The water coming into your home from the city system or a well can have some problems that you will need to correct. Hard water is common in many parts of the country, and while it is not unhealthy, removing the minerals with a water softening system will significantly improve your residential water.
Understanding Hard Water
Hard water has an overabundance of minerals like calcium and magnesium mixed in that is picked up as the water passes through rocks underground. Aluminum, zinc, iron, barium, manganese, and strontium can also be present in hard water. In most cases, the concentrations are small enough amounts that the water is safe but not appealing.
The minerals can build up in the pipes and cause blockages, and minerals like iron leave behind unsightly stains that are hard to remove. Dealing with hard water typically requires a water softening system that removes the minerals and adjusts the PH levels of the water to make it safe, palatable, and helps reduce plumbing issues.
Water Softening Systems
When considering a water softening system for your home, the first step is to have your water professionally tested by an independent lab. Many labs will send you a kit that includes everything you need to collect a water sample and send it to them for testing.
Once the lab completes the test, they will send you a report and recommendations for your water. In some cases, a small water softening system will be enough to remedy the situation. Other times the test may indicate the need for a whole house water softening system installed on the water line coming into the house.
With the report in hand, check with your local water softener installer to discuss the best system for the water conditions at your home. The installer can look at which minerals need removing and recommend the proper water softening system to target the problem areas.
Installing The Water Softener
Once you have decided on a water softening system for your home, the installer can come and put it in for you. If you have a basement, installing the water softening system there is best, but if you don't, some systems can operate outside your home where the water line enters the house.
The water line is redirected to the softener, so the water passes through several different media types inside the system. The media absorbs the minerals, cleaning the water as it passes through, and several times a month, the system will backflush the media with a salt brine that cleans it so it continues working.
Maintenance on the system is low, and most installers also offer service once or twice a year. The service tech will refill the media if needed and add salt to the system for the salt brine flush.