Should You Invest in a Water Softener?
Although you might not realize it, there’s a strong chance that your Metuchen, NJ, home has hard water flowing through its plumbing system. If you aren’t familiar with hard water, it’s water that has collected large amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Water picks up these minerals as it flows through the ground on its way to your home. And even if you don’t see it happening, the presence of those minerals can cause a variety of problems for your household. However, hard water in your house is a problem that can be easily solved.
At First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, our expert plumbers can install a water softening system, which will remove the problematic minerals from your water before they can cause any issues. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of having a water softener and how to determine if you need one.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
The process of softening your home’s water is relatively simple. Before the water reaches your plumbing system, it must pass through a tank featuring several different layers. Typically, there will be a layer of activated carbon, a layer of ion exchange resin, and a layer of special gravel. First, the activated carbon removes chlorine and various other contaminants from the water. Next, the ion exchange resin replaces the ions of calcium, magnesium, and other hazardous minerals with ions of harmless minerals like potassium or sodium. Finally, the special gravel removes any contaminants that have managed to remain in the water. By the time the water reaches your pipes, appliances, and fixtures, it’s no longer a threat.
Effects on Your Pipes
There are several areas where hard water can cause significant problems for your Metuchen home. One of those areas is your piping. As hard water flows through your plumbing system, the minerals cause it to leave behind a nasty residue called scale. A little bit of scale is no big deal, but over time, the amount of residue inside of your pipes can become a serious issue. Once enough of the gunk has accumulated, it can start to obstruct your water flow, leading to worsened water pressure and increased monthly water bills. Eventually, the scale may also damage your pipes, which can result in water leaks. And if those leaks go unaddressed, you can end up dealing with mold growth, water-damaged property, and even flooding.
By investing in one of our quality water softeners, you can avoid having to deal with frustrating plumbing problems down the road. Without the hazardous minerals, your water won’t leave scale behind in the pipes. That will save you money on future plumbing repairs, reduce your water bills, and keep your pipes functioning smoothly all year.
Effects on Your Appliances
In addition to harming your pipes, hard water can cause problems for many of your household appliances as well. Any appliance that regularly uses water can be affected by the minerals in your water. This includes your dishwasher, laundry machine, water heater, and smaller appliances like your ice machine and coffee maker. Because water that’s packed with minerals has a harder composition, your appliances have to work harder to use it. That forces them to use more energy to do their jobs, leading to costly electricity bills. The scale that gets regularly left behind also damages the appliances, shortening their life expectancies and worsening their overall performances. After the water has flowed through one of our water-softening systems, it will be much easier on all of the appliances in your house.
Effects on Your Skin and Hair
One of the worst consequences of using hard water is the effect it can have on your skin and hair. Because it contains calcium and magnesium ions, hard water doesn’t mix with soap as effectively as soft water. So, when you wash your hands or take a shower with hard water, you won’t be able to achieve as deep of a lather. As a result, you won’t typically feel as clean as you otherwise would. Plus, the minerals in hard water cause it to remove some of the natural oils from your skin. That can lead to your skin feeling dry, itchy, and irritated. If you’ve ever noticed an itchy feeling right after you take a shower, it’s most likely due to hard water. With softened water, though, your skin will be more capable of absorbing the moisture, which will help keep your skin feeling soft.
The effects of hard water on your hair are similar. For one, the calcium, magnesium, and other harmful ions can cause your hair to become dry, frizzy, and brittle. In some cases, it may even cause your hair color to become duller. After running through a water softening system, though, your water will help balance the pH level of your hair and leave it looking vibrant.
Effects on Your Clothing
Another reason to consider purchasing a water softener is the impact it can have on your clothing. In addition to making things tough for your laundry machine, hard water can be damaging to the actual fabric of your clothes as well. For one thing, water packed with minerals isn’t as capable of being absorbed by your clothes. Plus, it doesn’t absorb laundry detergent as effectively. For these reasons, your clothing doesn’t tend to get as clean when washing it with hard water. In some cases, the magnesium and calcium can even leave behind unattractive stains or cause the colors in your clothing to fade more quickly.
Using one of our water softeners will keep your clothes cleaner, make the fabric feel softer, and keep the colors bright and vivid. You’ll even save some money on laundry detergent because you won’t need to use as much of it to do your laundry.
How Do You Know You Need a Water Softener?
As you can see, having hard water in your home can cause a lot of frustrating problems. And if you have those hazardous minerals in your water, it’s undoubtedly worth investing in a water softener. But how can you tell if that’s the case in your Metuchen house? In addition to the common problems covered above, there are several indicators you can look for to determine whether or not you have hard water in your home.
- Lime deposits around drains and faucets
- Excessive soap scum in shower
- Cloudy spots on glasses and dishes
- Poor water pressure
- Water tastes or smells unusual
Even if you don’t notice any of these red flags in your home, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from a water softener. Our quality systems don’t just remove the harmful minerals from your water; they also remove a variety of other contaminants, improving the overall cleanliness, quality, and taste.
At First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re proud to provide Metuchen area residents with reliable plumbing, heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. Whether you need a water softener or water filter installed, a heat pump repaired, a pipe replaced, or any other home comfort service, our team can take care of it.
Contact our offices at First Choice Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn more or make an appointment!