There are numerous myths about water softeners that you might have seen online. They make them out to be a waste of space at best and dangerous for your health at worst. In fact, water softeners are safe, viable options and the myths around them need to be debunked. So here are 15 of the most common myths and the truth about them.
1. You need soft water 24/7
You do not need softened water 24/7 unless you plan on using water all throughout the day and night. An EcoWater Water Softener will learn your water usage patterns using smart technology and regenerate the resin bed at a time when you’re not using water.
All EcoWater softeners use our algorithm to track how much water you use, what times you use it the most, and when you don’t use water. It then regenerates the resin bed at this time. This ensures you always have softened water on demand, and ensures that the softener is more efficient as it will complete a partial regeneration each time so you never run out of softened water.
2. Block salt is cheaper and more efficient
Block salt is less widely available than tablet salt as well as being more expensive. Water softeners that use block salt also need to be refilled with salt more often than those with tablet salt, and they are more difficult to top up with salt as the whole block will have to be used and need replacing. EcoWater water softeners use tablet salt because it is more efficient, cheaper and easier to buy than block salt.
3. It doesn’t matter what type of salt you use
Water softener salt has been heavily purified to ensure that there are as few contaminants in it as possible. You cannot use regular table salt in any kind of water softener, due to its impurities. Different types of softeners use different types of salt. EcoWater water softeners only use tablet salt because it is inexpensive, widely available and easy to load into the brine tank.
4. Water softeners need replacing often
With care and the occasional service, a water softener can last decades. EcoWater softeners use smart technology. This helps you identify any concerns before they cause you problems and decide if they need a service.
5. There is salt added to softened water
The ion-exchange process used by many water softeners exchanges the hardness minerals in hard water for sodium. Sodium is only one part of salt, which is sodium chloride (NaCl), but as only sodium is added to water in the ion-exchange process, there is no salt added to softened water.
6. The amount of sodium in softened water is unhealthy
The amount of sodium added to your water during the ion-exchange process depends very much on how hard the water in your area is. In most of the UK, the amount of sodium added to the water is not unhealthy or dangerous to drink. However, if you live in an area with very hard water or are on a low sodium diet, you can have a hard-water tap or reverse osmosis water filter installed to negate this issue. Softened water helps to remove and negate the harmful effects of hard water, like limescale build-up around your home as well as helping you to save money on both cleaning products and water as you need to use less of both.
7. Softened water tastes salty
As there is no salt added to softened water, it does not taste salty. While salt is used in water softeners, it is purely for the regeneration process so the resin bed can continue to provide you with soft water
8. Salt-free water softeners are a good option
While salt-free water softeners exist, they aren’t as effective at removing hardness minerals from water as salt-based water softeners are. They claim to remove and prevent limescale building up on pipes but are not certified or a permanent solution to the problem due to the specific requirements in circumstances that they need to function. EcoWater’s ion-exchange water softeners will help to remove limescale from your pipes and appliances, improve the efficiency of your heating system and increasing the lifespan of your appliance.
9. Soft water doesn’t rinse off soap
People not used to washing in softened water claim that they feel a film on their skin. These are actually our skin’s natural oils and are what we are supposed to feel. While we may be used to checking if we are ‘squeaky clean’, the squeakiness is actually the remains of soap scum on our skin.
10. There is no need to have a water softener in cities
Hard water is not an issue just for those who live in the country. Water is not softened as it enters a city’s water supply, so if you live in a city in a hard water area, you will be suffering from the same issues as people with hard water in the countryside.
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11. Water softeners waste energy and water
While some water softeners do waste energy and water during the regeneration process, others do not. EcoWater water softeners use smart technology to know when the best time is to initiate the regeneration process, and our technology also ensures that regeneration is as efficient as possible. In terms of energy, EcoWater water softeners use about as much electricity as a digital alarm clock throughout the year.
12. Water softeners purify water
The vast majority of water softeners only remove hardness minerals like magnesium and calcium from water. To remove other contaminants, you need a water purification system or a water filter. Here at EcoWater, we know that people may want both a water filter and a water softener, so we have a range of systems that combine the two.
13. Water softeners remove healthy minerals
Humans cannot absorb the minerals found in hard water because they are inorganic. While saying that removing calcium from water may seem odd to those who remember that calcium is important for our bones, it is important to remember that minerals come in different types and not all of them are good for us.
14. Water softeners are expensive to install and run
The initial expense of a water softener may seem like a lot, but it’s far less than having to pay for a new boiler, the inconvenience of replacing appliances or having to pay more for your heating bills because a build-up of limescale has reduced efficiency.
The running costs amount to the water and salt needed for regeneration, and EcoWater water softeners have very low running costs, especially in comparison with the savings you make on your heating bills and appliances.
15. Water softeners remove harmful bacteria and viruses
In the UK, our water treatment facilities are excellent, so we do not need to worry about harmful bacteria or viruses in our water. However, it is important to note that water softeners do not remove harmful bacteria or viruses, as the ion-exchange process focuses on removing hardness minerals that will reduce your heating efficiency and cut the life of your appliances short.
16. You need to install a hard water drinking tap
Installing a hard water drinking tap is not necessary in most areas. The only time a hard water tap might be necessary is if you live in an area with high levels of hardness minerals. This is because the amount of sodium that is added to the water to remove the hardness minerals is high enough for regulations to stipulate the addition of a separate hard water drinking tap.
A hard water tap can be avoided by installing a reverse osmosis water filter instead. This removes the majority of the impurities from the water, making it safe to drink.
17. Water softeners have to be installed under the sink
Water softeners have to be installed where the mains water comes into your house. This can be under the sink, or it could be in the garage, or somewhere else entirely. The best place to install a water softener changes from house to house, so speaking to an expert about where your water softener should be installed is the best option.
18. Water softeners are noisy
Water softeners should not be noisy. They may make a small amount of noise during the regeneration process. If your water softener is constantly loud and disturbing you, you should contact an expert to have it checked.
Despite the misinformation surrounding them, water softeners are clearly a safe, reliable way to improve the efficiency of your central heating, increase the lifespan of your appliances and save you money on bills and cleaning products. Debunking the most common myths surrounding water softeners shows that whether you’re in a city or the countryside, hard water can cause you all sorts of problems, and in the long-term, installing a water softener will save you money and energy.
Some of the most common myths surrounding water softeners are about how they work – their efficiency, what they remove and what they add. Water softeners can be highly efficient, and EcoWater softeners are among the most efficient there are. While they may not remove bacteria or viruses, this isn’t a concern in the UK. They do remove the inorganic hardness minerals of calcium and magnesium, and add sodium, not salt, so the water is still healthy and tastes good. Some people even say that softened water tastes better than hard water.
If you’re interested in finding out more about an EcoWater water softener, contact us and find your local dealer today.