Smart Water Softening System
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Water softeners can seem quite expensive, particularly if you have not felt the effects of hard water in your home. It could even seem luxurious to think of installing a smart water softening system in your home. However, minerals such as calcium and magnesium can cause havoc on your plumbing, kitchen appliances, utensil, and even your skin.
When you see mineral deposits blocking your plumbing and faucets and limescale ruining your kitchen appliances, then you might well be planning to install a water softener system in your household. However, if you are looking to get more of a water softening system, upgrading to a smart water softening system is the best option.
What is Hard Water?
Water hardness is determined by the amount of magnesium and calcium dissolved in water. When the water has high levels of these minerals, it becomes hard. Water softening systems work by reducing the levels of hard water causing minerals in the water. As a result, water becomes soft with low levels of calcium and magnesium. But with high levels of sodium.
- How can you tell your home water is hard?
Looking at what water does to your home utensils and appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and water heating systems, you can tell whether it is hard or soft. Here are some signs of hard water to look out for:
- Spots: Spots can appear on glasses and silverware after washing. These spots are often calcium carbonate deposits that usually lurk in hard water.
- Feeling a film on your hands after washing them: When you wash hands with soap and water, you can tell whether the water is hard or soft. Soap often reacts with calcium to create soap scum. To remove the scum, you will need to rinse your hands longer if the water is hard.
- Less water pressure in your home: Calcium and magnesium deposits can form in the pipes shrinking. Thus, reducing water flow. So, if you experience low pressure in your home than before, it possibly means water flowing through your pipes is hard.
- What are the signs of soft water?
There are various ways to tell that water is soft. Here are some signs:
- Clothes become cleaner with no mineral stains and less wear and tear damage.
- Good health water pressure in your homestead
- A good lather when washing dishes, clothes, hands, and your body
- Faint sodium tastes in drinking water, even though, in most cases a difference in taste is imperceptible.
- Why should you need Soft Water in your Home?
The several benefits of soft water can necessitate you to install a water softening system if you live in hard water regions. Some of the reasons why you should have soft water include:
- Soft water is ideal for cleaning since it doesn’t cause soap to scum or minerals to stain.
- Soft water is a more effective cleaning agent. Thus, you may save money on your water bills by not having to rewash your dishes or clothes. Besides, you will take little time in the shower to feel fully clean and rinsed.
- Soft water keeps the lifespan of equipment like water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, faucets, and water pipes in your homes.
What is a Smart Water Softener?
A smart water softener is a water softener integrated with high technology connecting to other smart devices like mobile and laptops. As such, you can program it to automatically control the amount of salt used in softening your water.
A smart water softening system is not only pocket but also lifestyle friendly. It works efficiently and effectively in enhancing the quality of your tap water by removing the excess hard water causing minerals.
Besides, it can save you plenty of time since you can program it to calculate the amount of salt and water consumption. It can indicate the battery life while allowing other smart functions like water softening time.
Water softening systems come in many different kinds. All these do the same job but with slight differences. The type of smart water softening system you will install in your home will depend on the size and type of water softening issue you want to be solved.
Types of Water Softening Systems
The most efficient water softener to deal with water softening issues in the entire home is the ion exchange. Regardless, here is a rundown of the different types of water softeners you can consider installing in your home for water softening purposes.
- Salt-Based Ion Exchange Water Softener
The ion exchange water softener is the most common type of water softener in most homes with hard water issues. This softener works by running your home water through two water tanks. One tank is filled with special beads, while the other has brine–salt water. The process of softening the waterworks in that the ions from the calcium, magnesium, and iron, which cause the water hardness, exchange for sodium ions from the special beads that cause water to soften. Therefore, at the end of the process, only soft water comes out.
However, the brine materials have a finite exchange capacity. As such, every individual exchange site will become full after prolonged water softening process. The brine must be recharged to restore it to the initial condition. The smart functions allow you to know when the brine requires an exchange to maintain softening process running effectively. Whenever regeneration or exchange is needed, the computer will automatically trigger the regeneration process to start.
- Salt-free Water Softener Systems
The salt-free water softener systems are the most preferred type by homeowners in hard water regions. This is because they use filters and no chemicals, salt, or potassium need for it to operate. So, if you are worried about sodium intake, this could be your best option to install. These systems work a bit differently from the ion exchange types. It works by not taking away hard water causing minerals but by inhibiting them from forming deposits that damage your plumbing, water heating appliances, and utensil. It is more of a descaling system than a softener. These types of water softeners are not for softening extra hard water since they are not as effective as conventional water softener systems.
- The Dual-Tank Water Softener System
Water softener systems with tanks require regular recharging. As such, the system goes offline if you only have one tank. With the dual-tank water softeners, the softener remains online while one tank is recharging. And since most systems often regenerate overnight, it can be an issue if you need soft water throughout your home.
A dual-tank water softener system runs continuously even when one tank is regenerating. The dual-tank water softener system is essentially ideal for large families that use plenty of water or regions with very hard water. The good thing about the dual-tank softener systems is that they may have smaller tank sizes that offer flexibility both in size and price. You don’t get all these with a single tank water softener system.
- Magnetic Water Softener or Descaler Products
The magnetic water softeners are a bit controversial water softeners. You can install this water softener system by clipping it to an inlet pipe. Once clipped, it will work by emitting a magnetic field. This changes the properties of the hard water causing minerals. The minerals are repelled by the interior side of the pipes preventing a build-up or clogging. Therefore, this system does not necessarily soften your hard water but acts more like a water conditioning system.
With these four water softener systems, you can be sure to find one that is perfect for softening hard water coming to your home. Your soft water requirements and budget should be the guiding principle when choosing a water softener system for your household. Moreover, ensure that the system you buy has the required safety standards and comes with an appropriate warranty.
What to Consider When Buying a Smart Water Softener System for Your Home
Before buying a water softener for your home, there are crucial factors to look at which will point you to the right choice. Choosing the right water softener system means you will have a system that runs efficiently and saves you money in the long term. Besides, you will have high-quality soft water flowing into your home. So, what do you look at when purchasing a smart water softener system for your house?
- Understand What a Smart Water Softening System is
If your water exceeds the required level of dissolved minerals, you’re facing the effects of hard water daily. And this only means that you need excellent home water equipment as a solution.
A water softening system will remove all the minerals causing water hardness. As such, you will prevent damage to your clothing and your water heating appliances. With this system, you can effectively soften your water, which is necessary for household use. Nonetheless, you have to install the right smart water softener within your budget.
- Type of Smart Water Softener
Before choosing a water softener system, first, confirm the types of water issues you have. And then the softening system that you think can solve these issues effectively. As such, it is advisable to have a water treatment professional analyze your hard water condition. The analysis and input from the water professional will come in handy when choosing the right water softener.
- Get High-Quality components and Smart Metered Style Valve
A good smart water softener must come with high-quality components and metered style valve. A high-quality constructed system will not only durable but will work more effectively and efficiently.
Without a doubt, the high-quality components make the system cost more upfront. But in the long run, you will have low operating costs. Conversely, low-quality parts will require replacing quite often, waste high amounts of water and salt while making long-term costs higher than anticipated.
A smart metered valve will allow you to program it to the different levels of water hardness based on the number of people in your home. Besides, with smart settings like this, the system can automatically adjust cleaning times make it more efficient and cost-effective.
- Size of the System
Water softener systems come in different sizes, and the size you will purchase will depend on the water flow rate of your home and the level of water hardness. Buying a way too small a system will reduce the life span of the various components. This will cost you more money in terms of replacing the parts.
On the other hand, buying a too-large water softener system will often run into sanitary issues that will see you waste lots of salts and backwash water. Therefore, buying the right size of water softener for your home means it will run efficiently without wasting money on parts or wasting water and using additional salt.
- Controls and Features
Smart water softening systems come with various smart controls and features that give them an edge over the others. When buying a smart water softening system, consider the following controls and features.
- Softener DIR (Demand-Initiated Regeneration)
The Softener DIR is a renowned sophisticated feature in the smart water softener. This feature determines if the resin needs recharging or not. Through the meter or sensor, you can measure your home water consumption or sets the right amount of soft water you want in your home. You can effectively control both the salt and water when in regeneration mode. If you find that you are using more water daily than you want, the Softener DIR might be your best option.
- Water Softener Timer
The use of a smart electronic timer in a water softening system is useful. However, unlike the Softener DIR, the timer control can waste salt and water than you think. As such, it might not be an ideal option if you want a water softener with smart controls that saves both water and salt.
- Strike a Balance on Pricing and Quality
When buying a smart water softener, you need to balance how much you are willing to spend on the softener and how durable you want it to be. Although most water softener systems seem like a bargain, they often don’t last as long, and you will end up spending even more on repairs and replacement parts. Some are costly but are longer-lasting. Thus, in the long run, you save money.
Moreover, make sure you pick a system with a good warranty. While there are systems that give up to 12 years warranty, there are those that give just 12 months. As such, make an informed decision when it comes to the water softener system warranty.
Choosing a water softener system with low-quality resin and valving will cost you more in the long run. The low-quality resins will require replacing quicker, and this could become expensive. On the other hand, getting one with high-quality resins may require you to pay a higher upfront cost. However, it will be durable.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: What is Soft Water?
A: Naturally, water has different minerals that include magnesium and calcium. Water is considered hard or soft depending on how much of these minerals are dissolved in water. Soft water has a lower level of magnesium and calcium than hard water.
Q: Do I need a smart water softening system for my home?
A: There is no mandatory requirement to soften water for household use. Therefore the decision to soften water is entirely a personal choice that affects your home and the surrounding environment.
However, if your water’s hardness s more than 7 grains per gallon or 120mg/L, you might need a water softening system to improve the taste, smell, and look of water. Softening your water will also ensure your water heating appliances run smoothly and efficiently.
Q: What size of water softening system do I need?
A: Often, the physical size of a smart water softening system is a thing to look at when considering the space available in your house for the softening system. While choosing the right size of the softener system, consider the running costs and wear and tear. The more the softener needs to recharge, the harder it is working, and the more the cost in salt and water usage. Equally, the more wear and tear experienced.
Choosing the right size of water softener will ensure you don’t run out of soft water, and the operation cost won’t be as high. So when choosing the size of the water softening system for your home, you should be guided by the volume of soft water you want between regenerations.
Q: Where should I install a Water Softening System?
A: The ideal place to install a smart water softening system is close to where the mains water comes into the home. Usually, water softeners are installed in the kitchen cupboard since that is where the mains water enters the house. An expert advisor can advise on the best place to install your smart water softening system, whether in the kitchen, basement, utility room, garage, or just outside.
Regardless, your water softener installation should abide by water regulations. As such, it is best to hire a professional to install your system. Be sure to test the water pressure and measure your water hardness. Besides, you may need a little modification to your plumbing for drinking and an outside tap.
Q: Will my smart water softening system make my water safe to drink?
A: No. Your smart water softening system only removes the water hardness causing minerals. Are you worried about the safety of your home drinking water? You can contact your local public health department to get a bacteria test or a comprehensive lab analysis on your water. Besides, make sure your water is safe for drinking and cooking before you soften it.
Q: When do the resins in the softener take need to be changed?
A: With excellent pretreatment and maintenance, an average water softening system will not require resin changing in its lifetime. However, it is impossible to precisely determine the lifespan of resin since several factors contribute to their degradation.
Q: How frequently should I add salt to the Brine Tank?
A: How often you add salt to the brine tank depends on how frequently your water softening system needs to regenerate. So the more your system regenerates, the more salt you will require to add. The level of salt should be just above the water level. Add salt whenever the water level goes above the salt. Approximately, add salt into your brine tank about every eight weeks.
Q: What type of salt do I need to use for my water softening system?
A: It is recommended to buy a very clean salt of about 99.5% salt content and up for your water softening system. All softening systems can use Potassium Chloride instead of salt. Potassium Chloride tends to melt whenever it becomes wet and may form a ‘bridge’ inside the salt tank. Therefore, fill the brine tank halfway or a bit more if you’re using Potassium Chloride for easy monitoring when it goes down the tank after regeneration.
If you live in a region with hard water issues, buying a smart water softening system could be the best option. The water softening system will offer you several benefits by reducing the effects of hard water.
But if you already have the traditional water softening system, you can consider upgrading to the smart one. This way, you will have control over your water softening process remotely. The smart water softening system can also save you the effort to calculate the amount of salt and water consumption as it will automatically calculate all these.
It can be challenging to shop for and buy a smart water softening system for your home. However, with the buying guide above, you can be sure to make the right choice of the smart softener to install in your home. Once you settle for the smart water softening system you want, don’t forget to check its quality and warranty.