One of the best ways to preserve your home’s plumbing is by installing a water softener. As the name suggests, a water softener removes the minerals from your water supply, which makes the water hard. Hard water is filled with minerals such as calcium and magnesium. While these aren’t dangerous for human consumption (in small quantities, of course!), they can be dangerous to your plumbing. Over time those minerals will build up inside your pipes, eroding them. This will result in needing the costly repair of new pipes. Here’s how to save your pipes by installing a water softener!
How Do I Know If I Need a Water Softener?
The easiest way to tell if you need to install a water softener is by looking at your dishes. Unless you have a superpowered dishwasher, you’ll notice a bit of residue left after every wash on your dishes. It’s often white and slightly powdery, or streaky on clear glassware. This indicates calcium deposits, an indicator of hard water. If you have this or that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling after a shower, it’s time to install a water softener. Skin shouldn’t squeak!
Types of Water Softeners on the Market
There are four main types of water softeners available on the market. There’s salt-based, salt-free, magnetic, and reverse osmosis. Each type has its own benefits. Salt-based, arguably the most common, is a large tank which filters water through a salt cure to remove the impurities naturally. Salt-free works very similarly but doesn’t require you to consistently refill the salt levels. Magnetic works as the name suggest, by magnetically pulling out harsh elements from the water. Reverse osmosis, gaining popularity in modern homes because of the noticeably improved taste of drinking water, opts for a pressure-based filter. It forces water through a membrane that strains out impurities.
Water Softener Cost: Is This Affordable?
Water softeners, like any other home upgrade, can vary widely in price. The most affordable upfront cost will likely be a salt-based option, but you must keep in mind the recurring cost for the salt. Buying the device shouldn’t cost too much, but you’ll need to keep spending money on the salt. A salt-free option will end up being approximately the same. Reverse osmosis and magnetic both vary widely in price depending on the size. Speak with a plumbing expert on what option would be ideal for your budget and family size.
Installing Your Water Softener
Your installation can be completely different with a salt-based softener than it would with a reverse osmosis one. Each type of water softener has its own installation method. The good news is unless you have a particularly complicated system the installation can be handled yourself. It may be best to consult or hire a professional plumber to handle the installation if you have a large home, multiple water sources, or need pipes cut to install a water softener. Consult the included guide for your individual softener to reference exact installation steps.
For more plumbing tips or help installing your new water softener, contact Sin City Plumbing!