Monday, October 14, 2013

Do I Need A Water Softener?


Had my well water tested:

Calcium Hardness = 135mg/l
Magnesium Hardness = 38.7mg/l
Total Hardness = 173mg/l
Calcium = 53.9mg/l
Magnesium = 9.39mg/l

Do I need a water softner? What is considered hard water? Can I drink soft water?

Naperville, IL

Hello Steve,

The water is hard, but not extremely high in hardness. The term "water hardness" originally referred to the ability of water to precipitate soap and form soap scum. The "harder" the water, the less soap will dissolve in the water.

With this water, you should expect to see some scaling of fixtures and a light build-up of scale in the pipes over years. A softener would make the water much better for bathing and laundry, and keep the water heater clean of scale. Usually we do recommend a softener if the water hardness is 10 grains per gallon (170 ppm) or greater, which yours is.

We have low cost Fleck Water Softeners, and professional grade softeners, with an NSF certified salt-efficient control valve that meters the amount of water used and only regenerates based on actual usage:
CWS Plus Series Softener
CWS Plus Series Softener

This size would be good for 1 to 2.5 bathroom homes, but we have larger and smaller sizes as well

Some folks also opt for saltless water softeners. A salt-free water softener will still protect your pipes from scale build-up, without the use of salt. You can see these systems here.

One option for drinking water is a reverse osmosis water system. These water purification systems will remove all residual sodium in your system and make the water taste great. You can drink softened water without a reverse osmosis system, but there will be a small increase in the sodium level of the water: about 170 – 200 milligrams of sodium for each liter of water after softening. This is a somewhat high amount of sodium, though, and so we recommend using a reverse osmosis system with your softener.
Canature Reverse Osmosis System
Canature Reverse Osmosis System
We hope you find this information useful, Steve. Let us know if you have any further questions about water hardness or installing your softener. Thanks for the e-mail!