A water softener, is basically an instrument that removes the ‘hardness’ causing ions from water. Failing to soften your water may cause scale deposits, lack of lather formation in soaps and digestive difficulties if drunk. Hard water is not a big threat in the aspect of human consumption, but it can cause heavy damages to your pipelines and boilers due to scaling and clogging.
Many parts of the world face this ‘hard water’ issue, as it is not possible to correct the hardness at the source. As a result, many people connect their house’s entire plumbing system to a water softener. There are several choices available in the market. Water softeners come in a variety of features and each has its own specialty and drawback. So, if you are planning to buy a water softening system as a precautionary or necessary measure, then here are a few things that you should keep in mind before making the purchase. Before deciding on what machine you are going to buy, go through these 5 tips to help you decide correctly.
- Determine the level of hardness of the raw water
Hard water is common in several places and the degree or extent of hardness will vary from place to place. So it is first essential that you get the hardness tested. Not all water softeners will work on all ranges of hardness of water. This can be done by testing a sample in any laboratory or by any water testing company in your region.
- Decide on the type of system
The next thing that you have to understand is that there are three different fundamental types of water softeners. This difference is based on the principle of work. Based on the degree of hardness of your water, your space requirement, budget and maintenance expected, choose the type of system that you want to install.
Salt-based systems: This system uses sodium ions to soften water. They are quite bulky and the effluent water many contain more salt content, so it might not be preferred for drinking.
Salt-free systems: This system changes the atomic structure of hard water and softens it. These are not that efficient but they require less maintenance and are easy to install and run.
Electro-magnetic systems: Here magnetic wires are used to change the water structure and remove hardness. These are small, compact and easy to operate.
- Quality and cost
Some water softening systems cost less to buy and install, but they may require more running and maintenance costs if they are more power draining. A good water softener should have high quality components otherwise they might start falling apart or malfunctioning within a few years and it is not an easy task to re-install the entire system. Though the capital cost might be a bit high, the total cost will be compensated as a quality water softener will have less running and maintenance charges. This might even profit you in the long run.
- Energy efficiency of the system
As far as energy requirement is considered, a metered style valve is more efficient. This system will enable automatic adjustment of cleaning timings to facilitate more efficiency.
- Size and Capacity
The size of the water softener is based on your space requirement, while the capacity will depend on the number of people using the system and the average quantity of water used by one person.
This is how you can get to the best water softener, which shall keep you away from all kind of hard water issues.