28 Nov Why is Soft Water Needed in Utah?
Why should you opt for soft water in Utah? Hard water is a problem for 85% of homes in America. While hard water is not necessarily a health risk, it can add up to big expenses over time. In Utah, we have some of the hardest water in the country making a water softener a good investment for most homeowners.
What is Hard Water?
The term hard water means there are a lot of minerals in it. Usually it is calcium and magnesium that the water picks up because it percolates through materials like limestone, chalk and dolomite. These minerals aren’t harmful to humans or plants, but they are pretty hard on pipes, water heaters, washing machines, faucets and sometime your skin. When it comes to soft water, Utah has seen many residents making the switch
How Can I tell if I Have Hard Water?
Most of the problems that are caused by hard water remain hidden until it causes a malfunction in your plumbing. There are signs that your water has a high mineral content, though.
- Water smells or tastes odd
- Scummy soap rings for in the bathtub
- Your dish soap, laundry soap or shampoo wont suds up properly
- Unsightly spots and streaks on your dishes after washing in the dishwaser
- Mineral build-up forms on the faucets
- After soaping up in the bath or shower your skin has an icky residue left behind
Hard Water Problems
The minerals in your water can be building up in your pipes and hot water heater causing low water pressure and the heater to not work as efficiently. They can also leave hard to remove rings in the bathtub and toilet.
Often times those with sensitive skin will get rashes when the minerals in the water mix with soap or cleansers. Children can be especially vulnerable to hard water rashes.
Having to re-wash glasses to get rid of streaks and spots on your dishes is a time-consuming chore. Especially if the water barely trickles out of the faucet around the dirty looking mineral build up on it.
A water softener makes a world of difference when you have heavily mineralized water like we do in Utah. To get soft water in Utah, you are merely removing those minerals which can:
- Greatly improve the taste and odor of your tap water
- Eliminate spots and streaks on dishes
- Keep mineral build up in faucet heads, in pipes, the hot water heater, the coffee maker, washer and dishwasher from forming making those appliances less efficient and shorten their life-span
- Get rid of that scummy feeling on your skin after showering or bathing in hard water
- Lessen the risk of skin irritation
- Prevent ugly soap rings in the bathtub and sinks
A water softener will let you use a lot less shampoo, dish soap or laundry detergent, as well.
Different Types of Water Softeners
There are several different types of water softeners available to get soft water in Utah.
- Ion Exchange Softener — These types of water systems exchange the mineral in your water for salt. They come with different types of regeneration systems.
- Timer — A timer is the least expensive way to go, but also the least efficient since the water is put through a regeneration cycle even if you did not use much (like when you are on vacation) and they consume a lot more salt
- Metered — this method is more efficient because it only regenerates when you need to. This is great for when you are out of town or have guests staying with you for several days and your water usage fluctuates.
- Manual — you decide when to put your softener through a regeneration cycle. It is more work for you, but ideal if you don’t have a drain near the unit or are a single with a small home.
- Salt Free Softeners — these types of units use nanotechnology to remove ions from the water, usually with some type of ceramic media that attracts then neutralizes the mineral. Those with salt restricted diets may desire this type of softener. These units do not need to regenerate or use electricity making them eco-friendly, too. However, depending on how hard your water is, they may not be effective.
- Reverse Osmosis — these units use pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane to remove minerals and other impurities. They are very efficient at removing 98% of the minerals in the water, but unfortunately remove the ones that are beneficial to humans, plants and for cooking. They are also the most expensive type of softener to use.
- Magnetic Softening — uses magnets and carbonate salt to precipitate (remove) the mineral ions and prevent lime build up on pipes and faucets. However, there is not a lot of good information on how effective these softeners are especially in a state like ours with very hard water.
Choosing the Best Water Softener for Your Family
Investing in a water softener for your home and family is a wise decision if you live in Utah where the water is notoriously hard. It will extend the life of your hot water heater and other large appliances and prevent big plumbing issues like low water pressure due to pipes being blocked with mineral build up.
Your family will appreciate not having to use a ton of soap to get clean (nor the sticky residue left behind with heavily mineralize water). You can use less laundry detergent and still get your clothes clean and not have to spend a lot of time trying to scrub dirty-looking rings out of the sinks and bathtubs.
Not having odd smelling or tasting water is a big deal and a water softener can provide you with clean, clear water to drink and wash with.
To decide what kind of softener and size you will need, it is best to consult with a professional plumbing company that can:
- Test your water for mineral content
- Determine what size of unit your will need based on your family size and average daily water usage
- Where the best place to install the unit in your home will be
- What kind of regeneration cycle/timer will be best for your usage
Having the unit installed by a professional plumber is smart too. When it comes to water, any mistakes that lead to leaks can be disastrously expensive, not to mention inconvenient. Working with a professional plumbing company ensures the unit will be installed correctly and that you will be thoroughly instructed on how it works and how to maintain it for years of great tasting clean soft water in Utah that won’t muck up your plumbing.