Water Softeners – Nothing but the Truth

Water softening is probably the most popular of all water treatment technologies. Although there is much misconception about how a water softener works, the end result of a proper application is always the same. Water softeners bring most families a much higher quality of household water. Mineral deposits are eliminated. Water spots on shower walls and glassware, are gone! Laundry comes out cleaner and softer. No more soap deposits are left in the clothing causing itching and rashes. The total overall quality of the water improves, and truly does feel “softer”.


What do I know about water softeners?

It is possible that I have sold and installed as many water softeners in the past 30 years as any other person who has ever worked in this industry. In 1996 I took a course in water treatment technologies while working for the largest water treatment company in the world. I always remembered Cam Schell’s name because in one sentence he influenced my life’s path. He said “You will never be down and out of luck, even in a strange land, if you have your water test and demonstration kit with you. Everybody benefits from better water, everywhere. They just need to be shown.” I have worked in the water treatment industry in four countries and on two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

When do I need a water softener?

When is a water softener needed? Just about any time the water comes from a groundwater source such as a dug or drilled well. One can only argue against the benefits of water softening if the water is drawn from a surface supply such as a lake. Even rivers generally pick up mineral content as they flow over the ground and become “hard water”.

What is a hard water measurement scale?

Water hardness is measured in grains of hardness per gallon or liter. It can also be measured in PPM with 17.1 ppm = one grain of hardness. Water over 7 grains hard (120 ppm) begins to benefit from the effects of water softening. At 10 grains the effects of softening are readily noticeable. At 15 grains of hardness, rush out and buy a water softener, you will be pleased that you did.

Complaints about water softeners

David’s believe-it-or-not says the most common complaint I have heard about the effects of soft water are:

  • No 1-the dishes are very slippery when wet (true) and
  • No 2- my hair has gone all pouffy! (true again-the mineral deposits are gone!)
  • Does a water softener leave salt in my water? Yes.
  • How much salt will be left in my water? The answer is very important..How much salt is in the product water depends on the efficiency of the water-softening technology that is operating. There are many technologies and many manufacturers of the technologies. They are all different. And they all come in a variety of sizes. The technology is more important than the manufacturer…for more detail on this…CLICK HERE

A water softener should ONLY be installed where a sodium restricted diet is recommended If a reverse osmosis unit is to be placed in the kitchen to remove the salt, and all other impurities, for cooking and drinking water.

Water softeners will often remove small amounts of iron from your water. But this will increase the salt used, and the salt left behind. Larger amounts of iron, over 1mg/ltr will cause excessive salt use, and eventually foul the bed of the softener. A water softener should not be used as the primary means of reducing iron in water. Learn more about iron / water …CLICK HERE

Another consideration in softening is your septic system. Water softeners rinse large amounts of salt into your drain water. If you are on a septic system, as many rural systems are, you will damage the concrete holding tank and salt will harm vegetation in the area where the septic is located. Potassium Chloride is a suitable replacement under these circumstances, or if you just want to be more environmentally conscious in your water treatment application. Potassium is far less corrosive and does not have as much negative impact on the environment. Potassium is also often recommended as a sodium replacement for people on salt restricted diets. Personally, I installed a separate underground pit for my water equipment and other water such as shower and sink water to drain into. Get more information on this process here…..CLICK HERE

Saltless Water Softeners?

Saltless Water Softeners? RUBBISH! There are no saltless water softeners which have been tested and certified. But lots of them have been tested and discarded as rubbish. The Water Quality Association is an organization which is there to inform and protect the public in regards to the water treatment industry. To my knowledge they have tested many electronic, electric, or magnetic devices and found that none of them remove one grain of hardness from water. Some of these devices will reduce scaling, the effect of mineral deposits sticking to surfaces, but none of them remove anything from the water. Once again, I see this as dealerships and sales people who just want to get the sale, so they give the customer what the customer wants. A magic wand. Well I can supply you with magic wands for $1.29 so don’t pay more than that for any magic wands. I am sure these statements will ruffle some feathers, but until I see the WQA certifying a saltless water softener, I will stick to my statements.

If you install a water softener in your home, and keep it for six months to get used to it, you will not likely ever be without one. I have had mine for 14 years now. Yup, the same one. Make a wise purchase and you will have a long lasting piece of equipment.

I have said many times, ” a wise and educated consumer makes wise choices”. Your water, your health, your choice.

Check out the 5 most popular water softening technologies here…..

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