FAQ About Home Water Softeners
If you live in an area where the public water is “hard,” it’s wise to have a water softener installed in your home. This device attaches to your home’s main water supply, and it treats the water as it comes into the building. Although water softeners are common, many homeowners don’t quite understand what they do or why they are important. The answers to these frequently asked questions will shed some light on that topic.
How do water softeners work?
Hard water is water that contains a high concentration of calcium and magnesium. These minerals change the way the water behaves. They make it harder to produce a lather with soap, and make the water more irritating to skin. A water softener works by removing these minerals from the water. The water passes through a tank that contains beads made of polystyrene. These beads are bonded to sodium ions, which replace the magnesium and calcium ions in the water. When the water emerges from the water softener, it is much lower in calcium and magnesium. It’s not salty either — the amount of sodium soft water contains is very small.
Is it safe to drink water that has been treated with the water softener?
Water that has gone through a water softener is no more or less dangerous to drink than your original, hard tap water. As stated above, it contains only trace amounts of sodium that will not cause harm and won’t cause it to taste salty. No harsh chemicals are used to soften the water. You should still strongly consider running the water through a filter to remove potential contaminants before drinking — these are the same contaminants that may have been in your water before it went through the softener.
Why is having soft water so important?
Softening your water is important for two main reasons:
It protects your pipes and appliances. The minerals in hard water can deposit on the insides of your pipes, and in appliances such as your coffee maker and washing machine. Over time, this mineral buildup may render your machines unusable and cause blockages in your pipes. By removing these minerals from the water as it enters your home, you prevent these issues.
It’s better for your skin. Hard water allows soap deposits to build up on your skin. This makes your skin dry, flaky and itchy. Soft water, however, does not leave these deposits, so your skin stays feeling moist and healthy.
If you live in an area with hard water, don’t let fear prevent you from installing a water softener. This device is completely safe, and has benefits both for your family’s health and for your pipes.