Water softening eliminates hard water minerals from your tap and drinking water supply. Hard water minerals are usually calcium, magnesium, iron, or manganese. However, water hardness can vary depending on location, so it can be difficult to generalize which minerals are in your water supply. In short, if your local water has a high mineral content, you will need a system to remove these metals from your domestic supply. That is why people nowadays prefer whole house soft water systems.
How Does it Work?
Softening water requires adding a substance to the water that will attract the mineral ions. This substance is usually salt or a mixture of salts such as sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.
- Ion exchange water softening uses a resin with a high water content to attract the minerals. The resin then holds the ions so they won’t re-enter the water. Water softening systems use either pure or pre-mixed resin.
- Reverse osmosis water softening is also known as RO, and it is the most popular water softener method today. This solution is eventually passed back into the water supply and recirculated.
- Distillation is another system that can remove minerals from your drinking water supply. The distillate is stored back in a tank and filtered before being added to your drinking water supply.
Water softeners help conserve water by removing the hardness minerals, which make it feel so harsh. These minerals can come out of your pipes and leave mineral build-up on your shower walls, sink, etc. When you have a water softener installed in your home, the hardness minerals are replaced with salt pellets that sit in a drum inside the machine. The saltwater is released into your pipes, where it washes away your build-up and leaves you with soft tasting water.
The Pros and Cons of Water Softeners
This might be a bad idea in terms of actual hard water problems. However, studies have shown that too much salt in the water can lead to high blood pressure, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. So, all houses should have whole house soft water systems.
In some cases, soft water has even been known to cause heart attacks in people with heart issues.
Salt is also bad for pets who drink it because they need to drink more to get the same amount of hydration as they would with regular water.
On the other hand, soft water can cost less to run because it doesn’t leave any mineral build-up on pipes. But it can also be dangerous for your pipes, so frequent water testing is recommended.
To Sum It Up
Whether you have a soft water system or not, regularly filtered water is a must for any household. This will protect your pipes from damage and keep your family safe from the harsh effects of salt and the chemicals present in untreated tap water. If possible, there should be whole house soft water systems.