Stated simply, a water softener is a whole-house filtration system that removes calcium and magnesium minerals from hard water through a process called ion exchange. Once the removal is accomplished, softened water flows into your plumbing system to your faucets and appliances.
What is Hard Water and Why Is It a Problem?
Hard water is the type of water that contains high concentrations of minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, and it flows into millions of American homes every day. In fact, it might surprise you to know that slightly over 89% of Americans use hard water for their daily cooking, bathing, and cleaning.
The unfortunate thing about all this is that over time, hard water can wreak havoc on your faucets and household appliances. It can also create problems for your skin and hair.
Through daily use, the minerals in hard water bond with other minerals to form something that’s visible, like, for example, the crusty residue you might see on your shower head. In fact, that’s how hard water got its name, from the hardened mineral deposits left behind by this kind of water.
Unfortunately, with the passage of time, these mineral deposits can corrode and clog the pipes in your plumbing system. They can also build up in your water heater or boiler, making these less efficient and more expensive to operate.
The solution to this hard water issue is a water softener.
How a Water Softening System Works
To understand how a water softener works, think of having two bar magnets. Each magnet has a positive and a negative end. If, for example, you try to connect one positive end to the other’s positive end (or negative to negative ends) they will repel each other. But if you try to connect the positive end of one with the negative end of the other, they will immediately connect.
That’s basically how a water softener works, opposites attracting each other.
The calcium and magnesium minerals found in hard water are made up of positively charged ion particles. As these ions move through the water softener they pass through a filter filled with negatively charged resin beads. As with magnets, the opposites attract each other, and the hardening-causing ions are removed as they’re attracted to the negatively charged beads. The end result is greatly improved water quality and soft water flowing into your household plumbing system.
Think You Might Need a Water Softener?
You may well need a water softener in your home if you’re dealing with any of these issues:
- Any mineral-like crust deposit build up on things like your shower head or faucets
- Soap scum build up on shower walls or sinks
- Stiff clothing after you’ve done a load of laundry
- Dull hair and dry or irritated skin after you’ve bathed or showered
Water Softening Solutions from Wilbur’s
If you’re dealing with any of these hard water-related issues and would like to know more about water softeners, give us a call at Wilbur’s. We’ll be happy to discuss your options with you and give you a free, no obligation estimate on the cost of a water softener system for your home.
Above all, think pink, think Wilbur’s, and know that at Wilbur’s we’re always here for you with the very best plumbing, heating, and air conditioning solutions available in the greater Birmingham area.