Water softeners, what you really need to know.

how_a_water_softener_worksAs part of our business we install water softeners, but there are some things you need to understand and think about in advance. Water softeners are used to reduce the hardness of water, which is usually a result of an excess of calcium and magnesium in your water. Calcium and magnesium, when held in suspension, create various problems in a modern household. A problem with hard water is that soap and detergent loses some punch. The soap will combine with various minerals and will not dissolve completely and you will notice a lack of foaming action. The un-dissolved soap in combination with minerals, leaves a thin layer of soap scum. This layer clings to the very surface you are trying to wash, creating a barrier to effective cleaning. Freshly washed hair, feels strange to the touch and laundry right out of the machine, is not as clean as it should be and will feel stiff to the touch. I once made the mistake of washing a shiny motorcycle, in water that was hard. The bike ended up with spots of minerals everywhere as it dried that were nearly impossible to remove.

In addition to making washing and grooming more difficult, water flowing through pipes and machinery over time build up internal scale deposits, known in the Yucatan as Saro. Shower heads clog, Washing machines get plugged up, even the inside of your tinaco will build up a layer of scale over time and will need to be descaled. This is one of the reasons you will find muriatic acid in almost every tienda here. It is used to descale various systems, but it is something you need be careful with.

Water softeners for the most part rely on an ionic reaction, with a bead medium, to remove unwanted minerals and need salt as part of the flushing process.  A bag of salt weighs about 80 pounds, so that is something to consider, if you don’t have a strong back or strong friends. Water softeners also require water pressure, so a pump will need to be installed, if you have a non pressurized system and of course a pump is a power consumer and can also create noise as it cycles. The systems themselves require space and maintenance as well, as salt will have to be added on a regular basis.

So if you feel you need to have a water softening system, to make washing and such a more enjoyable experience. You just need to think about the trade offs in energy consumption, costs and maintenance vs having soft water at your disposal.

2 Responses to Water softeners, what you really need to know.

  1. nouveauhomo says:

    Thank you Steve. Maybe you saw I had just asked about this on Amigos. Someone told me the zerosarro system was problematic in that it was not lasting long.I had been looking forward to getting away from the salt treatment hassle so was wanting verification before deciding against it. So, do you have an opinion or know how well it does?

    • creaghsteve says:

      John, I have to confess my ignorance with respect to Zerosaro systems. But, I believe a lot of new systems, need time and a lot of testing, to get to work in an optimum manner. It is like this, the engineers at Chevrolet get the green light to build the Corvette, that was 1953. Now 60 years later it is a nice sports car, but still not perfect.So Zerosaro systems may be the best thing going, but it will take time to work out all the bugs. As for Amigos I am not welcome. I told the administrator that I thought he was biased and was acting like the bully in the sand box. I believe there are rules in life and we all know that. He apparently believes rules are selective. Different stokes for different folks, I guess.

      Water softeners are a simple function of Ion transfer. If that can be improved upon great, but i would need to see first hand evidence.

%d bloggers like this: