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Using Water Softeners to Combat Hard Water

If you have hard water, there's a good chance you've considered installing a water softener. Hard water contains high levels of minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which can cause all sorts of problems in your home. These minerals can build up on fixtures and appliances, making them less efficient and requiring more energy to run. They can also cause soap to lose its lathering ability, making it less effective at cleaning clothes and dishes. Installing a water softener can help solve these problems by removing the minerals from your water supply.

Water softeners work by exchanging the ions in the hard water with sodium or potassium ions. This process is called ion exchange, and it's what allows the water softener to effectively remove the minerals from your water. The softened water will then flow through your plumbing system without leaving behind any mineral deposits. There are two types of ion exchange systems: salt-based and salt-free. Salt-based systems use sodium to exchange with the hardness ions in the water, while salt-free systems use potassium. Both types of systems are effective at removing minerals from your water supply, but they work differently.

Salt-based systems are typically more expensive than salt-free systems, but they're also more effective at removing hardness from your water. Salt-based systems also require regular maintenance, like adding salt to the brine tank every few months. But if you have hard water, a salt-based system is likely your best option for effectively reducing mineral buildup in your home.

Salt-free systems don't remove hardness from your water; instead, they prevent hardness crystals from forming in the first place. These systems don't require any maintenance beyond occasional filter changes, making them a low-cost option for people with moderate hardness levels in their water supply. However, because they don't actually remove hardness ions from the water, they may not be as effective at preventing mineral buildup on fixtures and appliances. If you have very hard water, a salt-free system may not be able to adequately protect your home against mineral deposits.

Contact us on 01458 860 557 for an independent water treatment expert advice suited for your individual circumstances and budget.