Since well water comes straight from the source (ahem, the ground) versus through a municipal system to your home, it can often be hard, rife with minerals. Overtime, these minerals can cause trouble in a variety of ways through your home.
Why Ground Water is Considered "Hard Water"
With well water comes minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are fine to consume as drinking water. However, sometimes these minerals become problematic for your plumbing as well as your appliances, faucets and fixtures, and even your clothes and dishware. Hard water can leave behind lime scale build-up over time, which can cause damage to your hot water tanks and make soaps less effective. Hard water can also leave behind stains on pots, pains and glassware and is more apt to fading clothing in the washing machine, so shortening their lifespan and extremely costing you more money to replace.
How to Tell if Your Well Could Benefit from a Water Softener
Oftentimes filters can serve to cut most of the sediment and turbidity from entering the well water for your home. However, to remove minerals, a water softener may be your best bet. You can buy a test kit from a company that sells softeners, have it tested by a well service company in your area or request a well water analysis through your local government's public health services department. Water that measures over 7 grains per gallon is considered to be "hard."
What Does a Water Softener Do?
If that's the case with your well water, a water softener is the perfect option. An ion-exchange softening system is a very popular option. This system uses resin beads coated in sodium that attract and remove the ions of the minerals that harden the water. As the softener removes the hard minerals, it leaves behind ion-free "soft" water that makes almost everything in your home – from your pipes and plumbing to your home appliances and even your soaps and cleansers – work more efficiently. You'll find that soft water helps soap and cleaners work more efficiently in the dishwasher, washing machine, while cleaning and even on your skin and hair when it comes to body wash as well as shampoo and conditioners properly lathering. Because soft water is free of many minerals, it does not leave behind residues or stains and leaves to leave clothing softer and brighter than with hard water, too.
Benefits of Soft Water for Wells
In addition to making your well water serve your plumbing and home more effectively, soft water generally feels better, too. Soft water users love the silky smooth feeling that soft water leaves behind on their skin, which is just another added bonus that you might not have expected from your (now soft) well water.
If you think hard water from your well is causing problems in your home or if you simply prefer softer water for bathing and drinking, call a professional well service to discuss your options.