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Water Softeners

Water Softening

Water softening is a procedure aimed at freeing water from magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, and other impurities from water. It is applied to so-called ‘hard water’, which has an increased concentration of these elements, as well as multivalent metal cations.

What is hard water?

Water softener Water softener

Water is obtained from ground waters. As water moves through soil and rock strata, it dissolves the described minerals and grows hard. The degree of hardness varies from region to region depending on the type of soil and occurring rock.

Although hard water does not cause any serious health issues, it poses serious problems in household. The minerals dissolved in it deposit on pipe walls and gradually form a thick lime buildup. It also appears around drain holes and on faucet nozzles. The buildup impedes water flow and often requires replacement of an entire plumbing system. Lime also appears in pots and kettles and may send them to the wastebasket. Hard water may seriously reduce the life of electric appliances (electric kettles, irons, washing machines, dishwashers, etc.)

Also, it affects the look of clothes and linen washed in it, and hair. Fabric feels hard and may turn dull. Hair feels rough and sticky.

If your house is connected to a municipal water supply network, you can request a report on the hardness of water in your area. If you are about to use a private water supply system, it is advisable to test it for hardness.

The hardness of water is measured in GPG (grains per gallon), PPM (parts per million), or mg/l (milligrams per liter). One GPG is equivalent to 17.1 PPM. Consequently, water with hardness level reaching 10 GPG has 171 PPM. According to EPA standards, water measuring 0-1 GPG (17.1 PPM) is considered soft. Water measuring 10.5 GPG (180 PPM) or more is extremely hard.

What can I do about it?

In order to maintain desired level of hardness, it is advisable to incorporate a water softening unit in your plumbing system. 

Ion Exchange Water Softeners

Water softening is a process based on ion exchange. Water softeners have so-called media beds – areas filled with sulfonated polystyrene beads saturated with sodium. The ions of calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, etc., attach to the beads, and the sodium is washed out of them and into the passing water. In other words, the hardness minerals are replaced with sodium. Eventually, the beads become laden with these minerals and need to be recharged by way of exposure to a brine solution.

Because softened water contains sodium, physicians recommend to use it with caution and not to use it for cooking purposes. Mechanical water softeners are very easy to install and use. Semi-automatic and automatic water softeners can be controlled electrically and electronically. 

Magnetic Water Softeners

Magnetic water softeners are equipped with powerful magnets, which are attached to pipes to create a kind of magnetic barrier. The magnetic field affects the ions of hardness minerals and thus softens the water passing through the barrier. Because the influence of magnets on these minerals is not studied yet, there is pretty much controversy as to the method’s effectiveness.

Salt-Free Softeners

Salt-free water softeners are very popular for not having to use chemicals. Instead, salt-free softeners incorporate replaceable filters. At the same time, very hard water may cause these softeners to break down too soon.

Conclusion

If you have moved to an area where water seems too hard, you have to take steps to prevent damage to your water supply system and expensive home appliances. Please, choose the best type of water softener you can afford! Also, refer to the EPA standard and evaluate the hardness of water. 

Feel free to give us a call today at 905-699-8898 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and get excellent water softener repair, installation or replacement service in your Milton, Acton or Oakville home or business.

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Milton Plumbing and Heating

Over 40 years experience, we are your home-town plumbers
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