Advantages of Soft Water

May 20 2016


Hard water can adversely affect everything from clothes and plumbing fixtures to your skin. Minerals like calcium and magnesium leave residue on pipes, fixtures, and appliances and build-up over time. This can eventually compromise the flow of the pipes and lead to difficult to remove scaling. Water softeners are the most efficient, house-wide, method for eliminating hard water and preserving plumbing and fixtures. For washing dishes and drinking, reverse osmosis systems and other filtration can eliminate minerals causing hard water, but the most economical option for the entire house is a water softener.

How Water is Softened

Water softeners work through a process of ion exchange. Calcium and magnesium ions are exchanged for sodium ions. These ions are considered more favorable to plumbing since there is no hard scale buildup. Soft water is also, unsurprisingly, softer to the touch. A water softener appliance consists of a tank full of tiny beads. These beads are negatively charged and bind with sodium ions, swapping places with calcium and magnesium ions as water flows past the beads.

This process can only go on for so long before the sodium ion exchange can no longer keep up with the quantity of calcium and magnesium ions. To resolve this, water softeners go through a regeneration process where a sodium chloride solution soaks the beads to help eliminate the hard minerals and soften the water. The process ends with the water softener flushing the excess sodium solution down the drain. This exact regeneration cycle varies by water softener, with some using electric timers and others a computer that bases regeneration on water use.

Soft Water Advantages

For better tasting drinking water and longer life for plumbing fixtures and appliances, soft water carries numerous advantages. A home water softener is an important investment for your entire home. With as much water as the average household consumes each day, improving the quality of that water with a water softener can be a worthy decision. Quality, maintained water softeners can easily last a decade. These appliances can also help potentially save on repair or maintenance of plumbing systems and appliances from hard water damage.

Depending on the general quality of the water in your area, water softeners and other purification systems may not just be a luxury–they may be essential to the taste and feel of your drinking, washing, and bathing water. If you have hard water, a water softener is always one of the most important purchases you can make to achieve better quality water and help preserve plumbing. If you are not sure whether you have hard or soft water, check out our water hardness testing guide to find out.

Learn about many more benefits of soft water by having one installed today. Contact Superior Water & Air at 208-343-7683 or visit us online.