You may not have heard it called “hard water” before, but trust us: you hate it. Water that contains high amounts of foreign minerals – primarily calcium and magnesium – is considered hard.
Hard water is the reason you find those crusty stains on your dishes after you get done washing them or the film on your shower door for the starchiness of your clothes after you put them through the wash and the reason your hair feels grimy, dull and lifeless after a shower.
How does this happen?
When water is taken out of the ground and pumped into our supply, it picks up these minerals and more along the way, they dissolve and become part of the flow.
Not only is hard water harmful to dishes, showers, clothes and hair, but it is not safe to drink. Although calcium and magnesium are essential minerals, concentrated consumption can cause health concerns.
Almost as bad, when left unchecked, untreated hard water can cause serious damage to your plumbing. Hard water causes a scale build-up inside the pipes that can lead to blockages and can eventually lead to necessary removal and installation of new pipes – an expensive and laborious process.
Thankfully, you can keep your water “soft” and clean with the help of a water softener.
How does a water softener keep water soft?
Water softeners utilize polystyrene beads inside their mineral tank to eliminate harmful calcium and magnesium from the water supply before it even enters your pipes. It may sound very scientific, but it is actually a very straightforward and easy to understand process.
Let’s break it down.
Calcium and magnesium are negatively charged particles. The polystyrene beads are positively charged. Now, we all know in scientific terms opposites attract (think the positive and negative ends of a magnet).
Therefore, when the untreated hard water if filtered through the water softener, the beads will attract the calcium and magnesium like a magnet. This prevents the minerals from following the water into the plumbing, leaving you with clean and untainted water flowing through the house.
Water softeners prevent a build-up in the water softener by regularly scheduled flushes and regeneration of the beads, starting the process all over again.
Water softeners can last anywhere between 10-20 years. If you notice the quality of your water dropping or your softener not performing as well as it used to, it may be time to replace it. Trust us, this is one appliance you don’t want to see go unattended.
If your system is ready to be replaced or you just have questions about your unit, time to talk to Chapman!