Does your skin and hair get dried out after you shower? Is there foggy residue on your dishes after you wash them? Do your clothes come out faded or discolored after you do laundry? You’re probably dealing with hard water, an issue shared by 85% of all U.S. households. A water softener from Angel Water will reduce water hardness, make your water more pleasant, and save you money year after year.
Let’s take a closer look at how a water softener makes daily life easier and why Angel Water is your go-to expert for water softeners in Barrington, IL and the Chicago area.
What is Hard Water?
You may be thinking, “How can water be hard? It’s a liquid!” However, water hardness doesn’t mean the water is literally hard. Instead, it’s a measure of the water’s mineral content.
When water in the environment passes through soil and rocks, it picks up a lot of different particulates. Among these are minerals like calcium and magnesium. An excess of these minerals is what we call “hard water”.
The United States is located in a part of the world that largely consists of ancient sea beds. These sea beds have high concentrations of limestone. As a result, most water in the U.S. passes through this limestone at some point, and 85% of people in the U.S. have hard water in their homes.
Here in Northern Illinois, we’re in a region of extreme water hardness. Chicago’s water has a hardness of approximately 8 grains per gallon, which is well into the range we consider “hard”. This is why water softeners are especially necessary here and throughout the Midwest.
Hard Water Costs You a Fortune in the Long Term
In addition to making you itchy and leaving a film on your dishes, hard water will also rob you of thousands of dollars over the years if you don’t do something about it.
Here are the ways that hard water is costing you money:
1. Damage to your appliances
Hard water scaling builds up in your pipes and appliances, reducing water flow and efficiency—especially in your water heater. It’s estimated that 5 grains of hardness reduces efficiency by 8%, and one study found that extremely hard water can reduce efficiency as much as 48%. That’s hundreds of dollars lost every year.
2. Spending More on Detergents
Because hard water neutralizes soaps and reduces their effectiveness, you have to use more of them to get the same clean. You’re probably spending far more on than you have to on cleaning supplies cleaning supplies such as dish soaps and detergents and personal hygiene products like shampoo and body wash. That’s hundreds of dollars a year literally going down the drain
3. Clogged Fixtures
Fixtures can get clogged due to hard water buildup—for example, your faucet’s blending valve. This means you’ll need to pay for a service visit to fix it.
What are the Benefits of a Water Softener?
A water softener is a water treatment system that improves quality of life and saves money by reducing water hardness. What is hard water anyway, though, and how will it affect your daily life?
When water comes down as rain, it’s typically what we would call “soft” water. However, as it travels over the earth and through the soil in rivers, streams, and reservoirs, it collects minerals including calcium and magnesium. When water has an excess of these minerals, it’s called hard water.
The minerals in hard water dry out your skin and hair, neutralize soaps, and accumulate on surfaces. That’s why your skin feels dry and tight after a shower and you see soap scum and mineral deposits on your plumbing.
A water softener will remove excess minerals to provide your home with soft water (less than one grain of minerals per gallon). Here are some of the ways a water softener makes your life easier and saves you money:
- Your hair and skin feel softer and healthier.
- Soaps, shampoos, and detergents work better, so you can spend less for the same level of clean.
- No more foggy spots or films on glasses, dishware, and other surfaces after you clean them.
- No more soap scum on drains and shower curtains and in tubs and sinks.
- Clothes don’t get as faded or discolored with every wash and you won’t need to use fabric softener.
- No more mineral deposits restricting water flow and potentially clogging shower heads, dishwashers, etc.
- Longer life expectancy and lower energy costs for water heaters, humidifiers, coffee machines, and other water-using appliances.
How a Water Softener Works
The heart of a water softener is a mineral tank which is filled with small resin beads. This filling material is often simply called resin or zeolite, and it’s very important to the softening process because it carries a negative charge which facilitates the ion exchange.
The calcium and magnesium that cause most of the hard water problems in your water both carry positive charges. Because the charge is opposite that of the resin, these minerals will cling to the resin as the hard water passes through the mineral tank, which means they DON’T go on to stick to your pipes, your dishes, your shower walls or your clothes!
Well, now that the minerals are clinging to the resin, won’t it just get clogged up and become useless?
No. Sodium ions also have a positive charge, but it’s a weaker charge than the calcium and magnesium, and that’s they key to the regeneration cycle!
In a separate tank, sodium is mixed into a very strong brine solution so that it can be flushed through the resin whenever it becomes saturated with calcium and magnesium. The high concentration of sodium ions allows them to gang up on the calcium and magnesium ions and overpower them to break them away from the resin.
The excess minerals are then flushed down the drain line and out of your home, leaving the weak sodium ions clinging to the resin. These weaker bonds are easily broken by the stronger calcium and magnesium ions, so once the regeneration cycle is over the resin is ready to catch the minerals that clog up your appliances and cause dry, brittle hair.
A combination of modern salt dosing technology and high quality resin can keep your costs low and your home free of soap scum, cloudy, spotted dishes and ugly scale buildup on your appliances and faucets.
Anatomy of an EcoWater System
1. HydroLink Plus® Wi-Fi and Smartphone App Monitoring
HydroLink Plus® – Wi-Fi enabled technology sends continuous and excessive water use, system error, low salt and service reminder alerts, including a water-to-drain sensing alert notifying you when an excessive amount of water is going to drain. HydroLink® – Patented two-way remote monitoring also available. Water Meter – Allowing for chemical feed dosing, flow switch operation and water use information.
2. Patented Electronics Digital Demand Module
Sophisticated, yet easy-to-use electronics capture historical usage patterns to predict future needs for precise regenerations.
3. High Quality Fit and Finish
4. Multi-Wrap Fiberglass Reinforced Resin Tank
Durable tank liner will not deteriorate, rust, or corrode.
5. Full One-Inch Riser
with Self-Cleaning Distributors One-inch diameter for increased flow rates, which ensures that household demand is adequately met. Distributors exhibit excellent flow rates and are cleaned automatically by counter-current water pressure.
6. Patented Stratified Resin Bed
Layered mix of fine and standard size resin provides superior filtration and iron removal without sacrificing flow rate capability.
7. Washed Quartz Underbedding
Helps provide a cleaner, more thorough regeneration of the resin.
8. Positive-Action Brine Valve
Snap-together construction eliminates use of solvents that may contaminate water. Positive action helps prevent overfilling.
Our Experts Install and Service High-Quality Water Softeners
Angel Water is a team of experienced water experts who’ve been installing and maintaining top-of-the-line water softeners for decades. Our technicians have years of hands-on experience dealing with water issues and water softeners in Barrington, IL and the Chicago area. Our waters softeners such as the ERR-3702 come from trusted brands like EcoWater, whose products are built to NSF standards and backed up by rigorous testing and industry standards.
We’ll install a high-quality water softener in your home, perform regular water softener maintenance and repair visits, and even deliver salt for your water softener right to your door. For effective water softening, top-tier product support, and convenient salt delivery services, Angel Water is your go-to source.