Some areas in the US have “hard” water running through their pipes. Most households in Ogden, Utah have this problem.
There are a few facts about hard water that you have to know:
Hard Water Facts
Contrary to its name, hard water is not a solid. The difference between “hard” and “soft” water is that hard water has more minerals, hence its name. This is usually calcium and magnesium, which is generally harmless to humans, but not to water-sourced fixtures and appliances such as pipes and water heaters. It can also leave yellow stains and discolorations on clothes.
Calcium and magnesium form scales that can build up and eventually block pipes and damage water heaters. You can use a water softener to solve these hard water problems. “Softening” water means using a process called ion exchange, but it can also mean using a catalyst.
Water Softener Types
The main problem with hard water is scale formation. There are two systems typically used for water softening that solves this: salt and salt-free. Water softeners in Ogden typically employ either one.
In a salt-based system, sodium replaces the magnesium and calcium. In a salt-free system, a catalytic system changes the calcium and magnesium so that they will not form scales. In either system, the water will no longer cause a build-up. In a salt-free system, the minerals are technically still there.
The Better Option
The problem with the salt-based system is that it uses electricity and requires regular maintenance. However, the removal of the calcium and magnetism improves the taste and smell of water as well as lather formation.
On the other hand, salt-free systems are better for the environment because it uses no electricity, less water, and virtually maintenance-free. However, because the minerals are still there, there will still be spots on glass, and you will not have the same amount of lather from soap.
Overall, either water softening system works well. What you choose will depend on your personal preferences. If all you want is to keep the scales away by any means, you can make the easy choice by tossing a coin.