A water softener is used to ‘soften’ water. To understand the process we first need to know what hard water is and what the causes of hard water are.
When water contains larger than normal amounts of calcium and magnesium it is called hard water. Hard water in itself is not a real issue but the problems that occur due to hard water are what of interest to all of us.
It is easy to see if you have hard water when you are washing with any form of soap. The soap does not really have a nice lather; the same is true when washing your clothes in the washing machine. There is very little foam and you actually have to use more soap to get your washing clean.
The second and more serious problem caused by hard water is the clogging of your plumbing pipes. In older homes or areas where the hardness of the water is very high you will have to replace pipes as the water will stop flowing freely because of the build-up of the minerals in the pipes.
The same is applicable to your washing machine and dish washer, the pipes and systems that keep the machine in good working order will also clog up from the deposited minerals and eventually you will have to do expensive repairs or replace the machine entirely.
With soft water there is no clogging of plumbing pipes and you will use less soap when washing and your home appliances will last longer.
The harder the water in your home or business the more likely lime scale becomes. Just have a look at the element of your kettle. You can see a lime scale build up with the naked eye on a kettle element. This also happens in your pipes as well as your geyser. The geyser makes up around 40% of your monthly electric bill.
A lime scale on your geyser element means that more electricity is needed to heat the water as the heat from the element has to first pass through the solid lime scale before reaching the water. This can very easily create a 30% increase in electricity usage just to heat the water.
A water softener or descaler placed in the incoming water line will solve this problem for good. Once installed and working it will save you money on soaps, detergents, your plumbing pipes will become clean and there will be no lime scale build up anywhere.
Even if you have lime and clogging in your pipes and on the electric elements installing a water softener or descaler will over time clean the build-up automatically.