Water softeners are devices used to treat hard water in a residential or commercial setting. Hard water is water that is high in dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When natural water moves through the soil and passes by rock, little particles of minerals fall into the water and are whisked away. These bits and pieces are typically magnesium and calcium, but may also include other minerals as well. Water that is high in these minerals can cause your skin to be dry and can cause damage to your plumbing and fixtures with a buildup of the minerals inside as well as out.
When it comes to making sure that you have the best water softener for your home or business, there are several things to consider. The first consideration is whether you should invest in a tanked or tankless water softener. This will make all the difference when it comes to getting the results that you are looking for. Making this decision will depend on several things including the type of hot water heater that you have in your home, the amount of space that you have available and the budget that you have to work with. You will find that there is a dramatic difference between the prices for the water softeners, both installed and uninstalled. You will need to consider the savings that one over the other might bring as well.
Tanked Water Softeners
Most water softeners are tanked and use salt as the active ingredient in softening the water. A tank filled with the salt used to do the job is attached after the main water entry valve, before water is distributed into the house. The water is filtered through this before it is delivered. The salt works well for softening the water because it reacts well with soap and is not harsh on your plumbing. The salt in the system removes minerals from your water making it softer.
Overall Cost of a tanked water heater
You will want to consider the fact that you will need to pay for electricity on the use of the tanked water softener as well as paying for maintenance by a professional for the unit. The typical cost of purchasing a water softener that is tanked and that uses salt is under $2,000. It is important to remember that this is uninstalled and you may need to pay for creating drains and the full on installation. These numbers will need to be considered carefully before deciding which option is the best for you.
Benefits of a Tankless Softener
Clearly the biggest advantage of using a tankless water softener is the fact that it reduces the need for salt or sodium in the water. In addition to this distinct advantage, individuals will not be faced with large maintenance issues, a need for electricity and the tankless softener does not remove some of the more beneficial minerals in the water. This reduction in salt free softening is looked upon favorably by many municipalities because of the green considerations they make. They are thought to be better on the environment and cause less over-salting in local town waterways.
Overall Cost of a Tankless Water Heater System.
The salt free or tankless water softeners use calcium carbonate crystals to attract excess dissolved hardness in the water. There is no need for large tanks or for drains that you would need installed with the tanked water softener removing the installation fee. You will also find that the monthly cost for running the filter is not the same as a tanked because you need no electricity. The average cost to purchase a tankless or salt free water softener is $1500. While this is an investment initially, there are no maintenance fees to be concerned with and no electricity to pay on the use of the tank.
Electric Water Softener
There is a third option for water softeners that uses absolutely no tank of any type to do the job. The
electronic water softeners work by turning the carbonate salts that create scale deposits in the water into tiny particles in the water. In addition, this process reduces the amount of calcium and magnesium ions that would be in the water that react adversely to soaps. This is what usually causes the proverbial “soap scum” that you might see on your tub. You might find that this is hard to remove if not taken care of right away.
Overall Cost of an electronic Water Softener
While electronic water softeners are good for the environment, mess free and simple to install, they are also fairly expensive. The average price of the electric water softeners uninstalled is $2,000. It is important that you consider what you need for your home or business and what you can do without. Note that most electronic water softeners do not come with a warranty for the most part, and do not have any NSF certifications. These things will have to be taken into consideration when comparing your overall needs.
Weighing the Options
The bottom line when deciding on the type of water softener that you need for your home is how much you want to spend now, versus how much you want to spend later. You will need to consider if being environmentally conscious is a priority in your decision making and if you want a water softener that requires regular maintenance and a monthly cost to use. These things will help you to decide which type of water softener is best for your home or business.
Contacting a Professional
Before you make your decision it might be to your benefit to contact a professional. A professional in water softeners can come to your home or business and assess your situation. They will be able to test your water to see what the levels of hard minerals are and then figure out how much water you need to have softened on a regular basis. This will determine the type and size of the unit you might choose.
It is also important that they see the location they are working with so that they know what will best fit into the space physically. This will help them to make the best recommendation possible and provide you with some excellent choices. A water softener can be of great benefit to your family physically as well as to your plumbing. Eliminating the buildup of the hard water deposits is important to making sure that your plumbing continues to function properly over the years that lie ahead.