A Water softener is a type of device used to get rid of a certain kind of salts that are dissolved in some water supplies and that have many harmful effects which we will detail below. They work either filter out the salts that cause hardness or just reduce their harmful effects, temporarily or permanently, depending on the type of Water softening device.
The salts that are responsible for most of these ill effects and that cause hardness in water are calcium and magnesium, and some of the harmful effects caused by excessive hardness in the water supply of a home are:
- They cause the formation of limescale which is very hard to remove and which can build up inside the pipes of a house, even clogging them completely and requiring complicated and very expensive repairs.
- They reduce the efficacy of soap and detergents, which is especially notorious when washing dishes or taking a shower. The salts that cause hardness combine with soap and (instead of forming regular foam) form a sticky scum known as soap curd, which does not lather and which is very hard to rinse off as it adheres to your skin and hair.
- It damages your skin, hair and nails; especially your hair which is usually left looking dull and lifeless after showering.
- It creates water spots, which are formed when water evaporates and leaves behind the salts it carries which form the water spots.
- As the salts interact with detergents, clothes washed with hard water have a shorter life and are usually left with a dull and grey appearance.
- The efficacy of water heaters, washing machines, coffee machines, ice makers, refrigerators with water and ice dispensers and dishwashers is very much reduced. For example, after 5 years of using hard water a water heater will consume 50% more energy to produce the same results it produced when it was new.
- The damages cause to your appliances and the efficiency lost with soap and detergents will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
If you have hard water and have lived with it for some time, the benefits of acquiring and installing a Water softener will be felt immediately:
- They will eliminate the formation of limescale
- Soap and detergents become much more effective
- Softened water is usually described as feeling more ‘clean’ and ‘slick’
- All your fabrics, especially your clothing and bed sheets, will have a much longer life
- You will save a lot of money because your appliances will be much more efficient and will consume less energy
- Your hair and skin will feel softer and smoother
If you feel you suffer from some or all of the negative effects of hard water listed above then it will advisable to acquire and use a home test kit or to have your water supply tested for its levels of hardness; and if you discover the level of hardness of your water supply is too high then a water softener is the best alternative, as it will positively change your life and improve the economy of your home.
External links and resources
- What are the benefits of installing a Water Softener? – APEC
- The benefits of Water Softeners – Livestrong