It can cost an average of $3,000 to have a water softener installed in a home, so it's a good idea to learn as much about these appliances before investing the money to have one placed in your home. Here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about water softeners to ensure you have the information you need to make the best choice for your home and family.
What's the Best Type of Salt to Use With the System?
Water softener systems use salt to eliminate the minerals (e.g., calcium, magnesium) in hard water that makes it so difficult to use. The first decision you'll have to make when you get one of these systems is the type of salt to use with it. There are three different types:
- Evaporated salt
- Solar salt
- Rock salt
Of these options, evaporated salt is the best to use for a water softener because it's the purest. Rock salt is the cheapest option. However, it contains calcium sulfate and other impurities that don't dissolves completely, which can result in a buildup that clogs the system. You don't have to worry about excess particulates with evaporated salt, but this product is the most expensive of the bunch.
Solar salt pellets land in the middle of evaporated salt and rock salt as far as purity and price is concerned, so they are a good option if you want the benefits of evaporated salt at a lower price. However, solar salt is not as effective in areas where the water hardness is extremely high. Talk to the technician who installs your machine for recommendations on the best brands for your area.
Can Water Softeners Be Used in Homes With Lead Pipes?
Although the government had advised against the use of lead pipes in homes, there are still some houses that have plumbing systems that use the material due to their age. Another common question people have about water softeners is whether they are compatible with lead pipes. Unfortunately, they are not.
While you may not have had any problems with lead contamination so far while you've had hard water running through them, the salt used in water softeners can pick up the lead and deliver it to your home, which may result in health problems if you ingest it or use it on your body. Thus, before you have a water softener installed, you should have all the lead pipes in your home replaced.
Can Water Softeners Be Relocated to a New Home?
A water softener is like any other appliance in your home. It can be removed from one home and hooked up in another. Since the process involves closing valves and redirecting the flow of water, it is best that you do not attempt to do this yourself; hire a professional installer to complete this project for you.
However, the more important question here is whether you should attempt to relocate your water softener. These appliances can add a lot of value to homes located in hard-water areas, so taking it out of your house may affect the sale price of your home. In that situation, you may be better off just leaving it and buying a new one, especially if your current appliance is several years old.
If you purchased a water softener and installed it in a rental home, you should see if your landlord would be willing to purchase the appliance from you. It'll save the landlord the trouble of having one installed, and you'll get money you can use to buy a new and improved machine.
For more information, contact a company that provides water treatment services.