Did you know that 85% of the water in the United States is considered hard? Water hardness is determined by the amount of dissolved minerals it contains. Hard water is high in these minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Here in the Jacksonville area, you may have noticed that we have especially hard water. This is because the state of Florida’s foundation is comprised of limestone, which is largely made up of calcium carbonate. When ground water passes through these deposits, hard water is formed.
While hard water is not dangerous to consume, it does pose a number of problems and inconveniences for homeowners. For starters, hard water decreases the life span and efficiency of your home appliances because of scale build up. Scale build up occurs when the minerals in hard water bind themselves together and form deposits. These deposits—or scale—stick to the interiors of pipes, dishwashers, washing machines and other household appliances and cause clogging and other functional problems that are expensive to repair. The efficiency of these appliances is also impacted, which can drive up your water bills.
Hard water can also be taxing on your hair and skin. Soaps and shampoos don’t lather well in hard water, forcing you to use more product and more water to rinse it out. Soaps and shampoos also don’t dissolve properly in hard water, so they leave behind a film that can build up over time and cause severe drying and even dermatitis.
Fortunately, you can eliminate hard water and the problems that come with it by installing a water softener. Water softeners work by replacing the damage-causing minerals with something else, typically sodium. A water softener has a tank that contains resin beads that hold charged ions. As your home’s hard water filters through the water softener, both the magnesium and calcium ions attract to the resin beads, which are then exchanged for those hard water ions. This process, called an ion-exchange, is what creates soft water for your home.
Some benefits of water softener installation are:
- Less spotting on your dishes, glassware and cutlery
- Clothing will retain its bright colors in the wash
- Skin will feel both softer and smoother
- Hair will become less dry and frizzy
- Appliances will have longer lifespans and run more efficiently
- Showers, tubs and sinks will not have unattractive stains and hard water deposits