Many areas in Australia have hard water supplies, which local residents have come to regard as normal and acceptable, without being aware what hard water is really costing them. Visitors instantly detect the acrid taste in tea or coffee and the residues in laundry, baths, or cooking.
So what causes the problem in the first place?
Very simply hard water is water that contains heavy concentrations of dissolved minerals, particularly those containing calcium and magnesium. It is almost inevitable that water, which comes into contact with underground beds of limestone, gypsum, dolomite, magnesite, to name but a few of the more common calcium and magnesium bearing minerals, will be hard.
Water of 60 parts per million (ppm) is considered soft. Above 60ppm water becomes progressively more troublesome and above 120ppm the water becomes a definite nuinsance and a serious hazard to the life of plumbing and all water using equipment.
Do you have Hard Water?
If there is scale build up on your hot water elements and pipes.
If there are yellowish stains on your sinks and bathtubs.
If your soaps and detergents form curds and do not lather.
Guide to Approximate Water Hardness :
- 10 mg/L to 60 mg/L is considered – fairly soft
- 60 mg/L to 120 mg/L is considered – slightly hard
- 120 mg/L to 170 mg/L is considered – hard
- 170mg/L and over is considered – very hard
The undesirable effects of hard water can be grouped into two major categories (1) damage to water-using equipment and (2) interference with everyday household operations such as laundering, cooking and bathing.
Water heating is a constant operation in every home and hard water builds up scale inside the heaters. The scale acts as insulation building on the internal surfaces, including the electric elements. This insulation stops the heat reaching the water it is intended to heat and the excess heat burns out elements much faster than normal conditions.
Home laundries are where the householder notices many of the problems. The advantages of soft water in providing better washing action cutting soap and detergent costs and saving equipment, are so pronounced that no commercial laundry would operate in even slightly hard water areas without installing water softeners.
Soap costs are important to a laundry owner or a housewife. Whenever soap is used in hard water a certain percentage of the soap is destroyed, turned into grey scum by combination with the calcium and the magnesium. Not only does this scum have no washing action, it actually becomes a source of grim requiring removal in the washing process.
A Commandomatic Softener eliminates the effects of hard water by extracting the dissolved calcium and magnesium minerals via ion exchange, producing softened water for the whole house.
But what is ion exchange?
Basically all the mineral salts consist of two parts called “ions”. For example calcium carbonate consists of a calcium ion and the carbonate compound acting as an ion. The water softener simply splits the salts into their ions and then substitutes a sodium ion, for the hard calcium or magnesium ion. It traps the hard ions and allows the water to flow on without the hard component.
The fundamental chemistry has been known for at least 100 years and certain clays or sands have been used in this manner. These natural exchanger materials are know by the name, “zeolites”. These natural materials have been replaced by synthetic ion exchange resins loaded with sodium ions.
The beauty of using ion exchange resin is that they remain unchanged by the process and the function can be renewed and indefinite number of times by simply flushing the unit with a brine (NaCl) solution for approximately 20 – 30 minutes, the timing between flushing depends on the hardness of the water, the size of the unit and the number of persons using the system. A reasonably sized unit should be flushed about once a month.
Once a Commandomatic Softener from Waterco is installed you will notice the difference.
In the Bathroom
Your soap and shampoo will lather better. Your hair becomes softer, shinier and easier to manage. Your skin is left feeling silky smooth and not as dry. And there will be no soap scum or mineral deposits to clean off sinks, showers, tubs and toilets.
In the Laundry
Clothes come out softer, cleaner, whiter and brighter. Soft water increases the life of your clothing, towels and linens.
In the Kitchen
Your dishes will clean up more easily and your glassware will sparkle, like never before.
There is also money to be saved
- Extend the useful life of your hot water service and water appliances (e.g. Dishwasher, Washing Machine), by eliminating scale build up.
- Use less electricity. The reduction of scale deposits increases the efficiency of your water appliances and decreases your energy bills.
- Use up to 50% less soap. Softened water allows soaps to lather better and clean more effectively.