Hard water damages everything, eventually. It’s the slow death for white goods such as washing machines and dishwashers and it eventually clogs up anything else that it comes into contact with.
Most water in this country is hard water – fact. Hard water contains mineral salts dissolved within it and this travels with the water. But it sometimes comes out of the water and that’s when the damage begins.
Ever looked inside a kettle recently? If you live in a hard water area, sure enough they’ll be a white gritty substance at the bottom of the kettle. Manufactures of kettles and electric steam irons devise ways to mitigate the problem. But it’s always there, it doesn’t go away.
Whole house water softeners
Turning hard water into soft water is fairly straightforward. You fit a device, where the water supply enters your home. That device is a water softener and it does what it says, converts hard water to soft water.
How does that help you? Well, after the device is fitted, you whole house is now supplied with soft water. That’s water with all the mineral salts removed. And that’s a big deal.
Soft water will make domestic white goods last longer. That’s a big saving right there. Kettles and steam irons will always run at their optimum level and won’t clog up with limescale deposits.
But it’s the hidden deposits that you don’t see. Pipes, especially not water pipes, get clogged with limescale so the bore of the pipe (diameter) reduces. Which means less water flows. But it gets worse.
Hot water systems use immersion heaters to heat the water. As these are obviously very hot the limescale build up on these immersion heater elements is faster than anything else in the home. What’s worse is that limescale is an insulator of heat.
So over time less heat gets transferred to the water, it gets stored in the limescale. So your house gets cooler but the heating bills are still the same. You’re still paying to be colder.
When a soft water softener device is fitted all these limescale problems become a thing of the past. You’ll still have the build up of limescale that went on before but you know that after fitting the water softener, you’ve stabilized everything. Your domestic water system won’t get any worse.
You might have to replace white goods and even your hot water system. But this will be the last time for a very long time and that’s the ultimate payback. And your home will stay hot on low thermostat settings, another money saver.
How do home water softeners work
When mineral salts are dissolved in water. They’re ionized. This means they split into two parts and ions have an electrical charge.
So canisters filled with millions upon millions of microscopic beads, negatively charged, attract the metallic ions of calcium and magnesium. The result is that hard water goes in and soft water flows out.
But what happens when all the microscopic beads have been used up? Well the water softener is able regenerates itself.
The regeneration process uses salt, ordinary table salt. But this salt is supplied in blocks. Salt contains sodium and this is strong enough to knock off the calcium and magnesium from the beads, which is then flushed away. But not strong enough to stick to the beads.
So every now and then you have to replace the salt blocks and that’s it. The system is automatic with no maintenance with your only task to replace the salt blocks to keep the water coming into your home nice and soft.
To find out more about water hard water and outs effects take a look here How do home water softeners work
To find a good supplier of water softener systems try this site Home Water Softener
More studies into hard water can be found here wiki link