If you are one of the 85% of Americans that live with hard water, you might be used to non-lathering soap and water spots on your dinner glasses. However, hard water can be more of a problem than most people realize. Here are two ways hard water might be destroying your home, and how a water softener can help:
1: Leaving Marks On Your Windows
When you clean your windows, a few paper towels and a little cleaning solution might do the trick inside, but those exterior panes might be another story. If you have hard water running from your sprinklers, your windows might be riddled with calcium and magnesium deposits that can be hard to remove. Instead of quickly wiping down those windows, you might find yourself using harsh cleaners or scrub brushes—which might etch your windows permanently.
Fortunately, water softeners work by removing calcium and magnesium particles so that water doesn't leave behind this scale. If you have a water softener, water is channeled through a tank containing resin or zeolite beads, which carry a negative charge. Since magnesium and calcium ions contain a positive charge, they are attracted to the beads and fall out of the water.
To keep your windows clean, pay attention to your water supply. If you have a water softener, try to water the lawn near the windows of your house with your culinary supply and not the city irrigation supply, which could still contain hard water. Although using culinary water might be a more expensive watering method, it could help you to keep your expensive windows in pristine condition.
2: Destroying Your Appliances
Unfortunately, cloudy windows aren't the worst thing about having hard water. Lime scale can also clog water supply lines, putting strain on your appliances. Here are a few issues you might encounter if you have hard water:
- Dishwasher Troubles: In addition to clogging the water lines that run to your dishwasher, hard water can also clog spray jets—making your dishwasher ineffective. Lime scale can also bake onto your heating element, making the drying cycle take longer.
- Inefficient Hot Water Heater: Calcium and magnesium deposits can even accumulate inside of your hot water heater, taking up valuable space. Over time, you might notice that you don't seem to have as much hot water available. If the internal sediment gets heavy enough, it can even break the bottom of your hot water tank and send water gushing into your home.
- A Grimy Refrigerator Water Dispenser: Who wants to get a drink from a refrigerator water area that is covered with grime? Limescale can look green and blue, making your water and ice dispenser look filthy. Unfortunately, unless you want to use harsh chemicals to remove the scale, you might be left with an eyesore in the middle of your kitchen.
- A Damaged Washing Machine: Eventually, lime scale can clog or block your washing machine drainage line, putting extra pressure on the hoses and potentially flooding your home.
Although water softeners might seem expensive, costing around $1,000 to $2,000, they can keep your culinary water clean, which puts less strain on your home appliances. Believe it or not, water softeners are so efficient that they can actually double the lifespan of your water-using home appliances. Also, since water softeners last as long as 15 years, you won't have to worry about replacing your system anytime soon.
Before you rule out a water softener, take the time to add up the cost of replacing all of your home appliances. Without a water softener, that might be an expense you have to face in the future. However, by installing a water softener, you might be able to enjoy cleaner water that doesn't create extra expenses.
For more information, contact a local water softener installation company like Johnson Water Conditioning.