Well water must be periodically tested to ensure it is still safe for consumption, but all water that comes from municipal supplies is safe to drink. However, even though your water is safe, you might run into other problems with it. Water can have higher or lower mineral content, depending on its source. When water contains a lot of minerals such as calcium, it's said to be hard water.
Hard water often leaves mineral residue behind when it evaporates, which can leave your hair or skin feeling dirty. Visible hard water residue can look white or chalky when it accumulates in your sink or shower. Fortunately, you can soften your water using a residential water softener. The process can be extremely simple when you hire a plumber to install your water softener. Here are three things that will happen during a residential water softener installation.
1. Determine which water lines need to be softened.
Water softeners work by adding sodium to your water, which attracts calcium and magnesium ions so they can be removed. A small amount of sodium will be present in the finished, treated water, but it is a small amount that will not affect the taste of the water. Since sodium is used up when water is softened, you can conserve your supply by only treating the water that needs to be softened. Water that's used for outdoor irrigation doesn't need to be softened, so your plumber will identify the water lines that connect to outdoor supplies and leave those alone.
2. Connect the water softener to the water lines.
Your water softener will need to be connected to your water lines. Whenever possible, your plumber will try to connect the water softener to your water main before it splits into separate channels for hot and cold water. That way, the water will be softened before it reaches your water heater. Doing the installation this way allows you to use only one water softener to treat the water for your entire house, which can save you money.
3. Install a bypass valve.
At times, you may need access to water that has not been treated by your water softener. A bypass valve can give you the ability to do this quickly and easily without having to disturb your water softener. Your plumber will install a bypass valve and show you how to use it while performing your water softener installation.