If your dishes are continuously showing water spots, your shower supplies don’t lather well and you have dingy laundry, it’s likely that hard water is the culprit. Hard water contains an excess of minerals that cling to surfaces when the water dries. These minerals are not harmful to your health, but they can destroy the quality of household items and appliances.
Fortunately, purchasing a water softener is an easy way to solve this issue. This guide will provide you with five essential tips for choosing the right water softener for your home.
1. Consider family health conditions
A common treatment for hard water is using sodium chloride to remove other minerals from the water supply. It works by switching ions with the excess minerals which creates slightly salty, softer water. However, it is not safe for family members who are dealing with high blood pressure, heart disease or who are on low-sodium diets to use this type of softener. In this case, it’s best to choose a potassium chloride based system.
2. Calculate water usage
An important aspect of choosing a water softener is determining the tank size that your house will need. The average person uses around 80 gallons of water every day which means a large family uses over 300 gallons in a day. Since the average water hardness is equal to 10 grains, a family of four requires a system that can handle at least 3,200 grains daily. If you’re a single or couple, you can opt for a smaller tank.
3. Regeneration and convenience
To make sure the water stays soft, these systems regenerate every once and a while. Automatic, manual and timer based regeneration systems are all available. Automatic systems come with a digital reader that has a regeneration schedule programmed into it. Manual water softener systems need to be turned on and off by hand while those on a timer regenerate at the designated time every day.
If you’re a busy or forgetful person, it’s best to choose an automatic or timer system. However, every system requires you to keep salt brine or potassium pellets on hand for refilling the tank periodically.
4. Choose durable materials
Water softener tanks are made out of a variety of materials, and it’s a good idea to make sure you’re choosing one that won’t corrode easily. Certain tanks are made from certified and noncorrosive materials such as resins and reinforced fiberglass. The last thing you want to deal with is a corroding water tank. Inspect the brine tank as well to make sure that it’s sturdy and has a functional design.
Another thing to keep an eye for in construction is minimal moving parts. Softener systems with fewer parts are easier to maintain and they require fewer repairs.
5. Check the local laws
Even though salt water softeners are commonly used, many cities and towns have bans on their use due to environmental hazards. Salt water is harmful to plants, animals and certain people. Before you install a sodium chloride water softener, be sure to check out the restrictions set by your local laws. You can also avoid this issue altogether by choosing a potassium chloride system.