The short answer: It depends.
Have you noticed any of the following hard water problems?
- Scale build-up on your fixtures
- White stains on your dishes, sinks and tubs
- An increase in water bills
- Water-based appliances (dishwashers, water heaters, coffee makers, etc.) dying prematurely
- Frequently clogged drains
- Dry, itchy skin
- Laundry quickly becoming faded and rough
If you answered “yes” to more than one of the above, you could really benefit from installing a water softener in your San Antonio home.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- What does “hard” water actually mean
- How does hard water causes problems
- Benefits of a water softener
Need a San Antonio plumber to install a water softener?
What is “hard” water?
Hard water is water that contains dissolved deposits of calcium, magnesium and other minerals.
Groundwater naturally collects these minerals when it filters through the earth’s limestone. They then get carried through public water systems and into your home.
According to the Water Quality Association, hard water has 7—10.5 deposit grains per gallon (gpg) and soft water has less than 1.
Hard water is perfectly safe to drink and cook with. However, it can cause expensive plumbing problems for many San Antonio homeowners.
How hard water causes problems
When minerals dissolved in hard water are heated, they recrystallize. That means when you use your hot water, these crystallized mineral deposits:
- Build up on fixtures and dishes. When hard water that touches fixtures and dishes evaporates, it leaves behind a residue of mineral deposits. Over time, this residue turns into ugly scale buildup on your fixtures.
- Kill water-based appliances faster than normal. We see this most often in tank water heaters. Mineral sediment builds up in the bottom of the tank, which decreases efficiency and could lead to expensive tank bursts. Buildup from hard water can also shorten the lifespan of other water-based appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and coffee makers.
- Increase your water bills. When mineral residue builds up in your plumbing, it forces your plumbing and appliances to work harder than they should. This translates to lower efficiency and a spike in water bills.
- Cause frequent pipe repairs. Sediment buildup can clog your pipes and even make them burst. Plus, prolonged buildup can cause corrosion inside steel and copper pipes, which is pretty much a death sentence for your plumbing.
- Make skin dry and itchy. Minerals in hard water settle on your skin. Because water won’t wash them off and most soaps don’t lather well in hard water, the minerals leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.
- Leave laundry rough and faded. When you wash your clothes and linens in hard water, the minerals will leave a residue that fades your clothes and makes them rough and scratchy.
Benefits of a water softener
Installing a water softener could help you:
- Improve the performance of your water heater. When your water heater is free from minerals building up in its tank, it can heat your water quicker and more efficiently. Plus, you’ll prevent it from bursting, which could result in thousands of dollars in water damage.
- Extend the life of your pipes and appliances. With fewer mineral deposits to build up in and destroy your plumbing, your pipes and water-based appliances (dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers, etc.) will last longer and run more efficiently.
- Save money on soaps and detergents. Soft water allows soaps, shampoos and detergents to lather better, which means you’ll use less than you do in hard water.
- Keep laundry clean and bright. With less mineral residue, clothes and linens will look better and last longer. This means you can save money on buying new clothes (hopefully you weren’t using hard water as an excuse to buy new clothes).
Need a quote for a water softener? Call a San Antonio plumber.
We’ll send one of our licensed and trained plumbers out to give you the best water softener options for your home and budget.
We offer traditional salt tank style water softeners as well as salt-free models. Plus, you can add quarterly salt service (if you go with a salt model) to our Pro Plus Advantage plan.
For more info, learn more about what’s included in our water softener installations.