Many states, including Arizona, struggle with a water supply that is considered “hard.”  Water is considered hard if it has higher concentrations of certain minerals such as calcium.  Hard water can leave water deposits, spots on glass, buildup in your hair and on your skin from showering, and more.  While hard water is not a direct risk to your overall health, it is not ideal.  Water softeners can be installed to help reverse the negative effects of water softeners.

Popular Mechanic explains how water softeners work to combat hard water, “The typical water softener is a mechanical appliance that’s plumbed into your home’s water supply system. All water softeners use the same operating principle: They trade the minerals for something else, in most cases sodium. The process is called ion exchange. The heart of a water softener is a mineral tank. It’s filled with small polystyrene beads, also known as resin or zeolite. The beads carry a negative charge. Calcium and magnesium in water both carry positive charges. This means that these minerals will cling to the beads as the hard water passes through the mineral tank. Sodium ions also have positive charges, albeit not as strong as the charge on the calcium and magnesium. When a very strong brine solution is flushed through a tank that has beads already saturated with calcium and magnesium, the sheer volume of the sodium ions is enough to drive the calcium and magnesium ions off the beads. Water softeners have a separate brine tank that uses common salt to create this brine solution. In normal operation, hard water moves into the mineral tank and the calcium and magnesium ions move to the beads, replacing sodium ions. The sodium ions go into the water. Once the beads are saturated with calcium and magnesium, the unit enters a 3-phase regenerating cycle. First, the backwash phase reverses water flow to flush dirt out of the tank. In the recharge phase, the concentrated sodium-rich salt solution is carried from the brine tank through the mineral tank. The sodium collects on the beads, replacing the calcium and magnesium, which go down the drain. Once this phase is over, the mineral tank is flushed of excess brine and the brine tank is refilled.”

Additionally, water softeners offer many benefits that make it advantageous to install in your home.  First, hard water can take a major toll on the operation of your appliances and fixtures such as your dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, faucets, and shower heads.  The mineral buildup can lead to clogs and cause appliances to deteriorate more quickly than they would otherwise.  By installing a water softener you can dramatically extend the life of your appliances and plumbing fixtures.  Another benefit of installing a water softener is that your hair and skin will look healthier and feel better.  Additionally, installing a water softener helps reduce your home’s energy usage because your water heater will not have to work as hard and your water will also heat more quickly!  Every home in every state can enjoy all of these benefits and more by installing a water softener.