As the unsung heroes of the modern home, water softeners aren’t often at the forefront of our minds. 

Yet whether you are purchasing a new home and choosing options, or looking to improve your old home, you might suddenly be wondering if a softener is worth the cost. What does a water softener do, anyway? And do the benefits of installing one outweigh the price? Let’s take a look at both questions.

What Does a Water Softener Actually Do?

As the name implies, this appliance softens hard water. Hard water is simply water that has higher levels of two very soluble minerals, calcium and magnesium. While the presence of these minerals in water poses no real health risks, a high concentration of them can potentially cause some issues. 

Over time, the minerals can build up and create deposits. One of the main concerns with hard water buildup is that pipes can become narrower, affecting water pressure and sometimes causing leaks in the plumbing. Softening water counteracts these issues by removing the minerals from the water.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

Most softeners utilize ion exchange to draw minerals out of hard water. The appliance draws water through an exchange media, which is typically resin or zeolite. This sand-like material is coated with positively-charged sodium ions. As hard water flows through this material, the resin releases sodium ions in exchange for the magnesium and calcium ions. The water that emerges is then considered soft water. 

When the resin has been spent, and no sodium ions are being released, the water softener must run through an alternate cycle known as regeneration. For this cycle, the resin is backwashed with a salt solution, removing the calcium and magnesium ions deposited on the resin and restoring it to use.

Is Softening Your Water Worth the Cost?

Soft water isn’t essential by any means. The minerals present in hard water are not harmful to ingest, and in fact are necessary minerals for good health. But the question isn’t all about comfort or convenience. Mineral deposits and hard water buildup can have a real effect on your home’s plumbing, as described above. Hot water heaters can also be greatly affected by hard water buildup, as this can cause particles or sediment in the tank that lead to a shorter lifespan. 

Hot water is something of a necessity in today’s modern homes, and it can be a real inconvenience when your hot water heater stops working or needs to be replaced. Plumbing problems, leaks, and water heater replacements are all potentially costly repairs you are risking when dealing with hard water. All of these issues should be taken into account when considering whether a water softener is worth installing. In many cases, the initial cost of installing a softener offsets the greater financial burdens of repairs and emergencies down the road.

Contact Stubbs Soft Water, Southern Utah’s Soft Water Experts

At Stubbs Soft Water, we provide expertise in selecting the best water softeners for your Utah home. Whether you live in Cedar City, Hurricane, Brian Head or St. George, we can match you with state-of-the-art equipment to remedy your home’s hard water problems. Give us a call at 435-313-5131 or contact us online to get started today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.