Professional Water Softener Installation in Houston
Living in Houston, there are a few things homeowners can count on; long hot summers, I-610 will be permanently under construction and hard water. We regularly see evidence of our local water’s high mineral content every time we wash our dishes or take a shower. The mineral deposits left behind by hard water appear as fog or film on our glass and tile surfaces.
There isn’t much anyone can do about eliminating hard water from your city or municipal water supply. Since installing a private well is against the rules of your HOA or condominium bylaws, the next best option is a water softener installation in Houston. That is undoubtedly something where Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services can help.
What is a water softener?
Simply stated, a water softener eliminates calcium and magnesium from water using an ion exchange process. Hard water enters the filtration chamber through a bed of negatively charged resin beads that react with the positively charged minerals. These beads then retain the ions from the minerals, releasing sodium ions in their place. The water that flows out of the unit is now softened water.
Who invented the residential water softener?
Though water softening has been used back since the 1800s, most people credit Emmet Culligan for inventing the water-softening machine used in homes across the United States today. He discovered a simpler version of the softener being used at the hospital where his first child was being delivered. He was pacing the halls of the hospital and ended up in the boiler room. There he struck up a conversation with the maintenance superintendent and learned all about the primitive water softener. They had developed a mineral mixture to prevent diaper rash with the newborn babies, scaling in hot water tanks, and save soap in the hospital laundry. Culligan managed to convince the maintenance superintendent to give him a sample of the mineral mixture in a coffee can. He took it home refined the mixture, the ion exchange machine itself, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What can hard water do to my plumbing?
Aside from the cloudy dishes and dingy shower doors, hard water can have several long-lasting effects on plumbing pipes, fixtures, and appliances.
In galvanized water supply lines, the small rock-like mineral deposits bang against elbow joints, leaving minor scratches in the pipe’s coating. With continued exposure to these tiny stones, the exposed steel in the pipes will begin to corrode, eventually leading to leaks.
Faucets, toilets, and showerheads all suffer at the hands of hard water. Scale buildup will prevent faucets and showerheads from flowing as freely. Toilet tank components exposed to hard water will have flappers and fill may experience valve failures as well as clog the small holes under the rim of your toilet.
Water heaters are particularly susceptible to damage from hard water. The minerals in the water tank settle to the bottom. As this layer of sediment gets more in-depth, your water heater becomes less efficient over time.
Do I need to install a whole house water softener?
For homeowners looking to soften or filter water at individual faucets or spigots, there are several sink top and shower head filters available to install yourself. Most home improvement stores will carry these single outlet filtration devices.
By having a water softener installation, you can say goodbye to dingy laundry, crunchy hair, and dry skin. Any homeowner that notices a lot of cloudy glassware or needs to spend hours scrubbing soap scum off a shower curtain should call Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services. We can help you find out what type of water softening system is right for your home.
How much does water softener installation cost?
The price of a water softener usually starts around $3500 and can go as high as $5000.
How to know when to replace your water softener?
Similarly to any other appliance, a water softener will only last for so long. At some point, components of the softener will break, electrical problems will occur, and it just stops working. If well maintained, they can last typically in the range of 10-15 years. As there is no definite time when you should replace a water softener, it’s essential to know the signs of when your water softener might fail.
1. Not enough lather
One of the first telltale signs that you have hard water is when your soap is refusing to lather. If you are noticing that you’re having a hard time soaping up in the shower, even though you’ve got a water softener, then it’s time to look at it. Another indication that you’re not getting enough lather is that you’re going through a ton of shampoo, more than usual. In these types of situations, call a professional like Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services.
2. Laundry Problems
Clothing washed in hard water usually feels scratchy and rough to the touch. One solution is using fabric softener to counteract this stiffness. Suppose you’ve already installed a water softener, and your clothing is still coming out of the washer feeling stiff. In that case, it’s time to take a closer look at the machine. It might be that your softener may need more salt solution. Or it might be that it’s not working at all and you need a new installation.
It’s essential to check your water softener regularly to make sure it’s functioning correctly. Hard water can damage a washing machine and other appliances, including hot water heaters and dishwashers.
3. Your water has a different taste.
Hard water has a different taste than its soft water counterpart. For some people who drink water right out of the tap, the unique flavor of soft water with its heavy mineral content is something they enjoy a great deal. If for some reason, they suddenly realize the water no longer tastes that way, then it may be time to check their water softener.
4. Calcified buildup around the faucets and pipes
The minerals naturally present in hard water can lead to a crusty buildup around your faucets and pipes. We recommend keeping a close eye on all of their water outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other room where there is a water outlet. Suppose you notice a chalky substance building around them. In that case, this is a visible sign that you may need to replace or at least repair your water softener.
Water softeners can only do so much!
Yes, there are tremendous advantages to installing a water softener in your home. Today’s high-efficiency appliances can not operate as they’re designed when they suffer from hard water buildup. Household appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines have reduced lifespans because of hard water. If you’ve got stiff towels, that noticeable soap scum on your drinking glasses and shower doors, then maybe it’s time to consider installing a water softener. At Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning Services, we have extensive experience and knowledge required to successfully install a softener and transform the quality of your household water.