- lower energy consumption by reducing scale build-up in water heaters
- reduce the amount of soap needed to create a lather
- maintain plumbing fixtures and appliances
- enjoy the feel of softened water when washing
By removing the calcium and magnesium from your hard water, a Water Softener will enable you to use lesser quantities of soap, shampoo, and detergents, and increases the efficiency with which they work. Which means clean skin, brighter and softer laundry, and less time spent cleaning your home.
Water Softeners can also be effective for removing iron and small amounts of manganese.
When water contains a large amount for dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other minerals it is considered hard.
The minerals leave a residue on your bathroom fixtures and film formation on your dishes. Minerals can also build-up in your pipes and reduce appliance lifespan and efficiency in humidifiers, kettles, coffee makers, and hot water heaters. Water heaters can consume 22% more energy with hard water than soft water!
Hard water also reduces the lather of soap and shampoo during showers.
The lack of lather and difficulty rinsing soaps off, means you are left with an invisible film on your skin which blocks pores, attracting and holding dirt and bacteria, causing chapping, itching, and dryness. Hair washed in hard water becomes limp and lifeless; hair coloring frequently does not penetrate evenly.
Hard water combines with the ingredients of soap and detergents to form a dulling curd on clothing, one that holds soil in the fabric, shielding it from removal. This causes laundry to look dingy, grayed, or yellowed, to mat or stiffen with repeated washings. Fibers may deteriorate, wearing out at a faster rate.
Dishwashing with hard water will cause a dull film to form on your glassware.
Cleaning sinks, tubs, shower tiles, and plumbing fixtures can be more challenging with hard water with soap scum to scour and scrub (requiring the use of harsher chemicals for cleaning).
Water Hardness Range
Water hardness is measured in milligrams per litre (also referred to as parts per million or ppm) or grains per U.S. gallon (gpg) in a range of five classifications:
|Soft||below 17 mg/litre||(0-1 grains per U.S. gallon)|
|Slightly hard||17.1 – 60 mg/litre||(1-3.5 gpg)|
|Moderately hard||61 – 120 mg/litre||(3.5 – 7.0 gpg)|
|Hard||121 – 180 mg/litre||(7.0 – 10.5 gpg)|
|Very hard||over 180 mg/litre||(10.5 gpg and over)|
Iron and Manganese Removal
Water softeners are sometimes effective for removing iron and small amounts of manganese. Water softeners reduce water hardness by removing calcium and magnesium through an ion exchange process. Iron and manganese removal is accomplished in the same way. The iron and manganese are then removed from the softener resin bed through backwashing and regeneration.
Removal efficiencies by softeners will vary depending on the iron concentration, water hardness and pH. Softeners are generally only recommended when the water pH is greater than 6.7, the water hardness is between 3 and 20 grains per gallon (50- 350 mg/L) and the dissolved iron concentration is less than 5 mg/L.