Most of us place a lot of faith in the quality and healthiness of our home’s water, but rarely do we think about water quality in terms of our home’s well being. Hard water, water rich in minerals, can pose long-term risks to your home appliances and plumbing. It can take years off your dishwasher and water heater.
There are several methods of hard water treatment with varying degrees of success, varying price points, but predictable consequences. However, there are some promising solutions to hard water without the negative effects of traditional water softeners.
Hard water is water that’s rich in minerals, though the two minerals we’re mostly concerned about are calcium and magnesium. When these minerals are heated, like in your water heater, they’re deposited on the surfaces of pipes and appliances. As those deposits build up, they form what’s called scale. Scale can leave your skin and hair feeling dry, and you’ll notice it coating the inside of your bathtub as w
ell as your dishes. Scale can clog up your pipes, but you might also notice your energy bills going up because scale reduces the efficiencies of your hot water appliances.
Needless to say, hard water and scaling need to be treated to protect the investment you’ve put into your home as well as your general sense of comfort. That’s why many people use water softeners. Water softeners are an effective hard water treatment for removing minerals from water. You soften water with the help of salt and a tank of polystyrene beads. The beads are negatively charged which attracts the positively charged sodium. As water passes over the beads, the magnesium and calcium displace the sodium. Instead of those minerals getting left behind on your pipes and forming scum in your soap, they stay in the water softener tank, clinging to those polystyrene beads.
There are some downsides to water softeners, though. First of all, a lot of maintenance is required. To regenerate the beads so that they can continue to remove the hard water minerals, heavy bags of salt must be dumped into a brine tank. This brine solution will backwash the softener every once in a while, regenerating the beads. Furthermore, while drinking soft water poses no immediate risks to your health, soft water can leach certain heavy metals from your plumbing, including lead. In addition, your water softener won’t discriminate against what minerals it takes. So you could lose out on some necessary nutrition. Because salts are used with water softeners, some people don’t like the taste. Finally, water softeners produce a highly concentrated salt waste from the backwashing. This waste, if not treated properly, can damage the environment, and this is why some states and counties have banned the use of water softeners.
Fortunately, there might be better hard water treatment methods. HydroCare’s limescale filter, available at Wave Home Solution, is a unique solution to the hard water problem. Rather than swapping magnesium and calcium with salt, HydroCare uses a filtration process called Nucleation Assisted Crystallization, or NAC, to crystallize the magnesium and calcium minerals so they can’t precipitate out of water. HydroCare does all of this without leaching heavy metals from pipes, removing healthy minerals from water, or changing the water’s natural pH. You might expect a filter system like this would require the same maintenance, or more, of a water softener. However, HydroCare’s limescale filter does not require any maintenance except for one filter change every 3 years.
Hard water poses serious risks to your home and appliances, and scale deposits can leave everything from your skin to your dishes feeling gross. Water softeners can be reliable solutions, but they could also make your water taste bad and require dumping heavy bags of salt. HydroCare, available at Wave Home Solutions, neutralizes harmful minerals while preserving your waters flavor, its healthiness, without harming the environment.