Hard water refers to water that will not easily lather with soap, and it is characterized by the presence of the minerals calcium and magnesium. This can be very problematic, as there are several important household tasks that would require water to lather with soap for example; Laundry, washing dishes, washing the car, etc. There is also the industrial risk, as it poses a threat to plumbing equipment like pipes causing them to break down over time. Hard water also affects kitchen equipment like water heaters and kettles, creating a lining of a calcified substance. This means that these tasks would consume an excessive amount of soap, where little would have otherwise been sufficient.
If you have hard water problems, do not be too bothered. It is possible to soften water so it is converted to the normal standards. Water softeners are systems that remove the heavy elements (magnesium and calcium) from the water through a filtration process. Water softeners are attached to set up at the water supply channel and filter the water as it flows, providing soft water into the household. Water softeners are available for purchase online as well as at retail outlets and may even come with installation guides. I always recommend folks to check out water softener reviews online before deciding to purchase a particular system. However, if you are a newbie and don’t have plumbing knowledge, there are a few factors that require careful consideration before purchasing your very own water softener.
Water Softener Buying Guide: 10 Steps to Purchase a Water Softener
Here’s our Water Softener buying guide with 10 things you should have in mind when purchasing your first Water Softener system:
- Carry out verification test: When you notice some of the signs of hard water in your home, it is important not to just assume or to make hasty conclusions. It is best to carry out confirmatory tests to ensure that the water is hard. It is possible for water to have these signs and not be hard, in such a case, buying and installing a water softener will not only be a waste of money but will not solve the problem as well.
- Degree of the hardness of water: There are different degrees of hardness of water and this is an important factor to consider when buying a water softener. Different water softener systems are built to handle the different degrees of hardness, and it is important to purchase the right system to ensure your water is properly softened. A machine equipped to handle a high degree of water hardness may be effective against the water of low degree hardness but may have adverse effects on the water.
- Type of Softener you need: There are different types of softeners, each designed to combat a specific type of hardness. As there are different causes of hardness, the different types of softeners are designed for different cause-based hardness. It is important to know what kind of hardness you are dealing with, then you can determine the kind of softener you need and get maximum efficiency and success from your softener.
- Amount of water your household consumes: The amount of water your household consumes is another important factor to consider when thinking of buying a water softener. The more the water your household consumes, the bigger the water softener you might need. If the water consumption is too great for the softener, it may damage the machine and likewise, if the water consumed is too little for the machine.
- Size of the softener: Bigger softeners may seem perfectly suited to your needs when you have a high amount of water consumed by your household, but this may not always be accurate. The surface area of a big machine is large and this may prove detrimental as the water that flows out of the softener may not be properly softened. However, with a smaller machine, the surface area is smaller and most likely, the water flowing out will be properly softened.
- Review of different brands of water softeners: Before purchasing any product, it is very important to find and read different reviews on the product. It is no different with water softeners, you need to check the reviews of other people who have purchased and used different water softeners before deciding on which one you will buy. This way, you already have a realistic expectation of what you are getting.
- Cost of installation: The cost of installation refers to not only the financial cost but also the property cost. Installing a water softener usually entails rigging the entire plumbing of the house. There may be structures that are considered too valuable or dangerous to be tampered with. In such a case, an alternate route may be required.
- Maintenance costs: Maintenance is a key fixture of every machine or equipment. Different water softeners have different maintenance practices and requirements. It is best to find a machine with maintenance practices that you find easiest to carry out. When these practices are carried out appropriately, it helps extend the life of the softener.
- Mode of operation of the water softener: The different softeners have different modes of operation. The modes of operation are linked to factors such as degree of hardness, source of water and type of the softener. It is best to consider all these different factors before you choose a softener. This helps ensure that you have a softener that is best suited to your household.
- Finances: Ultimately, after all, other factors have been satisfied, finance is still a very important factor. Since the different types and sizes of water softeners come at different prices, it is necessary to evaluate the most cost-effective option. If the device that best satisfies your requirements is too expensive, you can find alternatives to that device which may function as effectively and will fit into your price. You can also choose to purchase the best device you can find regardless of the price and save yourself the hassle of having to change the device after a short period of time.
Once all the factors have been satisfied, you simply need to pick out the water softener of your choice and install. You can install it yourself or get a professional to help.