Water Softeners vs Descalers: What’s the Difference?
Have you noticed that your tap water leaves cloudy spots on your dishes and shower enclosure? Is your skin itchy and your hair dry or brittle after you take a shower? Then you may have hard water in your home. Hard water is an excess of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, that, if left untreated, will eventually clog up your pipes with scale deposits and shorten the life of any appliances that use water, including your dishwasher or washing machine.
As a Kinetico dealer, we specialize in water softeners and are happy to sit down with you to explain why a water softener is a better, more complete, fix for your home’s hard water issues when compared with a descaler. How do you know which is the best option for you?
What is a water descaler?
Water descaling systems use a magnetic field to charge the water as it comes into your house, suspending the offending minerals in your water, reducing scaly deposits that will clog your water system over time.
If lime scale deposits are allowed to form, they can build up in your water pipes, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines, reducing their efficiency. One myth about descalers is that they soften your water. They do not. The minerals that are causing your itchy skin and dry, brittle hair are still in your water; they are just suspended so they cause less of a problem with your plumbing. The suspended minerals can still cause your drinking water to taste or smell bad.
Many people like the fact that water descaling systems don’t use salt to reduce hard water, whereas water softeners do use salt as part of their process. Research has shown that water descaling systems can break down older scale deposits that build up in your water system over time, especially on water storage tanks, like your hot water heater. Water descalers can reduce the effects of hard water in your home but they don’t completely eliminate them.
What is a water softener?
Unlike water descaling systems, water softeners change the makeup of your water by using resin beads to trap the hard water minerals. The hardness is then flushed out of the system, which eliminates limescale and makes your water softer at the same time.
Descalers don’t eliminate the hard minerals in your water. Softeners do. By eliminating the minerals that have made your water hard, you will notice a huge difference in how your hair and skin feel after a soak in the tub. Your freshly washed clothes will look brighter and last longer because they aren’t picking up those hard minerals in the wash, which can leave a cloudy finish on your fabrics. It will also take less soap to get your clothes and dishes clean!
Kinetico Premier Series water softeners work well on both well water and city water supplies. In bigger cities, municipal water departments will increase the Ph level in their water to counteract the lead and copper that are usually present in older neighborhoods with older plumbing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, lead can enter drinking water when a chemical reaction occurs in plumbing materials that contain lead. To prevent corrosion of older pipes and slow the amount of lead that enters the drinking water supply, many cities will lower the acidity or alkalinity of the water and raise the mineral content. Those two steps create hard water problems for homeowners. But you don’t have to live with those changes.
Kwater Treatment recommends getting your well and city drinking water supplies tested for heavy metals, chemicals,and dissolved solids, anything that will make your water less clean. Kwater’s certified water specialists will come out and test your water for free in order to identify any concerns. Once we determine what is causing your water problems, we can tailor a solution for your home or business. We have locations in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Leesburg, Tampa, and Daytona Beach, Florida.