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Life’s Hard, Your Water Doesn’t Need To Be

A Definitive Guide To Water Softening

Hard water most frequently causes your hands and skin to feel dry and cloudy dishes despite running them through the dishwasher. It can even leave rust stains, which appear orange, in your shower, toilets, and appliances. If you want to avoid “hard” water, this guide is for you!

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, hard water results from the amount of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other metals in water. The same organization ranks cities nationwide based on their water hardness, measured by the milligrams of dissolved materials per liter and labeled as mg/L. Columbus and surrounding Central Ohio has "hard" water with 128 mg/L!

In a previous interview with GQ, Dr. Susan Marrick of OSU Wexner Medical Center says repeated use of hard water in the shower can cause your skin and scalp to feel dry and itchy. So, after talking with our plumbing technicians in the field, we've developed a few tips to help you decide if water softening is right for you and how to do so correctly, which can help your appliances run more efficiently!

  • Determine if you need a water softener instead of a new filter by evaluating your water or calling a professional. If your water has a sour taste or foul odor accompanied by sediment or other contaminants, you most likely need to replace or install a water filter. However, if your soap no longer lathers or you notice water spots, it's a good sign you need a water softener!
  • Determine the correct water softener capacity for your home by multiplying the number of occupants by the average daily gallons used per person, which is 80, multiplied by your city's hardness level. For example, a Columbus home with four occupants would need a water softener with a grain capacity of at least 40,000 units.
  • If you’ve decided that a water softener is right for you, you'll need to keep the machine running correctly to maximize efficiency. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your home's water softener operating for a longer time while increasing your machine's overall life expectancy. Modern softeners can last five to ten years without deep cleaning, but older machines could benefit from an annual cleaning and inspection.

For water softener installations or replacements, you can contact Atlas Butler 24/7 at 1-800-FURNACE, even for a plumbing consultation, to speak with a representative, or schedule an appointment online with one of our trained technicians to assess and solve the situation.

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