Water softener hardness setting? Hard water? Soft Water? What does it all mean?
There was a time when I thought hard water was ICE. Then I bought a house that had hard water and I learned what all the fuss is about.
Hard water is a problem for most people in the United States. Here’s a quick definition of hard water for you: As water runs over rocks, chalk, soil, etc. on its way to your home it collects minerals. If an excessive amount of minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, are collected then the water becomes “hard.” Water hardness ranges from mild to severe depending on the mineral content. Fairly easy to understand, right? (Here’s a more complete discussion on the topic of “What is Hard Water?“)
What’s wrong with hard water?
- Laundry doesn’t get clean
- Soap does not lather well
- Skin and hair don’t get clean
- Dishes have spots and soap film on them
- Appliances wear out faster
- Pipes accumulate scale
Soft water on the other hand is water that is too soft. Soft water is not naturally occurring. You only get soft water if your water is treated. Still with me?
Most people with hard water want to soften it in some way, so they install a water softener. The calcium and magnesium in your water will be replaced with huge amounts of salt. Most water softener units cost from $3,000 – $10,000. That’s a lot of money. Constant maintenance on the unit will be required and you’ll have to test from time-to-time to make sure your water softener hardness setting is correct.
What’s wrong with soft water?
- Huge amounts of salt are added to your water
- Too much salt is bad for your health
- Salt can be deadly to people on a sodium restricted diet
- Softened water is not recommended for babies
- Salt water tastes bad
- Leaches metals (mostly lead) from faucets and pipes
- Harmful to lawn and plants
- Harmful to the environment
How do I get the right water softener hardness setting?
Water softeners have different settings for different water hardness levels. According to ManageMyLife.com:
The water hardness setting is determined by the hardness of your water supply. If you do not know the hardness of your water supply you can take a sample into Sears and they can test the sample and give the hardness level. Once you know the hardness level of your water supply you set the hardness level.
The higher the setting means harder the water supply. If your water supply hardness is 15 gpm (grains per gallon) then you set the hardness level to 15.
Adjust your water softener hardness setting accordingly if your water is harder. There are many different controls and settings on each water softener so it is important to read the directions that come with the one you purchase.
How to fix hard water?
There is a simple way to deal with hard water and you will not have to be concerned with getting a water softener hardness setting right or adding chemicals.
The Aqua Magnets water conditioning system attaches to the pipes that bring water into your home or business. Almost anyone can install them so there is no need for the cost of professional installation. No chemicals will ever need to be added. No maintenance will be needed.
Best of all Aqua Magnets makes your water taste great. It is safe for babies, those on a restricted diet, pets, lawn and garden. Aqua Magnets is ecofriendly and enriches all who use it. And it comes with a money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose — except for the hassle of worring about a water softener hardness setting ever again.
[Image credit: jurvetson]