Water softener systems are designed to capture excess minerals in your water supply, more commonly known as “hard water.” Over time, these minerals can have a detrimental effect on your plumbing and fixtures like the water heater. Some are superficial, while others can be quite inconvenient to deal with. Too much hard water can result in:

  • Poor tasting, smelling water: A high concentration of minerals affects how water tastes and smells. For many people, the experience is unpleasant.
  • Stains and soap scum buildup: As these minerals flow across sinks, showers and other plumbing, the minerals deposit hard water stains. Soap scum is also encouraged, and can be time-consuming to scrub off.
  • Clogged plumbing and fixtures: Clogs can form in your pipes, faucets, showerheads and more. These may be difficult to remove, and can decrease water pressure.

Water softener systems lower these risks, making them a great investment for many people. But there’s a potential downside to installing one.

The chemicals used in water softeners can damage your water heater, resulting in additional wear and tear. You could end up needing water heater repair sooner than you think. In some cases it can even result in prematurely replacing your water heater!

Ditter Cooling, Heating & Electrical offers both water heaters and water softener systems. Our friendly, knowledgeable experts can help you find the ideal balance between water heater maintenance and water softener maintenance. With our help, you can combat hard water without sacrificing your water heater.

There Are Different Types of Water Softeners and Water Heaters

If you are considering installing a water softener system, there are several different types to choose from. One of the ways Ditter can assist you is by determining what type of water softeners might work best with your water heater.

But what if you’re about to replace your water heater? We can offer you a range of durable, efficient models that can be paired with a water softener system from the beginning.

Receive a free consultation or schedule an appointment with our staff today! We’re not comfortable until you are, so we’ll never give up on a job! Ditter is available by phone at 763-200-5055, so give us a call today.


Salt-Based (Ion Exchange) Water Softeners

The most common type of water softener system uses salt-based designs to attract minerals with a negative electrical charge. These often provide soft water for an entire home, but do require a small amount of upkeep. In general, water softener maintenance consists of replenishing the system’s supply of salt.

Because your water heater also uses an electrical current, the higher conductivity may result in faster corrosion of your water heater.

Some salt-based systems use a dual-tank design. Dual-tank water softeners are useful since at least one tank is always available.

Salt-free Water Softeners

Some water softeners don’t use ion exchange for reducing hard water. Instead, these salt-free systems often take advantage of a potassium-chloride substitute. While generally more expensive, salt-free water softeners won’t require as much maintenance. You could end up saving money in the long run.

Other types of equipment are often labeled water softener systems despite differences in design and filtration method.

  • Water conditioner: This type of water softener doesn’t dilute hard minerals, but prevents them from building up in the first place.
  • Reverse osmosis system: A complex, high-pressure system that strips minerals from your water before re-adding a few in healthy quantities.
  • Magnetic water softener: Newer designs can prevent mineral buildup with a magnetic field wrapped around our plumbing. Unable to bond together, the minerals remain water-soluble.

Tank Water Heaters vs. Tankless Models

Water heaters typically include a storage tank for fast access to hot water. But modern designs allow for tankless water heaters. Unlike models with the water tank, tankless water heaters make efficient use of their fuel source to heat water as it passes through.

Over time, hard water can build up on your water heater. This affects both tankless models and those with the water tank. A water softener system manages the hard water problem, possibly extending the life span of your water heater! Ditter is happy to help you compare tank models with tankless to determine what model you would prefer.

Some Benefits of Water Softeners

A quality water softener system reduces the minerals in your water supply, making it a great investment for your plumbing and fixtures. With responsible maintenance, a water softener can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Better-tasting, smelling water: Soft water is more palatable and enjoyable to drink.
  • Fewer stains: Dishes and appliances will stay cleaner for longer without excess minerals leaving their mark!
  • Less soap scum: Cleaning the bathroom isn’t as tedious when you can manage soap scum buildup.
  • Fewer clogs in plumbing and fixtures: Since these minerals remain soluble, clogs can’t form in things like your showerhead.
  • Improve the condition of your water heater: Less mineral buildup means less wear and tear on your water heater. Combined with routine maintenance, you could extend its life span.

Call Ditter for Help with Water Heaters and Water Softeners

Ditter Cooling, Heating & Electrical can repair, maintain and install water heaters and water softener systems. Since 1946, we’ve been helping our customers maintain comfortable homes and efficient utilities.

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