If you’ve recently found out that your home has hard water, and want to do something to soften it, you may be wondering what size of water softener you will need. The size of water softener that your home needs depends on several variables, which we’ll look at below!
When shopping for an appropriate water softener to use for your home, you’ll want to find one that has a high efficiency. Efficiency generally has to do with how much salt a water softener uses. The most efficient water softeners can remove a high amount of hardness using as little salt as possible. This can save you both money and effort since more efficient softeners will not require salt to be replaced as often.
Hardness of Your Home Water
You will also need to know how hard your home water is, or how much dissolved calcium and magnesium is present in your water. There are test kits available that will let you determine your water’s hardness level yourself, or you can have a professional test your water for you. You may also be able to get the hardness level from your water utility service if you use city water. It’s important to have this level available in order to choose a properly sized water softener system.
Daily Water Consumption
After the water hardness level, the next thing you’ll need to know is your household’s amount of water consumption. There are two common ways to find this amount. One is to check the consumption amount shown on your water bill. The total amount is often shown per month, but you can calculate how much that amount would work out to per day by dividing the total by the number of days in the month. However, if you do not have a total consumption amount available from a water bill, you can still get an approximate daily consumption estimate. To do so, multiply the number of people in the household by 75 gallons. The resulting number should be an approximate estimate of your household’s daily water consumption.
To make the final decision about what size water softener your household needs, you’ll need to know an estimate of how much water hardness (usually expressed in grains) that it needs to remove per day. To get this estimate, you’ll use the hardness level you had tested, and your daily water consumption amount. Multiply the number of grains of hardness your water has by the number of gallons of your household’s daily water consumption. The resulting number will be the number of grains your water softener needs to be able to remove from your home water per day. This number will help you choose a water softener of an efficient size for your home.
Don’t want to deal with the salt? Consider getting a salt-free water conditioner for your home! For more information about what type of water softener or salt-free water conditioner would benefit your home, or to schedule a consultation, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
You’ve probably heard that hard water isn’t the best thing for your skin, but what makes water hard? If you pour two glasses of water, one containing hard water and one containing soft water, you aren’t going to be able to tell much of a difference just by looking at them. What makes the difference is the mineral components that are found in the water. The amount of minerals depends on the source of the water. For example, Central Texas has a higher mineral content than the majority of the United States. The higher the mineral content, the more damaging the water is to your skin.
Effects of Hard Water on Your Skin
Why is hard water bad for the skin? Hard water contains the minerals calcium and magnesium, and these minerals dry and irritate the skin. Calcium and magnesium could also form free radicals that can damage healthy skin. The major issue for your skin caused by hard water is that soap is unable to form a lather. The richer the lather, the easier it is to rinse off of your skin. Because hard water doesn’t allow this rich lather to form, soap scum will build up on your skin just like it does on the walls of your showers. Soap scum clogs pores causing skin conditions such as acne and eczema to worsen. Healthy skin will become dry and itchy because the layer of soap scum prevents natural oils that help to lock in moisture from being produced. Overall, hard water isn’t a friend to the skin.
Effects of Soft Water on Your Skin
When compared to hard water, soft water does make the skin softer. This is because the lack of harmful minerals allows the skin’s natural oil producing processes to function correctly. When used with soap, the ability to lather is not restricted. This means soap scum does not build up on the skin. When you get out of the shower, your skin should feel smooth and slick, contrary to the belief that you should be ‘squeaky clean.’ That squeaky noise is the sound of soap scum left on your skin and potentially clogged pores.
Options for Homes with Hard Water
What do you do if you have hard water? There are a couple of options available for making water safe for your skin, such as water softeners and salt-free water conditioners. Water softeners use a salt based filtration system that removes the negative minerals. Salt-free water conditioners use a process called template assisted crystallization that converts the minerals to a crystal that is unable to bind to surfaces. There is still a mineral in the water, but its structure doesn’t allow the damaging processes to occur.
If you notice that your skin is feeling dry and itchy, you might want to examine the quality of your water before trying various skin products or investing in a dermatologist appointment. Now that you know the difference between hard and soft water, you have the option to decide if you need a water conditioning system to help achieve healthier skin. To speak with a professional about water conditioning options for your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
For homeowners in the Central Texas area, having hard water in your home is almost a certainty without intervention. Hard water can cause all kinds of havoc in a home, including damaging appliances, leaving stains on dishes and clothing, and building up mineral deposits in faucets and shower heads. Below are a few suggested ways to limit or repair the issues caused by hard water.
The first solution is to use vinegar. This is because vinegar can help to loosen some of the mineral deposits. This means that it can get out of the stains on the bath mats, chrome faucets, shower heads, and coffee pots. You can also use the vinegar inside of your dishwasher and washing machine by just running a cycle with nothing in it. It might help to remove stains and disinfect if you spray the surface of the shower doors, sinks, and toilets with the vinegar. All you will have to do is to wipe down these surfaces and if the stain is very bad, you might have to scrub it a little bit.
The second solution is to use baking soda. This is one of the best things that you can use when you have a lot of hard water buildup that is just not going away. This is because it is going to be a little more abrasive to all of those stains. All you have to do is to sprinkle the baking soda on the stain so that it can sit for a few minutes and then scrub it with a scrub brush in order to remove the stain. This is going to work best if you have already used vinegar on the stain. After applying the baking soda, you’ll need to add water. Water will cause the baking soda to become a paste that you can quickly wipe up, leaving a cleaner space.
Cleaners with Chemicals
There are a lot of chemical cleaners that you can use that will help you to remove the mineral stains and hard water buildup in homes. You will need to need to pick a cleaner that has acids in it like phophoric, hydrochloric, or hydroxyacetic acids. You are going to need to be very cautious about the more abrasive cleaners and brushes that can scratch the surface of the fixtures. It is important to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to make sure that you are using the cleaners properly. For some cleaners, protective gloves should also be worn.
Colored Stains from Hardwater
If you have a red or reddish brown stain from iron, then you might consider using cream of tartar and water. This is going to create a paste that you can let dry and rinse off, leaving a cleaner surface. If you have a brown or black stain from manganese in your water, then you can make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide. Lastly, if you noticed a green or blue stain from copper or water that has a lot of acid in it, you can use a mixture of soap suds and ammonia to lighten it. Just let the mixture dry and then rinse it off.
Salt-Free Water Conditioner
For a more permanent solution, consider having a water softener installed in your home. A water softener greatly lessens the impact of hard water on your home and appliances, and many of these devices are made to last for years. Another option to consider is a water conditioner, which has a slightly different process than a water softener, but which still solves your hard water issues. Many homeowners turn to salt-free water conditioners because they require very little maintenance and are built to last you and your family for years.
If you would like more information about dealing with hard water, or about installing a salt-free water conditioner, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
If you live in the San Marcos area, you’re familiar with hard water. You’ve probably tried everything to get your water to smell, taste, and feel good. If you don’t have a water softening system, installing one can transform your water and save you money.
How Hard Water May Be Costing You Money
Hard water damages appliances and fixtures over time. Water with high iron content, for example, turns tubs and sinks orange and contributes to rusting of water heaters. When an appliance leaks, like the water heater, you also experience flooring damage. Also, nearly 90 percent of homes in the US have hard water containing high levels of calcium and magnesium. This causes scaling which clogs the plumbing and water lines. In addition to the needed plumbing repairs, this causes higher electricity costs. It requires more soap to clean clothes and dishes, and chemicals and minerals in hard water can damage clothing when laundered, causing it to fade and wear more quickly.
How Softening Water Could Save You Money
Soft water reduces your electricity. Without being hindered by the scale caused by hard water, your appliances can run more efficiently. With no scaling, they can last longer as well, leading to fewer leaks and fewer replacements. Fewer leaks also means less repairs to the surrounding flooring. The boilers, pipes, and fixtures can last longer, too.
In addition to extending the life and efficiency of your appliances, you’ll need to buy less soap because it lathers better in soft water. Your laundry detergent can go further, too. Soft water helps your clothes and linens last longer because it helps remove stains better. According to The Salt Institute, soft water cleans dishes 12 times better and it removes clothing stains 100 times more effectively than added detergent or hot water wash.
Types of Water Softening Systems
Several types of filtration systems exist, and each has its own benefits. You can install a water softening or water conditioning system with a well water system or with a municipal water supply feed. The three most popular types of softening systems are:
- Coal Filtered,
- Salt-Free Water Conditioner,
- Salt Filtered.
Salt filtered systems are common, though they can eventually lead to corroded pipes and water heaters. Coal filtered systems are less popular because they use a non-renewable resource, and mining for coal can damage the environment. A salt-free water conditioner is easier on appliances and does not harm the environment, or add any traces of sodium to your water. This type of water conditioner requires very little maintenance.
For a minimal investment, you can have healthy water using a coal-free, salt-free water conditioner. Your water will taste better, clean better, and be gentler on your appliances, helping extend their lifetimes and efficiency. If you are considering installing a water softener or conditioner in your home or would like to speak to a professional about the best option for the water in your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.
Many people are familiar with the various pros and cons of hard water and soft water. However, many of those interested in installing a water softener or water conditioner in their home may still be curious about the differences in the two types of water. One subtle difference between hard water and soft water is its taste. In order to understand how the taste of water can change, it’s important to look at what a water softener or water conditioner does to hard water.
How Does a Water Softener Change Your Water?
Pure water is naturally soft. However, when water travels the sometimes great distances to reach home taps, it picks up materials on the way. The materials picked up in water include a variety of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are also necessary for human health, the traces found in water are inorganic, and cannot be used by the body like the minerals in food can. Still, these small amounts can significantly damage household appliances.
Because of this, many homeowners install water softeners or water conditioners to combat the effects of hard water. The two installations work in slightly different ways. Traditional water softeners use salt for a process called “ion exchange.” During this process, magnesium and calcium ions are essentially exchanged for sodium ions, making the water soft. Salt-free water conditioners don’t remove the hard water minerals, but instead change their form so that they can no longer bind to surfaces.
The Taste of Hard Water vs Soft Water
Knowing how water softeners and water conditioners change water from hard to soft, the next question is often how the homeowner’s water experience is going to change. It is commonly known that soft water feels slicker than hard water, and that soft water dissolves soaps and detergents more quickly, resulting in more suds with less product. However, sometimes the taste of water can change as well.
For some people, the difference in the taste of softened water as compared to hard water is barely noticeable, but still present. The reason for the difference in taste is due to the minerals in the water. The minerals in hard water react to the tongue’s taste buds, giving hard water its taste. These minerals are not present in soft water, and so the reaction doesn’t take place, resulting in the slightly different taste people experience. Many people report finding soft water to taste more “refreshing.”
The Taste of Beverages that Use Water
Because the taste of soft water is slightly different from the taste of hard water, the flavor of any beverages made with that water will be slightly different as well. Such beverages could include homemade lemonade, tea, and fruit flavored drinks. In general, beverages made with soft water tend to have a stronger, clearer flavor, since the taste is not altered by the presence of minerals, such as those found in hard water.
If you would like more information about the beneficial effects of a water softener or a water conditioner, or would like information about installing one in your home, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.