Breaking down the top myths surrounding Water Softeners: what you need to know

1 (1)

As a homeowner or someone who understands the importance of the quality of the water we drink and use every day, you are probably aware of the negative impacts of hard water on our health and daily life and may have heard about solutions such as water softeners that help address the resulting issues. However, water softeners are often misunderstood, and there are many myths about their design and functionality. Whether you are considering installing a water softener or simply curious about its benefits, explore this article with us and find truthful facts behind these essential household systems for your home.

Operation and Benefits

But first, to understand what it is about exactly, it is important to know how water softeners work and their benefits.

Water softeners are conceived to soften hard water, water that contains a substantial amount of calcium and magnesium responsible for scale buildup and soap scum. Most of them are salt-based systems that use a method called ion exchange. In this process, hard water passes through a tank filled with resin beads containing sodium ions. As the hard water flows over the resin, the beads attract and trap the calcium and magnesium ions responsible for water hardness, swapping them with harmless sodium ions.

This exchange softens the water, preventing the accumulation of scale in your plumbing and surfaces, enhancing the performance of your appliances, and improving your hair and skin health, amongst others. Periodically, the system regenerates by flushing the resin with a brine solution, replenishing the beads with sodium ions for the next water-softening cycle.

Myth 1: Water Softeners turn your water unhealthily salty
Since most water softeners use salt, it’s understandable to believe they add too much sodium, making the water unsafe to drink and salty.

Fact: However, the truth is that while water softeners do add some sodium to the water, it’s only a small part of salt, sodium chloride (NaCl), used in the ion exchange process within the resin beads. The harder the water, the more sodium is required for the process, but these systems only introduce trace amounts of sodium into your water through precise metering. Once dissolved, the sodium content is so minimal that it has no significant impact on your health or the taste of the water.

For comparison, an 8-ounce glass of softened water contains less than 12.5 mg of sodium, whereas a slice of whole-wheat bread contains 211 mg and a tablespoon of ketchup contains 204 mg. Additionally, the type of salt used in water softeners is much milder than table salt, so it doesn’t impart the strong, iodized taste you might expect.

Myth 2: Water Softeners remove minerals our body needs
Some people believe that water softeners, which remove calcium and magnesium from hard water, take away essential nutrients that our bodies need.

Fact: While it’s true that these minerals are important for our health, the calcium and magnesium in hard water are inorganic and cannot be absorbed by our bodies. The good news is that you can obtain organic nutrients that your body can absorb from a healthy diet. Foods such as leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, and collard greens) are excellent sources of these minerals. Therefore, drinking hard water won’t significantly contribute to your nutritional intake.

Myth 3: Water Softeners leave a film on your skin
After bathing with softened water, some people might feel a slick, slimy film left behind on their skin. This feeling could be attributed to the presence of sodium leftover or soap that is not properly rinsed away.

Fact: In reality, the minerals present in hard water deposit on your skin and hair, leading to dryness and absorbing your body’s natural moisture. Additionally, these minerals hinder the proper dissolving of soap and shampoo, which counteracts their cleansing properties and eventually leaves a soap scum film on your body, accentuating these effects. If you want to know more about it, feel free to read our article here.

That said, ask yourself, what exactly do water softeners do? Well, they are exactly designed to eliminate those substances that adhere to your skin and hair. With softened water, any residues from minerals and soap are washed away. This means your hair and skin are left free of film, properly cleansed, and nourished, allowing your body’s natural essential oils to function as they should. As a result, your skin and hair feel smooth and balanced, which is the ideal healthy condition for your body.

Myth 4: Water Softener systems waste water, salt and energy
Another common myth about water softeners is that they require excessive amounts of water, salt, and electricity to operate.

Fact: While this may have been true with older systems, advancements in research and development have led to significant improvements. At Kent Water Purification Systems, we equipped our water softeners with smart technologies that use precise amounts of water and salt, thanks to an enhanced metering system based on your household size, water hardness, and consumption. These innovations feature real-time and programable water regeneration, using 25% less salt than traditional systems. Additionally, these softeners operate only when necessary, ensuring highly efficient regeneration and consuming only as much electricity as an alarm clock.

In summary, our water softeners are designed to minimize the use of water, salt, and energy through an automated and calculated regeneration process.

Myth 5: Water Softeners are money pits
Speaking of consumption, some may consider water softeners to be costly because they are utility and energy-intensive.

Fact: In a way, installing a water softener will indeed require an initial investment and a budget for maintenance, but these expenses are highly beneficial in the long run.

Without a water softener, the minerals in hard water can cause scale buildup in plumbing and fixtures, leading to reduced water flow, corrosion, and wear, as explained in this article. Additionally, the deposits can accumulate in your appliances, leading to reduced efficiency. As a result, your utility bills significantly increase, and the lifespan of your appliances is shortened by at least 30%. Over time, using hard water can cost a fortune in repairs and replacements and harm the environment.

So, yes, a water softener does require electricity, salt, and occasional servicing, but the long-term savings and benefits outweigh the running costs, and the investment pays off in just a few years.

Myth 6: Water Softeners make your water pure
It’s easy to assume that water softeners remove impurities and contaminants because they are water treatment solutions.

Fact: Please keep in mind the following information: water softeners only remove water hardness through an ion exchange process. They do not filter out contaminants and chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive water treatment system, Kent Water Purification Systems provides a variety of solutions that combine filtration and softening, or reverse osmosis option, ensuring that you have access to the highest quality water. This approach guarantees that you can enjoy the best possible water quality.

Myth 7: You don’t need water softeners with city water
The last myth you can hear is that municipality water treatment facilities already soften water, but this is not entirely true.

Fact: While cities have strict rules for treating water to make it safe for the public, 85% of Canadian households still receive hard water through their taps. That means water softeners are actually beneficial even if you live in an urban area.

Conclusion: Water softeners are invaluable assets

Despite the misinformation surrounding them, water softeners are truly beneficial solutions to protect your household from hard water, help you save money and the environment, and improve your health. At Kent Water Purification Systems, we offer a wide range of highly efficient water softener systems and other combined water filtration and softening solutions. Feel free to visit our website, contact us, or book a free water test. Let’s work together to find the perfect solution for your needs!

Schedule your FREE water consultation today!