Water is defined as ‘hard’ if it contains a lot of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium or other minerals. It is almost inevitable that water which comes into contact with underground beds of limestone, gypsum, dolomite, magnesite – to name but a few of the more common calcium and magnesium bearing minerals – will be hard.Hard water has a number of adverse effects, including:
- The formation of lime scaling in pipes, water heaters, boilers and air conditioning systems that cause inefficiency and can lead to permanent damage
- Lowering heat transmission and often causing premature heater failure due to overheating of the metal
- Increasing soap consumption, wasting from 50% to 90% of the soap used, depending on the amount of hardness. It also causes the formation of soap scum, which adheres to cloth fibres, hair, glassware and dishes. Soap deposits cause poor results in laundering and may hold pathogenic bacteria
Hard water also contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals (lime scale deposits) that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water using appliances. As a result, it can lead to increased energy costs.
How do you overcome these issues?
You can combat hard water by running it through a water softener, which eliminates the effects of hard water by extracting dissolved calcium and magnesium minerals from incoming water, thus softening the water for the whole house.Ion exchange
Hard water contains calcium and magnesium, water softeners counteract the by containing resin beads, which hold sodium ions. When hard water passes through the resin beads inside the water softener, the beads attract and hold the calcium and magnesium ions in exchange for sodium. After this ion exchange process, the water leaving the water softener is ‘soft.’
Once you install a whole home water softener, you’ll notice the difference around the house:
In the bathroom
- Your soap and shampoo will lather better and you’ll use up to 50% less soap
- Your hair becomes softer, shinier and easier to manage.
- Your skin is left feeling silky smooth and not as dry.
- There will be no soap scum or mineral deposits to clean off sinks, showers, tubs and toilets.
In the laundry
- Clothes come out softer, cleaner, whiter and brighter.
- Soft water increases the life of your clothing, towels and linens.
In the kitchen
- Your dishes will clean up more easily and your glassware will sparkle, like never before.
- Improved taste of water, tea and coffee (and it helps keep your kettle/jug clean).
- Dishwashers remain clean and scale free and require less maintenance.
Extended appliance and equipment life
The minerals found in hard water can build up on the insides of appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters, reducing their working life and decreasing efficiency. Our residential water softeners not only extend their lifespan but also benefit the environment by reducing waste and conserving the raw materials and energy used in manufacturing.
Faster water heating
Hot water heaters can heat softened water more quickly than hard water, improving efficiency by roughly 22 per cent for electric water heaters and 29 per cent for gas-powered units. Improving efficiency with a whole home water softener reduces energy consumption, resulting in significantly lower energy bills.
Cleaner plumbing system
Hard water leaves scaly deposits in plumbing fixtures and pipes, which can corrode and shorten the life of your home’s plumbing system as they build up over time. Reducing mineral deposits with water softeners helps eliminate the adverse effects of clogs and corrosion, extending the life of the plumbing system and helping appliances and equipment operate more effectively.