Top 5 Reasons to Condition Your Home’s Water
Do you know what kind of water is running in your house? Depending on where you live and whether or not you use a water filtration system, the water you use to cook, bathe, and drink may be “hard” water or “soft” water. The biggest difference between the two? Conditioned water (or “soft” water) has a number of benefits over hard water that could improve your skin and your health in general.
In fact, there are many reasons to choose purified, filtered, and conditioned water over what comes out of the tap.
1.Your Water Will Taste Better – Although some may find it harsh to call hard water “dirty,” it gets the name from the amount of “hard” minerals present in a sample. These minerals include several that are safe for human consumption (like calcium, lime, and magnesium carbonate), but which may impact the water’s taste.
Depending on your local water municipality, your water could also potentially be treated with chlorine, fluoride, or other chemicals. Have you ever noticed that tap water tastes different everywhere you go? This is because an area’s distinct mix of minerals and added “purifiers” (like chlorine) differs from place to place. Water softener systems can ensure that your home tap water doesn’t have any unpleasant impurities that you may have gotten used to over the years.
2. Your Water Will Be Better for You – By its very nature, drinking water needs to be free of any impurities that may be harmful to humans. Although serious problems like the presence of lead and other majorly damaging compounds have gained attention over the past few years, more common chemicals are often added by your local water municipality to try to keep the supply of water as clean as possible.
However, efforts to keep water-induced bacterial infections and dysentery at bay through the use of chlorine has been met with mixed results. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that the benefits of chemically treating water outweigh the negatives, the use of chlorine and fluoride, in particular, have caused controversy by being linked to cancer.
If you’re concerned about any of these impurities, it’s very important to review the latest Consumer Confidence Report from your local water municipality. In some cases, it may be wise to also examine the pipes in your home to ensure that no additional lead, copper, and zinc are getting into your water supply. These extremely toxic metals were common in piping before the 1930s, and they were even used in some homes as recently as 1984. Homeowners who discover that they are receiving below-average water purity can protect the health of their families (and increase the value of their homes) by installing a whole house water filter to ensure that the water that comes through your tap is ready to drink.
3. Your Home, Dishes, and Clothes Will Be Easier to Clean – Although this may seem like a promised miracle to some, it’s actually true. The minerals in hard water tend to stick around after the moisture evaporates, leaving a tell-tale ring of grime. Those with experience cleaning bathtubs, sinks, toilets, countertops, coffee makers, and much more can tell you that these leftover scale deposits are incredibly difficult to remove.
Also, hard water is known for not lathering with soap as easily as soft, conditioned water. This means that cleaning can take more time and more effort, and even waste more water. If you’re tired of re-washing the dishes that have already been through the dishwasher, then water conditioning might be the answer.
4. It Will Save You Money in the Long Run – Your water-based appliances and their lowered life expectancy are one of the most expensive aspects of living in a hard water home. Hot water heaters, coffee makers, dishwashers, toilets, sink faucets, shower nozzles, and more all interact with water and won’t operate at full efficiency if they eventually become clogged by scale deposits. According to a study from New Mexico State University’s Water Quality Research Council, water heaters are between 22-30 percent less efficient when hard-water scale is present, and it makes them much more likely to fail.
It’s not just those appliances, either. Hard water has been known to reduce the lifespan of your cooking instruments (since they are washed often), your bathroom tiles, and even your clothes. Furthermore, your piping system itself can eventually accumulate enough leftover scale to cause a major clog, which can cost upwards of a thousand dollars to fix.
5. It Will Help Your Skin – Studies have shown that homeowners who utilize hard water are statistically more prone to rashes and other types of skin problems due to the amount of microscopic friction generated by the mineral content of the water. If you’ve noticed that your hair feels crisp after a shower, or if you feel a layer of grime around your body after a shower, it’s possible that the water in your home is much harder than you thought.
The minerals in hard water aren’t meant for prolonged contact on human skin, after all, and they can be difficult to wash off, especially if you don’t have access to soft, conditioned water. If you’re experiencing prolonged skin problems and haven’t been able to find anything that helps, it may be wise to consider a whole-house water filter that can condition your water before it comes out of your showerhead.
How Can I Determine if I Need to Condition My Water?
Since water quality differs from area to area, it’s up to homeowners themselves to decide if their home water supply requires conditioning. There are several things to consider when investigating this subject, and we’ve outlined those below.
- Buy a water testing kit. Simple water testing kits are available online, and they can tell you exactly how “hard” your water is. They are able to do this by measuring the number of “grains” of minerals in every gallon. This is known as the water’s GPG (grains per gallon). Although this seems like it would make it easy to determine if water is “hard” or “soft,” it’s still not quite as clean-cut. For instance, water is technically considered “hard” if the water is rated at 1 GPG. However, even water three times as hard as that would still be considered “soft” compared to most water supplies in the U.S.. A rating of 10 or higher, however, shows that your water supply is extremely hard, meaning that it might be time to think about conditioning.
- Check how old your home is. If your residence was built before 1930, it’s possible that your plumbing is comprised of primarily lead or copper pipes, which present a greater potential that your water will harden as it travels through your system. If you can’t afford to redo all the pipes in your home, but want to prevent any illnesses caused by lead poisoning, water conditioning may be just what you need.
- Look out for water residue. If you’re sick and tired of finding rings in your bathtub, toilet, coffee maker, and more, it may mean that your water is harder than normal. This is a great litmus test for any homeowners who want a quick and easy way to make a decision without having to actually test the water or research which pipes were used during construction.
Those who choose to opt into water conditioning of any kind, especially whole house water filtration, will soon find that the benefits of soft water aren’t just theoretical. They’re real.