Go Back

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Water Softeners

Water is water, it’s all H2O and unless something is added, a softener doesn’t make a difference right? Well, in theory, that could be correct. However, when talking about using water softeners on hard water something is added. Minerals, to be exact.

These minerals aren’t anything to be truly concerned about, and they can’t harm you. They can, however, save you some money and help you enjoy a quality water supply that won’t cause damage to your fixtures or plumbing.

What is the Difference Between Soft & Hard Water?

There is a significant difference between having hard or soft water. This difference mainly lies in the fact that hard water contains several dissolved minerals. These minerals are picked up while traveling through pipes or passing through materials like limestone.

Soft water has been treated to remove these minerals. The only ion in soft water is sodium.
There are several reasons people treat water to make it soft:

  • Hard water can be responsible for spotty dishes and dingy-looking clothes.
  • Bathtubs and sinks with soap scum, film, and stains.
  • Dirty-feeling hair after being washed.
  • Hard water uses more energy.
  • Being hard on household appliances, causing them to fail at a quicker rate than average.

Is It Safe To Drink Soft Water?

It is absolutely safe to drink soft water. However, many people notice that it tastes somewhat salty and this is because it has been treated with sodium ions, only leaving those behind, hence the taste.

Although soft water is safe to drink, it’s often used as a way to protect your home’s plumbing from damage. For added comfort, it’s always suggested to get an additional filtration system for improved taste. This can be something as simple as a point of use filter or a pitcher that filters water over time.

What Types of Water Softeners are There?

There are three commonly used types of water softeners available, and they include:

  • Traditional Filter: This is your basic salt-free filter that can easily be added to your home. This particular softener isn’t recommended for very hard water but is preferred by most people due to the taste.
  • Ion Exchange Water Softeners: These filters exchange the mineral ions for potassium or sodium ones. These softeners are great for household appliances but not so much for drinking, again, because this process only leaves sodium ions.
  • Reverse Osmosis Softeners: These softeners work by using pressure and a filter to remove any contaminants in water. Many people find that this process makes the water taste similar to distilled water.

How to Choose the Right Water Softener

The best way to choose a water softener that is right for your home is to call a plumber. Plumbing professionals can recommend which type of softener is best for you based on your home, appliances, and lifestyle, along with performing the installation to get the most out of your new filtration system.

Minnesota Plumbing and Heating is your reliable plumbing company that can help with all your water softener needs including installations and repairs!

Take your water to the next level with a water softener. Call Minnesota Plumbing and Heating at (952) 445-4444 for reliable solutions today!