Water's Good

The Truth About Addressing Hard Water

Posted On 02/15/2024 By iSpring Water Systems
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Key Points

  1. Hard water can negatively impact plumbing, appliances, and your skin and hair
  2. Deciding what sort of treatment system is best for you: salt-based or salt-free
  3. iSpring systems are available to address your individual hard water concerns 


Hard water is seemingly impossible to avoid as the minerals that create hard water can be found in the vast majority of water. 


Hard water can be rather easy to see if you take a look at your faucets. If you see white, rusty scale buildup, hard water is present. While there are varying degrees of hard water, this scaly buildup is a surefire sign, and it is in your best interest to address the problem before it causes costly damage to your home. 


What Causes Hard Water?

When water falls from the sky, it has no mineral content. However, this can quickly change depending on what it is exposed to once it reaches Earth. If your water source is primarily from groundwater, then the chances of it having absorbed minerals along its journey to your faucet are high. While not all minerals have the potential to cause problems, the presence of minerals such as calcium and magnesium can cause an array of issues. 


The Price of Living with Hard Water 

Over time, the minerals found in hard water can cause buildup in your pipes and your appliances that use water which can significantly reduce their lifespan and lead to premature and expensive replacements. While replacing smaller appliances isn’t as costly, replacing your refrigerator or hot water heater can be much more of a financial burden. 


Not only does scale buildup reduce their lifespan, but it can also make appliances work less efficiently and reduce the water flow which can lead to increased bills because of the additional effort it takes for them to run.  


The minerals that cause the hard water situation of can also make soap less effective which leaves your dishes and clothes not as clean as they could be and your clothes appearing faded and dingy. 

Being Proactive with Hard Water

If you suspect you have hard water, it is wise to be proactive and identify the concentration of calcium and magnesium. Many times, local municipalities or water utility companies provide free reporting details of what can be found in local water. You can also test your water with an at-home kit. If the water contains calcium or magnesium levels at or above 7 grains per gallon or 120 parts per million, it would be in your best interest to address the issue. 


Solutions for Hard Water  

To reach the goal of softening your water and protecting your pipes and appliances while also ensuring your skin and hair do not suffer from exposure to hard minerals, there are a few water treatment options.


There are water softeners and water conditioners. Water softeners rely on ion exchange to soften the water. Whereas, salt-free systems function as scale inhibitors. While they can prevent the buildup of scale and minimize the effects of hard water, they do not remove minerals from the water or produce the same silky texture associated with traditionally softened water.


As stated, salt-based water-softening systems undergo a process of ion exchange where calcium and magnesium ions are removed and replaced with sodium ions after passing through resins covered with molecules that attract and bind positive ions dissolved in the water. These systems are installed near the point of entry to address hard water before it has the chance to cause damage to your pipes or appliances or cause issues with your dishes, laundry, skin, and hair. These systems work by changing the water’s composition by extracting calcium and magnesium ions and replacing them with sodium ions. To function properly, the unit must flush out the trapped ions by rinsing it with a concentrated solution of saltwater. Once rinsed, the wastewater goes down the drain, and the resin is restored with sodium ions so that the process of trapping calcium and magnesium can continue. 


A salt-free polyphosphate water conditioner also addresses concerns with hard water. However, it is limited to reducing the effects of hard water buildup. With this type of treatment, water passes through the water filter descaler, dissolving a small amount of polyphosphate, changing how the calcium and iron react. This process helps prevent corrosion in plumbing and traps unwanted minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Polyphosphates effectively bind up metals found in water to maintain their solubility. 


Another salt-free option is the electronic water descaler. This water conditioner does not use salt or chemicals to address scaling. Instead, it uses a computer chip to emit an electromagnetic wave that causes water molecule clusters to break down into active twin molecules, enabling them to pick up and carry hard mineral ions, reducing the likelihood scales form and breaking down existing scales. 


While each of the salt-free treatment options will aid in preventing scale build-up in your plumbing and appliances, they do not lower water hardness when it comes to soap scum on your dishes, stiff laundry, and undesirable effects on your skin and hair. 


Selecting the System to Meet Your Needs

While each system does its job effectively, you have to understand what your goal is when treating hard water. If it is protecting your plumbing and appliances while also enjoying smooth skin, voluminous hair, spot-free dishes, and soft, unfaded clothes, then the only viable option is a water-softening system. However, water softeners will leave salt residue in the water, necessitating the addition of an RO system for drinking water purification. Water descalers offer a more cost-effective solution. Particularly beneficial for individuals on salt-controlled diets, water descalers safeguard plumbing and prolong the lifespan of household appliances by preventing scale and corrosion.


Three of our recommended systems are our WCS45KG water softening system, our WDS150K water conditioning system, and our ED2000S electronic water descaler. 


Our WCS45KG is a whole-house water softener that 

  1. has a high capacity for treating up to 45,000 grains of hardness
  2. removes calcium and magnesium from your water at the point of entry, providing you with quality soft water for cooking, bathing, and laundry
  3. descales your entire water system and prevents scale buildup in water heater and pipes, protecting your household appliances and plumbing
  4. calculates and designs an economical and effective soft water treatment plan based on the water source and the treated water volume, allowing you to adjust the hardness of filtered water with this system based on your preference or requirements
  5. features an automatic backwash and media regeneration feature, helping to extend the lifespan of resin and improve the system’s performance without the hassle of manual cleaning.

Our WDS150K is an anti-scale, whole-house water conditioning system that 

  1. features a patented scale inhibitor that sequesters calcium and magnesium, preventing your pipes from scaling and clearing partially clogged piping
  2. employs a filter media that coats the surface of your pipes, which helps stabilize chlorine and prevents it from reacting with the metal pipe 
  3. is capable of filtering up to 250,000 gallons of water and can last up to 12 months, depending on inline water quality. 
  4. is tested by an independent third party to meet NSF 42/60 standards
  5. features effortless filter replacement with just the twist of the housing.

Our ED2000S is an electronic water descaler that 

  1. creates an electromagnetic wave with the micro-chip, disrupting the ions to crystallize them, preventing the scale build-up
  2. is eco-friendly and solves the problems caused by hard water without the need for chemicals or salt by preventing scale deposits from forming and allowing the existing scale to break down. 
  3. costs roughly 36 cents per month for electricity
  4. improves your water quality, protects your pipes, and extends the life of your appliances
  5. features easy, 15-minute installation and requires no plumbing modifications. 
  6. descales without changing the chemical properties of the water and does not add sodium or potassium


No matter where you live or your water source, chances are you combat hard water to some degree, and combating its effects can save you money in the long run. After considering what your individual needs are, we are confident one of our systems will help address the hard water concerns you have for your home. 


If you have questions about what system would be best suited for you, our customer service team is always here to answer questions to ensure you select the product that will be a perfect fit. 

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