A residential water softener removes the water ‘hardness’, producing softened water for the whole house. Water is defined as ‘hard’ if it contains a lot of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium or other minerals. It is almost inevitable that water which comes into contact with underground beds of limestone, gypsum, dolomite, magnesite – to name but a few of the more common calcium and magnesium bearing minerals – will inevitably make hard water.
As a guide, water of 60 milligrams per litre (mg/L) is considered soft. Above 60 mg/L water becomes progressively more troublesome and above 120 mg/L the water becomes a definite nuisance and a serious hazard to the life of plumbing and all water using equipment. e.g. Hot water cylinders, Coffee machines, Dishwashers, Washing machines to name but a few.