Archive for the ‘Water Softeners’ Category

How Often Does a Water Softener Regenerate?

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’ve taken the leap and installed a water softener, you’re likely enjoying the benefits. From easier cleaning to softer hair to longer-lasting appliances, the benefits of installing a water softener are numerous.1

Now that you’ve made the switch and are relishing in your new life of aquatic luxury, you might be wondering: how often does a water softener regenerate?

 There are a wide variety of factors that affect the frequency of water regeneration.2 To help you decide whether to manually or automatically regenerate—and how often—we’ll take a deep dive into the world of water softeners and regeneration.

What Is a Water Softener?

You have a water softener—but do you understand what it actually does?

The first step on your journey to calculating your regeneration needs is to understand what makes water hard and how softeners correct the issue.

How hard is the water in your geographic area?

Here’s a simple breakdown of the water hardness scale:

Hard water can have numerous unwanted qualities. Yours might taste chalky, make your laundry stiff, ruin your coffee, or even take a toll on your plumbing. Luckily, a water softener can help.

The Science Behind Water Softening

Through the process of ion exchange, water softeners emit the mineral ions in hard water, softening the water before it ever flows from your faucet33

As a result, the unwanted minerals are removed.

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

What Is Water Regeneration?

Now that you understand water softening, you’re ready to take the leap into the world of regeneration.

As water flows from your taps, the process of ion exchange repeats, and, eventually, the resin beads become inundated with these hard minerals. 

Simply put, water regeneration is the process by which these beads are cleaned so they can continue their mission of softening your water.

There are three main options for the water regeneration process:

How Does a Water Softener Regenerate?

Generally, the water regeneration process takes about 85 to 90 minutes and involves four main steps:4

  1. In the backwash cycle, which takes about 10 minutes, the water reverses its flow to clean the tank.
  2. Next, salt brine solution flushes out unwanted hardness minerals, which takes 50 to 60 minutes. 
  3. This salt brine and the unwanted minerals are then sent down the drain, which adds another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Finally, new water refills the tank to make more brine for the next service cycle, taking 10 more minutes.5

What Factors Affect Water Regeneration Frequency?

As we noted, the average family’s water softener should regenerate every other day. But some families might need daily regeneration, while others need it only once per week.

This begs the question once again—How often should my water softener regenerate?

To calculate the answer, you’ll want to pay attention to two main factors:

  1. Water usage
  2. Water hardness  

In addition to your water usage and water hardness, you’ll also need to know:

Once you’ve determined these two numbers, you can input your water usage and water hardness to determine how often your water softener needs to regenerate. 

The Math for an Average Family

A typical family of four might use 75 gallons each, or 300 gallons total per day. This water usage encompasses standard activities like:

If that family has 25-grain water, they’ll divide 30,000—the capacity of their softener in grains-per-cubic-foot—by 25—the hardness of their water—to find that they can soften about 1,200 gallons between each regeneration cycle.

If this family of four has a 1-cubic-foot softener and 25-grain hard water, their water softener will regenerate every other day. On the other hand, with 12-grain water, the regeneration cycle would occur every four days. With 50-grain water, it would need to regenerate every day.2

How to Complete A Household Water Audit

Many homeowners are unaware of how much water they actually use. Think about it—were you surprised to learn a typical family of four might use 500 gallons of water per day?

If you need to know how much water your family uses, you can complete a household water audit. Here are three easy ways to conduct this audit:

For faucets, collect water for 10 seconds and multiply the water quantity by six to calculate gallons per minute. For toilets, turn off the water supply, mark the water line, flush, fill the tank with tap water, and measure the volume of water required to reach the water line mark. For appliances, the manufacturer should specify the flow rate. 

Measure how many times per day you use each fixture. Multiply water flow per fixture by minutes per day and water flow per appliance by the number of times it’s used per week.6

How Do I Know If My Water Softener Is Regenerating?

If you’ve gone through the process of installing a water softener, you will want to ensure that it’s working correctly, so you receive its full benefits.

Two majors factors indicate your water softener isn’t regenerating properly:

  1. Changes in water pressure
  2. Observed water hardness

Cheaply made or poorly taken care of water softeners can result in these issues.7 That’s why you should ensure you buy a high-quality water softener from a trusted retailer like Rayne Water.

Your H2O Superhero: Rayne Water

You might have asked yourself the question: Do I need a water softener? Once you’ve experienced the benefits of a water softener, you’ll never want to go back. Who doesn’t want softer hair, cleaner dishes, and more efficient appliances?

Rayne Water can also help you get the most out of your water softener. We serve California and Arizona, offering a wide variety of products and solutions, including water filtration, drinking water systems, and, of course, water softeners.

Contact Rayne Water for all of your water treatment needs. We’ll never leave you high and dry.

 

Sources: 

  1. Rayne Water. Benefits of Soft Water and Having a Water Softener. https://www.raynewater.com/blog/benefits-of-soft-water-and-having-a-water-softener/ 
  2. Driller. Steps for Regeneration for a Residential Water Softener. https://www.thedriller.com/articles/91297-steps-for-regeneration-for-a-residential-water-softener 
  3. Consumer Affairs. How Does a Water Softener Work? https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/how-water-softeners-work.html#water-softener-regeneration 
  4. Ibid.
  5. SF Gate. When Manually Regenerating a Water Softener, How Long for Each Cycle? https://homeguides.sfgate.com/manually-regenerating-water-softener-long-cycle-106038.html 
  6. Maryland Department of the Environment. Conducting a Household Water Audit. https://mde.state.md.us/programs/water/waterconservation/Documents/www.mde.state.md.us/assets/document/ResAudit.pdf 
  7. Best Spy. How Do I Know My Water Softener Is Working? https://www.bestspy.org/how-do-i-know-my-water-softener-is-working/ 
  8. Rayne Water. How Does a Water Softener Work? https://www.raynewater.com/blog/how-does-a-water-softener-work/ 

Do I Need a Water Softener?

Posted by Rayne Water

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

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:

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.

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. 

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

How Do Salt Free Water Systems Work?

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is our most precious commodity. Aside from being essential to keeping us hydrated, our water supply makes it possible for us to cook our meals, clean our dishes, wash our clothes, and shower. 

That’s why what’s in your water affects more than just your health. If your water becomes over-encumbered with hard water minerals, you’re left with hard water—a frustrating and costly issue. Investing in a clean drinking water system can play a big role in your health over time.

In the past, the solution to hard water was installing a water softener to replace your water’s minerals with sodium. But that isn’t the only option anymore. With a salt free water system, this  system alternative can improve the quality of your water without adding salt to it. 

What is Hard Water?

When water travels underground to your home, it passes through mineral-rich stones and soil. During its journey, the water will dissolve small amounts of these minerals, which then cling to the water molecules and become part of the water itself. 

Like erosion, this water softener system process happens naturally over time. The water that comes into our homes most often collects calcium and magnesium—minerals that are commonly found in limestone and dolomite. Other substances, such as iron and aluminum, can also make their way into your water supply. 

As the amount of minerals and metals in your water increases, so does the hard water scale in your water. 

The Negative Impacts of Hard Water

Your hard water scale doesn’t actually affect the way the water feels. You may have hard water in your home and not even realize it. In fact, about 85% of American homes have problems with hard water.1 

Fortunately, hard water doesn’t pose a danger to your health. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely harmless. 

The soap you use to wash your hands, take a shower, clean your clothes, and run your dishwasher reacts to the excess amount of calcium within hard water. Instead of creating soapy suds, this reaction creates a solid build-up of minerals with hardness ions, resulting in stains, residue, and even skin irritation. If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly rewashing clothes, or using more soap than necessary to get your dishes clean, your water may be to blame. 

Hard water also affects your home’s plumbing. When your hot water heater warms up hard water in your home, the excess calcium forms solid deposits that attach to the inside of your water heater and your water pipes. Over time, these deposits clog your pipes and obstruct the flow of water. 

Not only does this lower your water efficiency, but it also shortens the life of your equipment. One study found that hot water heaters with hard-water calcium build-up perform 22% to 30% less effectively than water heaters without build-up.2 

Clogged pipes also decrease your water pressure, causing you to use more water. Aside from wasting resources, using more water also significantly raises the cost of your water bill. If hard water is left untreated, your pipes will eventually need to be completely replaced—a costly and time-consuming process. 

So how can you know if hard water is a problem for you and your home?

Common signs of hard water include: 

If you’ve noticed any of these issues, reach out to our experts at Rayne Water. Our professional readings can give you an accurate measure of your water’s hardness. 

Salt Based Water Softeners 

To combat hard water and its negative effects, sodium-based water softening systems were developed. These systems reduce levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water by replacing them with salt. Due to the demands of the system, salt based water softeners need to have access to electricity, as well as a drain. 

A whole house salt water softener is made up of two tanks—a resin tank and a brine tank. The resin tank is filled with negatively charged resin beads coated with positively charged sodium ions. When water travels through the resin tank, calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the resin. The calcium and magnesium are drawn away from the water molecule, leaving room for the sodium ions to swoop in and take their place in the water. This process is known as ion-exchange. 

After mineral ions are drained from the system, the brine tank is used to refill the resin bed with sodium. Every few cycles, salt is added to the brine tank to ensure the system can operate properly.

Although salt water softeners effectively reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water, their use of sodium as a replacement can be a health concern. Salt water softeners also require maintenance. Not only do you have to add salt to your brine tank when it runs low, but you also need to regularly clean both the brine tank and the resin tank to prevent build-ups of iron, manganese, and salt bridges. 

Luckily, there’s an alternative solution that’s just as effective—a water softener without salt. Below include a few reasons to choose a water softener without salt

Water Softener Systems  starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Free Water Systems

As their name suggests, these water systems don’t require salt to reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium in hard water. In fact, they don’t reduce these minerals at all. 

So then how do salt free water systems work?

Rather than eliminating the minerals themselves, salt free water softeners eliminate the negative impact these minerals have by conditioning the water. 

Water Conditioning 

Water conditioning is achieved through a process called template-assisted crystallization (TAC). This process causes the minerals within the water to harden into microscopic crystals, sometimes known as seed crystals. 

These seed crystals work like powerful magnets, attracting the other minerals within your water. By binding to the crystals rather than to the pipes and surfaces in your home, minerals like calcium and magnesium can no longer cause build-up, filmy residue, or stains. Conditioned water can also make your clothes look brighter after washing them, and make your skin and hair feel hydrated and smooth after a shower. 

Some water conditioning systems can even reverse existing mineral build-up and damage within your pipes and equipment. This means you’ll experience an increase in water efficiency and pressure while lowering your water bill. 

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

Another way to soften your water without the use of salt is by installing a reverse osmosis filtration system. These systems physically filter your water by forcing it through a filtration membrane. The membrane contains microscopic pores that allow the water molecule to pass through, but not the minerals or metals within the water. 

Although whole house reverse osmosis systems are available, these filters are typically installed at a single tap. Because they also boast the removal of other contaminants, such as microbes, a reverse osmosis system can be a beneficial addition to the sink you rely on for your drinking and cooking water.

Benefits of Salt Free Water Systems

Both salt and salt free water systems are designed to prevent mineral build-up, eliminate skin irritation, and add years to the life of your water pipes and equipment. 

So what are the advantages of choosing a salt free water  system over a salt water softener?

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

The cost of a salt free water system depends on the type and size of system you choose. Installing a whole house salt free water softener, for instance, will can cost more than installing a reverse osmosis system on a single faucet. 

Costs will also vary based on the size of your home, the amount of water you use, and the hardness of your water. 

Although it might be an initial investment up front, the amount of money you’ll save by increasing your water efficiency, extending the life of your equipment, and preventing plumbing issues, will more than make up for the cost. 

The Salt Free Solution to Hard Water  

Hard water is a common issue that can lead to costly damage down the line. If your dishware is spotty, your clothes are dull and stained, and your skin feels dry and irritated, your home’s water quality is likely to blame.

To get an accurate measure of your water’s hardness, or if you’re ready to install a salt free water softening system, contact Rayne Water today. We can give you a free in-home estimate and recommend the best system for your specific needs. Improve the condition of your water, reclaim your quality of life, and save money with Rayne Water. 

Find a location near you!

Sources: 

  1. USGS. Hardness of Water. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects 
  2. Water Research Center. Hard Water Hardness Calcium Magnesium Water Corrosion Mineral Scale. https://water-research.net/index.php/water-treatment/tools/hard-water-hardness 
  3. NCBI. Potential Health Impacts of Hard Water.
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3775162/ 
  5. Home Tips. How to Buy a Water Softener System | Solve Hard Water Problems. https://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/water-softener-systems.html 
  6. Healthline. Hard Water vs. Soft Water: Which One Is Healthier? https://www.healthline.com/health/hard-water-and-soft-water#water-softening 
  7. Scientific American. How do water softeners work? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-water-softeners-wo/
  8. How Stuff Works. How to Clean a Water Softener Resin Tank. https://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-hints-tips/cleaning-organizing/clean-water-softener-resin-tank.htm

How to Use a Water Softener

Posted by Rayne Water

If you’ve experienced the negative effects of hard water minerals buildup on plumbing and water fixtures—you know how beneficial a water softener system is. Or, if you’re looking to improve your water for drinking purposes, investing in a drinking water system can be key.

Fortunately, using a water softener is simple. And once the system is set up, it operates automatically outside of periodic recharging and regular maintenance. 

Whether you have or haven’t installed your system yet, you may be lost as to how the system works, or how it even operates. When setting up your system for the first time, it’s important to be aware of your environment so that the softening process can work with maximum efficiency. 

A Hard Water Refresher

Sometimes it’s easy to know that you have a hard water issue without knowing the specifics. If you’ve noticed mineral ions deposits on your pipes, dishes having stains after you wash them, or even coming out of the shower feeling itchy with dry skin—it’s likely hard water is to blame.

To what degree you have a hard water problem should be identified before choosing your water softener solution.

How Hard Water is Measured

Hard water is caused by hard minerals that get picked up as groundwater percolates through rocks underground. Often these minerals include calcium and magnesium, and as your pipes run, these are the minerals that will most often build up in and around them.1 

Water hardness is measured in Grains Per Gallon (GPG) of calcium carbonate:2

Once you know just how hard your water supply is, you can determine how to use a water softener system to minimize the mineral count in your water.

 

Water Softener Systems  starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Using Your Water Softener

Once a water-softening system is installed in your home, it runs fairly automatically. While a technician should be able to install your system and get it up and running, there are few things about your home and needs you should consider.

The Properties of Your Property

An important aspect of operating your water-softening system is knowing your home’s water usage on a daily basis. This will help determine the settings your system should operate at.

Recharging Your Soft Water System According to Your Needs

Briefly, a water-softening system works by pumping water loaded with calcium and magnesium into a chamber containing a plastic, porous, negatively-charged resin. As the positively-charged hard water enters the resin chamber, the calcium and magnesium particles stick to the resin, leaving the water much softer. 

Eventually, the resin will be too coated in minerals to function properly and will need to be recharged by pumping a super-salty water solution from the brine tank into the resin tank.3 The saltwater pulls the calcium and magnesium off the resin and is flushed away.

Because of this, you’ll need to set your system to recharge depending on how many gallons of water are used in your home. Usually you can determine this by how many people live in your home. 

The Right Place for Your System

Additionally, you’ll need to be aware of the best placement of your system in your home, especially if it’s a whole-house water softening system. With an installation from Rayne Water, your technician will be able to determine the optimal placement, whether it’s a whole house salt free water system or a reverse osmosis system for one or more faucets. 

Generally, you’ll want your system set up within a reasonable distance to a continuous power outlet and drain. If you have a hot water heater, it’s best to install the system before the water enters the heater. This will prolong the life of your heater and your water softening system, as hot water will cause it to wear out quicker. 

Unit Maintenance

In addition to running a recharge system, you’ll need to ensure that you’re maintaining your soft-water system to avoid a lapse inflow or buildup of minerals. 

Keeping Your Brine Tank Beautiful

Sometimes the salt level on the bottom of the tank will be used up before the salt on top. When this happens, a salt bridge is created. You’ll need to break it up and remove the larger chunks to get your tank running again.

Other times the salt might not properly dissolve and leave insoluble clumps on the bottom of the brine tank, which will also need to be cleaned out.

Resin Rejuvenation

Eventually, the resin in your resin tank will also need to be replaced, if not just cleaned out with a cleaning solution. You can buy special solutions for this, or carefully mix a diluted bleach solution, and then run a recharge cycle in order to return your resin back to full capacity.

Your Rayne Water System

Fortunately, with a Rayne Water system, the worries around installation will be taken care of by one of our professional technicians. Whether you’re looking for a  Salt free water system or another customized solution, we’ll advise you on the best system for your needs. We’ll also educate you on preventative maintenance and repairs along with how salt free water systems work, so you can operate your system with complete peace of mind.

Contact us today to get in touch with one of our water specialists to discuss your water softening needs. 

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. Minnesota Department of Health. “Home Water Softening” https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/softening.html
  2. Penn State Extension. “Water Softening” https://extension.psu.edu/water-softening
  3. Popular Mechanics. Water Softener – What Is Hard Water and How Does a Softener Work? https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/a28280250/water-softener/

A Guide to Whole House Salt-Free Water Systems

Posted by Rayne Water

The water in your home flows through almost every part of your life—it’s what you use to brush your teeth, fill your coffee pot, wash your hair, and clean your clothes. And the quality of that water can do incredible things for your day-to-day life.

From making it easier to wash dishes to extending the lifetime of your plumbing, softening the fresh water in your home is an essential upgrade. 

But once you’ve decided to make the change to a water softening system, you may be wondering about your options, including whole house saltless water softeners. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Hard Water vs. Soft Water

Understanding what makes water “hard” along with where your water falls under the hard water scale can help illuminate the methods that are used to “soften” it. Here’s what you need to know about a water softening system:

The fresh water you pour into a glass to drink or use to wash your hands before dinner takes a long journey before it reaches you. When groundwater percolates or passes through porous underground rock, it can pick up minerals and materials that are present there—most commonly calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

The mineral level in the water determines a water’s softness or hardness, meaning:

But does water’s softness really impact your day-to-day life? Here are just some of the negative impacts of hard water:

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

What is Water Softening?

Water softening is the process of removing the elements that make the water hard—calcium and magnesium—from your water supply. This works by drawing out the mineral hardness ions present in the hard water and replacing them with sodium ions—AKA salt.

However, there are ways to soften water that doesn’t involve the use of sodium of any kind while still softening the water.

But why go salt-free in the first place?

Why Choose A Whole House  Salt Free Water System?

How you choose to soften your water may make a big difference in your home and your entire region. Here are just a few reasons to choose a Salt Free Water System:

Whole House Salt-Free Water System Options

Whether you’re choosing a   Salt Free water system to support your health or to support nearby agricultural development, you can still enjoy all the benefits of softened water without the use of a salt based water softener. In fact, a salt free water system can have the same impact as one that utilizes salt.

Companies like Rayne Water offer a few different sodium-free methods for softening your water. 

So how do salt free water softeners work? In the following section, we’ll go a little deeper into each method and weigh its pros and cons.

Potassium-Based Softeners

Potassium-based systems work almost the exact same way that sodium-based systems do, except instead of leaving trace amounts of sodium in the treated water, it leaves trace amounts of potassium. 

This product is commonly chosen because potassium brine, a byproduct of this softening method, is reputed to have a better effect when it comes to agriculture.3

However, it costs much more to purchase potassium chloride than sodium chloride for use in a water softener. This high cost is something to consider when deciding which salt-free water softening method you’re interested in. 

Water Conditioners

Water conditioners don’t actually “soften” water—however, they can significantly help eliminate the effects of hard water on the home. 

Water conditioners use a special kind of resin known as Template-Assisted Crystallization—or TAC—media in order to encourage the minerals to bond together. Minerals in the water passing through a conditioner form tiny crystals instead of ending up as scaling in pipes. These crystals are undetectable; they’re small enough that they can’t be felt while drinking or washing, but the water will have the same taste as before. 

Water treated through a water conditioner will still have the same levels of minerals in it, but with a significant decrease in scaling.

Conditioners also function as filters and can remove things like chlorine, chloramines, and even organic contaminants. 

If you want the best of both worlds, it’s possible to purchase hybrid softeners and conditioners, which will remove calcium and magnesium from your water supply while also filtering out these contaminants.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is more of a filtration method than a water softening or even conditioning method. Reverse osmosis purifies water by forcing it through a semipermeable membrane that only allows water molecules through. This leaves behind the minerals that cause water’s hardness.

For this reason, many people consider reverse osmosis a very efficient system that results in the purest-tasting water.

Most reverse osmosis systems are a Point Of Use or POU system. This means they’re installed near faucets and in places where the water is needed and don’t filter the rest of the home. These systems are usually pretty small and can be installed right under the sink if need be. 

However, there are Point of Entry or POE systems. These install at the point of entry for water in the home and filter the water for the entire location. Rayne Water offers POE reverse osmosis systems that can be installed in these locations. 

Find the Right Softener for You with Rayne Water

The water in your home is essential to your day-to-day life. And choosing the right water softener for you requires extensive expertise and the best in water technology. That’s why you should trust Rayne Water with your softening needs. 

Rayne Water will put you in contact with a water professional who will help you make the best decision for your home, whether you want your water softened with potassium, conditioned to prevent scale buildup, or completely filtered altogether. 

Experience better, softer water with Rayne Water today!

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. City of Dixon. Brine Discharging Water Softener Removal Program. www.ci.dixon.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/576/1011-bill-insert?bidId=
  2. Minnesota Department of Health. Home Water Softening: Frequently Asked Questions. https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/factsheet/softening.html
  3. Center for Watershed Science and Education, University of Wisconsin. ​An Alternative to Softening with Sodium. https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/watershed/Pages/GWSoftAlt.aspx

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is key to all life; more than 70% of Earth and our own bodies are made of water. We use water every day for drinking, cleaning, cooking, and bathing. Unfortunately, many home filtration systems use hard water, which comes with a host of problems. To fix this, you need to treat your water supply using a salt-based or salt free water softener. If you’re concerned about your drinking water, consider investing in a drinking water system that will keep poor water quality at bay.

To understand how salt free systems work, let’s first explain what hard water is and why people choose to soften it in the first place.

What is Hard Water?

Because water is a liquid, hearing it described as “hard” might sound counterintuitive. The term actually describes the quality, not the state, of water.

Hard water refers to the number of minerals naturally occurring in water. 

Rain contains little mineral content, but when it hits the ground, it absorbs various minerals from the local area—which you then use in your home. Different cities have different scales of hard water, “scale” meaning the number of grains-per-gallon (GPG) of hardness minerals in the water.

Why Soften Hard Water?

Compounds like calcium, magnesium, and silica are responsible for the “hardness” in water. These minerals may seem innocuous, but hard water is responsible for many problems, including:

The two popular methods of treating the hard water are: 

  1. Salt based water softener systems 
  2. Salt free water conditioner system 

The question is, which one is right for your household?

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Salt Softener vs Salt Free Conditioner: Choosing the Right System for your Home

Water softeners and water conditioners both reduce the GPG of minerals found in hard water, but they operate in different ways. Water softeners use salt to remove hard minerals, while water conditioners employ a physical process to minimize the damage from those particles.

Water Softener—The Salt-based Solution

Using salt—another mineral—to soften already-hard water sounds backward. Wouldn’t that just increase the water’s hardness? 

The short answer is no; the long answer involves a process known as ion exchange.

To draw out the hard minerals from water, ion exchange uses a salt solution of positively charged sodium ions. The positive sodium ions replace (or exchange places with) the positive hard mineral ions in the water. The hard minerals then attach to negatively charged resin beads in a resin tank, leaving the water supply with a smaller number of sodium ions and a greatly reduced mineral count. 

Water Conditioning—The Salt Free Solution

Water conditioners physically treat water. Instead of removing hard minerals via ion exchange, water conditioners reshape the minerals’ structure, changing the way the minerals travel through pipes.

This method causes a small amount of the hard minerals to crystalize. These small crystals attract other loose particles since their preferred state is this crystalline structure. Therefore, the hard minerals will bond with each other rather than attaching to surfaces around your home.

Now that we’ve discussed these two systems, why should you choose the salt free system?

5 Reasons to Choose a Salt Free Water System

You may be wondering how to use a water softener and the reasons behind choosing  a salt free system . There are many reasons to choose a water softener without salt, including:

  1. Easy drain system – With a salt free water system, you won’t have to worry about periodically flushing and replenishing your brine solution (as you would have to with salt based water softeners).
  2. Sodium content – If you want to avoid adding more sodium to your diet, the salt free water system crystallizes hard minerals without the use of salt.
  3. Power – Unlike salt softeners, many salt free conditioners do not require electricity to operate. This makes installation easier.
  4. Space – Being salt-free, these systems don’t require the use of a secondary brine tank. This is a great solution if space is a limiting factor in your home.
  5. Added filtration – Salt-free water conditioners also incorporate other types of filtration, allowing them to reduce disinfectants used to treat tap water such as chlorine, chloramines, suspended solids, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

How Much Does a Salt Free Water System Cost?

A water softener system, salt or saltless, can cost anywhere between $300–$4,000.

This wide range is due to the fact that there is no one size fits all model; variances in location, the hardness of the water, and systems all lead to different prices.

While water softener and conditioner systems can be an upfront investment, Rayne Water makes it easy to get started. They offer a variety of options including rentals, purchase, and financing.

With Rayne Water systems, it has never been easier to invest in your home and your livelihood. 

Water is the key to life, and Rayne Water is the key to softer water.

Sources:

  1. Water Quality Association. Scale Deposits. https://www.wqa.org/learn-about-water/perceptible-issues/scale-deposits
  2. World Health Organization. Nutrients in Drinking Water. https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientsindw.pdf

 

How to Clean Your Water Softener System

Posted by Rayne Water

Water softeners are designed to eliminate calcium and magnesium ions from your water. This prevents scale and mineral build-up in your appliances, promotes cleaner, brighter laundry, better drinking water, and just feels better on your skin and hair. However, your water softener system will eventually need cleaning and maintenance. Over time, iron and other minerals can build up in the resin tank and salt can potentially clump up. That can result in water hardness. Mold can eventually form in the tank, which can present some serious health issues.

These are things people tend to forget when they wonder how to choose a water softener. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help you avoid more expensive repairs or complete breakdowns. For the uninformed, cleaning a water softener system can be intimidating or daunting, but it is much easier than you think. Learn how to clean a water softener tank below.

How Water Softeners Work

A water softener comprises a unit connected to the plumbing where your water enters your home. The unit uses a porous plastic resin tank, which attracts the calcium and magnesium ions as water flows through it. The process releases sodium ions to maintain the electrical charge in the resin. Over time, the sodium ions will release into the household, which can cause an excess concentration of calcium and magnesium ions to stick to the resin.

This is where the brine tank comes in. Every few days, the resin gets rinsed by a concentrated solution of saltwater from the brine tank. The saltwater covers the resin in sodium again while displacing and knocking loose the magnesium and calcium ions. The calcium, magnesium, and any excess saltwater get flushed down the drain, leaving your water softener back to normal.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of components at work here, which leaves a lot of room for potential cleanup and water softener maintenance issues. When considering the pros and cons of water softeners, the water softener maintenance is an essential thing to factor in.

Cleaning the Resin Tank

The resin tank is the main component of your water softening system. An unclean or malfunctioning resin tank can result in brown water appearing in your drinking water. That is usually a sign of iron, manganese, and other minerals building up in the resin tank. Iron is the plentiful mineral in the earth’s crust and is a common component found in groundwater. While you generally shouldn’t have to deal with iron from a municipal water supply, it can be common if you get your water from a well.

Water softeners are good at removing that iron from the water, but over time, the mineral can collect on the resin bed and discolor the water. Remember, as iron oxidizes, it turns into rust. The iron molecules also reduce the resin’s ability to soften water and can cause blockages. Eventually, your resin tank may not be able to remove iron or other minerals at all.

The good news is that you can clean iron out of your resin tank using an iron-removing cleaner. These are readily available at home goods stores. These cleansers work by altering the chemistry of the iron and rust, making them soluble in water, which allows the minerals to easily flush out of the water softening system.

The process usually involves pouring the resin cleaning solution directly into the water in the brine tank or brine well and starting a regeneration cycle. Read the instructions on the cleanser that you use. You generally want to keep running a regeneration cycle until the water runs clear and tastes clean. Heavy iron buildup in the resin will require multiple cycles.

Cleaning the Brine Tank

  1. Shut off the water going to the water softener and unplugging all of the hoses connected to the brine tank.
  2. Drain the brine tank by either running a regeneration cycle or using a wet vacuum to remove all the water and remaining salt. This is also why it’s best to clean the brine tank before a salt refill.
  3. Mix a simple cleaning solution comprising a couple tablespoons of dishwashing liquid or detergent with up to two gallons of water. Avoid using any harsh chemicals. Gentle, natural ingredients are always better.
  4. Dip a bristle brush into the cleaning solution scrub the inside of the tank, focusing particularly on the base of the tank and any corners where salt might have accumulated.
  5. Rinse the tank out with clean water.
  6. Reconnect all of the hoses and plugs.
  7. Refill the brine tank with salt and water. Set the control valve to run a regeneration cycle that night.

You can use household bleach in lieu of a cleaning solution to clean and rinse your tank. Short-term exposure to bleach should not have any drastic effects on the resin beads, and bleach can work effectively to sanitize your system and eliminate any bacteria. However, make sure you heavily dilute the bleach. Strong concentrations of bleach will degrade the resin beads and potentially wear down components in the tank. You generally want to stick with about 50-100 mg of bleach for every liter of water.

Bleach can also be used to break down any mold in either of your tanks. Some water softener units allow you to run a “bleach cycle”, but make sure you read the owner’s manual.

Salt Bridges and Salt Mushing

One of the most common issues in a brine tank is the formation of a salt bridge. Salt bridges are essentially a crust appearing on top of the salt. While all the salt below gets used up normally, the salt bridge remains, which also creates the illusion that your brine tank is full. This can lead to people not refilling their brine tanks, which results in resin beads that are rinsed only with water.

Salt bridges can form based on a variety of factors, including humidity, overfilling the brine tank, or simply using the wrong type of salt. To clean out salt bridges, shut off the water going into your water softener system and break down the crust using a broom handle, mop, or whatever tool you have handy. Scoop out the chunks of the salt bridge as the water is generally unable to dissolve larger pieces of salt. Vacuum out all of the water and salt remaining in the tank before refilling the tank with salt and running a regeneration cycle.

Along with salt bridges, you may experience salt mush comprising a thick gunk forming at the bottom of the brine tank. This sludge comprises salt impurities that have not fully dissolved in the water. As it accumulates, salt mush can obstruct the water intake valve in the brine tank, which can eventually cause the tank to overflow. Salt sludge can also prevent the resin beads from getting properly recharged with sodium ions.

There isn’t an easy or pretty way to clean out salt sludge. You will have to scoop out all the sludge and then perform a general brine tank cleaning.

When you ask yourself “how much is a water softener system”, make sure that you also consider the cleaning and maintenance necessary. Cleaning out your water softener tanks is not difficult or pricey, but it is necessary to extend the life of your water softener system and ensure clean, soft water throughout your home.

Sources:

How Much Is a Water Softener System?

Posted by Rayne Water

Water is one of the most important components of everyday life. You need it to live, and you need it to cook, clean, bathe, and more. Unfortunately, not all water is created or distributed equally. As it originates from ground reservoirs, water passes through mineral deposits before it makes its way to your tap. That often results in your home’s water containing varying levels of heavy minerals, usually calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are mostly harmless in the concentrations found in water, they can affect the quality of your water. Your water may taste different or leave a film on your skin and dishes. At worst, hard water can contribute to scaling and mineral deposits in your pipes, which can cause clogs and other plumbing issues.

As a means of reducing hard water, many homeowners invest in water softener systems. Knowing how to choose a water softener comes with plenty of important factors, but the price tag tends to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. How much does a home water softener system cost? Read on to learn more.

How Does a Water Softener System Work?

A water softener system usually comprises two units, a resin tank and a brine tank. These are connected to the pipes that take water into your property. The resin tank is filled with resin beads that are coated in sodium positive ions. These mineral ions attract calcium and magnesium ions in the water, causing them to stick to the resin beads. The demineralized, softened water flows into your home.

The sodium ions get knocked into the household water, and over time, the resin beads lose their sodium and become saturated in calcium and magnesium ions. In order to replenish the charge and remove the calcium and magnesium ions, the unit has to rinse the resin beads with a saltwater solution from the brine tank. The salt (sodium chloride) in the saltwater displaces the calcium and magnesium while covering the resin in sodium ions again. The excess saltwater, calcium, and magnesium get flushed out of the system, and the water softener system continues its regular operation.

The Cost of a Water Softener System

Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $4,000 for a water softener unit and for the installation costs. That is a huge swing, and the two main factors that affect the water softener price are the type of unit and the installation.

Types of Water Softeners

There are a handful of different types of water systems that use different mechanisms to soften water. The three main types are distillers, reverse osmosis units, and whole-house systems.

Distillers purify water through a steam process that effectively separates water from any heavy minerals. While this process is effective, it is slow and can generally only purify a few gallons of water per hour. Due to their smaller size, distiller systems can cost less, but they can struggle with larger-scale applications and are better reserved for single-use applications, like only for drinking water.

Whole-house water softener systems generally use the ion exchange process described above. These are hooked up directly to incoming water sources and offer an efficient means of softening water that enters your home. These types of systems can range in pricing, and are typically easy to install and maintain. However, it is strongly recommended to have a professional water treatment installer conduct the work.

Reverse osmosis systems are also a popular option. These systems are designed to purify water and filter out minerals and impurities. They work by forcing water through a special, semi-permeable membrane. There are several steps of filtration involved to produce clean, well-filtered water. However, while reverse osmosis systems are effective, they tend to use a lot of water, and the process of filtering hard water can wear out the reverse osmosis membrane much faster. Some households combine reverse osmosis systems and ion exchange water softeners, which allows for higher-quality water while extending the longevity of the reverse osmosis system.

Installation Costs

Based on the size and complexity, most water softener units will require a professional installation, and in a lot of cases, the labor involved with an installation will cost more than the unit itself.

Your specific water softener cost with installation will vary, but for a salt-based ion exchange system, you can expect to pay about $400 for an installation. A dual-tank system may cost about $600 to install, while a higher-end dual-tank system will cost upwards of $1,000 to install based on the scope of work required.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

Other Costs to Factor In

Even after your installation, you have to consider the maintenance involved. Regular maintenance is a natural part of any water softener system. It is absolutely worth learning how to clean a water softener unit, which can help to extend the life of your system, prevent clogging and scale buildup, and prevent more costly repairs.

The other main cost of using a water softener is the salt. You generally need to refill the salt tank every 4 to 6 weeks depending on capacity. A 40-pound bag of salt will run you approximately $5-10 per month. However, if you have to watch your sodium consumption or otherwise do not want to use salt, you have the option of using potassium chloride. While potassium works in the exact same way, it can cost you quite a bit more. A 40-pound bag of potassium chloride can cost you upwards of $35.

The actual quality of your incoming water can also affect how much you spend. Along with going through your salt and resin faster, harder water and larger families may just require a more efficient water softening process or system. Essentially, the higher your hardness level is, the more you will have to spend towards a softener tank.

In general, for a whole-house system, pricing can vary based on the size of the plumbing, size of the family, size of the house, and quality of the water. A water softener system can also prevent mineral deposits from building up in your plumbing, which can contribute to costly damage, corrosion, and clogs. You can contact your local Rayne representative and receive a free in-home estimate to ensure you are getting the best system for your needs.

The upfront and ongoing costs are definitely something to consider when weighing out the pros and cons of a water softener. However, for most homeowners, the investment is well worth it for soft, purified water that tastes better, feels better on skin and hair, and promotes cleaner laundry.

Sources:

How to Choose a Water Softener That Is Right for You

Posted by Rayne Water

Hard water can be an issue for many households. While the accumulation of hardness minerals in the water is mostly harmless to the health, it can affect your everyday comforts, from the taste of your drinking water to the way your laundry feels. Hard water can even leave your skin and hair feeling unpleasant out of the shower. However, in its worst cases, hard water can contribute to mineral deposits and scaling in your pipes and plumbing. This can contribute to corrosion, clogs, and damage, all of which can lead to costly repairs.

Many homeowners invest in a water system such as a water softener to improve their incoming water hardness quality. As effective as a water softening system is, figuring out how to pick a water softener can seem daunting and confusing. There is a lot to consider. Read on to learn more about choosing a water softener for your home.

Determining Your Water Softening Needs

The size of your water softener and the type of water softener that you get is determined by your daily water consumption and needs along with the hardness level of your water. At the same time, a single person living on their own, likely will not have the same water consumption as a family of five.

To determine the hardness level of your water, talk to your local utility company or contact your local Rayne representative.. They should have that information on hand. You can sometimes find this information online through official annual reports, but it’s a good idea to call your water provider directly to get the most up to date information.

If they don’t have that information or if you get your water from a well, you will have to test your water yourself. Most home improvement stores have easy-to-use testing kits that can accurately tell you the water hardness in grains per gallon (GPG). Comprehensive well analysis reports can also be conducted by your local Rayne representative.

Similarly, you can check your utility bill to determine your average water usage. There generally shouldn’t be too much fluctuation from month to month. If you don’t have that information available, simply multiply the number of people in your home by 75 gallons per day.

Multiply your daily household water usage in gallons by the grains per gallon, and you get a pretty good idea of the grains of hardness that your water softener needs to remove in a day. You can then choose the right water softener that can handle that capacity.

Considering the Regeneration System

Ion exchange water softener systems are the most common type of water softener system. They are efficient and use special resins to pull calcium and magnesium from hard water. The process of an ion exchange water softener also requires a “recharge” or regeneration cycle using a concentration of saltwater, which recoats the resin bead in sodium ions. Generally, the more water that you use, the more time spent softening water and the more regeneration cycles that you need. When you ask yourself, “how much is a water softener system”, you also need to factor in the regular salt refills.

A good salt based water softener will effectively soften the water while maintaining proper salt efficiency usage. The two types of regeneration cycles available are timer and on-demand. On-demand softeners allow you to run a regeneration cycle whenever a certain amount of water has been processed, counting the gallons used. A timer softener runs a regeneration cycle (as you can guess) on a timer, usually once a night or once per week which can result in unnecessary regeneration.

On-demand softeners are significantly more efficient. Your water usage and needs can fluctuate, meaning that sometimes you may not need a regeneration cycle every night. That can ultimately save you in salt and water costs.

It’s also a good idea to mark your calendar to check the brine tank regularly to determine when to refill the salt softener tank. It is also a good idea to learn how to clean your water softener system to increase overall efficiency.

It’s important to weigh out the pros and cons of water softeners as you make your decision on which water treatment system is right for you. If you still aren’t sure which model to go with or need help measuring your water softening needs, consult the Rayne Water team for more in-depth information.

A Guide for How to Test Water Hardness

Posted by Rayne Water

Have you ever wondered how to test water hardness in your house? The answer might be closer than you think. Hard water is the result of elevated mineral levels in the groundwater supply. While hard water may be potable water and not necessarily  harmful to your health, it does result in a number of unpleasant effects with which you are probably familiar. 

Figuring out how to determine water hardness isn’t necessarily a complex process. While there are detailed tests that can give you an accurate and exact measure of how hard your water is, determining whether or not you have hard water is a much simpler exercise. 

In this article, we’re going to outline some easy to understand tips that can help you determine whether or not you have hard water. In doing so, we’ll explore some of the key effects that hard water can have around your house and on your body. Some of these are merely unsightly, while others can impact everything from the efficiency of your appliances to the moisture of your hair and skin. In the end, you might be surprised at the many ways that hard water has had an impact on your daily life and may be interested in a whole home water softener. Water Softening System.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high amount of minerals in it. The majority of these minerals are usually calcium carbonate and magnesium, however other minerals such as manganese and iron can also be found in hard water samples. The higher the mineral count in your water, the harder your water is considered.

Generally, water is thought of as “soft” if it has less than 1 Grain per Gallon (GPG)  of calcium carbonate. A higher concentration than this is considered to be hard water, with varying degrees of calcium hardness assigned to different thresholds of calcium carbonate.

Water Softener Systems starting at only $35/mo. Try before you buy!

How Does Hard Water Form?

The formation of hard water occurs naturally through an interaction between water and the soil it passes through. Starting as precipitation, water is largely soft, though there may be small amounts of minerals contained in rainfall. Once that rainfall hits the ground, it begins to move into and through the soil. 

The movement of water through the soil and into the rivers and aquifers that provide our water supply is long and arduous. As water passes through soil along the way, it dissolves the bonds of the mineral ions in the soil. These minerals are then carried along with the water into the water that reaches your tap.

In order for water to be hard, it must pass through soil that is rich in calcium carbonate and magnesium. This typically means chalk or limestone. Hard water can also contain high levels of iron if it moves through iron-rich soil. Put another way, the presence or absence of minerals in the soil around a groundwater source has a direct impact on how hard the water is. 

This means that the hardness level of water can vary substantially based on where you live. Many parts of the United States have hard water. This is also why you might notice that the water feels different when you visit another state or country.

Testing for Hard Water

If you are wondering how to measure water hardness, there are a variety of different tests you can do to find out whether or not your water is hard. Most municipal water suppliers also publish information about what types of minerals and other substances the water piped into your house contains. These water quality reports can provide a valuable source of general information, such as where your local water is sourced from, how it is treated, and what types of organic and inorganic materials it might contain. An example of a local municipal water quality report can be found here.

Short of browsing a water quality report or testing a water sample directly at your tap using a water test kit or test strip, there are some easy observational methods that you can use to determine if your water is hard. 

Do You Have Spots on Your Dishes?

If your dishes come out of the dishwasher with spots or a slight film on them, you probably have hard water. Those spots found on your dishes are mineral deposits left behind when the water used to wash the dish evaporates or is dried during the last part of the dishwasher cycle. 

Have You Observed Mineral Buildup on Your Faucets and Fixtures?

You can definitely tell that you have hard water if you pay close attention to your plumbing fixtures. Those areas of your house that are in frequent contact with tap water will be the areas where you see the biggest impact of hard water, and nowhere else comes in contact with water as frequently as plumbing fixtures.

If you have noticed scaly buildup on your fixtures then you most likely have hard water. You may have noticed that the nozzles on your shower head become clogged over time. This occlusion is due to mineral deposits left behind by hard water. The same is true of the nozzles in your dishwasher, which slowly become closed off by mineral deposits over time. 

Staining from mineral deposits on plumbing fixtures can also be different colors. White or gray stains tend to be from calcium carbonate, while areas with a high amount of iron in the water will produce reddish stains on fixtures and faucets.

Do You Get Soap Scum?

If you are constantly battling soap scum, you have hard water. Soap scum is a white, filmy layer often found in showers, in sinks, or on bathroom fixtures. Soap scum forms from a reaction between the minerals in water and the soap or detergent you use and leaves behind a solid substance that is difficult to clean. 

Soap scum can combine with mold or trap mildew in it. It can also be extremely difficult to remove, particularly if it has been left in place for some time. Most often, soap scum is an unsightly nuisance that most people with hard water have just learned to live with.

The Hair Test

Hard water can affect our lives in surprising ways. One of these is the effect of hard water on hair. You can test for water hardness by observing your hair – hair washed with hard water will begin to form a layer of minerals on the hair follicle. This mineral layer has a couple of effects that you may not have even realized were happening. 

The first is that minerals make hair look dull. Typically, hair washed in hard water will, over time, become duller and lack the vibrancy of hair washed in soft water. Your hair might also be drier when washed with hard water vs. soft water. The minerals deposited by hard water makes it more difficult for moisturizers to penetrate your hair follicle, leading to drier hair over time. 

The Hand Washing Test

This could also be considered the soap test, given the fact that it really comes down to how effectively your water washes away the soap. If you wash your hands with hard water and soap, you will probably notice that your hands can feel a bit dry and rough after all the soap has been visibly washed away, requiring lotion or oil. That dry feeling is from a thin layer of liquid soap sticking to the hard mineral left behind and sticking to your hand and is a common sign that your water is hard.

Another component of this test method applies to your skin as a whole. Individuals with hard water can have dry skin, which actually stems from that layer of soap that is left on your body after you get out of the shower. 

How to Soften Water

If you realized through your observational tests that you probably have hard water, you might be wondering what makes water soft. Once you determine you have hard water, there are a couple of options for you. 

Option 1

The first is to just live with the fact that you have hard water and deal with the issues associated with hard water in your home.  

Option 2

The second solution is to install a water softener. What is a water softener? Water softeners are systems that are installed where your water comes into your house. Water Softeners generally consist of two tanks; a mineral tank that contains a negatively charged resin, and a brine tank that contains a sodium-rich solution. Both of these tanks work together to remove minerals from hard water in a process known as ion exchange.

A home water softener system functions by running the tap water coming into your house through the mineral tank, where the positively charged mineral ions are attracted to the negatively charged resin in the tank. These minerals are replaced with sodium ions in the water during the water softening process.

Once the resin in the mineral tank reaches its capacity, it will need to be recharged. With this process, water from the brine tank is pushed through the mineral tank where the sodium ions that also have a positive charge replace the mineral ions that are on the resin. Once the mineral ions have been flushed out of the tank completely, the tank is ready for further extraction of minerals from your hard water. 

Is Soft Water Salty?

A water softener solution provides soft water for your entire home. One thing most people immediately wonder is whether the soft water that enters their home is salty, given the fact that there is now sodium that is attached to the water molecule. While there is sodium added to the water during this process, it doesn’t substantially raise the salinity of the water going through your house and doesn’t taste salty. 

If the salt content of soft water concerns you, you could look into installing a reverse-osmosis home water filtration system at your sink tap, which would remove any excess sodium as well as bacteria or other contaminants that might be in your water.

Closing Thoughts

Testing to see if your water is hard doesn’t have to be a confusing process. The methods we’ve outlined above constitute an observational test that anyone can perform to quickly determine whether their water is hard. Key indicators of hard water are mineral buildup around faucets and plumbing fixtures, spots and film on dishes after they have been cleaned and dried, and ever-present soap scum or suds in your showers and on your sinks.

Alongside these indicators, there are some additional ways that you can tell your water or drinking water is hard. You may notice that your hair is dry and dull, both of which are often the result of a buildup of minerals from hard water on your hair follicles. Hard water can also cause the skin on your scalp and body to become more dry or irritated, which stems from a layer of soap left on the skin after it has been washed. This layer of soap is also why your hands might feel a bit dry after washing them in an area with hard water.

While hard water doesn’t have any huge negative health consequences, it does produce unsightly buildup and can impact the operational efficiency of equipment such as water heaters over time. If you live in an area with hard water, switching to soft water is as easy as installing a water softener into your home. Water softeners ensure that all of the water in your house is soft through an ion exchange process, whereby the mineral ions in hard water are extracted and replaced with sodium ions in soft water. 

The tests we have outlined can give you a good idea of whether or not you have hard water. If you want to understand the total hardness of your water, or exactly how hard the water at your tap is, contact Rayne Water today to schedule a free water hardness test. Rayne Water is proud to serve California and Arizona. So if you need a water softener in Phoenix or a reverse osmosis system in San Diego… we’ve got you covered!

Find a location near you!

Sources:

  1. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/hardness-water?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
  2. https://extension.psu.edu/water-softening
  3. https://www.vidwater.org/files/d5ce12c8f/2018+CCR++Final+English+for+POSTING.pdf
  4. https://www.skincarebyalana.com/blog/whats-better-skin-hard-soft-water/
  5. https://www.thespruce.com/solving-hard-water-laundry-problems-2146651
  6. https://www.thespruce.com/soap-scum-information-1900291