Hard water is a major problem for many American families, especially those who use private wells. While water softening on a large scale is possible, it can be difficult and expensive for suppliers. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, water hardness levels range from moderate to extreme, and most U.S. homes could benefit from water softening. Although the most hard water is found in Hawaii, the Great Lakes region, Tennessee, and Texas are also among the hardest places to find water.
Cost of a water softener
The cost of a water softener will depend on many factors, including your location and the size of your home. Larger homes that use a lot of water will require a larger water softening system, while small households with low water usage will need a smaller unit. The size of the tank and labor required for installation will also determine the cost. Listed below are some of the factors to consider when determining the cost of a water softener.
Some water softeners are easy to install, and can be done by a do-it-yourself type. Other systems require new pipes, which can cost up to $2,000 or more. In either case, the initial cost is incurred, which increases the cost of the system over time. Some systems come with a Connected Series Bluetooth connection, enabling you to monitor the softener’s status, start the regeneration cycle, and view current water usage. Salt refill costs between $10-$20 per month.
A water softener’s price is based on how much water it can soften. A family of four will need a unit with a capacity of 320 gallons per day. Most units also require professional installation, which will add to the overall cost. Commercial water softeners require larger investments due to the scale involved. It’s also important to consider how much water you use. If you’re purchasing a water softener for your home, consider if you’ll need additional units.
Salt is the most common cost of a water softener. Salt-based units require regular salt replenishment. This can run anywhere from $5 to $15 per month, depending on the size of the salt tank. Salt can be expensive, and a high-quality template-assisted crystallization system is a great option for most budgets. It will cost you less than an ion exchange system and won’t result in eight full bathtubs of wastewater per year.
Types of water softeners
Water softeners are a great way to remove unwanted minerals and increase the quality of your water. Hard water contains too many minerals and can cause cardiovascular diseases, bone mineral deficiency, kidney stones, diabetes, constipation, and reproductive failure. To ensure the highest quality water, you should learn more about water treatment options. There are several types of water softeners available. These devices are installed at the point of entry into your home.
Salt-based water softeners typically work through an ion exchange system. They remove hard minerals and replace them with sodium ions. Softened water is then neutralized by adding small amounts of sodium to the water. These systems will require periodic regeneration and backwashing. Some salt-based systems require backwashing. Salt-free water softeners don’t use salt. They merely neutralize the hard minerals in water.
Magnetic water softeners use magnets attached to the incoming water pipe to generate a magnetic field. These devices are relatively inexpensive and compact. The magnetic water softeners are not the best options for removing hard minerals. However, their compact design makes them suitable for any home. But they don’t have the scientific backing of salt-based systems. Besides, this type of water softener can’t remove magnesium or calcium from your water. They may not be as efficient for removing these minerals, though.
A salt-free water softener is an excellent choice for people who don’t want to deal with the extra cost of salt. These units don’t require salting and don’t require additional tanks for brine or draining. They are smaller than their salt-based counterparts, but they also don’t remove minerals. They condition the water and prevent scale formation. They are also more effective for homes that have high levels of iron and calcium.
Health risks of softened water
People with high blood pressure or other medical conditions should avoid drinking softened water. Softened water contains extra sodium, which can be harmful to your health. It also contributes to the rising levels of lead and copper in our water supply. If you’d rather avoid the health risks of softened water, you can install a reverse osmosis system. This machine turns your water into pure drinking water. It can also improve your hair and skin.
A recent study conducted by the University of Nottingham found no evidence that drinking soft water will cause eczema. Researchers recruited 336 children with eczema and installed water softening units in half of their homes. Over a three-month period, they compared the two groups. The children in the group with soft water showed a 20 percent improvement in symptoms compared to those in the group with hard water. Hence, soft water does not cause eczema to worsen.
Additionally, water softeners add sodium to the water supply. While this salt level is harmless in itself, people with high blood pressure should keep their salt intake low. This can be accomplished by separating the drinking water from the cooking, bathing, and laundry water. Also, people with sodium imbalance should avoid eating too much salty processed foods. If you choose not to do this, then softened water might not be the right choice for you.
The use of salt in water softeners has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. A World Health Organization study is currently being conducted to determine whether the correlation is causal. This is a valid concern, but it does not mean that you should stop using your softener. In the meantime, you can consult with a North Carolina Water Consultant to find out more about softeners and how to use them. If you’re curious about the health risks of softened water, contact North Carolina Water Consultants today!
Regeneration of a water softener
How to check if your water softener is regenerating properly? One way to find out is to look at the capacity bar chart on the softener’s control panel. This chart shows the softening capacity of the system, in terms of the capacity it has when it was last regenerated. On the left, the capacity bar is at 0% Exhausted, and on the right, it shows 100 percent Exhausted. The capacity bar chart will show how much salt remains in the softening system.
Most water softeners regenerate on a timed cycle. In most cases, this cycle is timed to match water usage. Often, the regeneration cycle is delayed until nighttime. The water softener must have a large reserve capacity, about 70% of the capacity, to ensure that it continues to provide soft water. If the regeneration cycle is triggered too soon, water will not reach the softener’s reserve capacity, and it will need to regenerate again.
Regeneration of a water softener can be automatic or manual, and is usually scheduled in accordance with water usage. It is important to know which mode to choose, as some water softeners require more frequent charging. In order to avoid this, make sure you set a timer for the regeneration cycle. It is better to choose a timer that is based on water usage rather than relying on an automatic timer.
The amount of water softened between service runs depends on a number of factors, including the chemistry of the water supply and the total hardness of the water. The average amount of soft water that can be accumulated during a day is 50 percent. Regeneration can happen as early as 40% of the capacity of the softener. If a system regenerates prematurely, it wastes both salt and regeneration water.
Maintenance of a water softener
The first step in water softener maintenance is to check the salt level. The amount of salt that your water softener needs depends on the size of your unit and the amount of hardness in your water. If you notice a significant drop in the level of salt, it’s time to add more salt. Other regular maintenance tasks include adding salt and cleaning the brine tank. Water softeners may not need to be cleaned very often, but it is important to clean it periodically to avoid problems.
Occasionally, you may notice a crust of dirt on the salt tank. This is called a salt bridge and is a major problem. Ensure that the salt you purchase is high quality to avoid a salt bridge. You should also periodically clean the system by cleaning the salt tank with clear water. You can do this by periodically checking for salt bridges, and using a broom to gently poke the area with a broom to remove dirt and debris. The salt bridges should come off soon enough. Maintenance of a water softener is standard for any unit.
Water softeners are extremely efficient at doing their job. If your water is too hard to use soap, you may want to invest in a water softener. Not only will it reduce your soap and detergent usage, but it can also improve the performance of your water heater. Hard water can even damage tankless water heaters. For more information about water softeners, visit the National Water Softener Association website.