Water softeners are often used by people who live in areas with hard water. Hard water is essentially water with a high percentage of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This water prevents soap from lathering properly, and it's also not suitable for watering all sorts of plants.
It's possible to remove the hardness of water through water softeners. So, they are a must-purchase for people who're living around hard water sources. Then again, there are some disadvantages of water softeners, and it's essential to consider them too.
Disadvantages Of Water Softeners
Here you'll find the major disadvantages of water softeners. This section will help you decide whether getting a softener is worth it for you or not.
The first thing that you may struggle with is maintenance. To begin with, the installation cost of water softeners can be pretty high. So, it's natural to expect that they'll provide a hassle-free experience.
However, these require routine maintenance, and avoiding that will affect the output. Water softeners operate using softening beads, and these will stop working once they run out of sodium ions. So, it's essential to refill them regularly.
Depending on the water source, you may need to disinfect the water manually before it reaches the softener. This only adds an extra layer of work to the process, and getting an automatic disinfectant won't be cheap either.
Addition Of Sodium
Water softeners work by adding sodium ions to the water so that calcium and magnesium may be removed. Although this reduces the hardness of the water, this adds extra sodium to it, which may cause some problems down the line.
If you take a small glass of water from a water softener, you'll find that it contains an equal amount of salt as a slice of bread. Even though this isn't much, it keeps stacking up in the long run. So, it's bound to cause health issues and isn't recommended for consumption.
Then again, sodium is considered a pollutant in many states, and it isn't safe to dump a high amount of sodium water daily. The only eco-friendly method of disposing of this discharge water is by using it to grow salt-resistant plants.
Disposing of sodium water in any other method can be harmful to agriculture, marine life, and the ecosystem as a whole. If these are used for watering plants that aren't salt-resistant, you'll find leaf burn on them.
Costly Alternatives To Sodium Pellets
You may argue that there are alternatives to using sodium pellets in water softeners, and we agree. Potassium Chloride pellets are great alternatives to sodium ones as they are safer.
However, these can be very expensive compared to sodium pellets. Each bag of potassium beads costs around $20 higher than their sodium counterparts.
Increased Wastage Of Water
It's been reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, that the usage of water softeners increases the wastage of water exponentially. The backwashing and regeneration process of the water softeners is to blame for this increased usage, and it's impossible to eliminate this.
Messes With Dietary Requirements
Even though extra hardness in water is harmful, eliminating the hardness isn't entirely positive either. Both calcium and magnesium are essential minerals for human beings, and removing them entirely from the water can have side effects too.
So, using water softeners may mess with your dietary supplements as well.
With all the disadvantages of water softeners, it's only natural to question whether you should be using them or not. Well, we wouldn't recommend using water softeners if you could avoid using them.
Then again, if you're living in a place where soft water is scarcely found, there may not be another way for you. Despite the disadvantages, water softeners offer a ton of advantages that make them worth getting.
So, if your neighborhood's water has a high level of hardness, you should get a water softener.