Types Of Residential Water Softeners And Their Pros And Cons

5Residential water softeners are home appliances that turn damaging hard water into soft water. Softeners work by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. Hard water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium that cause a wide range of costly and inconvenient problems with your home appliances, plumbing, and water fixtures.

Hard water can also affect your skin, hair, laundry and dishes. Water that contains high concentrations of calcium and magnesium will make it difficult for soap to lather, turning your dishes and plates cloudy and your laundry stiff with soap deposits. Your hair and skin also become dry. Your appliances like coffee makers and water heaters will clog up with hard scale deposits that make them less efficient.

The most expensive damage hard water can do is to your water pipes and plumbing fixtures like faucets and shower heads. Hard scale deposits in pipes and plumbing fixtures will clog up the passage of water, preventing the free flow of water. Sooner or later, you will notice that your shower will only produce a trickle of water and the water pressure in your faucets will decrease.

There are different types of residential water softeners that you can install in your home. There are meter generated softeners that measure your water consumption to determine the regeneration level. Manual regenerated softeners will only tell the home owner when the machine needs recharging. The home owner will have to manually recharge the appliance.

Metered softeners can be programmed to work automatically with data that you provide on the control panel. The information you provide to the appliance indicates the number of people in the home. If you have house guests, you will have to reprogram the machine to regenerate more often. Timer based softeners will automatically regenerate at pre-set intervals no matter how many people are in the home.

Metered softeners are more expensive than timer types. Although metered machines are more costly, they are also more efficient and use less sodium each month. Timer based softeners incur higher sodium usage because they run even if you don’t really need to generate more soft water. Metered home softeners regenerate only when the machine detects the need for more sodium to soften the water.

Another difference among residential water softeners is the type of softening ingredient used to get rid of hard water. Most people use sodium to soften water because they are cheaper than the alternative, potassium. But people with heart problems and kidney disease should stay away from sodium which is essentially salt that is harmful to their medical condition. People with salt restricted diets should use potassium to soften their water.

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