Two main recommended treatments for those with hard water wells include an ion exchanging water softener or, for mild cases, a magnetic treatment. Although you can technically use filtration or reverse osmosis to remove minerals from your water, "hard" water usually has a high enough mineral content to overwhelm the filter portion of these treatments very quickly, making it less cost effective for the average homeowner than ion exchange or magnetic treatments. However, even the two main softening treatments have their differences and their limitations. Here are four differences between the two.
1. Ion exchanging water softeners actually remove some of the elements
Hard water is caused by mineral inclusion when minerals leach into groundwater from the surrounding soil and bedrock. Removing the excess minerals is one way to solve the problem. Ion exchanging water softeners take advantage of the fact that ions are charged (plus or minus, like a battery or magnet) to attract the calcium and magnesium in the water and remove them. Magnetic water treatments don't actually remove anything; they claim to simply change the shape of the elements so they're less likely to create deposits in plumbing fixtures.
2. Magnetic treatments don't change the flavor of the water
Because ion exchange takes out minerals and replaces them with something else, it can affect the flavor of your water slightly (unlike magnetic treatment). This may not be a problem if you didn't like the way it tasted with minerals in it; however, some people prefer a slight mineral flavor over the vaguely salty flavor they detect after using an ion exchange treatment. Other people don't notice a salty flavor, however.
3. Magnetic treatments don't require regular maintenance
Ion exchange treatments need occasional "recharging" of the resin beads they use to make the exchange. This recharging is generally accomplished using a bag of salt and is very easy to do. However, magnetic treatments don't need recharging on a regular basis.
4. Ion exchanging water softeners have proven and reproducible results
Magnetic treatments seem to work better for some people than for others, and it's hard to predict whether or not such a treatment will work for you. Ion exchange, on the other hand, has been studied and found to be reliably effective.
These four differences can help you choose which type of water treatment is best for your hard water. If your hard water is only slightly annoying because it creates deposits in your bathtub but you don't mind the way it tastes and don't want to remove the healthy minerals, you may wish to try out a magnetic treatment. If you're tired of the whole idea of hard water, hate the way it tastes, and are worried about buildup inside your pipes, you may wish to start out with the more drastic and well-proven ion exchange treatment. To learn more, contact a company like Provision Mechanical LLC.