Automatic Filters and Softeners
SOFT WATER: MYTHS AND FACTS
The Hard Facts About Soft Water
Despite the many problems hard water can cause - like clogged pipes, soap residue on bathroom fixtures, premature water heater failure and water heater inefficiency - many people still use hard water in their homes. Why? Probably because of misconceptions and myths perpetuated about soft water.
Myth # 1: You cannot drink soft water.
Although many people believe soft water should not be consumed because of its sodium content, most do not realize how little sodium is in soft water. The average amount of sodium in soft water is 75 to 100mg per quart as opposed to 140mg in a quart of cola or 480mg in a quart of milk or 120 mg in a slice of white bread. However, if the small amount of sodium is a concern, potassium chloride can be used to regenerate the water softener, or a Reverse Osmosis drinking water system can be installed to give you sodium free drinking water.
Myth #2: Soft water does not rinse the soap off or, showering in soft water makes my skin feel "slippery".
Your first showers in soft water may give you the sensation that soap and shampoo have not been rinsed away. However, the "slippery" feeling is actually your skin and hair rinsing thoroughly clean. By washing with soft water, skin and hair retain natural softening and moisturizing agents, feeling softer and smoother. With hard water, skin pores clog with soap residue leaving skin dry and hair dull. So much for "squeaky" clean.
Myth #3: Water softeners waste salt and water.
With the use of new technology such as upflow brining and metered electronic demand, water softeners today are much more efficient than those of yesteryear. It is not uncommon for a good quality demand type softener to use less than 2 lbs. of salt and less than 20 gallons of water per regeneration. If sized properly, a water softener will only regenerate 1 or 2 times per week. This translates to an average salt usage of 100 to 200 lbs per year. When shopping for a water softener, be sure to check the specifications for efficiency.
Myth #4: Water softeners are too expensive to operate.
Actually, a water softener is the only household appliance that can save you money by using it. Using soft water can reduce water heating bills up to 29%. Soft water also requires 50% to 75% less detergent to do laundry and dishes, not to mention the hours of housework saved by eliminating mineral deposits and soap scum on your fixtures. The average savings are $10 - $15 a month per person.
Myth #5: The discharge from a water softeners regeneration will damage my septic system or drain field.
In studies conducted by scientists in the late 1970s at the University of Wisconsin, it was confirmed that salt-brine discharge from water softeners caused no problems in the operation of a typical anaerobic or newer style aerobic home treatment plants. It was also determined that water softener regeneration waste did not interfere with drain field soil percolation but actually could, under some circumstances improve soil percolation particularly in fine-textured soil. The important and beneficial difference is that septic tank effluents containing water softener effluents have significant amounts of calcium and magnesium, which counteract the effect of sodium and help maintain and sustain soil permeability. The studies concluded that it is better to discharge water softener waste to septic systems than to separate dry wells or ditches. For more information visit www.wqa.org.
Myth #6: I heard I can buy a magnetic or electronic device to soften my water for less money.
Do not be fooled! While many of the devices do exist, they are referred to as "descalers" in the water treatment industry, not softeners. They may be effective in certain applications as descalers, but they do not remove the hardness from the water. Therefore, all the benefits of softened water are forfeited. These items are generally sold with testimonials and 90 day money back guarantees, but there is no scientific evidence of their claims. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
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