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Do I Need a Water Softener?

If you’re less than happy with your tap water, you might find yourself wondering, Do I need a water softener?

Water softeners are one of the most popular solutions for troubleshooting your spouts. In this short guide, we’ll discuss when and why you might need one.

What is Hard Water?

Before we dive in, it’s worth discussing the basics of hard water.1

  • Hard water is high in minerals, especially calcium and magnesium
  • Moderately hard water has 3.7-7 grains of minerals per gallon, while very hard water could have 10.5g or more.
  • Some areas have much more minerals in their water. For example, Ventura County residents may have up to 50 grains per gallon of their drinking water.
  • While it’s great to have calcium and minerals in your diet, you don’t necessarily want them in your pipes!

How a Water Softener Can Help

Water softeners physically remove the minerals from your water. They work through a system of ionic exchange. Overall, soft water can cut energy costs, use less soap, and makes housework easier. 

In short, calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium (salt) ions. Since minerals are completely removed from the water, you’ll no longer have any potential negative effects. 

So, do you need a water softener? Below, we’ll look at several telltale signs that it’s time to soften your water.

How Do Water Softener Systems Work?

There are two tanks: the mineral tank (aka the resin tank) and the brine softener tank that facilitate the ion exchange process. The mineral tank does the majority of the water softening when sodium ions from brine solution swap places with the water hardness ions (mineral ions).

After this, the ion exchange resin beads combine with water, which attaches the hardness minerals to the beads. Following this step, the mineral tank is flushed with sodium chloride or potassium chloride, and the covered beads exit. 

The saltwater saturates the beads and removes any mineral ions and replaces them with a sodium ion. Finally,  the dissolved minerals are flushed and the system is ready to soften water again. 

Get started today! We specialize in providing the purest water possible!

#1 You (And Your Dishes) Just Don’t Get Clean

You use water to clean just about everything in your home, from your floors to your dishes to your body. If it feels like most things stay dirty, your hard water could be to blame.

Hard water can cause issues like the following:

  • Spots on dishes – Every time you open the dishwasher, your glassware looks dingy and stained. If you’ve tried every detergent on the market and the situation still hasn’t improved, it’s highly likely that your hard water is leaving deposits on your dishes.
  • Lackluster showers – Do you feel like you need a whole fistful of shampoo to work up a decent lather? Maybe you feel like you’re covered in soapy film after you’ve sudsed up, leading to long showers and high water bills. If you feel like it takes tons of soap and water to get clean, your hard water could be to blame.

Unfortunately, the minerals in hard water react with soap to create scum. Luckily, a water softener system can remove these minerals and, with them, the problem. 

#2 Your Laundry is Stiff as a Board

Do you find yourself shopping for dryer sheets every other week? No matter how many you include in your laundry, your clothing feels stiff and hard.

If even your coziest t-shirt chafes, the culprit is likely your hard water.

  • Water travels through your plumbing system to all household appliances. 
  • Without a dedicated water softener, hard water makes its way into your coffee maker, your laundry machine, and more.

If you have hard water, minerals migrate from your water to your clothing. There’s nothing wool laundry balls can do. You need a water softener.

#3 Your Pipes Erode Quickly

Is your plumber constantly advising you to patch or replace your pipes?

It’s normal to be skeptical and prudent to get a second opinion. But hard water really can degrade pipes, especially older cast iron and copper pipes. Mineral deposits build up and eat away at the native metal over time, leading to leaks, rust, and eventually, plumbing problems. 

Of course, minerals aren’t necessarily the cause of your unpleasant water. 

  • If your water is chalky or salty, it could definitely be a result of hardness and minerality.
  • If it tastes like rotten eggs, it’s more likely due to the presence of decaying organic matter.
  • A chlorine taste more often arises from the chemical disinfectants used to treat water at processing plants.
  • Water that tastes like pennies may be rich in copper or iron. 

However, water with a different bad taste and evidence of hardness (stiff laundry, etc.) often requires a more extensive treatment solution.

The Perfect Glass of Rayne Water

Want better water?

At Rayne Water, we make it our mission to purify your H2O. Whether you’re looking to improve the drinking water systems from a single faucet or upgrade your entire household to avoid the negative effects of hard water, we have a solution. 

If you have installed a water softener, you know the benefits of longer lasting appliances and softer hair. But you might need to know how often does a water softener regenerate? 

Get in touch today to learn more about the right water softener, water conditioner, or reverse osmosis system for your budget and needs.

Sources: 

  1. Water Research Center. Hard Water Hardness Calcium Magnesium Water Corrosion Mineral Scale. https://water-research.net/index.php/water-treatment/tools/hard-water-hardness