Do you know how hard your water supply is? Your water could be costing you efficiency, energy, and even detergent.
Hard water runs through the homes of at least 85 percent of Americans. If you’re one of them, your hard water could be taking years off your appliances – and money out of your pocket.
“Hard” water contains a high level of minerals like calcium and magnesium. So what does that actually mean to you? Well, according to Oregon State University and consumer review website Angie’s List, water with a high mineral content can cause…
- Calcium rings or deposits in tubs, sinks, or dishwashers
- Spots on dishes or shower doors
- Reduced foaming and cleaning abilities of soaps and detergents
- Reduced hot water supply
- Dingy and yellowed clothes with soapy residues
- Clogged pipes, shower heads, or faucets
- Leaky pipes
Here’s what you can do…
Test your water
If you suspect you have hard water, the first step is to determine whether it’s a problem. To get an idea of whether hard water is prevalent in your area, check out the U.S. Geological Survey’s water hardness concentration map. If you’re connected to a public water supply, your city may be able to tell you how hard the water supply is. According to Oregon State, “water is considered hard when it exceeds 3 grains per gallon (GPG).” Obviously, the harder the water, the more the potential for problems.
If you’re connected to a private supply, you may have to pay to have your water tested. Companies that specialize in water conditioning often do it free. But Angie’s List suggests getting at least one other opinion, because a water conditioning company would have a vested interest in the outcome of your water hardness test. (In other words, if they tell you it’s hard, you might hire them to solve the problem.)
Soften your water
If you do have hard water, you might want to consider buying or renting a water softener. There are two basic types: ones that use salt (traditional water softeners) and ones that don’t (also known as water conditioners or descalers). If you’re on a low-sodium diet, don’t worry: The Mayo Clinic says traditional water softeners only add a negligible amount of salt.
To start, read Consumer Reports’ What you need to know about water softeners. Then check out Angie’s List’s tips for buying a water softener…
- Decide if you’re better off renting or buying: Water softeners range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000, and some companies rent them out for a monthly charge plus installation.
- Research available products and service companies, and insist on a money-back guarantee.
- Use a company whose technicians are certified by the Water Quality Association.
- Follow the maintenance instructions for keeping the unit operating properly.
If you’re handy or brave, the Better Homes and Gardens network’s DIY website offers step-by-step instructions for installing a water softener yourself.
Whether you end up paying hundreds or thousands to soften your water, your softener or conditioner could eventually pay for itself. In addition to saving you money by eliminating or lessening the seven problems I’ve already mentioned, a water softener could also save you energy and detergent.
A 2009 study commissioned by the Water Quality Association found that water softeners are one of the best ways to save energy. They keep water heaters and appliances running efficiently, and they keep shower heads and faucets flowing freely.
This past year, two studies funded by the WQA – and conducted by a different company – found that water softeners also allow you to wash your clothes in cooler temperatures and to use less laundry and dish detergent. In other words, they’re saying that if you have a water softener installed, your clothes will come out just as clean even though you reduced the temperature and detergent by 50 percent.
RainSoft water conditioning and water softening systems soften and polish the water used throughout your home. Soaps and shampoos rinse out more completely, leaving skin and hair cleaner and more residue free. Water conditioners allow you to use less soap, and your water-using appliances will last longer without that scale build-up present in hard water.
Many RainSoft water conditioning systems incorporate our proprietary EC4 technology. This smart control water softening system actually learns how your family uses water, saving you money in water consumption and salt usage.
EC4 and TC Series Water Conditioners
Both of our premium series of water conditioners are available in many designs with various features that support and meet any consumer needs. Each design series is built to last a lifetime, and carries the RainSoft limited lifetime warranty. Both home water filtration systems can be found at a RainSoft dealer near you.
The EC4 water conditioning systems are computer controlled and come equipped with a smart-feature microprocessor controller that is able to process thousands of computations per second.
TC Series water conditioner systems soften, condition and filter out the main components that make up hard water. These water softeners are also powered by an energy saving, low-voltage electrical system.
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