A water softener removes calcium, magnesium and other minerals dissolved in hard water to make it “softer”.
Benefits include: soaps clean better & rinse more thoroughly, your skin & hair feels less dry and healthier. Water spotting & “scale’ build up is reduced on your sinks, tubs, tile & fixtures.
Water softeners also extend the life of your plumbing and appliances by preventing damaging scale build up & blockages.
Before you buy a water softener for your home, there are several things to consider which will help you make the right choice. If you do make the right choice you will end up with a system that runs efficiently for a long time and saves you money in the long run.
Bottom line: It is best to have a trusted, qualified water softener professional do an analysis for you. This will help you overcome any confusion and give you the best options in equipment that will meet the needs for your home or business.
A professional can give you all the help you need with each of these items:
1.) Find out what type of water softener & system you need
Before choosing a water softener or water treatment system you must confirm what water problems you’re having and what system or systems would help to solve those problems.
Usually, it is best to have a water treatment professional analyze water conditions. With analysis results and input from customer, the correct system can be installed.
Once you analyze results, then you can get the correct water system, one in which you’ll know exactly what it does and how it works. One which makes sure you aren’t expecting too much or too little upon purchase.
2. Make sure you get high quality components and a metered style valve for a more efficient system
A good water softener must have quality components and a metered style valve. That way it will not only last longer but will work more efficiently.
High quality components may cost more up front, but they last a lot longer, and have less operating costs in the long run. Poor quality components will need replacing often, waste large amounts of water and salt, and this can make long term costs much more than realized.
With a metered styled valve you can program different levels of hardness based on how many people there are in the house. With these settings, system is able to adjust cleaning times automatically which makes the most efficient and cost-effective system possible.
3. Make sure you purchase the right sized system for your home
Not every water softener system comes in the same size, and the size you get should depend on the flow rate of your home and water hardness levels.
A system that is too small will reduce the life span of your components which will cost you money in the long run for replacement parts. A system that is too large will run you into sanitary problems which will waste large amount of salts and backwash water
But a system the exact size for your home will run more efficiently, and won’t waste your money on parts and wasting water and excess salt.
4. Have your water tested. You may need more than a water softener
Your water needs to have the proper treatment to prevent any ill effects on your health. You may need a water filtration added to your water softener system. Purchasing a system that includes this initially can save you money and function better.
For those on city water: Go online -or- to your local water district and request a copy of the water analysis for your city. Many times people choose to add a water filtration or drinking system in addition to a water softener even if the city water analysis shows no problems. This is usually due to taste or particulate problems in the home.
For those on well water: the information and video on this page will show why and you how to receive a thorough analysis.
Once you have the required information on how to do an analysis you can then point yourself in the right direction for effective water treatment.
5. Consider pricing and quality
Before buying a water softener you need work out the best balance between how much you’re prepared to spend on your system, and how long you want it to last.
Many systems may seem like a bargain, but often these systems won’t last you long and you’ll end up spending a lot of money on replacement parts. Other systems may seem more costly, but they’ll last you a lot longer and save you money in the long run.
Make sure you choose a system with a good warranty. On one hand there are systems out there that gives you 12 years warranty, while others only give you 12 months.
If you choose a system with a low quality resin and valving it will end up costing you more, as low quality resins needs replacing quicker and this can get expensive. A high quality resin may have a higher up front cost, but it will last you for many years to come.