The purpose of a water softener is to turn hard water that's rich in minerals into soft, silky water that is more gentle on your skin, laundry, and plumbing. You can have your water tested to see if you have hard water and how hard it is, but it's also easy to tell if your water is hard by looking for scale left behind on a glass coffee pot or your glass shower doors.
A water softener eliminates problems with mineral scale, so it's an important appliance to have if you need one. Read more to learn about water softeners.
A Water Softener Is Different From A Water Purifier
A water softening appliance only transforms hard water into soft water by reducing mineral content. It doesn't filter water or purify it. If you want to purify your water too, talk to your plumber about your options. You'll need a different appliance installed separately from your softener to do that.
You Can Sometimes Rent A Water Softener
If you don't want to buy a softener because you know you'll be moving in a few years or sooner, you may want to ask your plumber about renting the appliance. Some companies offer this option, which is convenient since the company takes care of all maintenance and repairs then too. You'll probably need to rent for a year, and then you can have the softener removed if you're ready to move.
You'll Need To Add Salt Regularly
These appliances use salt to work, so you'll need to add salt regularly or your water won't be soft. You can buy salt for the purpose of softening water at home improvement stores. You may even find a company that will deliver your salt on a set schedule so you always have it when you need it and you won't have to lug around heavy bags to get the salt home.
The Water Tanks Come In Different Sizes
To make sure you get the right size tank for your needs, you should factor in the amount of minerals in your water and the flow rate of the water you use. The more water you use, the bigger the tank should be. A plumber can help you figure out the best size and style of appliance for your home so it works efficiently.
A Softener Needs Plumbing And Electricity
A water softener is installed near the entrance of your plumbing lines when possible. This might be in your basement, but it depends on how your house is built and the way your plumbing is designed. The appliance needs to be patched into plumbing lines and it also needs electricity.
It may not need a dedicated circuit since a softener doesn't use very much electricity, so you'll want to find that out in advance in case you need to have a new outlet and circuit installed for your new appliance.