If you've recently moved to a new home that has hard water, you may be unhappy with the mineral scale that builds up in your shower and the way the hard water affects your laundry. If you're ready for permanent hard water treatment, talk to a plumber about getting a water softener or conditioner installed. Here's how these hard water treatments work and how they protect your plumbing and appliances from damage.
Hard Water Can Harm Your Plumbing
Hard water might be annoying to you because your dish soap doesn't lather and your skin feels tight after you shower, but hard water is more than just an annoyance. The minerals in the water can build up inside your plumbing and appliances and cause damage.
Your washer, coffee pot, and anything else that is in contact with the hard water will probably have a shorter lifespan unless you work to clean the hard water scale away. Hard water can also damage your plumbing. The mineral scale can build up in the water heater and inside pipes.
By installing a water softener, problems with mineral scale buildup are eliminated, and that could give you more years of life from your plumbing and appliances and also help them avoid breaking down as often.
A Water Softener Uses Salt To Soften Water
A water softener uses salt to cause a chemical reaction that makes water soft. The appliance is usually installed in the main water line before the water heater, so everything past the water softener is protected from mineral scale.
You have to maintain a water softener, and you might be able to enter a service contract with a water softener company to clean and fill the tank when needed. If the tank runs out of salt, the water will be hard again, so keeping up with maintenance is important.
You'll want soft water for your laundry room and all of your bathrooms. You may prefer bypassing the faucet in your kitchen that supplies drinking water, so you'll want to discuss that option with your plumber.
By having soft water in your bathroom, the tile and tub will be much easier to clean. Soft water in your laundry room ensures the laundry soap is more effective and that your clothing is softer and cleaner.
A Water Conditioner Doesn't Use Salt
Some municipalities don't allow the use of water softeners that rely on salt. If that's the case for you, you can have a water conditioner installed instead. These salt-free hard water treatment appliances don't remove the minerals, they alter the minerals in the water so the minerals don't stick to surfaces and cause scale buildup.
Both a softener and a conditioner eliminate problems with hard water, but they work a little differently. You may want to discuss the pros and cons of each type of appliance with your plumber so they can help you choose the best way to soften your water.