Your Guide to the Different Types of Water Softeners

Around 15 percent of Americans rely on private wells as their water source. Because this water is not regulated by the state or federal government, how do you know if it’s safe?

Not only is hard water damaging for your plumbing pipes, but it can also harm your health. From diarrhea to central nervous system issues, the adverse health outcomes from drinking hard water are only just coming to light.

What is the best water softener for homeowners? These machines can be expensive, so read on to learn more about the different types of water softeners before you make a purchase.

What Is a Water Softener?

A water softener is a mechanical unit that homeowners can use to improve hard water. It removes the minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese, from the water. In a residential home, you usually store the system in a basement, crawlspace, or garage.

The Water Quality Association classifies soft water as water with a maximum of 1 grain of minerals per gallon (gpg) of water, while hard water starts at 7 gpg.

The most common water softener types use ion-exchanging resin. Water flows through a negatively charged resin bed. The positively charged metal ions bind to this material and are extracted from the water, turning it soft.

Understanding the Types of Water Softeners

Where softeners differ is the kind of salt they use as the water softener agent. Some machines hydrogen salt, while others use sodium or potassium salts.

In these ion-exchange systems, the hardness minerals are washed into the greywater pipes leading away from your home. The remaining soft water is ready for you to use in your bathroom or kitchen.

Some people have concerns about the environmental and health effects of the salt used in ion-exchange systems. If that’s you, consider one of the high-quality salt-free water softeners on the market today. They use nanotechnology to stop the water molecules from creating a damaging scale–that white, crusty stuff that collects on your taps and in your sinks.

Check this out for an example of a salt-free system that naturally and safely softens your water.

You might be wondering whether to buy electric or off-grid water softener brands? If you’re looking for the latest in tracking features, go with electric. If you want a system that uses the least energy and fixes your hard water problem, non-electric will work well for you.

Making Your Machine Last

Eventually, you will need to replenish the salt in your water softener system. On average, most homeowners will need to refill their salt supply somewhere between every month and twice a year.

Whether you have an electrical or non-electric water softener, the machine will have moving parts. It’s not uncommon for these parts to wear out. If this happens, they will need to be replaced, sometimes at considerable costs.

To avoid unexpected breakdowns, hire a water filtration technician to complete a full-system checkup biannually. This will set you back a reasonable $100 plus per service.

Make sure you’re clear on warranty and guarantee terms when considering water softener cost, too.

Investment in a Healthy Future

No matter the types of water softeners you prefer, getting this filtration machine installed in your home will offer you peace of mind. Spending the money now to safeguard your family’s health and the health of your plumbing systems is guaranteed to pay off in the long run.

Take a look at the other articles on our blog for more tips and tricks on home renovation and care.

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