Water is an interesting subject. We have opined on water softeners in previous blogs, now it’s time to talk water conditioners. Although some of the water conditioning companies like to refer to themselves as making items that soften water for our purposes we are going to keep the names completely separate. Water conditioners are known for altering the structure of the water temporarily until it is used. This process is usually handled through a process of chelation or sometimes through using a magnetic field. In both cases the process is designed to make the calcium and magnesium ions alter in such a way that they will stay suspended in the water and not stick to the fixtures and faucets as the water is used.
When you think about it many if not most people never really pick their first water heater it is usually picked for them by a previous home owner.That may also explain why when a water heater fails the response from most home owners is just put back what they had before. This is not really sound advice since the parameters for selecting a water heater are really quite reasonable. The criteria are roughly these: 1- the number of people in the home, 2- the number of bathrooms in the home, 3- how many people will be showering or bathing at the same time, 4- what outlet temperature will you be setting the water heater at, and 5- how fast do you deplete a full tank of hot water. Now let’s get a few things out of the way.
This was a question I posed to myself over 20 years ago and being in the plumbing business I decided to make myself a guinea pig and find out. In the quest to know I installed one in my own house and prepared myself to determine the answer. I believed I could not have an adequate answer for honest searchers without experiencing first hand the results. My conclusion, soft water is better for several reasons that in my way of thinking out weigh the negatives you normally encounter. I will attempt to list the positives and negatives in no particular order or system of ranking. Negative number one, my skin feels slippery when I use soft water. It will, due to your skins own body oils that are not covered with the sticky products of hard water, namely calcium and magnesium. These are the two minerals you normally encounter on your shower walls and faucets and to some degree the toilet bowl that everyone is aware of.