Choosing a New Water Softener for Your Home

Hard water or water with excess minerals can cause problems with your plumbing, appliances and fixtures. Water softeners takes out the calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium ions, making the water “soft” and easier on your plumbing and leaving less residue on dishes and your skin. There are many different factors to consider when buying a new water softener. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Water consumption. You need a water softener that will meet your water consumption needs. Average use per person in U.S. homes is under 100 gallons per day. Your home consumption will depend on the size of your family and your typical consumption.
  • Automatic or on demand. Water softeners can be automatic or on demand. Automatic softeners are timed and soften the same amount of water at the same time each day. On demand types will soften as needed, which is good for homes where water consumption fluctuates. Although many people prefer the on demand option for ease and efficiency, they generally will be a larger initial investment than an automatic water softener.
  • Repair and maintenance. It is important to know what your new water softener will need for ongoing maintenance and ensure that your local plumber will be able to handle any repairs needed on the brand and model you choose. Ease in keeping your water softener clean and maintained is important if you want to avoid service calls to your plumber.

Your local plumber can help you determine the best size and type of water softener that will meet your needs. Make sure to discuss the pros and cons of the different types and what will best fit your lifestyle.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA
(703) 435-4441

Your Hard Water Solution

Hard water is filled with magnesium, calcium and other various minerals. This affects our daily lives in many ways if we live in a house that only has hard water. Keeping bathtubs and sinks free of buildup can be a never-ending task, clothes will look increasingly dingy and hair and body never feel quite clean. Furthermore, it can affect the taste of coffee, tea, drinking water and any other beverages one makes at home. In some cases, the mineral buildup can be so extensive that it negatively impacts the flow of water through a house’s entire plumbing system.

Some households have given up completely and resort to purchasing water by the bottle and by the jug. The most popular solution to the hard water problem, however, is to get a water softener installed. This can either be done by the homeowner or, in many cases, a trained professional, as water and electricity will need to be hooked up to the water softener.

Water softeners can be purchased at appliance stores, hardware stores and large retailers. Some, but not all, require the use of special water softening pellets, which one will need to purchase on a regular basis to keep the system working. Water softeners vary in size, which can make a difference when it comes to transporting it to your home from where it is purchased and where the unit can be placed in the home. With the variety of water softeners on the market, it is always a good idea to consult a local trained professional to help choose the unit that best suits your needs and provide professional installation.

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing

Hard Water Solutions for the Average Homeowner

Living in a home with hard water can wreak havoc on your skin, dishes and plumbing fixtures. Unfortunately, an estimated four out of five American homes have to contend with hard water. While you may have resigned yourself to a life of soap that doesn’t later and build-up on your showerhead, there are solutions that can make a big difference in your water supply and quality of life.

When you’re forcing hard water through your hot water heater, you’re running the risk of mineral buildup accumulating on heating elements and within the tank. Your washing machine can also suffer from the addition of these mineral deposits, so it genuinely pays to look into water softening options. When you consider the cost of a water softener installation versus the cost of opting to live with hard water, you may be surprised by the results. After all, soft water will allow you to replace appliances less often, use less soap and shampoo in the shower, and replace your clothing less often.

Contacting a licensed and experienced plumbing professional in your area to discuss your water softening options is an investment that will pay off in spades in the long run. By working with a professional plumber, you’ll be able to determine which method of softening your water is most feasible and effective for your home. Before you’re forced to replace another hot water heater, dishwasher or favorite garment because of hard water damage, get in touch with a professional plumbing expert in your area. You may be surprised by just how much changes after your home is fitted with a water softener.

Posted on behalf of Kiddco Plumbing

Google

Does Hard Water Matter?

Yes, it does! Most of us know that we prefer soft water since it feels better on our skin, in our hair, and we tend to use less soap. Rarely do we give any thought as to the difference between hard water versus soft water; nor, do we spend much time worrying about the potential damage of using hard water. Perhaps we should give it some of our attention.

Simply put, hard water is water that has a high mineral content, in contrast to soft water which does not. There is a lot of chemistry that we could go into here relative to the concentration of positively charged metal complexes, ions that enter the water supply from common minerals containing primarily calcium and magnesium sulfates. Rainwater and distilled water are soft because they contain few ions.

It is important to note that there has been no correlation between drinking hard water and human illness. However, hard water can seriously damage machinery and equipment that handle the water. This could also negatively affect your home’s piping, boiler, water heater, and other plumbing fixtures. Therefore, wherever water hardness is a concern, most homes and businesses install modern water softeners to help combat its effects.

Hard water forms deposits (like soap scum) that clog plumbing. These deposits build up on the surfaces of pipes and heat exchangers, resulting in restricting the flow of water in pipes or causing corrosion. For the maintenance and safety of your plumbing system, you may want to have your local plumbing professional test the hardness of your water and, if necessary, look into various softening options.

 

Does Your Home Have Hard Water?

A vast majority of American homes, about 4 out of 5, have hard water. While some cities may claim some softening of their water, no city really provides soft water for their consumers. Many people have older water purification systems that they’ve just never felt the need to upgrade or, for that matter, even test as to its effectiveness. Unfortunately, water is something that most of us simply take for granted.

If you want to determine if you have hard water in your home, here are some signs that you can look for. With hard water, it feels difficult to get a lather worked up on a dish cloth or bath cloth from your bar of soap or liquid dish detergent; however, it will usually leave a scum-type appearance on top of your water or along the side of your sink. One of the first places to look for this white scum-like substance would be your showerhead; check to see if there is a build-up of white, crusty, material. Does your kitchen sprayer not work because of white, encrusted, mineral build-up? Also, look inside your dishwasher to see if the heating element is encrusted with minerals.

If you suspect that your home has hard water, you may want to call your local plumbing professional to test your water and check your overall plumbing system for any damage or corrosion. While a good water company can test the hardness of your water, they may also come with a convincing sales pitch for their particular water softening or refining product.  Your plumber should be able to help you narrow down the options as to what would be most beneficial and cost effective water softener for your home.

The Problem with Hard Water

You probably have magnesium and calcium supplements included as part of your daily multivitamin. These two compounds, essential to the healthy function of your body, can be problematic for your appliances and plumbing when they’re found in your water supply.

Hard water is a term used to describe water that contains high levels of mineral salts, and it can cause bigger problems than just a lack of lather from your favorite soap. Limescale build-up within your pipes can restrict the water flow over time, causing slow drainage that commercial drain cleaners usually won’t fix. Shower heads, faucets and valves can also fall victim to limescale build-up that reduces water flow.

Your water heater, one of the more expensive appliances in your home, can also be damaged by mineral deposits that form as a result of hard water. Those spots on your glassware after a cycle through the dishwasher aren’t just a mild irritant; they can be a sign of a problem that could affect the longevity of the dishwasher itself. The washing machine that keeps your clothes clean can also be adversely affected by hard water, with limescale deposits and rust inside the machine, along the hoses and water lines. Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution to your hard water problems.

Contacting a licensed plumber to discuss the use of water softener can help you extend the life of your appliances, prevent limescale build-up on your faucets and valves and prevent the pesky skin and hair dryness that often accompanies showering and bathing in hard water. Your plumber will also be able to answer any questions that you have regarding water softeners and their effect on a septic system.

Protect Your Appliances & Fixtures From Hard Water

Hard water contains minerals which can damage appliances and detract from the beauty of your plumbing fixtures over time. The mineral scale from hard water can build up in the water lines of your refrigerator and inside your dishwasher, in the bowl of your toilets and around your faucets. Hard water scale can also dull the appearance of your bathtub, shower surround or vanity sinks. If your hard water contains iron, the orange stain can build up on your plumbing fixtures, in your appliances and even discolor your clothing when it is washed. Hard water can also cause a build up in your hair that diminishes the shine and softness.

Installation of a water softener or a water filtration system to protect your appliances and fixtures from damage caused by hard water is an investment that easily pays for itself in retaining the value and beauty of the fixtures installed in your home. Filtering out the minerals will also improve the taste of your water, which can affect the taste of beverages like coffee that is made from your tap water.

Selecting the proper softener or filtration system for your home should be done after testing the water for hardness level and the iron levels. Once a system has been selected that will adequately filter the minerals from your water, a licensed plumber can install the filtration or softener system. Be sure to have the functions, settings and maintenance of the system explained to you once the installation is complete. Like any appliance, it must be operated properly to perform the its job adequately.

Why Your Appliances Would Appreciate a Water Softener

If you notice a white residue on your shower walls or your dishes, you may have hard water deposits.  However, you only see a small part of the problem of hard water.  What you don’t see can be even more costly.  Hard water contains calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that harden and can cause many problems on your appliances.

Water Heater

Hard water leaves a build-up on the heating element in your hot water heater as well as along the walls inside the water heater.  This will cause the element to burn out sooner and need to be replaced.  When it builds up too much, you will need to replace your water heater.  It also takes longer for the water to heat due to the build up of minerals inside the water heater.

Washing Machine

Deposits also build up on the inside of a washing machine, causing the hot water to run slower until it doesn’t run at all.  Hard water also prevents clothing from getting as clean as they should because the deposits interact with the soil on the clothes and prevent it from dissolving.  The clothes will also feel scratchy and stiff and may be uncomfortable to wear.

Appliances lose their efficiency with hard water deposits and can consume more energy to do the same amount of work.  They will also wear out sooner than normal and need replacement.  Having hard water in your home can be an expensive mistake.

If you have hard water, installing a water softener can improve the efficiency and life of your appliances.  Your local plumber can help you choose one and install it in your home.

What’s The Best Solution For Rusty Water?

If you have rusty water, the kind of water that leaves those lovely orange-brown stains in your toilets, tubs and sinks, the first step in fixing it is knowing where it is coming from. For some areas of the country, if your home is on a well, you know exactly where it is coming from. However, if you don’t have a well or iron-laden water is not normal in you area, most likely it is coming from within your home. 

There are two main ways rusty water can enter your faucet: your well water or your water heater. Figuring out which one is causing the issue is the next step.

  • Water heater. If your water heater is older, this may be your problem. First try flushing it out to see if that fixes the problem. It may be time to get a new water heater, maybe a tankless version that does not hold water so it does not rust.
  • Well water. If your water is rusty do to the water coming from a well, you need a water softener and/or an iron filter to get the rust out of your water. The amount of rust and other minerals in your water will determine the type of softner or filter required. Have your water tested for hardness by a professional and seek out expert advice on the proper filtration system needed for your particular problem.

Once you have the problem corrected, do a thorough cleaning of your plumbing fixtures to remove the rust deposits with the assurance that the rust stains will not be returning.

 

What Do Water Softeners Do?

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, about 85 percent of American homes have hard water.  Hard water is water that contains excessive minerals or metals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. These minerals dissolve into the water as it flows through the ground.  A water softener (or water conditioner) is an appliance that treats water and reduces the level of minerals and metals in the water.

Hard water is not considered a health hazard, but some people find it to be annoying and it can cause problems with your plumbing.  Some people do not like the taste of hard water find that it leaves them feeling itchy after showering.  Also, hard water leaves mineral deposits behind that may cause noticeable spots on dishes, sinks, showers, or your car.  Over time, hard water can lead to build ups of mineral deposits in shower heads, faucets, water heaters, and plumbing pipes.

These deposits can clog show heads and cause leaky faucets.  Worse, the mineral build up inside your water heater can cause your water heater to work harder which uses more energy and shortens its useful life.  Mineral deposits inside plumbing lines and drains can cause clogs and other problems.

A water softener is a tank that contains little beads called “resin media”.  As your water flows through the resin media, excessive mineral are reduced by exchanging mineral ions with sodium ions.  The result is “soft” water with much lower mineral content but higher sodium content.

Whether or not you need a water softener depends on how hard your water is and your personal preference.  Some people are not bothered by moderately hard water while others prefer softer water. Your plumber can measure the hardness of your water and help you choose and install a water softener that is right for your home.