Water Softeners: How Do I Know If I Need One and What Do They Do?

Feb 27, 2013 | Helpful Plumbing Tips, Water Quality, Water Softeners

Do I Need a Water Softener?

To put it bluntly, if you have hard water, you probably need a water softener. It seems that the vast majority of US homes have a problem with hard water—85% is the current estimate. Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium in the water, and some folks have much more of these minerals in their water than others.

There are things to look for to see if you have a hard water problem. For instance, if you have scaly, white deposits in basins or on fixtures in your bath or kitchen, you most likely have a hard water problem. Additionally, water spots on glasses and dishes are another sign, especially if these spots don’t seem to go away.

While hard water is a problem, it won’t harm your health, but it will harm your material possessions. Not only can hard water do damage to glassware and leave deposits in sinks and showers, it can decrease the life span of your home’s plumbing.  Combating issues like these with a water softener is the answer, and the harder your water is, with more calcium and magnesium, the more you will benefit from owning one.

What Does a Water Softener Do?

Water softeners are a type of appliance that are hooked into your home’s water supply. They use a process called ion exchange, and during this process, they swap out sodium ions for the minerals that make the water hard.

There are different types of water softeners, and working with our professionals can help you to determine which type of system is right for you. There are some that automatically regenerate and work on a regular schedule with an electric timer. Another sort of system will use a computer to keep track of water usage, and will regenerate the system with soft water at the right time. Yet another type of water softener uses mechanics to measure actual usage and to determine the point to begin the recharge process.

The resulting soft water that the system puts out will have many benefits. For instance, many people report that they feel cleaner after washing in soft water. Lots of folks report needing to use less soap, shampoo, laundry detergents, cleaning agents, and the like after a water softener was installed.  Of course, the water softener leads to less mineral build up in the plumbing system, so one of the most notable things a water softener does is prevent costly plumbing problems due to scaly buildups in your plumbing system.

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Jennifer Newsome
Jennifer Newsome
01/11/2021
Verified
We had a leak in our basement on a Sunday evening and Narrow Path Plumbing sent out Terry ASAP! He quickly found the leak, repaired it, checked all faucets to ensure good pressure. He cleaned everything up and it was like he was never even here. I appreciate this company sending out someone late on a Sunday and also doing such a great, fast and professional job!! Great job Narrow Path Plumbing!!
Mad MO
Mad MO
22/10/2021
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Have used Narrow Path for multiple jobs on multiple properties. They have always been extremely informative, punctual, and reasonably priced. I highly recommend them.
Vicki Singer
Vicki Singer
05/10/2021
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Mike & Terry remodeled 2 of my bathrooms along with the drywall finisher and did a beautiful job. Had multiple leaky shut off valves replaced & a kitchen faucet replaced. Had lines run so I could move my laundry up out of my basement & poor Mike had to run wiring through my attic on a 90 degree day. I was so worried he would have a heat stroke but he never complained once. Also had a whole house filter replaced & a valve replaced on my hot water tank by another plumber whose name I can't remember but they all were polite and did professional work.
Michael Brice Keller
Michael Brice Keller
10/09/2021
Verified
The whole team was great. Joe, Glenn, Justin, Mike and Terry. Thanks for an awesome new bathroom addition
David Brown
David Brown
09/09/2021
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Josh S cleaned a tankless hot water system, repaired two toilets, and unclogged a drain in a little over an hour. He was professional, listened carefully, and was very personable. We have never had a bad experience with Narrow Path, and we highly recommend them.
Patricia Mullins
Patricia Mullins
03/09/2021
Verified
Toilet leaking from the tank. Not good 😪. Enter Tom and Drey. I love these guys. New toilet replaced and new shut off valve. Everything is perfect now. These guys are a 10 star team. Polite, professional, clean and neat. Same day service at a reasonable price. Can't beat them. Highly recommend. Give these boys a bonus!!