All About Water Softeners
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Why Use a Water Softener?
Hard water is caused by soluble minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium, that are absorbed by groundwater. These minerals can clog pipes with scale deposits, reduce the effectiveness of soap and laundry detergent, and leave spots on dishes or counters. Home water softener systems, like the Clearion 300 series Cabinet, the Clearion 2300 Water Softener and the Clearion 2300 High-Efficiency Water Softener, remove or neutralize these minerals. Some water softeners remove iron, which can stain clothing, sinks and tubs, clog pipes, or affect the taste of food. Others have filters to remove chlorine and other chemicals that can affect water flavor.
How to Choose a Water Softener
There are several factors to consider when selecting a home water softener system. First, you’ll want to determine how much softening power you need. You should also consider your household’s overall water usage so you can be sure the unit you select has a high enough flow rate. Another choice is an electronic water treatment system. This will only require the inlet and outlet to the system be plumbed into your water system.
How to Test Your Water | Softening Capacity
Water softeners typically measure their softening capacity in grains per gallon (gpg), so you’ll want to know your water’s hardness. Most water utilities provide detailed water quality reports that include hardness, or you can purchase a test kit and check it yourself. You can subtract this value to your water’s original hardness rating to get an estimate of the system’s output hardness level. Salt home water softeners usually provide a rating for how much hardness they remove from your water. Water with a gpg rating of one or less is considered soft. A rating of 7 gpg or more is considered hard.
What Does a Flow Rate Measure?
Flow rate measures how fast a water softening system produces conditioned water. You’ll need to weigh this against your average and peak household use. Most softener manufacturers provide a maximum flow rate in gallons per minute (gpm) for their products.
What is a Salt System?
Water softeners for the home work in one of two ways. Salt softeners use a resin bed to pull minerals out of solution. When the resin bed reaches capacity, the softener system regenerates it by flushing the bed with a brine solution that removes the accumulated minerals. Water treated by salt systems often feels slippery to the touch because minerals have been removed.
Maintenance Needed for Water Softeners
Water softeners require some periodic maintenance. Salt softeners require regular additions of salt plus power to run the regeneration cycle. Consider the ongoing costs and work required when selecting your water softening system.
Using a home water softener system improves the cleaning performance of soaps and detergents, reduces hard water staining, and protects pipes from scale buildup. Choose a unit that combines the water flow and softening power your household needs with the convenience features and maintenance requirements that are right for you.