More and more people are choosing to install home water softeners in their homes and offices but what are the benefits and how do they work?
Water softeners are designed to remove calcium and magnesium from the water supply where it enters the house, by a process of reverse osmosis, sometimes referred to as ion exchange Water Softeners Hub. The hard water enters a series of resin filters in the water softener system containing tiny polymeric beads which are specially formulated to enable them to be charged with sodium ions. As the hard water filters through the water softener the ions of calcium and magnesium are exchanged for sodium ions. Sodium, better known of course as salt, is highly soluble, unlike calcium, and is able to remain in solution whilst in your home water system and not be deposited in the form of lime scale and scum as is the case with untreated hard water. Once the resin filters have exchanged all their sodium charged ions for calcium and magnesium ions it is a simple matter to recharge the water filter by flushing it through with a salt water solution. Home water softeners come in a variety of sizes so it is a simple process to obtain one which is the correct capacity for your needs.
An alternative to a home water softener are the various water conditioners. These are usually electrostatic or electromagnetic devices which work by introducing an electric charge to the water supply as it enters the house. This encourages the formation of crystals within the water to which, when heated, the calcium particles will attach themselves instead of to the pipe work or other metalwork. Whilst generally low in price and easy to install they are not as efficient as a water softener system and have fewer health benefits.
One of the more popular choices of water filter in the U.S is the Fleck 5600 electronic on demand water softener system. Costing between $700 and $900, according to capacity, they typically come with free shipping and will recoup their cost within a few years.
One of the first things most people notice after fitting a water softening system is the reduction in cleaning time spent on taps, showers, basins, just about everywhere that is touched by water. Not only will you spend a fraction of your previous amount on cleaning products and other harsh chemicals but your new soft water will ‘lather up’ much more than before allowing you to also save on household soaps, shampoo and even clothes washing products. By eliminating the build up of lime scale in your pipe work, radiators and central heating boiler, enabling them to operate more efficiently, you will not only save money on heating bills but you will prolong the lifespan of these units.
Water treatment can also have health benefits. By using less soaps and shampoo you will notice how much softer your skin and hair will feel without the need for expensive moisturizers and conditioners. Water softeners also have beneficial effects for Eczema and Psoriasis sufferers. In addition to greatly reducing the amount of harsh, drying, soaps and shampoos used, studies in the U.K, Japan and Spain suggest that the incidence of Eczema and Psoriasis in hard water areas can be as much as 50% higher than in soft water areas.