A whole house water softener might seem like an unnecessary expense. But after you install one and realize the many water softener benefits, you’ll wish you’d done it years earlier.
Why is Water Softener So Important?
A water softener is important because it improves the quality of the water running through your plumbing system by removing magnesium, calcium, and other minerals.
If you have hard water, you can use a filter pitcher to improve the taste, but a water softener saves you money and time in other important ways.
Here are the top eight water softener benefits you can enjoy as soon as you install a softening system.
One of the benefits of using a softener is better tasting water after the softener pulls those minerals out of the water.
Typically, water softeners work by removing hard water minerals and replacing them with sodium and potassium in an ion exchange that softens the water. The bitter, chemical taste of the minerals disappears.
This process adds a trace amount of sodium to the water that most people won’t taste or notice.
Hard water leaves tough residue in sinks, tubs, and toilets. The white, chalky residue that seems to dry hard as cement is limescale.
This white substance is the minerals left behind by the water. It takes time, cleaning products, and elbow grease to remove this, especially if it builds up for a while.
Hard water also leaves behind red stains and residue from the iron it contains. This staining can be difficult to remove and require frequent cleaning to prevent buildup.
One of the most significant water softener benefits is that it makes cleaning easier because the water won’t contain the minerals that leave residue behind.
Cleaning will become surface wiping without the scrubbing necessary to remove hard water buildup.
Hard water affects the way soaps and shampoos work. The minerals in the water combine with the ingredients in shampoos and soaps and leave a residue behind.
Shampoos and soaps won’t lather as much in hard water because the minerals interfere with those properties. They affect dish and laundry detergents in the same way.
Hard water also doesn’t rinse soap and shampoo away as thoroughly as soft water. The residues left behind can lead to a dry scalp, brittle hair, and a dull look instead of a sheen.
Mineral residue dries your skin and can affect its pH balance, leading to acne or irritations, especially if you have sensitive skin. Softened water won’t cause these problems.
Clothes washed in hard water face the same problems as hair and skin with mineral residues that get left behind.
Hard water dries out the fabrics in clothing and keeps laundry detergent from doing its job as it would in softer water.
If your clothes go into the washing machine soft and feel dry, scratchy, or stiff when you wear them next time, it’s probably because of the hard water minerals in the clothing.
Your clothes might not look or smell completely clean because hard water minerals keep the detergents from working properly.
Soft water lets you enjoy cleaner clothes that you won’t have to rewash and that come out of the dryer or off the clothesline as soft as before you washed them.
Whether you wash dishes by hand or in a dishwasher, you’ll fight water spots and residue if you have hard water. Glasses can be clean and look dirty because of this spotting.
The water softener benefits that remove these minerals mean your dishes won’t have mineral residue, so spots and buildup won’t be an issue.
You’ll save the time you once spent removing water spots or rewashing dishes. Also, using less water and dish detergent will save money.
The same mineral residue and buildup that you have to scrub away build up in your home’s pipes when you have hard water.
Some people install a water softener on only the kitchen sink, but whole house water softener benefits include the prevention of mineral buildup in the entire plumbing system.
This buildup causes clogged showerheads and faucets, and eventually, enough buildup to clog and damage pipes.
Hard water deposits can interfere with the proper operation of toilets and garbage disposals.
And because hard water doesn’t rinse soaps and detergents away very well, soap scum builds up in the drains along with mineral deposits. Soft water avoids these slow and clogged drains from soap and mineral buildup.
Clogged pipes are under increased pressure and can develop leaks that cause expensive water damage to your home. Soft water avoids this potentially damaging buildup.
The same minerals clog pipes cause problems in appliances like water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers.
One of the greatest water softener benefits is the amount of money you can save when your expensive appliances last longer.
Any water appliance, including refrigerators with ice makers or water dispensers, will be affected by the internal buildup of minerals left behind by hard water.
Hard water can reduce the lifespan of these major appliances by years, sometimes cutting their years of use in half. It also affects small appliances like coffee makers and humidifiers.
Without calcium and limescale deposits clogging your appliances, they’ll last longer and work better.
Mineral scale and deposits build up in water heaters. Sediments settle in the bottom of the tank, leaving less room for water.
The buildup also coats the inside of the tank, creating an insulating effect that can cause the tank to overheat. Water heaters work harder as the buildup inside them increases.
The more buildup in a water heater, the longer it will take to heat the same amount of water over time. It will run longer and more often.
Mineral deposits on the heating elements can cause overheating and underheating as they interfere with the way the tank detects the temperature of the water.
One of the money-saving water softener benefits is a longer-lasting water heater. You’ll also save money every month on your electrical bills.
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