Usually the first step is to test your water to see how hard it is. Test kits are inexpensive, and are available from a number of sources, including us. We can also advise you generally about the hardness of water in your area.
You'll want to choose a water softener that has the right amount of capacity for your needs. Again, if you get in touch with us, we can help you with the calculations needed to figure out the correct water softener size for your house.
Salt – The most common type of water softener uses salt to soften the water, in a chemical reaction that replaces the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions. These are the most cost effective and the most standard type water softeners. They are easy to maintain-they just need to be checked about once a month and topped up with salt. One disadvantage to salt water softeners is that they add some sodium to the drinking water, which may be a concern for those on sodium-restricted diets.
Citrus - Technically, a citrus water softener is actually a descaler. It uses a citrus compound instead of salt, but it doesn't remove the minerals like a salt water softener; instead, water flows through a cartridge where the citrus binds with the minerals. This chemical change, called chelation, makes them unable to bind to any surfaces, so they stay in the water and no longer form scale deposits. To maintain the system, you change the cartridge every six to eight months.
Electric descaler – This type of descaler changes the charge of the mineral crystals in hard water. When this charge is altered, the minerals are unable to form scale deposits, much like the citrus system.
While some softeners have a pretty straightforward installation process, they do involve some basic plumbing skills. If you'd rather not do it yourself, we're happy to install your water softener for you at a reasonable cost.
Need more advice on water softeners? Get in touch with us. It's your Access.