If you own a private residential well, you might have heard about water softeners and wondered whether or not you should go ahead and get one fitted on your own system. Statistics show that hard water affects a lot of households all around the United States. Well owners in particular can experience issues, and water softeners can help with this. Here are some of the most common questions you might have about water softening, complete with simple answers.

What Does A Water Softener Do?

The water used in your home can be divided into two categories: hard and soft. Hard water is filled with different minerals, which can be beneficial for your health, but those same minerals also make this kind of water problematic. It’s difficult to clean things like clothes or dishes with hard water, because it makes soaps and detergents ineffective. This kind of water can have a strange taste or odor too. Water softeners ‘soften’ the water by removing excessive minerals and turning hard water into soft water for your home.

Why Would I Want A Water Softener?

As previously stated, hard water can actually have some health advantages as the minerals inside it, like calcium and magnesium, are healthy for the bones and other parts of the body. However, hard water does also pose some big problems that can be quite costly. Hard water can not only reduce the lifespan of appliances, but also clog up pipes with mineral deposits. If you want to enjoy easier cleaning and longer-lasting appliances and piping systems, softening can be a big help.

How Does It Actually Work?

A water softener fitted up to your well system works through a scientific process called ‘ion exchange’. The softener contains little beads with charged ions that essentially attract and trap the mineral ions in the hard water, removing them as the water passes through.

What About Salt?

You might have heard of softeners making use of salt, adding it into the water supply. Salt is a part of the process in many softeners, but only the smallest amount is added to the water. There is not enough salt to change the taste or odor of the water you drink. You can buy softeners that don’t make use of salt, if you prefer.

How Long Do Softeners Last?

This will depend on the quality of the model you choose. There are plenty of softeners out there, with some being much more durable and longer-lasting than others. In general, a decent softener can last for 20 years or more, but it might need to be checked and maintained now and then.

Softeners can make a big difference to the water you use each day, but any time you add a new piece of equipment to your well system, it’s important to schedule a professional test to check out the quality and contents of your water. Softeners will remove minerals, but they won’t remove bacteria or other harmful elements, so be sure to check out your well water on a regular basis.