It’s well known that the water here in the Valley of the Sun is notoriously hard – but do you know why? It’s because the rivers that feed the Phoenix reservoirs – the Colorado, Verde, and the Salt – are running through and over rocks and lands that are highly mineralized. (I mean – the “Salt River?” seriously?) Phoenix’s water is literally packed with minerals and chemicals that make your water taste terrible, leave deposits in your pipes, and a cloudy film on anything you try to wash – whether its your hair, your clothes, your dishes, or your dog.
But wait – what is hard water?
Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals in it, specifically – calcium and magnesium, and minerals are hard and solid, except when they’re dissolved in your water. When they’re dissolved in your water, they make your water – in effect – “hard and solid.” These minerals are what make the water taste bad, they deposit themselves on every plumbing pipe and appliance surface they touch, and they keep any kind of soap or detergent from doing it’s job.
Why is hard water “bad” – what does it do?
Hard water isn’t harmful, but it isn’t exactly healthy either. For one thing – it makes water taste terrible, and when water tastes terrible, it’s tough to get down the 8 glasses of it that we’re supposed to be drinking every day. And it’s certainly not convenient or helpful when it comes to cleaning either. Without going into a science project about negative and positive ions, soap simply doesn’t dissolve in hard water, which means it’s cleaning agents don’t “clean” the way they’re supposed to, and they don’t rinse off either, which creates the dreaded “soap scum” problem on your hair, glasses, clothing, etc.
Both the drinking and the cleaning problems cost a homeowner; either because they end up buying and carting in bottled water for drinking purposes, or from using way too much soap, bleach, and cleaners out of sheer frustration. But the biggest cost of having hard water in your home is going to be the scale and deposits that will build up in your pipes, your hot water tanks, your dishwashers, and washing machines. This build-up both reduces the efficiency of the appliances and requires that you use more water to get the job done, and it means that your appliances and plumbing will need servicing – or replacing – more often thanks to that build-up. Unfortunately, the hard water problem is truly hard – there’s simply no way around it.
Don’t just pick the first water softener you see – let us help!
You could just walk into a big box store and point to a water softener, have them load it up in your truck, take it home, and try and put it in yourself, and we have customers that do exactly that. Unfortunately, though, we sometimes have to go out and help them put it in the right way later. Either that, or sometimes we discover that they may not have gotten the right or best water softener for their needs. This is why – honestly, we’d like to advise you to give us a call and let us come out to help you figure out what water softening system is the best one for you. It will save you money in the long run, and you’ll know you’ve got the best system for your needs.
Here are just some of the considerations that many people don’t realize they need to look at in a water softening system.
How hard is your water – really? Before you buy a water softener, you really need to know how hard your water is. You can do this with a home testing kit, but the best answer is to give us a call and let us come out and test your water for you. Knowing exactly how hard your water is, and what degree of which minerals your dealing with, will help you choose the best system.
Size & Capacity A water softener needs to be large enough to handle the size of your family and your home, but you don’t want it so large that you’re paying for capacity that you don’t need and you won’t use. Water softeners need to recharge to remove the collected minerals every few days, and you need a softener that’s large enough to provide softened water while its recharging. Calculating the necessary capacity for your family will determine the size and kind of water softener that’s best for your home’s needs.
One tank or dual tank system? There are single tank and dual tank water softening systems of varying sizes, and one or the other may be a more economical choice for your home and the needs of your family. Obviously, if you’re a family with 3 teenagers there will be a lot more water going through your home on a daily – sometimes hourly – basis, than if you’re a retired couple with a Chihuahua.
Reverse osmosis, hot-water only, and saltless water softening systems There are a number of choices and ways to treat the hard water in your home today, and some people would rather have a system that doesn’t use salt the way traditional water softeners do. The amount of salt used in most water softening systems is minimal, but sometimes people who are watching their salt intake prefer water softening systems that use potassium chloride instead. Or, we can help the salt issue by putting reverse-osmosis filters on the water taps can eliminate the salt from the water after its been softened. Another option for some people is to soften only the hot water in their home, leaving the drinking water untreated. And finally – there are completely salt-free water conditioners, but these operate differently from water softeners and “condition” the water rather than soften it.
Let Moon Valley Plumbing help you choose a water softening system:
At Moon Valley Plumbing, we specialize in water softening and conditioning systems. We do ongoing research and education around the best options for our customers, and we can come out to your home, test your water, and show you the number of different water softening and/or conditioning options available for your home. We’ll lay out the pros and cons of all the different systems on the market today, discuss the most economical options for you and your family, and then get it installed and up and running for you in a matter of hours. Give us a call today, and let Pam set you up with a consultation time; you’ll be drinking crystal clear water the next day!