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Water Softener

Sterling & Alexandria Water Softener System Installation & Repair

Soft water is something all homeowners want, but many don’t have without even knowing it. Hard water is an issue in many homes, but it is easy to mistake the signs for something else. Hard water isn’t a dangerous problem, but it’s something most people want to get rid of, especially when it has been around for a number of years. Luckily, aligning yourself with a Sterling or Alexandria water softening expert will make the process to soft water much easier.
Frustrating Signs of Hard Water
Hard water is a situation that causes frustration for most homeowners and family members. When the excess minerals get into the water supply, a white film or residue known as limescale is often the result. Limescale will cling to cookware, cutlery and certain appliances and fixtures, and is difficult to wash away. Hard water can also cause shampoo and soap to lose some of its lathering ability, which leads to stiff clothing and dull-looking hair.
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How Does Water Softening Work?

Water softening is usually accomplished by exchanging the minerals in the water with sodium. This process is known as an ion exchange and it typically uses a mineral tank filled with beads made from polystyrene. These beads carry a negative charge, and since the calcium and magnesium in the hard water carry positive charges, the minerals will cling to the beads as the water goes through the tank. Most water softeners have an automatic regenerating system, flushing and then recharging the system on a regular schedule. During the regeneration process, soft water usually isn’t available for use.

Do DIY Products Work?

If you have seen the signs of hard water and then visited your local hardware store looking for a solution, you were probably introduced to several water treatment products that were designed to give you soft water. Some of these may provide you with temporary results, but for long-term water softening, you should have a whole-house system installed by professional plumbers. This way, you can be certain the process is safe and effective, and that every faucet in your house is producing the kind of water you and your family want.

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Types of Water Softeners

When you realize it’s time to install a water softener in your home, there are a few choices in front of you. If you have a plumber you trust, consulting with them may be a good first step. Cardinal Plumbing is a helpful guide for something like this, as we have experts who are well-versed in the various capacities, makes, models and types of water softeners. To get you started in your search to find a water softener, here are the most common kinds:

  • Salt-Based Water Softeners: sometimes called ion-exchanges, salt-based systems can provide soft water throughout the house, even with high flow rates. These water softeners use a chemical process and will require some maintenance, as you have to refill them and check for buildup.
  • Salt-Free Water Softeners: if weekly upkeep isn’t appealing to you, salt-free systems also use a chemical process but simply neutralize hard minerals in your water. When the ions rearrange, all of the buildup sticks together and is washed away, effectively softening your water and keeping the system clean.
  • Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners: RO systems aren’t just water softeners, but they have the side effect of softening the water as they remove it of all substances, including hardening minerals and more.
  • Magnetic Water Softeners: descalers or magnetic water conditioners make hard components soluble. These units simply attach to existing pipes and do have to be wired into your home’s electric systems.
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Water Softener System

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The best water softener systems may require some investment but will be long-lasting and support the health and wellness of your family. Water softeners can help children and adults with dry skin or hair and provide a more comfortable, pure environment in which to bathe or clean.

Hire a Plumber to Install a Water Softener

Wondering how to install a water softener? Many people consider the cost of labor for hiring a plumber for a water softener installation to be a must. Water softeners have to be sized to fit and then seamlessly installed to prevent breakdowns or leaks. Even excellent DIYers may have problems with this, so it’s almost always recommended that you hire a plumber to do the job.

Once you know which type of water softener you want and what size water softener you need, a plumber will take care of the rest. They will calculate the plumbing requirements needed for your chosen system, including the gallons per minute and the maximum water pressure rates. Then, they will set up the drain tube for regenerating or recharging the unit as well as hooking it up to your electrical system. Once all of the systems are a go, you will have fresh, clean, soft water throughout your home. Ready to make this investment? Give us a call and we’ll get started!
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