Do I Need A Water Conditioner?
7 Signs Your Home Needs a Water Softener
Here are just a few of the tell-tale signs that you may need a water softener.
Results of a Professional Water Test
The easiest way to decide whether you have water that will benefit from a softener is to have your water professionally checked but at home centers and hardware stores there are readily available DIY test kits. Many companies sell take-home sampling kits that you can drop off or send in to have your water tested for a fee; you can call the local water department in municipal water systems to find out how hard your water is. Water is categorized as a dissolved calcium carbonate by milligrams per liter (mg / L): 0 to 60 mg / L is categorized as soft to mildly hard; 61 to 120 mg / L is moderately hard; 121 to 180 mg / L is hard; and more than 180 mg / L is extremely hard.
Since hard water contains dissolved minerals and metals, it can produce hideous, stubborn stains in your sinks, toilets, and bathtubs and leave clean, scaly deposits around your faucets. A short-term cure for stains on fixtures is to soak the stain in one cup of bleach and a half cup of powdered dishwasher detergent; strip white deposits from the faucets, spray with white vinegar, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse and scrub thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Mineral deposits–known as scale or limescale–will build up on your pots, coffee pots, teakettles, dinnerware, glassware, and cutlery, leaving a rough, chalky film that's hard to remove. Even worse, indoor appliances that use water, such as dishwashers and washing machines, and inside your plumbing system, will build up volume, leading to costly repairs.
Higher Utility Bills
If your utility costs are increasing, you may want to test for signs of scale in the plumbing of your home. Over time, deposition of scale will clog pipes and when this occurs, your heating system has to work harder to move through water. The buildup of scales can also influence the energy output of boilers and hot water heaters.
Gray or Faded Laundry
Hard water makes detergents for soap and laundry less effective and can leave behind a scummy residue that causes the linens and clothes to fade, look dull or gray, grow a metallic smell and become rough and scratchy. Washing clothes and linens in hard water can also cause the fabrics to get premature wear.
Dry Skin and Hair
The minerals in hard water can dry, flaky, and itchy your skin and hair, and can also obstruct the pores of your skin, causing pimples, blackheads or inflammation. Since soap isn't dissolving properly in hard water, a sticky soap film will stay on your skin and prevent bacteria and dirt from being removed. The same sticky film will make your hair dry, sluggish and limp.
Water Heater Woes
One of the most painful and uncomfortable symptoms of making your water heater malfunction or crash is that you need a water softener. Hard water can lead to rapid and premature aging in water heaters, especially in electric models, because heating hard water accelerates the formation of scale within the tank as well as on the costly heating elements of the tank.