Water softeners will solve most hard water issues, a common problem with well water where minerals find their way into a home’s water supply. If you are finding that soap and shampoo is not lathering well or that your dishes have spots, then your home might have a hard water problem. These natural minerals do not actually pose a health risk, but they can damage other things. For instance, then can create deposits in your plumbing that severely damaged it. They can also stain your clothes.

85% of American households have an issue with hard water so it’s important to know what your options are.

Hard water comes from deposits in or near your water supply that erode down into the water. They severity of this hardness is measured by grains per gallon. Water than contains more than 3.5 grains per gallon of a heavy metal is considered hard. Most water contains less than that, no matter how well treated it is. To determine the extent of your hard water problem, then you will need to test the water.

Different Types of Water Softeners

The two most common types of water softening systems used in homes today are ion exchange and cation exchange systems. So you will need to look at those first. But there are also a few other types of softening technology available so let’s take a look at those.

Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softeners

This type of softener will pull water through two tanks, one tank containing special resin beads and the other tank filled with brine. It works based on the scientific principle of ion exchange, softening hard water by substituting sodium for hard minerals.

Salt-Free Water Softeners

This type of softener works on the same principle as the one above, but it replaces sodium with potassium chloride, which is a salt-free substitute. This type of water softener is also called a “de-scaler.” It does not necessarily reduce hard water, but it prevents those minerals from depositing as scales. It is designed to protect your water system.

In short, this system is seen as “better than no system at all,” but it is not as effective as other options.

Dual-Tank Water Softener

When a water softener system is recharging, it will disconnect from the water system. It becomes unusable so the result is that this cycle is designed to occur at night in most systems. However, if the household needs water during this cycle, then it becomes a problem.

That is where a dual-tank system becomes a salvation. One tank will regenerate while the other is being used.

Magnetic Water Softener

This is the best type of salt-free water softener and uses the latest technology to improve the quality of water. This device clips to the incoming pipe. It will change the electromagnetic property of certain minerals so they are repelled by pipes. Naturally, this is best used in conjunction with other systems but it can be an effective deterrent of excess minerals that might make it through the initial softeners.

Choosing the right system begins with testing so you will need to make sure that you have an accurate test done on your water. In most cases, you are better off to bring in a professional.