What is Water Conditioning?

What Is Water Conditioning/Water Softening? 

Water conditioning is the process of removing or altering minerals, chemicals, and contaminants from a water source. Every day, it seems there is a growing concern   about our water supplies containing a lot of contaminants such as calcium, lime, chlorine, ammonia, chloramines, and many other harmful chemicals. (Not all water contaminents, especially when it comes to minerals, are bad for your health, but can nonetheless be harmful to your plumbing.)

Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium, and certain other metals in hard water.  Soft water also extends the lifetime of plumbing by reducing or eliminating scale build-up in pipes and fittings. Water softening is usually achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins.

There are salt-based water softeners which use brine and special resin beads in separate tanks.  These beads have a negative electrical charge that attracts the positively charged mineral ions of hard water while giving off sodium ions. The attraction causes minerals such as calcium and magnesium to adhere to the resin beads as the water passes through the tank, resulting in soft water.

Salt–free water conditioners use potassium chloride and function more like a descaler than an actual water softener.  This prevents minerals from depositing through the system and can cause damage.

Calcium and lime deposits over time will harm:


Water Heaters



Coffee Pots

Sinks and showers

If you have ever seen the grainy white film on your coffee pot or on your faucet, that’s it.

How to Know if Your Water Softener is Working

The easiest way to determine how soft or hard is to look for hard water spots in your shower, or just pay attention to how you feel after a shower. Is your skin dry? Do you need more soap than usual to lather? Does your coffee pot get a water stain on the bottom? All of these are signs that your water is  your water might be hard. 

Are Water Softeners Going to be Banned in New Jersey?

California was the first to ban traditional salt based water softeners due to the problems salinated water can reap on farming. Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Arizona have all created laws affecting water softeners all or in part for this reason.

While there have been no efforts yet to ban traditional water softeners in New Jersey, a large portion of the state is still comprised of farming communities, and it wouldn't be unheard of for New Jersey politics to mirror those of California's on environmental issues. For this reason, you may want to consider salt-free or reverse osmosis option if replacing your water softener. 



How to Determine if Your House has hard water

How to Determine if Your House has Hard Water

Hard water just makes life harder. (Pun intended.) From the extra scrubbing on bathroom appliances to the dry skin and hair, hard water is a nuisance long before it wreaks havoc on your plumbing fixtures such as pipes, water heater, etc.

Hopefully , you’re finding this list with enough time to save your plumbing system from damage.

How to Spot Hard Water:

    • White Spots

Take a look at your bathroom and kitchen faucets. Do you see white spots? Are those white spots resistant to cleaners?

    • Dry Skin & Hair

Some people just don’t have luck with great hair or skin – but oftentimes, brittle, dull hair and dry skin can be a direct result of excessive amounts of minerals in your water. If you notice that lathering your shampoo or soap is difficult, this may indicate the same.

    • Gray Whites in the Laundry

A lesser known indication of hard water is your laundry. If you notice that, even after diligently separating your whites from colors, that your whites are coming out with a gray hue, this could be an indication of hard water. You may also notice that colored clothing fades sooner than normal.

    • Dishwasher Splotches

If your dishes go through the dishwasher and come out with white spots no matter how good a cleaner you use, that’s a strong indicator of hard water. If you wash your dishes by hand, you may have better luck preventing the spots, but you will likely notice the white mineral stains on your dish-drainer.

    • Shower Film

If your bath or shower seems to have a film on it, no matter how often you clean, there’s a good chance minerals in the water are to blame.

    • Not-So-Hot Water

If your water heater seems to be working overtime just to warm up for a shower, there’s a good chance it’s succumbing to scale. Scale will lead to the expensive problems in all of your water using appliances, requiring regular part replacements or worse. If you are worried about scale in your pipes a failing water heater, or want to install a water conditioning system to avoid those problems,  give us a call.

Jersey Plumbing Service

(908) 281-7101

Jersey Plumbing Service
PO Box 7371
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Click to Email Us
Fax: 1-908-647-1517

NJ Masters Plumbers License #7359

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