The term, "hard water," refers to water with a high mineral content. The most common minerals that cause water hardness are calcium and magnesium. When these minerals end up in a household's water supply household pipes become clogged and appliance efficiency is reduced.
Water test kits are available at pool suppliers or from establishments that sell water softener systems. Water hardness, or how much of a mineral is present in water, is measured in grains per gallon (GPG), parts per million (PPM), or milligrams per liter (MG/L). Water up to 1 GPG is considered soft, water from 1 to 3.5 GPG is considered moderate, and water from 3.5 to 7 GPG is hard water. Home water softener systems are machines that tap into the household water supply and filter water as it comes through to remove calcium and magnesium, the most common minerals that cause water hardness. Softer water means less scale and soap scum buildup.
Home water softener systems typically consist of a brine tank and the filter. These systems are also equipped with a meter to indicate when the sodium needs to be recharged.
As water moves through the machine, calcium or magnesium ions change places with "softer" ions as they pass through the filter. The calcium or magnesium ions stay behind, and water continues through the pipes, softened by salt. When the water softener is depleted, it is recharged by being flushed with brine. This drives off the calcium or magnesium ions, replacing them with sodium ions.
At $400 to $1,200 each, plus $5 to $7 per bag of salt, water softener systems may seem pricey, but surely less time spent cleaning would be worth such a price.
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Water Softeners Info provides detailed information about magnetic and ionic exchange water softeners, home water softener systems and kits, product reviews and comparisons, water softener salt, and more. Water Softeners Info is the sister site of Dishwashers Web.