The Water Butler

All Ways Plumbing


Better Water
Better Life

Water Softening | Water Treatments MN

Do You Need a Water Softener?

Are you spending too much time scrubbing the white scaly deposits from your showers and sinks? Are your dishes and glassware covered with unsightly water spots? Do use more shampoo or laundry soap than you think you should? Today, all the talk is about conserving our natural resources, including water. And we SHOULD be talking about it. Hard water is the primary culprit of each of the household problems listed above. The U.S. Geological Survey Office estimates that 85 percent of American homes have hard water problems, so the question is, do you need to take action? Many consumers have hard water. While hard water is not often an indicator of health concerns, it can be a nuisance.

Signs of Hard Water

  • Water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines will require frequent repair or replacement
  • Showerheads and faucet aerators will clog, and water will spray sideways
  • Pipes will clog with chalky white build-up and develop pinhole leaks over time
  • Dishes and glassware will show water spotting or a white mineral haze
  • Ice maker will break down and might require replacement
  • Toilets, sinks and showers will be difficult to clean

Benefits of Conditioned Water:

* Softer skin, shiny and more manageable hair * Brighter and softer clothes * Shower stall without water spots, spot-free dishes using less soap * Prolong the life of your dishwasher, faucets, water lines, appliances * Reduce water heating bills up to 29% by preventing calcium and mineral buildup in your tank increasing its efficiency Softened water can require less soap, detergent or shampoo to adequately lather and clean. It also is less likely to cause spotting on dishes, and it can reduce scaly lime and mineral deposits on sinks and showers. From a long-term standpoint, soft water can increase the life span of household pipes and appliances by reducing harmful lime deposits. However, the hard water measurement in many households falls within an acceptable range. Hard water is determined by the amount of calcium and magnesium that is present. These minerals are generally measured in grains per gallon (gpg) or parts per million (ppm). Hard water can start to become a problem for many consumers when the hardness level detected exceeds 6 to 7 gpg (or 100- 120 ppm). Contact your local water utility for a recent water quality report. Or, if you have a private well, have your water tested by a state-certified testing lab. If your water registers high on the hardness scale, you may be in the market for a softening system. Here are some additional questions to ask as you consider various products: Does the unit regenerate according to use or on a timed schedule? If home water use is higher on certain days than others (i.e. if you do all your laundry on the weekend), consider a unit that regenerates based on use. - What is the grain rating of the unit? Softeners vary in terms of the amount of grains of hardness they can effectively handle between regenerations. The number of people living in the household combined with the grains per gallon present in the water can help the consumer determine the grain rating needed. - Does the unit have an efficiency rating? Efficiency ratings mean that the unit meets minimum criteria for salt and water usage. - What is the warranty on the softener unit and its components? - Is the unit certified by an independent testing organization? Product performance and safety are not easily determined by the consumer, and certainly not before the product is purchased and installed. Selecting those that have been independently tested and certified, of which there are many, alleviates this problem. NSF International currently certifies a wide variety and large number of water treatment systems, including water softeners. For a list of certified products, consumers can visit the NSF website at