Spotlight on Water Softeners and Saltless Water Conditioners

Hard water is a common problem throughout the United States, and the state of Utah has some of the hardest water in the country. As a result, homes in Orem frequently experience the signs and consequences of hard water, which can include poor-tasting water, plumbing problems, and even discomfort after bathing or washing your hair. Water softeners and conditioners are designed to provide a permanent solution to the problem of hard water—these devices use a variety of methods to treat your water for improved taste, greater efficiency, and a reduced risk of plumbing issues associated with Utah’s very hard water.

How Water Softening Works

Hard water is simply water that contains high levels of dissolved minerals, typically calcium, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals do not cause harm when ingested, but can leave deposits inside plumbing pipes, fixtures, and appliances, as well as affect the way your water tastes and interacts with solutions such as soaps and shampoos. Water softening works by removing these minerals from your water inside a tank; the most common type of water softening system uses a process called ion exchange, which exchanges the minerals in your water for common salt, which does not cause the effects of hard water when it encounters your plumbing, your soaps, or your skin.

The Role of Salt in Water Softening

If you have a traditional water softener installed in your home, this system consists of a tank that requires salt or pellets to function. As water enters your home’s plumbing system from your water main, it is diverted into the tank, where it is processed and the minerals are removed; after processing, your water will contain dissolved salts, but not the dissolved minerals. The softened water is allowed to flow out of the tank and into your plumbing; over time, the salt you have added to the tank is depleted by this process and you will need to add more to keep the water softener working. Water softening systems periodically perform cleaning cycles, during which the minerals removed from your water are flushed out of the tank and down the drain. This process does require added water input that never reaches your home, but is extremely cost-effective, particularly if you have a high-efficiency water softener system installed.

Saltless Water Conditioning

Saltless water tanks work via a process called water conditioning, which is not the same as water softening. Sometimes, saltless water tanks may also be called descaling tanks, because they reduce the buildup of mineral deposits, called scale or limescale, inside your plumbing pipes, appliances, and fixtures. Saltless water tanks work by altering the properties of the minerals in your water, rather than removing them. This leaves the minerals in your water and does not replace them with salt, but also eliminates the effects they can have on your plumbing. While the amount of salt added to your water through water softening is very small, if you have a health condition that requires a controlled intake of salt, you may want to consider a water conditioning system instead of a traditional water softener. Water conditioning systems do not use excess water and are often very simple and cost-effective to run and maintain, but do not produce the exact same type or quality of results you’ll get from a water softening system.

Are you interested in eliminating hard water from your Orem home? Please visit us online to find out more about our water softening and water conditioning options, or check out our blog for more home plumbing information and advice.
Categories: Plumbing, Plumbers

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