As explained in more detail in our previous article, a water softener works by removing contaminates and minerals from your water. As water passes through the ground it picks up different minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium which cause your water to be “hard”. Hard water can cause problems with your plumbing, reduce the lifetime of your appliances, cause skin irritations and make it harder to clean.
In dry areas, such as Phoenix, Arizona, the tap water is usually much harder than in other areas. This is why water softeners are so common in the Phoenix area. The question, though, is whether they’re really worth it and what are the disadvantages to installing one. First, we will review the benefits of water softeners and then discuss the disadvantages.
While most of the disadvantages involve salt-based water softeners, they are the most commonly used. There are, however, some that are not salt-based and would eliminate many of the disadvantages, other than cost.
In fact, Arizona State University completed a study in 2011 and discovered the most promising technology for softening water without salt is the template assisted crystallization process. It tested four types of water softener not using salt: capacitive deionization, electrically induced precipitation, template assisted crystallization, and electromagnetic water treatment.
Another route you can take to reduce the harm caused by a water softener, should you choose to install one, would be to only attach the unit to your hot water line. This would allow you to take advantage of the benefits of softer water when cleaning, while reducing the negative impact it has.
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According to the official Sky Harbor measuring station, Phoenix has only collected 0.06 inch of rain since June 15. And, while most of the water that we use in the Phoenix area is imported from the Colorado River, that river also supplies over 40 Million people in 6 other states. The problem here is that we’re currently taking more water from the rivers and lakes in a year than is being replenished from the rain runoff. Colorado has seen a below-average runoff in all but three years since 2000 and many of the lakes and reservoirs are less than half full.
The water shortages first affect the farmers who have lower priority than houses and businesses but that still affects us because it raises the costs of food and affects our state’s economy overall. That being said, Phoenix has gotten a lot better over the last few years at using less water but it still isn’t enough.
Taking steps to save water doesn’t just help the rest of Arizona, it can also help lower your water bill. That should be motivation enough to start cutting back on your water usage. You don’t even need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle or home to make a difference, just try some of these easy tips to lower your water bill:
If you’ve noticed that some of your faucets leak, even if just barely, you can reduce your water bill just by having it fixed. Just give us a call at (480) 304-2074 to schedule a free home evaluation.
Water leaks are not only a nuisance, they can be quite costly – not to mention environmentally harmful for areas with low rainfall like Phoenix, Arizona. The biggest problem with leaks is that they can go undetected for such a long time that what seems like a small increase in your water bill can add up exponentially. And, sometimes, cause health problems and expensive damage to your home.
A few facts about leaks from the United States Environmental Protection Agency:
That is whole lot of water being wasted and a lot of money going down the drain – no pun intended – through higher water bills.
The first step to take in preventing leaks in your home is to first determine if you have a leak. You can check for leaks on a regular basis to ensure no new leaks occur throughout the year. Checking for a leak is as simple as checking your water meter:
You should check for leaks a few times a year to make sure that any new leaks don’t go unnoticed for an extended period of time. If you’ve found that you have a leak, the next step will be to narrow down the location of the lead to either inside your home or outside your home (such as from pipes running into your home.)
To narrow down whether the leak is coming from inside or outside your home, follow these steps:
Once you’ve narrowed down where the leak may be, you can then start looking for signs of a leak such as:
If you’re unable to locate the leak, you may need to contact a plumber for assistance.
In the next article we’ll discuss some more in-depth methods of locating a water leak in common areas of your home.