Your dishes are covered with water spots. Your shower is stained orange from rust. Your clothes are dingy and scratchy. You’ve just discovered that you have hard water in your home, and we feel sorry for you. Not to worry, where you live geographically does factor into what is in your water; however, it doesn’t dictate whether or not you can solve this problem. In fact, anyone can have clean, healthy water free of hard depositing minerals. The solution? Install or upgrade a water softener! But just which model is right for you? How much water your family consumes, what is in your water, and your budget are all factors that can help narrow down the choice.
What kind of water softener do you need?
When it comes to choosing a water softener, you typically have two options: a salt-based ion exchange system or a salt-free potassium chloride system. Both options will successfully rid your water of hard depositing minerals, but depending on the water quality in your area, one system could be better than the other.
Salt-based Ion Exchange Systems
This is the most common type of water softening system, especially in Indiana. For water softeners, an ion exchange is when sodium is introduced into the water, which replaces hard minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium (a.k.a. that nasty stuff that builds up on shower heads, faucets, and just about anywhere that gets water often).
People often ask if this system causes their houses to use “salt water.” Though there is a trace amount of sodium that will be put into the water, it could not possibly be considered salt water, as it won’t corrode pipes, give your drinking water a salty taste, or increase your sodium intake.
The water supply in Lafayette is considered to be quite hard by common standards. Therefore, salt-based systems are usually the norm in the area.
Salt-free Potassium Chloride Systems
The most popular salt-free water softener system is a potassium chloride system. Rather than replacing the hard minerals in water, this system simply prevents the minerals from building on the surfaces by acting as a “descaler.” The descaling agents introduced into the water are what allows the minerals to pass over pipes and fixtures without building up and giving you corrosion and those hideous stains. The hard minerals simply remain in the water, but that’s ok; they aren’t harmful to ingest.
How big should your water softener be?
Much like the water heater, water softeners have a capacity that they can handle without any problems. How much water you use can help determine how big your water softener should be. The two main options are single tank and dual tank. Larger families should seriously consider the dual tank. It has a much better chance of keeping up with the needs of the household.
Are there other features to consider?
Now, you can choose different models within each type depending on the features you feel you need. Some models come with automatic features that help save water. Other models come with features that can recycle salt. These are things to talk to your professional plumber about.
Choosing a water softener doesn’t have to be stressful. As expert plumbers, we can help determine where to start your search. Given Lafayette’s hard water status, a salt-based system is likely the system that will be recommended. At Brenneco, we use Hellenbrand water softeners. Two models for you to seriously consider are the Hellenbrand Promate 6 or the Hellenbrand E3. One of our experienced plumbers can perform a water test to help determine which water softener is right for your home.
Brenneco Plumbing is a plumbing contractor serving Lafayette, Indiana and the surrounding area. We specialize in all residential, commercial and service plumbing needs. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Facebook.