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How hard water is costing you money

Hard water might be costing you in ways you don't even realize. It ruins appliances, plumbing and even dries your skin. Fortunately, the solution for getting rid of hard water is simple.

Sponsored Story By Aqua Systems

Water is the source of life. Without it, people would cease to exist. But water isn't necessary just for its life-saving properties. Water is essential for household and personal hygiene cleanliness.

Not all water is equal, however. In fact, the water that enters your home from your local water system can be filled with a variety of dissolved minerals that can cause damage to things in your home and in some instances, even your physical health.

Fortunately, adding a water softener is a simple solution.

Hard water problems

The water that you drink, shower in and clean with is known as “hard water” simply because it contains more minerals than ordinary water — in particular, calcium and magnesium, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. These two minerals are positively charged ions that don’t dissolve easily, creating a harder consistency.

In order to offset the hard properties of household water, soft water systems introduce exchanger ions like sodium or potassium that break down calcium and magnesium, removing the minerals that cause the water to be hard.

Hard water ruins pipes, appliances, clothes

Not only do calcium and magnesium cause a hard consistency, they don’t react well with other positively charged ions like soap. As a result, soap doesn’t break down easily. It clog pipes and wreaks havoc on appliances like your dishwasher, washing machine and water heater.

The geological survey notes hard water can even shorten the life of fabrics and clothes.

A study commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation found adding a water softener helps water heaters and major appliances operate as efficiently as possible, while preventing clogs in shower heads, faucets and drains.

Untreated water hard on skin

Hard water clogs your skin pores as well as your appliances. Because soap and hard water are not compatible, this reaction creates a soap scum residue on your skin, clogging your pores in the process.

Just as salt and potassium work to break down the minerals in hard water, they have the same effect on soap. Soft water dissolves soap, allowing it to lather up nicely to more effectively clean your skin without any residual scum.

And it’s not just your skin that soft water can help. If you have dry or damaged hair, soft water can work wonders by smoothing out unruly hair and preventing buildup of minerals that weigh your hair down.

Soft water savings

According to the same study mentioned above, researchers found when softened water was used, appliances maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years. In contrast, hard water cut efficiency by up to 48 percent and some water heaters failed after just 1.6 years. Similar findings were noted for shower heads and faucets.

The study also found that in dishwashers, softened water achieves the same cleaning results as unsoftened while using less than half as much detergent. The same lathering power works in cleaning your body and hair, equating to the use of less shampoos and soaps.

All of these benefits add up to significant monetary savings.

Solving the problem

The geological survey explains water hardness varies throughout the U.S. In areas of the country where the water is hard, water softeners are warranted because of the damaging effects of hard water on appliances, clothing and even skin.

There are several different options available for water treatment, depending on the severity of the problem and on your personal preferences. As a result, it makes sense to contact an experienced, professional water treatment company familiar with local conditions. You'll feel better about the water you use and you are likely to save money as well.