Hard water comes with the territory here in Austin, Texas. Our water contains an above-average concentration of calcium and magnesium – something in the neighborhood of 100 milligrams per liter. You can see evidence of this whenever you look closely at the deposits that build up on your coffee maker or kitchen sink, feel it when you take a shower or put on your clothes, and taste it when you drink water out of the tap.
Our water is perfectly safe to drink, and most of us can live with clothing and showers that can leave us feeling a little soapy and slippery. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only ways that hard water can affect our lives. The deposits left behind on our sinks and silverware can also build up within our pipes and appliances. After years of constant water flow and mineral build-up, these deposits can actually clog our pipes and hurt the performance of water-using appliances.
Thankfully, there are ways to filter and soften our water. These measures can make it easier to live with hard water, and easier on your pipes and appliances, too.
For some of us, filters are the perfect solution to Austin’s hard water. Filters can be installed throughout your home in areas where hard water is the biggest issue for you. If you would prefer to drink water without the minerals, you could install filters in places where you draw water to drink, such as the kitchen sink. If you want to improve the feel of your clothes, try filtering the connection to your washer.
In short: There are hard water filtration options available for just about everywhere in your home. So if hard water is giving you grief in one or two places in your home, you’ll have no trouble finding a professional plumbing company in Austin who can install filters for you.
Let’s say that hard water is a bigger issue for you, and you would really like to remove it from several areas in your home – including your pipes. If this is the case, a water softening system may be just what you need. A water softener is a bigger investment than a couple of filters, but it provides a bigger solution; a water softening system can remove minerals from all of your water and protect your pipes from potential clogging.
Water softening systems are mechanical, built around a mineral tank through which your household’s incoming water will flow. Inside this tank are negatively charged beads designed to capture positively charged minerals like calcium and magnesium. As hard water flows past, the positively-charged minerals latch onto the negatively charged beads. The minerals will stick fast to the beads in your water softener, while the now-clean water continues into the rest of your home for you to enjoy.
While both filters and water softeners can be great for your well-being, they also require some commitment. You’ll need to be willing to change your filters and/or maintain your softener as directed. If you don’t, you may end up with water that’s less appealing than the stuff that prompted you to make a change in the first place.
For many, proper maintenance is a small price to pay for water that tastes better, skin and clothes that feel cleaner, and – if you’re using a water softener – pipes and appliances that won’t be compromised by mineral build-up. If you think that filtration or softening might be the right solution for you, why not give your local Austin plumber a call to discuss your options.