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Do I Need a Water Softener?

June 29, 2021
Water faucet and water softener

There are numerous signs that your home needs a water softener – and some are more obvious than others. Here you’ll learn the damaging effects of hard water and how a water softener can protect your home against these costly and unappealing effects. You’ll also learn whether your home needs a water softener and understand the factors that go into choosing the right softener for your home.


What Is Hard Water, Exactly?


Hard water is nothing more than high amounts of calcium and magnesium in your water, as well as trace amounts of other minerals. This might not sound bad, and in small doses it isn’t, but high amounts of minerals are bad for your home’s pipes, appliances, skin and hair, and they can cost you money. We’ll talk about that later.


showerheadHow to Find Out If You Have Hard Water


85% of U.S. homes have hard water, which is why so many homes need a water softener. Hard water is a natural result of minerals accumulating during Earth’s water cycle as it’s absorbed into the ground. It doesn’t matter if you have well water or city water because both types can be affected. But, how can you find out?

Here are two ways to know if you have hard water:

1. Contact your municipality (if you have city water) or local government office.

2. Test your water directly. Request a free test strip from Rheem and answer Rheem’s easy-to-follow questions.


bathroom faucet with buildupSigns You May Have Hard Water


Some of the most obvious signs that you need a water softener are likely visible in your home.

The visible effects of hard water include:

– Your faucets are covered in crusty buildup

– There is a white film on shower doors

– An entire dishwashing cycle leaves your dishes looking spotty

So, there are numerous detectable signs that hard water is present in your home. But what about the invisible effects of hard water? The most harmful effects can’t be seen, and they’re likely costing you the most money. For example, the extra minerals in hard water can build up in your pipes and appliances.

The unseen effects of hard water:

– Scale buildup reduces the water pressure in your pipes

– Hard water creates buildup in your water heater and forces it to use more energy to operate

– Water-using appliances become less efficient and break down more quickly

– After showering, your skin feels dry and your hair feels dull and flat


laundryThe Costs of Hard Water


According to a Leavenworth Waterworks Board study, hard water costs the average family of four $360/year in energy consumption and extra wear and tear on plumbing and appliances. Now you can see why water softeners are useful. Not only can they make your faucets, dishes and hair look cleaner and healthier, they can save you money by keeping your pipes and appliances efficient and long lasting.

According to the Leavenworth study, water softeners save households an average of $144/year in energy consumption, plumbing and appliances – that’s not even including the cost savings for clothes, linens and cleaning aides.


Which Water Softener Is Right for You?water softener


So, you read through this post, discovered you have hard water, and you’re now interested in getting a water softener. Congratulations! You’ll soon enjoy more efficient plumbing and appliances, have nicer skin and hair, and save some money in the long run.

Here at Rheem, not only are we pioneers in the water heating industry, we also have a line of innovative water softening products. All of our water softeners include money-saving Rheem Learning Technology, which learns your water usage patterns to optimize salt and water consumption, and it provides on-demand soft water for your home. Rheem water softeners are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

appKey things to consider when deciding which water softener is right for you:

1. Household size:

– 32k grain softeners are most efficient in households of up to 4 people.

– 42k grain softeners are most efficient in households of up to 6 people.


2. WiFi Technology:

– The app-based WiFi softener enables users to manage their water and receive valuable reminders and alerts from anywhere – it also alerts users on continuous water flow events and allows them to remotely turn off their home’s water via the optional Rheem Performance Series Shut-Off Valve!

– The Rheem Preferred Platinum 42,000 Grain Water Softener has WiFi technology.


3. Warranty: The highest quality softeners are backed by industry-leading warranties. *Note* You can extend the warranty on a Rheem softener up to 5 years with regular use of Rheem Water Softener Cleaner.

This list should get you started. There are so many features that they can’t all be listed in this post – such as clear water iron reduction, tank lights, DIY installation kits, cost, etc. Visit our water treatment page for more information.

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