Hard water coming out of the tap is a problem that plagues many households. Although installing a water softener is the most attractive option, the number of choices available to consumers can be as overwhelming as the differences between said choices are confusing.
So read on below to clear up some of the confusion and help you determine which kind of water softener system is best for you and your family:
Ion Exchange Softeners
By far the most popular type of water softening system in the average home is the kind that uses ion exchange technology. In this type of system, water is cycled through two tanks, one being filled with resin beads and the other with salt water. The beads have a negative electrical charge that attracts the positively charged ions in the harder water, and eventually exchanges the salt particles with the harder minerals present in the water, such as iron and calcium.
There's no need to worry if you think the water coming out of the tap will taste anything like ocean water--far from it. Though expensive, ion exchange water softening systems produce some of the best tasting water around. Though some maintenance is required, it is minimal and fairly easy to do yourself.
Salt-free Softeners (Descalers)
If the thought of having any salt in your water at all is a deal breaker, consider salt-free ion exchange systems. These systems substitute sodium chloride for salt, but don't remove any of the harder minerals. This means that they're not quite as effective as salt based ion exchange systems, but the water you drink will still taste better than if it hadn't been treated at all.
You may see these systems labeled and sold as descalers instead of softeners, since they don't technically soften the water in the same way that salt-based ion exchange systems do. Nonetheless, they've proven especially popular among consumers who are concerned with sodium intake.
Magnetic Water Softeners
One of the more recent technologies invented by companies who manufacture water softeners is electromagnetic water repulsion softening. Manufacturers claim that the technology present in the softening system helps to repel the harder mineral particles present in the untreated water, and thus soften the taste of the water that comes out of the tap.
While this technology has yet to be proven effective by independent researchers, it has already gained traction as a popular sodium-free option in homes across the country. Contact a company such as Dupage Water Conditioning to learn more.
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