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While there have been concerns over a water softener’s impact on septic systems – such as killing the bacteria in the septic tank with salt, overflowing tanks with too much backwash flow and reducing the drainage field’s ability to absorb water – recent scientific remain inconclusive.

Salt has been found to have no harmful effects on bacteria and the soil of the drainage field. However, the volume of backwash flow can range from 55 to 100 litres per week or the equivalent of one to two standard filled bathtubs. Regenerating the softener not more than once a week should reduce the amount of backwash entering the septic system.

The purchase of salt for regeneration will be the main operating cost. Salt is sold in large bags and can be obtained from a water equipment dealer. The other cost will be the water and energy required for operating and regeneration.

Water softeners are associated with increased well water pumping costs and somewhat higher water bills. The average water softener will need approximately 55 litre of fresh water each time it regenerates the resin bed. To minimize costs, select a water efficient model. Check how often the softener backwashes and how much water is used during regeneration. Also ensure that the unit is set to your family-size and needs.

It has been found that ion exchange softening has no effect on the corrosiveness of water. Water pH, dissolved oxygen content, ammonia, chloride and flow velocity cause corrosion. These factors are unaffected by the softening process.

Water softeners create very little noise. The only sound you will hear is the movement of water through the unit during the backwash cycle.

Softened water is not recommended for lawn watering and other outdoor uses as this will lead to more frequent system regeneration and higher costs. The high sodium content of the softened water can also affect the growth of grass and vegetation. A bypass valve is always installed on all Water Depot machines for this exact purpose

A water softener does not remove microbiological contaminants that cause illness and should only be used to treat drinking water that is considered to be microbiologically safe.

Water softeners replace ”hard” minerals with “soft” minerals such as sodium. The fact that sodium chloride (a Salt) is used to soften water raises a concern about the potential health risks for those persons suffering from hypertension, kidney disease or congestive heart failure.As the incidence of hypertension increases and the number of individuals on sodium-restricted diets rises, water softener manufacturing companies have begun to promote the use of potassium chloride as a safe alternative to sodium chloride. However, potential health risks are also a concern where potassium chloride (also a salt) is used to soften water. Water containing high levels of sodium or potassium should not be used for drinking, making coffee, juice, infant formula or for cooking. You must note that not all water softeners leave large quantities of sodium. If you are going to be drinking the soft water a metered water softener should be recommended.

If you do not want this additional sodium or potassium in your diet, or if you are on a medically prescribed diet, a separate cold water line and faucet can be installed this bypasses the water softener. This allows for drinking and cooking water with unsoftened cold water or the installation of a purified drinking water system would be preferred.

Water softeners are installed where the water line enters the home. A professional installer should carry out the installation.

What Does a Water Softener Look Like?

There are two basic types of water softeners. There is a single upright cabinet style and an upright twin tank style. Both are approximately 1.5 m in height and about 0.5 m in width.

How do I Maintain My Water Softener?

While most softeners need little care and will last for many years – problems may occasionally occur.
To ensure smooth functioning, the water softener should regenerate at least once a week to assure its longevity. If your water softener is not working properly, there are several things to watch for:

• Check for salt build-up in the brine tank. If a crust has formed, remove it using a vacuum, clean with soap and water, and rinse well.
• If your water contains iron, check for iron deposits in the resin bed. If it is present, use an iron-removing product to clean the softener.
• Check the resin tank injector. If it is plugged with “dirty” salt, shut off the softener’s bypass plug, run a manual regeneration and then clean the injector and injector screen.

Consider machines that have controls that minimize water use during regeneration. Often, one cycling a week will be sufficient for a family of four if the unit is sized properly.

There are two basic types of water softeners. There is a single upright cabinet style and an upright twin tank style. Both are approximately 1.5 m in height and about 0.5 m in width.

Water softeners are installed where the water line enters the home. A professional installer should carry out the installation.

The price of a water softener varies according to the type and sophistication of the system. Automatic softeners are the most expensive, selling for around $900 or higher, on average. Some of the most popular units retail for $1800. Installation fees are extra – averaging about $250 or higher, per unit.

Generally speaking, groundwater (well water taken from aquifers in the ground) is hard. Some municipalities in Canada use groundwater to supply water to residents. Residents, in small or rural communities, may not have municipal water services and get water from private or communal wells.
The most crucial step in deciding whether your home should have a water softener is to find out if your water is hard by allowing Water Depot to test the water of a customer who has decided to take the steps to finding out how hard their water is.

Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium – two minerals that cause the soapy scum on glasses and lime residue on bathroom fixtures. While suitable for drinking and gardening, hard water can cause mineral build-up in water heaters, pipes, dishwashers and showerheads, reducing its flow. Soap and shampoo’s ability to lather is reduced, and laundry becomes stiffer and duller in appearance.