Around 90% of homes in the US have hard water, which contains magnesium, calcium, and trace minerals. The more of these compounds dissolve in water, the harder it gets, and although hard water is safe to drink, it can wreak havoc on your home fixtures and appliances. For instance, it can leave unsightly stains in your sinks and tubs, destroy clothing, force your water appliances to work harder, plug pipes, and make heating elements less efficient. Hard water can also lead to more than one ‘bad hair day’, as soap doesn’t rinse away as well as if water was soft. It can also make your laundry look less vibrant and feel stiffer. The good news is that turning hard water into soft, innocuous water takes little more than a dedicated system and a bit of salt!
The Hardness of Water Varies Along the US
Depending on the area you live in, you may find that water can range from being slightly hard (0 to 3 grains per gallon) right through to extremely hard (over 14 grains per gallon). Generally, anything between 7 and 10.5 gpg is considered hard. Some of the cities considered to have the hardest water include San Antonio, TX., Tampa, FL., Minneapolis, MN., Jacksonville, FL., and Indianapolis, IN. If you live in a hard-water area, then setting up a home water softening system is a worthwhile investment. Start out by taking a sample of the water in your home and bring it to your local dealer for analysis.
What is a Home Water Softener?
Home water softening systems work by removing magnesium, calcium, and other minerals from drinking water. The system takes the water from your main supply tank, and runs it through a tank containing resins. These resins remove contaminants from the water. The system also comprises a second tank containing salt and a little water. Every two days or so, this briny mixture enters the resin tank and cleans it completely, bringing contaminants to your wastewater drain. If you want to know how often to add salt to your water softener, the answer is easy: just keep an eye on your saltwater tank! You don’t need to worry about exact amounts; at first, just dump a bag or two of salt and make sure it is above the water level. A good rule of thumb is to check every two months and add salt as needed.
What Type of Salt Should You Use?
To keep your water soft and your appliances in tip-top condition, choose the right type of salt. The optimal quality to go for is salt pellets since these have a high purity level. The salt dissolves completely, which helps keep your system completely clog-free. If you only use rock or solar salt, you are far more likely to find little ‘bridges’ that cause harmful clogs.
The vast majority of American households have hard water. This can affect your pipes and other equipment, wrest from the quality of your heating and other systems, and make your clothes and hair look less than their best. The easy and affordable solution to the problem involves setting up a water softener system, which is easy and cheap to maintain year-round.