A good water softener could potentially improve your quality of life. It could solve all your hard water problems. It could eliminate the daily irritations to the body and mind that you may be experiencing due to the high content of hard minerals in your house’s water supply.
If you’ re not sure if your household does have hard water or not, there’re easy tests that you can perform. But also, if you see that the soap and shampoo usually doesn’t lather well, your laundry is starting to look dingy, your dishes have spots, or your coffee maker, dishwasher and other appliances have scale deposits, then it’s highly likely that the water you’re using is hard.
Though these natural hard minerals don’t really pose any major health risks, it can become a bit of an annoyance in the long term. Fortunately, you can purchase a whole house water softener, all these problems will be solved. If you’re on the market for a new water softener but don’t know where to start looking this water softener buying guide should help.
Water Softener Types
Ion Exchanged Water Softeners (Salt Based Models)
This is the most commonly used type of water softeners. It works by substituting the hard minerals in water with sodium. The appliance usually consists with two tanks: one filled with resin beads and the other with brine. And then using the principle of ion exchange, it softens the water.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
Some people who are concerned with their salt intake, prefer the salt-free models. These units, instead of sodium use potassium-chloride. However, it’s important to note, that this type is not exactly a water softener, but only a descaler. This means that it doesn’t remove from the water the hard minerals. It only prevents these minerals from depositing as scale on different surfaces.
What to Consider When Choosing a Water Softener
- Number of bathrooms – To choose the size of your new water softener, it’s important first to calculate your household’s daily water usage. The number of bathrooms is a good indication of maximum water usage. The water softener’s capacity should be able to handle all the bathrooms’ water demand at the same time. The sizes of water softeners are rated in grains of hardness that they can remove per each cycle of regeneration. Another factor to consider when choosing the capacity of your water softener is the amount of people in the house.
- Location of the main water supply – That’s where you would usually install the water softener. The most common entry points are in the basement, utility stairs, and under the hallway stairs.
- The level of the water hardness – This is the amount of calcium and magnesium that is present in your water. To determine the hardness level of your water, you need to perform a special test.
- Features and controls – Look for electronic timers that will automatically set the unit to recharge whenever needed. They will calculate your average daily water usage and select a preset time. However, this feature might be a downside if on some particular day you have a much greater water usage. In this case, you will fall short of water. Another downside of this feature is the waste of water, since the water softener will regularly regenerate whether it is necessary or not. So a better option would be a model with a on-demand regeneration process. These meter based systems measure and calculate your daily water usage and regenerate accordingly.
- Budget – Depending on your budget, you can choose a more simple and convenient model or a more superior with lots of advanced features unit.
- Brand – It’s always better to buy from an already established company since they would already have a certain reputation on the market. This also allows to check user reviews before making a purchasing decision to understand if the water softener would be the ideal choice for your needs.
These are the main factors to consider when choosing the best water softener. For a more detailed guide and lots of tips, check out http://www.softwaterlab.com site. In addition to a very helpful guide, you can also find there reviews and comparison of top products on the market this year.