Is your water hard? Maybe you’ve noticed mineral deposits forming around your faucets and around your bathroom and kitchen sink fixtures. When water becomes too hard, you might notice that your soap seems like it isn’t lathering properly and your dishes are spotty. If you’re seeing any of these signs, your water is hard.

What causes hard water?

Minerals in the soil surrounding your water supply are responsible for water hardness. Ground water and runoff can carry these minerals easily into nearby water supplies. When testing water for hardness, what is being measured is the concentration of calcium carbonate.

The hardness of your water can vary depending on where you live because it is source dependent. According to Fairfax Water and USGS water hardness reports, the local water supply typically ranges between “moderately hard” to “hard”—the two largest drinking water sources in the region draw water from the Potomac River and the Occoquan Reservoir in case you’re wondering.

Why Soften Your Water?

Softening your water is recommended for a few reasons. Not only will treating hard water help eliminate those annoying spots on your glassware, but it will also fix any problems you’ve been having with soap films and detergents clumping (softer fabrics!). You might notice that you are using surprisingly less water after choosing to soften your water.

Homeowners care more about the fact that softening your water will help prevent excessive build up of minerals within things like your hot water heater and pipes. If your skin and hair seem dried out, you may notice an improvement in the hygiene of your skin.

Best Water Softener Company in the Greater Fairfax Area

If you’re looking for the best water softener company in Fairfax, you’ll want to do some research into your options. One of the best resources for people searching for local services and business are listing and reference websites.

Websites like Google aggregate customer reviews and have compiled the information you need to do a deep dive into your local options. Browsing the customer reviews for the best water softener installer near you will give you an idea of the quality of services you can expect from a business. You should also visit company websites to learn more about who they are and what they do.

Nova Water – Servicing Northern Virginia

Looking for water softening services in Fairfax or the surrounding area? Nova Water is a locally owned and family operated business, providing affordable water treatment services to Northern Virginia. Visit the website to learn more.

Water Softeners Frequently Asked Questions

A water softener is an extremely beneficial product that can improve your home in several different ways. But if you are not familiar with how water softeners work or what they do, you probably have some questions. As a dealer of water treatment systems, we often hear many of the same questions that homeowners have about water softeners. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: What is hard water?

A: Hard water is water that has a high concentration of calcium and magnesium minerals. Water’s hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg) in relation to those minerals.

Q: How does a water softener work?

A: Water softeners use a process known as “ion exchange” to remove hardness minerals from water. A softener is filled with tiny beads that have sodium ions attached to them. When hard water enters a water softener, calcium and magnesium ions replace the sodium ions in the tank. The sodium ions are released into the water, and the calcium and magnesium ions stick to the beads and are left behind, thus softening the water.

Q: Where is the water softener installed?

A: A water softener is typically installed near the point where water enters your house at the main supply line. This location allows the softener to provide soft water to every tap in your home.

Q: How do I know if I need a water softener?

A: One of the biggest indications that you need a water softener is limescale buildup on the surfaces of your plumbing fixtures. Limescale is a white crusty substance that builds up on anything that comes into frequent contact with hard water. Other things to look out for include streaky or spotty dishes, “rough” or scratchy clothes, dry skin, dry hair and problems with your plumbing system (especially your water heater). Of course, the best way to know if you need a water softener is to have your water tested for free by Nova Water, LLC.

Q: What are the benefits of installing a water softener?

A: There are many benefits to installing a water softener. It will eliminate limescale buildup in your home, provide excellent protection for your plumbing system, improve the efficiency of your water heater, improve the performance of your dishwasher and washing machine, allow soaps and detergents to lather better with your water and give you smoother and softer skin and hair, just to name a few benefits.

Q: How long does a water softener last?

A: You can expect a high-quality water softener to last upwards of 20 years.

Q: Is soft water healthy?

A: Some people are concerned that adding sodium ions to your tap water will make your water unhealthy. The truth is that the amount of sodium that’s added to soft water is very small and does not produce any negative health effects. If you are on an extremely low-sodium diet and are still concerned about the small amount of sodium in soft water, you can purchase a water softener that uses potassium chloride as regenerant instead.

Q: What is a water softener regeneration cycle?

A: Every water softener has a regeneration cycle during which the tank is flushed with a solution of sodium and water known as brine. The high concentration of sodium ions in the brine forces calcium and magnesium ions off of the beads in the tank, and hardness mineral ions are flushed out of the tank. This frees up the beads inside your tank and reattaches sodium ions to them so that they can continue to soften your water.

Q: How often do I need to add salt to the Brine Tank?

A: It depends on how often your system needs to regenerate. The more your softener regenerates the more salt you will consume. As for the salt level in the brine tank, you can let the salt get down to the point inside the tank where you can see the water just above the salt. When you see water above the salt, it is time to add more! Generally, you will add salt to your brine tank about every 4-8 weeks.

Q: How much salt should my softener use?

A: We sell only metered valves with our Clack brand softeners, since they tend to use less salt than a non-metered unit (i.e., one set to regenerate every so many days with no regard for actual water used). The national average is 60 lbs. per month, but that can vary depending upon the quantity and the quality of water being treated.

Q: What kind of salt do you recommend using and do your softeners also use Potassium Chloride in place of salt?

A: We recommend buying salt for your water softener that is very clean; around the 99.5% salt content and up. We have found salt pellets to be cleaner than salt crystals. All softeners can use Potassium Chloride in place of salt.

Q: My valve appears to be operating but the salt is not going down. What could cause this problem?

A: The salt not going down could be due to many different reasons such as:

1. Valve is not regenerating due to a mechanical problem.

2. Salt may be bridged (become solid) above water that is at the bottom of the salt tank.

3. The valve could be failing to draw the brine solution out and if you have a float shut off in the brine tank, it would be preventing the salt tank from overflowing (which it would do if the float shut off was not there).

4. The brine refill control could be clogged, preventing water to refill the salt tank.

(Note: It is highly recommended that you contact an experienced water quality specialist to trouble shoot any problem with your equipment.)

Q: I have a Water Softener, but I still have an odor in my water. Why is that?

A: Water softeners do not remove most taste and odor problems (although they can remove the metallic taste of iron in water).

1. Odors are typically caused by hydrogen sulfide (“rotten egg smell”) in wells or “bleach” smell in chlorine treated water; both causes can be resolved using an activated carbon filter in conjunction with a water softener.

2. The self-sacrificing rod installed in your hot water heater can sometimes be the cause of your odor in the hot water. Having a qualified plumber replace this rod could solve this problem.

(Note: It is highly recommended that you contact an experienced water quality specialist to trouble shoot any problem with your equipment.)

If you have any questions about the answers to these frequently asked questions about water softeners, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact Nova Water, LLC, your water softener and whole house filtration system dealer in Northern Virginia. We provide service all over Northern Virginia, including the following counties and cities: Alexandria | Arlington | Clark | Culpeper | Fairfax | Falls Church | Fauquier | Loudon | Prince William | Orange | Rappahannock | Spotsylvania | Stafford | Warren

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