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What Type of Water Softener Should Homeowners Install?

Different Types of Water Softeners To Consider

No plumbing problem is fun to deal with, but hard water is a big hassle and can be tough to resolve. Hard water is especially tough to deal with when it comes to cleaning. It leaves residue around the sink and shower drains, it leaves a ring around the toilet bowl, and it leaves spots on clean dishes when taking them out of the dishwasher. But it’s also hard on the pipes themselves and can lead to a shorter lifespan of those pipes. 

Water softeners are an essential part of solving the hard water problems that homeowners deal with daily. But which type of water softener is best?

Benefits of Using Water Softeners

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What makes water hard in the first place? The groundwater that is the source of the water supply can carry minerals like calcium and magnesium. When there is a high volume of these minerals in the water, it is considered hard water. The purpose of a water softener is to minimize the amount of those minerals in the water supply. 

Water softeners have so many benefits. With no more tough rings around sink drains and toilet bowls, cleaning is made a lot easier. They help dishes last longer because water softeners prevent mineral spots from staining glasses in the dishwasher. They even make personal care easier because it’s softer on hair and skin. 

Additionally, there is less mineral buildup in the pipes and plumbing appliances with less hard minerals in the water. This extends the plumbing appliances' lifespan, prevents clogs, and helps homeowners save money because they don’t have to make frequent replacements or upgrades.

Salt-Based Water Softeners: Pros & Cons

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Salt-based water softeners use a tank filled with electrically-charged resin beads, which become filled with sodium ions from the salt. The hard minerals in the water are attracted to the resin beads as they pass through the water softener, which results in an exchange. The sodium ions replace the minerals, allowing the soft water to continue to move through the plumbing system.

  • Pros: There are several advantages to salt-based water softeners. The materials needed to maintain the softener (aka salt) are very easy to find either in-store or online. Salt-based water softeners also hold many benefits: easier cleaning, less harsh on hair and skin, no spots on laundry or dishes, and less scale buildup in plumbing pipes and appliances. They also result in higher efficiency of those plumbing appliances. 
  • Cons: However, there are a few disadvantages to salt-based water softeners. They can make it hard for those on low-sodium diets to stay healthy because they increase the dietary sodium intake. With higher salt content in the water, it also becomes difficult to recycle.

Salt-Free Water Softeners: Pros & Cons

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When it comes to salt-free water softeners, homeowners must understand that they don’t soften the water, but instead simply condition it. They crystallize the hard water minerals and prevent them from building up on the insides of the pipes.

  • Pros: Salt-free water conditioners do prevent scale building on plumbing pipes and appliances, extending their lifespan just as salt-based water softeners do. Salt-free water conditioners are typically a less expensive option to purchase, and they are more eco-friendly because they don’t use any chemicals when conditioning the water.
  • Cons: As mentioned, they don’t soften the water. Therefore, they don’t see many of the other benefits that true water softeners see like healthier skin and hair, reduced stains on dishes and laundry, easier cleaning, etc. 

Understanding each option is critical for homeowners so they can make the best decision for their homes and families.

About Towers Plumbing

Towers Plumbing proudly provides expert water softening services to Salt Lake City, UT. They provide excellent care from the moment they take a customer's call and pride themselves on going the extra mile to educate customers on all their options. Whether the plumbing job is large or small, the team at Towers Plumbing is dedicated to solving all residential or commercial problems with the solution best suited to meet their customers’ needs.