Take a look at a Geological Survey map of the USA that points out the hardness of water in different states. You would notice that the entire state of Arizona is marked in dark red. It indicates that Arizona, along with Texas, Colorado, Utah, and a couple of other places, has some of the hardest water in the country. The water system of the state is full of heavy metals and minerals. But why should that be a cause of concern for you?
Well, the harder the water, the worse it is for your skin, hair, health, and general household usage. Thus, water softeners are an absolute necessity in Arizona. Read on to know more about this matter.
How does the hardness of water affect you?
If you have moved to Arizona recently or are planning to buy a new house there, you might wonder how the hardness of water affects you. The first thing you need to know is that hard water does not mean it’s dangerous to use or drink. In fact, much of the water in the country is comparatively hard. However, it does affect your life when the hardness reaches Arizona levels.
Scale-forming magnesium and calcium in the water can be hard on appliances and plumbing. It shortens the lifespan of your pipes, faucets, water heaters, and dishwashers. Moreover, hard water will also make those favorite underwear and white sheets grayer in appearance. You will constantly need more detergent and soap to clean your clothes and wash your skin and hair.
One of the main ways to reduce this hardness is by installing an ion-exchange system that removes scale-forming magnesium and calcium and replaces it with potassium and sodium ions. Water that passes through such an ion-exchange technology is known as softened water.
How to test if your home has hard water
You may be wondering if your home has hard water or worried that your water softener is getting too dated to do its job. Generally, water softeners last nearly twenty years when the system is of good quality, and the device is well-maintained. New models tend to be more energy-efficient compared to the old ones and utilize less water.
So, how do you test if your home has hard water?
What you need to do is fill a clean bottle with eight to ten ounces of water. Put nearly three to four drops of soap inside and shake well. Do not use dishwashing soaps because they have additives that help in combating the hardness. If you find loads of suds in the water, it is soft. The water is hard if it forms a scummy or cloudy film.
You can also try washing your hands with some soap in cold water. If your hands feel slick and smooth, the water is considered soft as dirt and soap were completely rinsed off the skin. If your hands feel sticky and rough, you have hard water as dirt and soap have remained on the skin.
If you want, the process can be made more scientific. You can purchase test kits online or in hardware stores for under $20.
If you have purchased a test kit, you will place a test strip in the water until it turns a specific color. You will then compare the color of that strip with the chart supplied in the kit to see if the color matches that of hard water. The colors correspond to specific pH levels.
If you do not find the at-home kits reliable enough, you can choose to send the water sample to the testing lab, but this will cost you more money.
The cost of a water softener and other details
Some new home buyers choose to install a water softener at the time of construction. You can also install a water softener after your home is built.
The cost of the water softener depends on the home size and the company you purchase it from. A reliable company will give you a good price on the purchase and installation of water softeners. Besides, the money you spend is like an investment due to all the benefits of soft water that you get afterward.
Do you need a water softener for the entire house?
As mentioned before, a water softener in Arizona comes with a host of benefits. Of course, it is a cleaner option for the entire household, and it protects the plumbing. However, there is no need for you to use a water softener in Arizona for all the water that runs through the home. You can choose to selectively soften the water and save money on the water softening costs. You can protect some parts of your home that would not benefit from added salt.
For example, you don’t usually soften water for the sprinkler systems and hoses outside. The usual amount of sodium present in water won’t end up hurting plants and the vegetation outside can benefit from all the minerals present in water that get stripped out at the time of softening.
The general rule is that it is best to make sure the outside hoses remain free from sodium-rich soft water.
Hopefully, you have found the answer to your question by now and are aware of the benefits of installing water softeners and the most beneficial places to install them.
So, go ahead and invest in a good water softener without further delay, and get it installed. You would really benefit from the improved water quality.