If your water supply is like the majority of plumbing systems in the U.S., it may be affected by “hard water.” Hard water is a condition in which some minerals enter into the water line and move into your home. These minerals may be in your drinking water, but never fear—these don’t have much of a health effect on most people, notwithstanding some who may have immune system disorders.
However, hard water does pose a threat to your home in other ways. You may have seen mineral deposits around your plumbing fixtures in the form of white or yellowish-green buildup around faucets or near the drains. This is due to an excess of minerals, generally calcium and minerals which contain magnesium, such as limestone. When these pass through the pipes, they may begin to collect in the lining, leading to a pile of minerals that may grow to restrict the pipes.
As minerals block the pipes, you may get reduced water pressure or no pressure at all. This may lead to pipe replacement, and these same deposits can ruin fixtures and large appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. When you notice hard water in your Phoenix home, it’s time to schedule a visit with a plumber to install a water softener at your water supply.
Water softeners work under a simple principle: replacing the minerals in hard water with something else, generally with sodium ions, although potassium is sometimes employed. As water moves from the water supply to your home, it first goes through the softening tank, which contains resin beads filled with a brine solution with a negative charge. These beads attract the magnesium and calcium, using salt to clean off the beads in a process known as “regeneration.” This allows the beads to discharge the magnesium and calcium ions as waste so that they can do their job over again. While only a small amount of salt should enter your water supply, you can install further water treatment systems to rid the water of any remaining sodium.