glasses, or cutlery have spots, stains or appear foggy, there’s a high chance you have hard water. Hard water can damage dishes due to its abrasiveness.
Hard water produces a lot of scale. You may find a lime scale build up in kitchen appliances that use water. The scale can also build up in your plumbing system and boiler – it can affect the appliances by making them work harder – this makes them less efficient. If the scale builds up within the pipes too much, it can stop water from being able to run through them properly, and this can be an expensive problem to sort out.
Hard water not only affects appliances, it can make sensitive skin itchy and dry, and it can also make your hair feel dull and dry. Hard water can make clothing and fabric fade a lot faster, as well as affecting white clothing, making it grayer in appearance.
What is a water softener?
A water softener removes the minerals and ions from the hard water – the process is known as an ion exchange. When you install a water softener, all of the negatives of hard water won’t happen anymore. You’ll find that soaps lather as they should, limescale won’t build up, and there won’t be any further stains on your glasses, dishes, and cutlery.
There are many different types of water softeners – shop around and ask for some professional help, you want to purchase one that suits your home.
Do I need a water softener?
If your home has hard water, a water softener is recommended. Although hard water is not unsafe to drink, it can cause damage to appliances in your home that use water. To prolong the lifespan of these, have a water softener installed by a professional plumber.