If you're tired of dealing with hard water scaling on your dishes, your shower walls, and even on the clothes coming out of your washing machine, you may be considering the purchase of a water softener. However, with so many types, sizes, and brands available, you may not know where to begin your search. Read on to learn more about how some of your lifestyle habits can impact the type of water softener you'll need.
How frequently will you clean your water softener?
If you choose an ion-exchange water softener that uses salt, you'll need to decide whether to purchase large salt pellets or smaller crystals. If you use cubed crystals or loosely-compacted salt that isn't fully water soluble, your water softener may require more frequent cleaning than if you use large pellets or 100 percent water soluble salt.
Therefore, if you don't plan to clean your water softener frequently (or don't think you'll have the time), you'll likely want to select a water softener that takes large pellets. You may also want to invest in a higher-quality salt that will be fully utilized by the resin exchange system, rather than result in residue buildup over time.
Is anyone in your household on a sodium-restricted diet?
Although ion-exchange water softeners are designed to exchange salt molecules for hard water molecules (including calcium, iron, and lime), very little of this salt actually makes it into your drinking water supply. However, if someone in your household has blood pressure issues or has been instructed to restrict his or her sodium intake, you may want to investigate a water softener that uses potassium pellets instead. These water softeners are just as effective as ion-exchange water softeners that use salt, but won't add any sodium to your water supply.
How much water does your family use on a daily basis?
Determining your water needs is key to deciding the size and capacity of water softener to purchase. Each water softener has its own rating that will let you know the specific number of gallons of soft water it can produce on an hourly (or daily) basis. You should be able to get an approximate estimate of your water usage by looking at your monthly water bill.
In some cases (particularly if your water isn't extremely hard), you may want to route this soft water to only your appliances. This will allow you to purchase a water softener with a lower capacity than you might otherwise need. For more information, contact Johnson Water Conditioning or a similar company.