The Benefits of Installing a Water Softener
How do you know if you need a water softener for your Sycamore, IL home? There are some telltale signs that your water is too hard, such as water spots on dishes and appliances, low lather when bathing and buildup on faucets and water fixtures. If you are having these problems or aren’t sure if your home would benefit from a water softener, you don’t have to guess.
If your water source comes from a municipality, you can check the water report which they are required to make available to the public. You can also have your water tested independently, which you must do if your water comes from a well. Prairie State Water Solutions offers water testing and can provide a full report on things like water contaminants and water hardness, and help you interpret the results.
First, let’s find out more about what it means to have hard water. According to the United States Geological Survey website, “water hardness is generally the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water.” These and other minerals are picked up by the water as it travels underground. While these elements are not harmful to people, can be a problem for your pipes, household appliances and even your hair and skin. Let’s take a look at how hard water can your home.
Pipes and Appliances
Calcium and magnesium found in hard water can build up over time. Think of the scale that you find on your water faucets and other fixtures. This same thing is happening in places that you can’t see, such as inside your pipes, your hot water heater and any appliances that have a water source. While you can remove the scale from your shower, sinks and faucets, you can’t remove them from the places you can’t see. Over time, this will lead to excessive buildup, which can have expensive consequences.
When scale builds up in pipes and water lines too much, they close off, much as an artery with too much plaque. Think about how your coffee pot stops working as efficiently until you run it through a cleaning cycle. The cleaning process is essentially removing the scale that has built up over time. This same thing is happening to the water line that provides water to your refrigerator, your hot water heater elements, and your washing machine lines. Unfortunately, you can’t see or clean these hidden lines, which means that your appliances will stop functioning at an optimal and you will replace them sooner unless you change the hardness of your water.
Beyond that, the lower water pressure could lead to a burst pipe or water line, or the minerals can corrode appliances, exposing you to the risk of leaks. The end result could cause damage to walls, floors, carpeting and furniture if not discovered in time. The mitigation efforts to prevent mold and mildew, and the cost to repair the damage will be added to the cost to replace the pipes or appliance.
Dishes and Clothing
You might also suspect that you need a water softener for your Sycamore, IL home if your glassware and utensils have water spots. The same minerals that build up in your pipes also attach themselves to your dishes and clothes. This breaks down the fiber in your clothing and is what causes them to fade and look dingy. Using water at the appropriate hardness level will keep your dishes looking clean and your clothes looking new, so you won’t have to replace them as often.
People who live in homes with hard water will also notice that their soap and shampoo don’t lather well, yet they feel a film or residue left on their hands and body after washing them. They may also experience dry, itchy skin. This is because the same “scum” that is left in your sinks and on your faucets clogs the pores and strips the body of its natural oils. In turn, this can lead to dry skin, eczema and even acne. The same way in which the hard water clogs the pores, it also coats the hair, stripping it from any moisture. This leads to dry, brittle, damaged hair.
So, what can you do if you find yourself with hard water? The best remedy is to have a water softener installed in your Sycamore, IL home. A water softener will remove the calcium and magnesium from your water, improving your skin and hair, brightening your laundry and increasing the life of your appliances, ultimately saving you money over time.