Hard water is a problem for many homes in many states and it is particularly true of Arizona homes.  Many homeowners hear that they have “hard water” and think, “What’s the big deal?”  But, hard water really is a big deal and once you understand what it is and how it impacts your home and health you will want to install a water softener.  Hard water contains higher concentrations of lime, chalk, calcium, magnesium and other chemicals.  When you use hard water it can lead to buildups on your faucets, causes sediment buildup in your water heater which leads to higher bills and a shorter water heater lifespan, dries out your hair and skin, damages and deteriorates the quality of your clothes, leaves streaks on dishes and glassware, and more.

Installing a water softener can help you solve all of these problems and reduce the amount of harsh minerals and chemicals in your drinking water.  The Arizona Water Quality Association (AZWQA) explains how water softening works, “Water softening involves an ion exchange process to replace the scale-forming calcium and magnesium ions with non-scaling sodium or potassium ions. The exchange takes place as the water passes through a bed of cation exchange resin that has been charged with a brine solution. The calcium and magnesium ions are attracted to the brine charged resin and held while a chemically equivalent amount of sodium or potassium is released into the water. In time, the brine solution will be expended and must be replenished through a regeneration process…Basically, softeners do not add salt to the water since the process maintains the water’s original level of total dissolved solids (TDS). It involves the exchange of one type of salt for another. Calcium is being eliminated, while sodium or potassium is being added.”

Because harsh chemicals and minerals are removed by the water softener, they do not have a chance to buildup on/in skin, clothing, hair, or faucets, and your water heater and cause damage.  Additionally, because they have been removed your dishwasher will be able to get your dishes and glasses much cleaner without unsightly streaking or water spots.  A water softener must be installed by an experienced and knowledgeable plumber to ensure that it functions properly and is the right size for your water heater and overall plumbing needs.  Further, an experienced plumber will be able to show you how much salt your system needs so that it does not need to work harder than necessary.  With a new water system installed in your home, you can protect your plumbing from hard water moving forward.