Water quality is so important, yet most people think only of drinking water when they hear those two words. But there is so much more! According to the EPA, the average American uses 90 gallons of water in their home a day, and each American household uses about 107,000 gallons every year. It would be impossible to clean dishes, wash clothes, cook, water your garden or take a shower without it. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to save money and time by just having soft water? Read on!
The Cold, “Hard” Facts About Water Quality
Hard water is ground water that has picked up minerals from the earth such as magnesium and chalky calcium. Water that has high levels of calcium can clog up pipes with minerals that are left behind as the water flows through them.
According to Yong Wang, an executive engineer for the City of Houston’s Public Works and Engineering program, Houston water has up to 50 mg/L of calcium and up to 5.8 mg/L of magnesium, and all of that is slowly but surely building up in your pipes and appliances. Any water that has above 1 grain per gallon of dissolved minerals is considered hard, and anything with 10.5 grains per gallon and above is considered extremely hard. Guess what? Houston’s water contains around 8.5 grains per gallon, and that’s pretty darn hard!
Hard water also reduces the ability of soap to lather and the minerals tend to form a sticky scum with the soap, thus preventing easy rinsing. It leaves sediments and other pollutants in your water, as well as those white, chalky scale and residue marks in our kitchens and bathrooms that we all know and hate.
A water softener works as an ion exchanger, helping get rid of the mess. It is hooked up to your water supply intake by a qualified technician, and then exchanges the hard water’s high levels of calcium and magnesium with sodium, and the difference will be immediate.
Not fully convinced yet that water quality can affect quality of life? We’ll let the endless benefits of coming to the soft side do all the convincing.
Water Softener Removes Scale and Scum
A water softener will eliminate the presence of scum in your home. Some people use harsh liquid soaps to get rid of scum, but this is horrible on your skin and can get expensive. With soft water, you will finally have a clean bathroom and kitchen without as much hassle!
Water Softeners Minimizes Housework
Not only are things like dirt, scale and other contaminants gross, but we also aren’t exactly jumping for joy when we have to clean them off our stuff. Your shower won’t need a thorough scrub for weeks, and that annoying build up on your showerhead will be as good as gone. A study by the Water Quality Association revealed that showerheads on hard water lost 75% of their flow rate in less than 18 months. With your kitchen and bathrooms clean, your weekend chore days and entertaining guests will be stress free. Soft water will never leave the spot marks that you get with hard water, and it minimizes hard to clean rust stains, so no more cleaning required there either!
Saving money becomes the norm when you add water softeners to your home. You really will see how much less you spend on things like detergent, surface cleaners, dish soap, shower cleaners, scale removers, and floor cleaners. According to the WQA study, when hard water is converted to soft water, “detergent use can be reduced by 50% and the washing can be carried out in 60ºF cold water instead of 100ºF hot water and achieve the same or better stain removal yielding whiter clothes.”
Soft water will also remove scale from your water heater and prevent it from clogging up your system, which will save you a bunch of money on repairs. The same WQA study concluded that hard water causes a 4% increase in cost with gas heaters, while using soft water in your tankless heater will save you 40%.
Water Softeners Improves the Health of Hair and Skin
In Texas weather, bad hair days can sometimes be unavoidable. But did you know that hard water causes them even more? It also damages your hair with all those minerals and other sediments that get mixed in when shampooing, causing dull and damaged hair. The exact same thing happens with your skin. The dissolved rock in hard water actually reacts with the chemicals in the soap, creating a sticky residue that’s hard to wash away. This can clog pores and make your skin dry and rough. It can even cause acne or other infections due to bacteria being trapped in the pores beneath that nasty scum.
Usually soaps are made with mixes of sodium and potassium, like sodium stearate. Sodium stearate reacts with the calcium compounds in the water and creates calcium stearate, which is what gets left on your skin. Yes, you read that right. There is a gross, sticky chemical that gets left on your skin, preventing it from being clean and bright. Opt for a water softener to make sure your hair and skin get what is best.
Water Softeners Makes Food and Drinks Taste Better
With a water softener, you can taste the difference in your food and drinks. Those weird tastes and odors coming from your water will be gone, giving you a much better beverage. You will be able to make things like tea, coffee, lemonade, or even cocktails without any odors or minerals messing up the flavors you are craving. Your meals will also taste better, and even baking has been shown to improve with soft water. For example, using water that is very hard when making bread can toughen gluten excessively, making it hard on mixers and delaying fermentation.
Water Softeners Help your Appliances Last Longer
Both gas storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters using soft water were found to maintain the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime, greatly reducing the amount of time it takes to replace it. When it is something as expensive as a water heater, you don’t want to mess around. A water softener will also remove all present scale from household appliances, pipes and surfaces like showers and baths. These things won’t need to be replaced as soon as if you had hard water, and it will also prevent the build up from re-occurring.
Water Softeners Help Keep your Dishes and Laundry Looking Nice and New Longer
By now, it is drilled in your head that hard water carries minerals and other residues that clog up pipes and appliances. But it doesn’t stop there. Your clothes will look better when you use softened water because the little particles won’t be there to be rough on them while whirling around in the washing machine. Also, studies show that soft water actually helps remove stains better than hard water, so your clothes will last longer and shine brighter. It’s the same for dishes, too. Soft water will clean your dishes better without all that nasty buildup getting in the way, and your glassware will be completely etch-free.
Water Softeners Can Improve You & Your Family’s Quality of Life
Getting a water softener installed will give you all the benefits listed above and more. Extra money and time sound great, don’t they? Add better looking skin and hair to the mix, and what’s not to like?
It is important to know that hard water brings more sediments than just calcium or manganese. For example, ferrous iron is a common mineral that is found, and it creates really bad rust stains in sinks, tubs and toilets. Remember that rotting egg smell? That’s caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. All these problems and more can be filtered out of your water with special water treatment softening systems. You need to have a water treatment system designed for getting rid of these additional minerals, but a water softener installed by a John Moore professional is an excellent place to start cashing in on the benefits.
Don’t let your home’s water quality slip through your fingers. Start living a healthier life today!