Hardness is dissolved calcium and magnesium, aka lime and scale. Dissolved calcium and Magnesium precipitate to a solid rock like form when exposed to heat and oxygen. This results in damage to plumbing and appliances by clogging openings and causing corrosion. It reduces efficiency and increases the cost of heating water by building an insulation layer on heat exchangers in hot water systems. Further, hardness in water is a large contributor to dry skin, static electricity in clothes, damage to fabric, difficulty in managing hair, and water spotting on dishes and fixtures. Softening is a common practice through the use of soaps, cream rinses, laundry softeners and comes at a high cost compared with operating a water softener. This kind of chemical softening leaves many areas untouched as household plumbing and appliances. Water softening equipment will automatically eliminate the root problem at the source thus eliminate the need to spend time, money, and energy dealing with the symptoms.
The Battelle research institute recently performed a one year study on the effects of water hardness on heating water, on fixtures, and on appliances (see full report here). The results came back stating that… “Softeners [are] among ‘very best’ household energy savers.” –WQA The research proved that gas hot water tanks, or tankless heaters, can maintain their manufacturers efficiency rating over a 15 year lifetime rather than leading to as much as a 40% loss in efficiency. The report also stated that electric hot water heaters will form .4lbs of scale accumulation each year for every 5gpg of hardness in the water. For some of our local water supplies, over a 15 year lifetime, that would mean paying to heat 20lbs of rock before you can even heat your water. Showerheads and fixtures maintain a brilliant luster and full flow rather then losing their ability to provide proper flow due to scale buildup. You have gone to great care to select the perfect fixtures for your home, don’t let water hardness unnecessarily destroy that investment. “Hot water tanks “Maintain the original factory efficiency rating over a 15 year lifetime…” –Battelle