Homes that contain hard water are quite easy to identify since they will have scaly deposits in the faucets and plumbing. This buildup will look similar to soap scum but it will take a lot of heavy scrubbing to remove it. Hard water makes soap less effective because it won’t lather correctly. In order to solve this problem, you will need to have a water softener installed in your home. The problem is that not all softeners are different, so it’s important to understand these differences before making a purchase.

Before you go out and buy a water softener, get a hardness testing kit in order to measure the hardness. You will need to know this in order to choose the right system. Of course, you can always choose to bring in a professional to help you get started. They will test your water and then present you with all available options. You have to know the difference between a good system and a bad system.

Know your Family’s Needs

Most water softening systems use sodium chloride or salt to pull minerals out of the water. The softener exchanges the harsh minerals with salt-based ones. The problem here is that individuals who are on a low-salt diet will not be able to use this type of system. They will need to choose a potassium chloride system in order to avoid health complications.

Know your Home’s Water Usage

Water usage is important when choosing the right tank so you need to calculate the usage of the entire household, as well as the hardness of the water. Test the water first. Then multiply the number of people in your household by 80 to determine your home’s water usage in gallons.

So let’s say that your home uses 240 gallons of water per day and that the test shows that your water has a hardness of 10 grains. In this case, you would need to install a system that can handle 2,400 grains per day.

Factor in Regeneration

Water softeners have to regenerate on a regular basis in order to keep the water soft, so you will have to choose between systems that automatically regenerate or one that must be manually done. Most automatic systems operate using electronic heads that sit on a tank. Each head is programmed with a regeneration schedule. Manual systems require the user to actually start the regeneration process. There are also timed systems that will regenerate at the same time every day. Automatic systems provide the greatest flexibility while manual systems are usually more affordable.

Is it Easy to Use?

You have to periodically replinish the tank with whatever water softener is being used so make sure that the system is easy to use. Pay attention to the requirments for refilling the system. You should also check the price of the sodium or the potassium chloride that is used to refill the system. That should be factored into the overall cost. If a system must be replinished more often than another, then it might be more expensive in the long-term.