DIY Hard Water Solutions for Home

Hard Water Solutions for Home

Hard water, or water that contains higher-than-average mineral content, is a major problem for many American households. However, homeowners who understand the dangers associated with hard water will know how to find the right hard water solutions to minimize this issue.

Believe it or not, hard water may prove to be a costly, time-intensive issue. In many cases, hard water can transform a simple cleaning task into a long, arduous process.

Because hard water consists of an above-average amount of dissolved calcium, magnesium and manganese, it may cause numerous problems, including:

  • Pipes in your home to become clogged due to an excessive buildup of minerals.
  • Higher water heating expenses from an exorbitant amount of minerals that force a hot water heater to become less efficient.
  • Rings and soap scum in bathtubs and sinks that can be extremely difficult to eliminate.
  • Potential skin irritations from the soapy and mineral residue.
  • Clothes with soapy residues that are tough to remove.

The excessive minerals in hard water can impact you in many ways. As such, 85 percent of American households could benefit from soft water, according to U.S. salt producer Morton Salt.

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It is crucial to note that you can enjoy the benefits of soft water day after day if you employ an experienced plumber who understands the ins and outs of hard water. This plumber will be able to fulfill your water softening and purification needs and ensure you'll be able to reap the rewards of a water softener or a purification and filtration system consistently.

One of the largest benefits of soft water is that it can help extend the lifespan of some of your appliances, including:

  • Refrigerators with ice & water dispensers
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Sinks
  • Showerheads
  • Faucets
  • Toilets

To better understand the importance of finding a qualified plumber to help you with hard water, let's take a closer look at hard water, the challenges associated with it and how to eliminate this problem.

How to Tell If You Have Hard Water

Hard water can be an invisible problem and one that is challenging to identify without an expert plumber at your disposal.

Fortunately, you can test hard water to find out the quantities of its mineral content in parts per million (PPM). If you live in an area that is serviced by a water company, you can contact local city or town office to receive the results of their water hardness tests any time you choose. Comparatively, you can pick up a hard water testing kit of your own if you are serviced by a private water company. You can buy a hard water testing kit online, too.

Typically, a water softener supplier will evaluate a mailed-in water sample at no charge. This enables you to better understand the mineral content of your water and review your water softening options accordingly.

With a hard water testing kit, you can use it to collect a sample of your water and send this sample to a mail-order laboratory. You'll be able to receive full results about your water hardness within a few weeks.

The Negative Effects of Hard Water

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Hard water results in many negative effects, such as:

  • Soap scum. The combination of soap and hard water results in soap scum, a film that can negatively affect the luster of your bathtub or shower. Soap scum also can cause skin irritation as well as dry, dull hair.
  • Limescale. A hard, chalky deposit commonly found inside of pipes, limescale can also build up inside of a hot water heater. Limescale buildup may lead to greater energy consumption, higher energy bills and a less efficient hot water heater.
  • Washing issues. You use water to clean your clothing, dishes and more. However, hard water may limit the effectiveness of your washing machine or dishwasher. It can cause clothes to wear out faster and make it more difficult to get your dishes clean after a single wash.

Although hard water negatively affects many people, it is important to note that there are no negative effects of hard water ingestion. Plus, the problem can be resolved quickly, particularly if you work with a proven plumber.

Water Softening Options

Water softeners can deliver tangible benefits, which is reflected in recent data.

For example, a Water Quality Association (WQA) study found "significant improvements [were] made by softening water with hardness [and] were observed in spotting and filming performance, as well as in better soiling removal in automatic dishwashing." The WQA also discovered detergent savings up to 70 percent after users cleaned their dishes with softened water versus hard water.

benefits-of-soft-water

"Depending on the soiling, hardness reduction was found to be up to 12 times more effective at removal than increasing detergent dose," the WQA noted. "Hardness reduction was approximately six times more effective at reducing spotting, and twice as effective at reducing filming as increasing detergent usage."

In addition, you can benefit from a wide range of hard water solutions — here's a closer look at five of the most common water softener options for homeowners:

Hard Water Solutions for Shower

A shower head with a shower filter can go a long way toward eliminating soap scum in a bathtub or shower.

Many shower heads are available that feature built-in water softeners, reducing the risk of dull hair and skin irritation. These shower heads usually are simple to install and can deliver long-lasting value for homeowners.

"A good shower filter can do wonders in improving the health of your hair and skin whether you have hard water or not. But if you do have hard water, the benefits of a shower filter become huge," water softener system expert Saltless Water points out.

Hard Water Solutions for Skin

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Dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad tells TheHealthSite that many soaps and shampoos fail to deliver proven results due to hard water, which can block pores and dry out your skin.

To combat these issues, Sharad recommends moisturizing the skin after a shower. By doing so, you'll be able to eliminate soap scum and other hard water issues that may impact the quality and appearance of your skin.

Also, Sharad suggests maintaining a diet "rich in proteins and vitamins." This diet will help minimize the negative effects of hard water, and ultimately, improve your chances of maintaining clean, healthy skin.

Hard Water Solutions for Hair

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Want to avoid dry, dull hair? You're not alone, but those who understand how to fight back against hard water can dedicate the necessary time and resources to minimize this problem.

Natural hair blog Nenonatural offers the following recommendations to reduce the risk that hard water could damage your hair:

  • Consider apple cider vinegar. Adding even a small amount of apple cider vinegar to water that you use to wash your hair can make a world of difference. "Apple cider vinegar clears hair of minerals and gives it some shine," Nenonatural points out.
  • Use bottled water. For those who want to avoid hard water without purchasing a water softener, bottled water certainly presents a viable option. Bottled water likely will possess a lower mineral content than hard water and is safe for consumption and hair care support.
  • Incorporate lemon juice into your hair care efforts. Did you know that lemon juice can help lower water's hardness? Even a little bit of lemon juice can help reduce the acidity of hard water before you apply this water to your hair.

Don't let hard water prevent you from enjoying a healthy, beautiful head of hair. Instead, take the necessary steps to put hard water problems in the past altogether.

Hard Water Solutions for Appliances

To understand the impact of hard water on your appliances, just consider the everyday appliances you use that require water.

For example, consider your morning routine. Your morning cup of coffee requires water that may come from your kitchen faucet. Meanwhile, the hot water for your shower may come thanks in part to your hot water heater. And if you need to clean your clothes before work, you likely will need to use your washing machine that requires ample water to operate properly.

Hard water can negatively impact the performance of these appliances. There are, however, viable solutions available to help you overcome hard water issues.

Here are some of the most common appliances that are impacted by hard water, along with ways to minimize the dangers associated with hard water:

  • Dishwashers. You can leverage a dishwasher with a low drying temperature to help combat hard water and ensure your dishes look great. This may require additional time to get dry your dishes, but it can help negate the impact of hard water.
  • Hot water heaters. A water softener may prove to be the best choice to eliminate hard water problems that reduce the effectiveness of your hot water heater. This device makes it simple to remove excess minerals and is proven to perform consistently for an extended period of time, making it a valuable addition in any home.
  • Coffee makers. Using bottled water when you brew your coffee may make a notable difference. Bottled water will make it easier to enjoy fresh coffee that likely won't leave a mineral-type aftertaste in your mouth.

Hard water solutions for appliances often are simple to deploy and deliver immense results. Therefore, homeowners should consider the value of hard water solutions for appliances and how these solutions may help bolster the performance of many everyday appliances.

DIY Water Softeners

Do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) represent a unique group of individuals who want to learn the necessary skills to become self-sufficient. And with a DIY water softener, you may be able to install your own water softener to eliminate hard water as well as feel the satisfaction associated with completing a tough task by yourself.

Installing a DIY water softener, however, requires you to plan ahead. You will need to consider where you plan to install the water softener and the types of pipes in your home before you pick up this device.

Plus, there are many types of water softening systems that are available, including:

  • Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softeners. Each salt-based ion exchange softener includes two tanks: one that includes resin beads and another that features brine. It leverages the process of ion exchange, replacing hard minerals with salt to provide you with soft water day after day.
  • Salt-Free Water Softeners. For those who are worried about salt intake, a salt-free water softener may serve as an ideal option. This type of water softener substitutes hard minerals with a potassium-chloride salt substitute. HomeTips also notes that a salt-free water softener "prevents minerals from being deposited as scale to the surfaces of water-using appliances and pipes," making it a great choice for salt-conscious homeowners.
  • Dual-Tank Water Softeners A typical water softener uses a regeneration cycle that can last several hours, and for large families, it may leave them without water for some time. Comparatively, dual-tank water softeners feature two resin tanks. That way, you're sure to have soft water at your disposal at any time.
  • Magnetic Water Softeners. HomeTips outlines how a magnetic water softener works: "This plug-in device, which clips onto the incoming pipe, sets up a magnetic field that changes the electromagnetic properties of the calcium-carbonate minerals so they are repelled by pipes and each other."

Finding a water softener may seem like an impossible task, especially for first-time buyers. However, if you work with a top-rated plumber, you'll be able to receive expert guidance throughout the buying process. Moreover, this plumber will be able to help you install and maintain your water softener and guarantee you can optimize its value.

Choose a Reliable Neighborhood Plumber for All of Your Water Softener Needs

Are you ready to dedicate the time and resources necessary to minimize hard water? Like many homeowners, you likely face an uphill climb to eliminate hard water once and for all.

But you don't need to combat hard water alone. A reliable neighborhood plumber from Haynes Plumbing is available to assist you with all of your water softener needs.

At Haynes, we possess over two decades of experience and are ready to handle your water softener requests at all times. Also, we function as a locally owned and operated company that is fully bonded, insured and licensed, which guarantees you're in great hands any time you work with us.

If you need assistance with the installation, maintenance or repair of a water softener or purification and filtration system, we're here to provide you with all of the help you'll need. In fact, our team specializes in a number of hard water solutions, including:

The Haynes team recognizes that emergencies can arise, too. As such, we provide 24/7 assistance, ensuring we're ready to assist you any time you need us.

The Haynes Plumbing Promise

We are committed to success in everything we do. We hire qualified plumbers to assist our clients, and we strive to deliver services that offer the perfect mix of quality and affordability. With our ongoing dedication to customer satisfaction, we always make sure our services won't be surpassed by our rivals, either.

For more information about our plumbing, water softener and water purifier services, please fill out our online form or call us at (801) 425-3757. Or if you'd like to get an estimate for our plumbing services, you can fill out our convenient estimate form, and we'll respond as soon as we can.

 

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