Softening Hard Water at Your Home

If you ask people about water, they’ll probably mention water causing white scale on washing appliances and residue on hair and skin. Also pesticides and chemicals can make their way into your system. Many people are looking for top rated water filter reviews or look for ways to soften the hard water in one way or the other. Read ahead, if you want to know all the details about softening hard water at your home.

What Is Hard Water?

First of all, you should know that hard water is the water having a high level of minerals, specially calcium and magnesium. When you have hard water at your home, you will notice that it will be hard for soap to produce lather. You will find hard water scales on all surfaces that make contact with hard water. Hard water doesn’t have any adverse effect on your health but it is not good to drink water with a high level of hardness because of the salt content. It can damage a lot of other things though, which includes dishwashers, clothes, sinks, washing machines, water heaters and many other things that come in contact regularly with hard water. It is because of this reason that people want to soften the hard water coming in their homes.

Finding That the Water Is Hard

Water SoftenersAfter you have known about what hard water is, and the effects that it has, you can judge yourself that the water that is coming in your home is hard. If you still have any doubt then you can take a sample of your water to a testing lab or buy and use a water hardness kit to determine whether you have hard water or not. When you know that you have hard water, the next step is to make the decision that you need to soften it or not. You should know that it is not really necessary to soften hard water if you can live with it. You can use traditional methods like boiling the drinking water, using ammonia, borax and washing soda to the cleaning water and installing filters in the faucets. If you don’t find it convenient to work with hard water in your home, then you should purchase a water softener and use it. It will cost you a good amount of money to purchase and install a water softener in your home.

Softening the Water with Water Softeners

You should probably take care of your water quality by cleaning the water also. Water softeners work on the principle or replacing the calcium and magnesium in hard water with sodium. The water is softened in the best way possible using this technique. When you have a water softener installed in your home, you will enjoy a lot of benefits that it offers. The lifetime of your plumbing will be extended because you won’t have the scale that hard water produces. All the appliances that come in contact with water won’t be damaged with soft water. Your clothes won’t get dull and will have a longer life. Also, you will feel more comfortable while bathing with soft water. There are a lot of other benefits of having a water softener.

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Why Clean Your Water Heater?

Water HeaterDo you recall when you last cleaned your water heater? For every occasion you use the water heater, your water heater will heat several gallons of water. Each gallon of water contains several minerals and other elements like Calcium, Magnesium, Lime, Iron etc. When iron comes into contact with water or air with high moisture content, it turns into rust. Water also contains other impurities like sand, grit etc. that do not dissolve. Therefore, whenever you use the water heater, these substances will keep accumulating at the bottom of your water heater. Further, they could even leave scales around the heating element of your water heater. Occasionally, these sediments could even end up affecting the draining capacity of the water heater.

Long Term Effects

Over time, these deposits will affect the heating efficiency of your water heater. The first indication of trouble will materialize via inflated power bills and reduced levels of heating. If you ignore these warning signs, you might end up having to replace the entire unit. Hence, a thorough cleaning remains the best way to keep your water heater performing at an optimal level. Getting professionals to clean your water heater on a regular basis can be a worthwhile option. After all, you must flush the water from your water heater on an annual basis, at the very least. However, if you feel up to the challenge, you can manage this activity yourself.

You must first switch off the power of your electric water heater. Ensure that you remove the plug as well, just to be doubly sure. Close the valve that provides an incoming source of water to the heater. Connect a hosepipe to the drain valve and let the water drain out of the water heater. This process could take about an hour. For more effective cleaning, consider using a Calcium Lime Rust (CLR) cleaning solution. Easily available in the market, these solutions react with the sediments within the heater and neutralize them. Pour a capful of this solution at a time. One gallon of the CLR solution should be sufficient to neutralize most sediments within the heater. Let the cleaning solution neutralize the sedimentary particles within the water heater for about 5-6 hours. Thereafter, let it drain out and fill the water heater with fresh water. Keep draining the water until it is unclear or contains sedimentary particles. Once the drained seems clear, shut the draining valve and fill the water heater for use.

Cleanup Benefits

A regular cleanup of the water heater will yield several benefits. It will increase the quantity of the hot water produced to optimal levels. It will heat the water to the desired temperature uniformly. It will consume lesser power and provide greater value for money. Above all, it will last you for several years, thereby sparing you additional expenses. Water heaters remain the second-highest domestic power consuming appliances within a house. Hence, by looking after its efficiency, you only stand to gain.

Several among us do not realize the worth of a fully functional water heater until it goes defunct. Unfortunately, this usually happens when we remain least prepared to handle the emergency. Life is full of surprises. However, some surprises have a tendency to become awkward. An hour or so spent today, could well keep you enjoying the comforts of a hot water bath for a longer duration. An old maxim declared, “A stitch in time saves nine”. This remains as true for life in general, as it does when looking after your water heater.

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