Do I need a Water Softener?
In short, it depends on the hardness of your water. Water softeners use a combination of salt and resin beads to remove hard water from your plumbing systems.
Unfortunately, hard water is common in Texas and especially for our San Antonio neighbors. Softening your water can not only help your skin and health, but relieve your plumbing system of hard water issues. There is generally less build up from calcium and magnesium in plumbing systems that utilize a water softener type system.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is defined as water with high levels of mineral content including magnesium, and calcium. Your water is safe to drink by city code standards, but the leftover minerals can cause possible damage to your pipes and water heaters.
Is my Water Hard or Soft?
According to the Water Blog, Austin water has a hardness of 84.5 ppm which is considered moderately hard. This means that the levels of minerals are slightly elevated in Austin tap water. You can add a water softener in your home for improved showers, dishes, and skin care. Softer water will allow soap to have a richer lather versus regular water because the added deposits make the soap work harder to clean.
However, Pure Water Blog reports that San Antonio water is considered hard. In fact, it has a hardness level of 357 ppm, which is classified as “very hard.” This can be due to a number of reasons. Limestone is usually a culprit in areas with very hard water. One of the reasons we have found is that the city of San Antonio is and always has been very dependent on the Edwards aquifer for their water. Aquifers made of mostly limestone, such as Edwards, hold water and absorb minerals like calcium and magnesium from theses and other various stones.
Benefits of a Water Softener
- Reduce or prevent minerals spots on glasses and dishes.
- Lengthening the life of some appliances.
- Reduces soapy films in bathrooms, kitchens, and washing machines.
- Prevents mineral build-up in pipes, fixtures, and water heaters.
- Healthier skin, hair, and nails.
Anyone who knows about hard water knows that it is not necessarily a life or death situation; however, it still can have several negative effects on you and your home.
Do I need a Water Softener?
Here are a few signs that it’s time to invest in a water softener:
- Water Bill Steadily Increasing – The harder your water is, the more difficult it is to flow through the pipes. This will result in an increase in your water usage as well as the bill that comes with it.
- Faded Laundry – Hard water makes laundry detergent less effective, which can cause a soapy residue to linger behind in your clothing and bedding. Not only does this mean your laundry isn’t as clean as it should be, it also changes the texture, usually making it rough or stiff.
- Dry Skin and Hair – The minerals in hard water will leave both skin and hair dry. Soap does not dissolve properly in hard water which causes a thin film to stick to skin and hair. This can cause clogged pores, breakouts, and dull lifeless hair.
- Staining – Hard water contains several minerals and metals which can stain sinks, bathtubs and toilet bowls.
You can also test your waters’ hardness on your own. These are readily available at hardware stores or available online. If you are experiencing any of these problems in your home, please call a professional plumber to discuss the possibility of installing a water softener.
What is better, a water softener or RO water purifiers?
An RO system is a water filtration device that is connected to your sink, refrigerator, or both to ensure you are getting clean & healthy water and ice. It removes contaminants from unfiltered water by using pressure to force it through a semipermeable membrane.
Water softeners operate differently in the sense that they add sodium to the water to make your water softener. While that may be concerning, softened water is safe to drink. However, this inherently makes the RO system and water softener are completely different devices with different purposes for the home.
Hard Water vs Soft Water
The biggest takeaway is this – what minerals would you like to remove? If your city has issues with hard water then a water softener is a great choice to remove hard water minerals like limestone. On the other hand, filtration systems are designed only to filter out heavy metals and chlorine. It is best to take a look at the health of your water before making a decision.
Do you live in Pflugerville or Central Austin? Your water is relatively hard and may benefit from additional softening versus filtering. Softer water will aid in more sudsy baths and cleaner dishes because minerals present in the hard water makes the soap work harder to clean. San Antonio, your water is extremely hard due to limestone in the Edwards aquifer. A water softener will improve your water noticeably by removing those deposits and replacing them with a sodium compound.
Filtration systems and Water Quality Reports
Filtration systems filter out anything left over from the city water to your home or sink, depending on the type of filter. These can be added to a home to filter the water that comes in and turn it into purified water. These are available for the public for every city, including Austin and San Antonio. Depending on your water quality report, you may be looking for either a RO filtration system or a water softener.
Reliant plumbers have experience in all things water softeners from Softpro Elite to Fleck 5600SXT, there isn’t a water softener system or plumbing we can’t handle. Professional, courteous, and helpful – that’s the Reliant way. Give us a call today!