Hard water has high mineral content specially calcium and magnesium ions. The hardness of water is often indicated by the non-formation of suds when soap is agitated in the water.
Hard water can form deposits which can clog plumbing. Pipes can become clogged with scale which can reduce water flow, this can lead to pipe replacement. Electricity bills can also increase due to the limescale deposits.
Expensive bathroom fittings can also get harmed due to corrossion and scaling.
They can also harm home appliances like washing machine, dishwasher, juicers, mixers etc. which are in contact with water.In crockery and utensils, spotting and filming can happen.
There can be eczema in children and cardiovascular diseases due to hardwater. There are however no strong convincing tests that have correlated these diseases.
After washing the clothes can become sticky and dirty due to hard water. Hair loss and sticky hair can also result due to hard water. The skin can be dry and itchy due to this as well.
Some companies like Kinetico, Sansoft can test your water for hardness.
TYPES OF WATER SOFTENER
Ion-exchange materials contain sodium ions that are electrostatically bound and that readily are replaced by hardness ions such as calcium and magnesium.
The water to be treated passes through a bed of the resin. Negatively-charged resins absorb and bind metal ions, which are positively charged. Resins contain sodium and sometimes hydrogen or potassium to remove calcium and magnesium. There are resins which can also remove carbonate, bi-carbonate and sulphate ions. These resins can be in the same water softener.
ION EXCHANGE WATER SOFTENER FEATURES
Fully automatic, microprocessor
Manual regeneration can be tedious and hence controlled operation is easier and better.
LCD panel can help in setting the regeneration time and viewing appropriately.
Most preferred location is to install close to main overhead water tank
The softener can also be installed in the borewell pump outlet line on ground floor
The water pressure should be sufficient for the softener to function properly.
Magnetic and Electronic Water Softeners
They may generally cost less and are easier to install and require little to no maintenance. These make water to act like soft water by magnetic fields or vibrations. These might not be effective always and hence need to be careful.
There is an advantage of such water softeners that the minerals are not removed from the water and only harmful effects like scaling are removed.
ZeroB Water Softener
Kent Water Softener
WATER SOFTENER BENEFITS
Installing a water softener in your home benefits you in many ways.
Soap products work better with softeners, it can decrease your cleaning supply costs by 50% or more now that dishwasher and washing machines work better.
You and your clothes and your dishes actually get cleaner, since soap and mineral no longer cling to your surface.
Home appliances like water heater, coffee maker, dishwasher, and washing machine will all last longer and require fewer repairs.
Water flow and water pressure in the pipes will improve.
Prevents hair and skin problems, hard water can cause hair to become brittle and skin to become dry and itchy.
Buying the Best Water Softener
You can check the type of water softeners - for homes an ion exchange softener should suffice. The ion exchange water softeners do not need replacement of media unlike the brine systems.
You should also check if the water softener needs electricity or not.
You should also check the chemicals that are removed by the water softener to ensure it meets your needs.
A good water softening system can last for a decade or two without much maintanance required. The only regular work needed is refilling the brine tank with salt pellets. You can buy water softener salt pellets at most hardware or home supply stores -- they come in plastic tubs or bags that you simply dump into the brine tank to the specified level. As the salt is consumed each month, you check the level in the brine tank and refill as needed. Salt is cheap and costs only a few bucks a bag. You can buy water softeners that are timer controlled or water meter controlled (ie, operating depending on the measured flow of water rather than on the clock).
WATER SOFTENER PRICE AND BUDGET
Zero-B Water Softenizer costs Rs. 3,990 - this works on ion exchange. This does not need electricity.
Kent Automatic Water Softener costs Rs. 49,950. It enhances the quality of water by replacing hard salts of Magnesium & Calcium with Sodium. It has fully automatic microprocessor time based regeneration which gives freedom from calling a technician, and from maintenance/recharging.