Are Water Softeners a Necessity or a Luxury?

Oct 14, 2020 | General

It’s funny how we all have different perceptions of things. 

To some people, if you told them that you’ve had a water softener fitted in your home, their reaction may be one of ‘Why would you do that – what’s wrong with the water that comes out of the tap?’

To others, however, the thought of living without soft water would be completely unacceptable. How could anyone possibly put up with having to use dreadful hard water day and night? 

Conflicting views? Yes. 

Understandable? Absolutely. 

So, which of these wildly opposing standpoints holds water? (pun intended). Is it the case that water softeners are nothing more than flashy status symbols, or essential appliances which every self-respecting household should have fitted as standard? 

Do Water Softeners pass the psychological test?

It is a peculiar fact of human nature, but many people are very reluctant to treat themselves. They actually have an aversion to investing in something that might actually improve the quality of their lives. This could be for a number of reasons; they don’t feel worthy or deserving, or they simply can’t afford it.  Or the product in question isn’t necessary.  Or because they’d feel better off saving the money? This isn’t just to do with water softeners – it could be a new phone, or car, or holiday. Nevertheless, a water softener would certainly come into the reckoning for those of a cautious disposition. 

At the other extreme – and we know this from years of being in the water softener business – we have many customers who wouldn’t think twice about having a soft water system installed. For them, this would be considered a priority purchase. They may well have benefitted from having soft water at a previous property, or had grown up knowing nothing else but soft water. The thought of having to live, day in, day out, with nothing but hard water would be not be an option.  

But not everyone falls into either of these camps. Many others don’t hold such entrenched views. This doesn’t mean to say they sit on fences, it’s just that they may not even be aware of the existence of water softeners. A proportion of others may want to firstly understand how a water softener works and what material benefits one might bring to the home. 

That’s why our Knowledge Centre has been set up – to enable anyone to find out all the information they require about water softeners, how they work, what they do and how much they cost, before coming to a decision. 

What is the difference between hard water and soft water?

Water softener systems are designed to soften hard water – it’s a simple as that. Hard water becomes hard depending on the amount of calcium and magnesium minerals that are present in it. So, in areas of exceptionally hard water, like large swathes of Sussex and Surrey for instance, if you drink hard water, you are drinking water that is likely to contain a lot of calcium and magnesium. These aren’t harmful per se – indeed they are important minerals that the body requires – but you don’t necessarily want to be consuming them in overly large quantities. 

On the other hand, soft water is water that has been treated to make it that way. We have covered the process by which this happens in other blogs but, basically, after the treatment process, minerals like calcium and magnesium are removed from the equation. 

Untreated hard water doesn’t just raise questions as far as drinking water is concerned. It can also drain the life out of your hair and skin and do untold damage to household appliances, like central heating systems, kettles and irons, as a result of the limescale build-up that it produces. 

How important is it to have a Water Softener?

Are calcium and magnesium really things I should or shouldn’t be drinking in potentially large amounts?  

And is hard water really that bad for my home? Well, yes it can be. Hard water will shorten the life of your washing machine, dishwasher and just about every household appliance that has water running through it, like showerheads. Sooner or later, you’ll have to replace these items – some are more expensive than others – but you could find yourself having to spend thousands of pounds unnecessarily, simply because of the water you’ve been using. Now, that doesn’t seem to make sense economically speaking.  

It’s not just the appliances themselves which face a shorter lifespan. Hard water can also affect the performance of your household devices. After just a few washes, clothes coming out of the washing machine will look “washed out” and feel starchy. Glassware, silverware and dishes that you put through the dishwasher may appear stained with ugly water marks. 

And what about you? It is not ideal to drink hard water, but you’ll really notice the effects on your skin and body from constant washing in unsoftened water – it’ll dry them out. Conditions like eczema, for example, really don’t respond well to hard water. 

Is it an indulgence to invest in a soft water system?

Investing in a water softener system isn’t a modern-day gadget that you buy to impress the neighbours. If anything, it’s about making an investment in your health and, indeed, a better quality of life for you and your family. Would you consider having vibrant looking clothes, sparkling clean dishes and healthy-looking hair and skin as being a luxury? Probably not.  

Yes, of course, there is a financial outlay to all this (again covered elsewhere). But, as we’ve just explained, you could well find yourself having to fork out lots of your “hard earned” if you DON’T have a water softener. 

Add to this, continually having to spend more on cleaning products because hard water washes them away as quick as you apply them to surfaces and the adverse effects of hard water on the body. Put all these factors together and surely it’s a disadvantage to be saddled with hard water! 

If you still believe that a water softener system is no more than an overpriced luxury, don’t lose sight of the fact that replacing dishwashers, washing machines and central heating boilers is far more expensive in the long run. 

Instead, look on a water softener as a shrewd purchase. It’s an investment that could potentially add value to your property and save you money year on year, as well as improving the health of you, your family and your appliances. 

More an essential than an extravagance…

To find out more about the benefits of having a water softener in your home, check out this website and our informative blog section which tackles all manner of questions you may have. 

For all installation and service enquiries, please contact SJ Water Softeners, the number one local supplier for West Sussex (and parts of Hampshire and Surrey) on 01243 607494  or via email: scott@sjbs.info