How do you know if you need a water softener? Our home improvement expert offers insight on what they are and how they work, and what to look for to know you need one.
While many of you may get city water, there are some folks who have to turn to water softeners to treat their water. Think you may need a water softener? Here’s a breakdown of what they are and what exactly they do:
What is a water softener?
A Water Softener is a filtration system that works to remove high concentrations of calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. When water flows through a Water Softener, the system filters out these hard water minerals and the softened water then leaves the water softening system to flow through plumbing.
What is hard water?
When you hear the words “hard water,” what’s being referenced is water that contains high concentrations of minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, that bond easily with other types of metals. Eventually, all of this build-up becomes something that you can see, like the crusty residue on your shower head.
Hard water got its name from the hardened mineral deposits that this type of water leaves behind. Hard water doesn’t build up in “safe” areas, it can clog and even corrode pipes and cause significant plumbing issues. Hard water deposits in boilers and hot water heaters can also make these appliances less efficient and more expensive to use.
How does a water softener work?
A water softener works a lot like a magnet does. They work off the fact that positive and negative things attract. Because calcium and magnesium are both positively charged molecules, a water softener will sent these molecules through a filter that is filled with negatively charged resin beads. When the hard water moves through the resin beads, opposites attract and the molecules bond with the negative charges.