Hard water is a common occurrence that is being developed at home throughout the United States and drives several homeowners to buy softening products designed to eliminate its negative effects. In most cases, minerals in the water cause problems as they accumulate on the surface of pots, pans, luminaires and water-use appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines. The construction of hard water minerals tends to make the devices less effective and can shorten the overall life span. These minerals also interfere with cleaning products and require the homeowner to use more detergents to get a satisfactory result. Of course, the effects of hard water can be very frustrating and often result in the purchase of a salt-based water descaling agent. A basic understanding of the positive and negative consequences of these systems can help control the purchasing process.
In order to allocate a household level to a homeowners water supply system, most industry experts will evaluate the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions present in the water. These particles are dissolved in water because it falls from clouds and passes through rocks and dirt that make up the earths soil. Although water carries many other ions, calcium and magnesium are the main sins of the negative effects in the home. The standard unit for measurement is called gram per gallon GPG. Slightly less than 1.0 GPG is considered soft water while all over 1.0 GPG is considered to be hard water. When GPG has risen above 7.0, the water is said to be very difficult or perhaps even extremely difficult. Hardness level is an important indicator of the degree of damage that can be caused and is often used as a determinant for the kind of softening system purchased.
The most popular type of softener used today is called a salt-based system. These products remove most hardness that cause ions from the water before it is circulated through the main pipe system. Calcium and magnesium are collected on a resin bed in the plasticizer because water is controlled through the system. When the resin bed has saturated, a process called regeneration ions with a concentrated saline solution is removed. The backwash is then directed to a sewage transporting ions to the sewage treatment plant or septic tank. Alternative salt-free systems often require the ionic structure to change so that they do not precipitate out of the water. Although this is often true, ions return to the normal state as they enter the primary pipe system.
A salt-based water descaling agent is the most effective solution to eliminate the effects of hard water at home. Removal of calcium and magnesium from the water will extend the life of the appliance, improve the efficiency of detergents and detergents and protect the pipes from shell build-up. These effects save homeowners money by reducing the amount of laundry detergents that need to be purchased and by extending the life of the appliance. In general, industry experts argue that a salt-based softener will pay itself within five to seven years. Although cheaper salt-free options are available, they rarely give the kind of satisfactory results or cost savings that a salt-based system offers.
While softening systems that use salt to remove hardness causing ions are the most effective product on the market, some studies have shown that the extra salt in backwash can have a negative impact on the environment. People who are concerned about the environmental impact of these systems may have been encouraged to consider alternative salt-free systems. While alternative systems are not as effective, they can provide acceptable results without affecting the local ecosystem. As always, its a good idea to contact professional installers in the area to ask about their recommendations before buying.