According to a study commissioned in 2009 by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, soft water helps appliances operate more efficiently and last longer. Specifically, soft water helps water heaters and dishwashers last longer and helps prevent clogged showerheads, faucets, and drains.
According to this study, researchers ran dishwashers and washing machines for 30 days and 240 wash cycles. Soft water was used in half the units, and hard water was used in the other half. At the end of the 30 days, washers using softened water were nearly free of hard water scale buildup, while the washers using hard water had scale buildup that had to be removed in order to work at optimum efficiency.
They also discovered that water heaters worked best with soft water. Water heaters using soft water maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years, while hard water cut efficiency by up to 48 percent. The reason? Scale buildup inside the heating elements shortened the lifespan of the water heaters. Tankless water heaters showed even less tolerance for hard water; some of them failed after less than two years!
Showerheads also demonstrated diminished capacity when exposed to hard water. Research found that showerheads exposed to hard water lost 75 percent of their flow rate in less than 18 months. In some instances, running hard water through faucets caused the strainers to clog in less than three weeks.
Soft water can save consumers money by keeping appliances operating at optimum efficiency and making them last longer. With soft water, it is even possible to cut the use of dish and laundry detergent by 50 percent or more.
With soft water, consumers are often able to use less energy, less hot water, and less detergent, which enables them to extend the life of their appliances, save money, and the preserve the environment as well.
For more information on water treatment or a free, onsite water test, please contact De Anza Water Conditioning at 408.371.5521.