How To Soften Hard Water

We get a lot of questions from homeowners about the quality of their water.  The main complaints we hear from frustrated homeowners are concerning the scale build up in toilets, on shower doors, and inside bathtubs which is often caused by hard water.

Hard water forms when groundwater dissolves rocks which releases calcium and magnesium ions into the water. The main issue that hard water causes for homeowners is with cleaning tasks because hard water reduces the ability of many cleaning products to remove dirt and grease. In the case of laundry, over time clothing turns a dingy grey and develops a scratchy texture. The spots you find on your drinking glasses are also caused by hard water.

Because hard water causes many unwanted problems, homeowners are constantly trying to find ways to soften their water.  The most common type of water softener replaces the positive calcium and magnesium ions with sodium chloride. This is achieved by running a brine, melted salt, through a filtering material. The brine coats the particles in the filter and as hard water runs through it, the sodium replaces the magnesium and calcium ions.

Some consumers have concerns about the introduction of sodium into their water by these softening systems. An alternative softener uses the same method but replaces sodium chloride with potassium chloride for the brine.

Another option for eliminating hard water is the installation of a reverse osmosis filtration system.  Reverse osmosis works by applying pressure to the water thereby separating the minerals from the water leaving you with pure water.

Pat Dolan Plumbing has experts on staff that can further discuss methods to soften your water at home.  Call us today at (516) 798 – 8943.

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