Do Magnetic Water Softeners Work?

Salt-free water softener alternatives

For homeowners in Utah, installing a water softener can be a necessity. Without a softening system, our region’s hard water can lead to a number of problems, including soap scum residue, limescale build-up, pipe corrosion, and damage to the plumbing.

Manufacturers are marketing magnetic water softeners as alternatives to traditional systems. And to anyone looking for low-salt or salt-free softening, a magnetic treatment device can seem like a good option.

Unfortunately, magnetic softening isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Here, we explain how the treatment systems are supposed to work and share better bets for solving Utah’s hard water problems.

Magnetic Water Softener Technology

Magnetic treatment systems use powerful magnets or electromagnetic devices instead of salt. Manufacturers say that the magnetic field changes the molecular composition of the mineral contaminants present – and that this works to prevent the chemical reactions that create hard water.

According to the manufacturers, a magnetic system can provide a lifetime of salt-free softening. We’d be on board if that were true, but scientific research doesn’t support this claim.

Research on Magnetic Water Softeners

Laboratory studies conducted by independent third parties have concluded that magnets don’t work to soften water. Research on the effectiveness of magnetic treatment systems was completed in 1977, 1985 and 1987, and each time the softeners were found to provide no measurable effect.

Since then, more than a hundred other studies have been performed, and none supports the claims made by magnetic softener manufacturers. And, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection actually published an alert stating that magnetic treatment devices don’t work.

Given that practically no one other than the manufacturers is promoting the use of magnetic softeners, installing one doesn’t make good sense.

Low-Salt and Salt-Free Softening

Homeowners are often concerned about the salt traditional water softeners use.

A water softener breaks down the salt to use the sodium it contains. The sodium ions essentially replace the calcium and magnesium ions responsible for creating hard water, keeping them trapped in the tank. And the amount of sodium that remains in what flows from the faucets is quite minimal.

That said, Kinetico has developed a line of products that soften water with little need for salt. A Kinetico Water Softener will use an average of 70% less salt than a traditional water softener.

Kinetico Utah, serving Salt Lake City and the surrounding northern Utah region, is a decades-long industry leader with a history of providing innovative and efficient water treatment solutions. For more information on our products, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss water softener installation, contact our Draper office today.

How a Water Softener Saves You Money

Water softener installation in Utah

Hard water is hard on your wallet – and if you want to save money, installing a water softener is a smart plan.

Sure, a softening system comes with an upfront cost. However, due to the savings it provides, a softener quickly pays for itself. Great news, but how is that possible? Many of our customers have this question, so we decided to explain four ways a water softener benefit your budget.

Save Money on Soap and Detergent

Shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, dish soap, dishwasher detergent – these products may not seem all that expensive. But when you have hard water, you need to use a large amount to achieve the desired results.

Install a softening system, and you can use far less soap and detergent. You won’t need to purchase replacement products as frequently, and over time, that will add up to significant savings.

Save Money on Clothes and Textiles

The minerals present in hard water are no friend to your clothes and household textiles. Quite the opposite – it actually makes everything look rather gray, dull and dingy. In addition, the material wears out faster. So, having hard water often means spending more money on clothing, sheets and towels.

After installing a water softener, you’ll notice a definite difference. Softening systems allow for more gentle washing, which extends fabric life. You won’t need to buy new clothes and textiles nearly as often, and that can save you a great deal of money.

Save Money on Monthly Energy Bills

Hard water creates scale buildup, reducing the amount of water that can flow through your pipes. This makes your washing machine, dishwasher and water heater work less efficiently and leads to higher energy costs.

With a softening system, your appliances will function as they should, and the efficient operation will result in decreased energy bills. And if you install a Kinetico water softener, you’ll see even greater savings, as our systems do not use any electricity.

Save Money on Household Repairs

 The scale buildup we mentioned doesn’t just affect the efficiency of your appliances – it can also result in the need for repairs. And if your home has hard water, you may face problems with both your appliances and your plumbing.

While installing a water softener is no guarantee you’ll never need repairs, having a softening system does help ensure that your appliances and plumbing last as long as possible. And over time, you’ll enjoy lower maintenance costs.

For the biggest opportunity to save money, you need to choose the right water softener – like one made by Kinetico. We engineer our softening systems to provide 20 to 30 years of trouble-free operation, and we back our products with a 10-year warranty.

Kinetico is a northern Utah industry leader, and we’ve been manufacturing efficient, innovative and affordable treatment systems for several decades. For more information on our products, or to schedule a free consultation and estimate for water softener installation, contact Kinetico today.

Is It Time to Replace Your Water Softener?

How long do water softeners last in Utah?

Traditional water softeners typically last about 10 years. So, if yours was installed over a decade ago, replacing it could be a smart move.

However, systems can fail sooner, particularly when they’re tasked with softening extremely hard water. Since no one can predict exactly how long your softener will continue to work as expected, it’s a good idea to learn how to spot the signs it’s time for replacement.

Clues Your Water Softener Isn’t Working Properly

When a softening system is on its last legs, you may notice a number of issues. The most common red flags include:

Lack of Lather

Hard water doesn’t suds up very well. If your soap refuses to lather or you see that you’re having to use more than usual, it may be time to replace your water softener.

Spotty Dishes

Scale buildup is a sure sign that hard water is present. If you begin to notice spots on your glasses and dishes, chances are your softening system isn’t functioning as it should.

Laundry Problems

Clothes washed in hard water may not get fully clean, or they may seem stiff and scratchy despite the use of a fabric softener. If you have issues with your laundry, they could be pointing to a problem with your water softener.

Chalky Fixtures

The minerals in hard water can create a chalky buildup around your faucets and pipes. If you notice an accumulation when you’re doing your regular cleaning, your softener may be the cause.

Keep in mind, however, that these warning signs may not necessarily indicate that you need to replace your water softener. Repair might be the solution to getting your softening system up and running again.

Benefits of Replacing Your Water Softener

With a new Kinetico water softening system, you won’t have any of the problems listed above. That, as you can imagine, will make your life easier.

What’s more, by replacing your softener, you’ll also get to take advantages of Kinetico’s updated features and advanced technologies. A Kinetico water softener will us an average of 70% less salt and water, in non electric so you’ll never program or service the microprocessor and it will last about twice as long as traditional softeners

Do You Need to Replace Your Water Softener?

If you suspect you need a new softening system, turn to Kinetico, a trusted northern Utah industry leader for over 30 years.

Kinetico offers high-quality, innovative water treatment systems engineered to last for decades – and our products come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you won’t have to worry about hard water for quite a long time.

To learn more, or to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss water softener replacement, contact Kinetico today.

Do You Have Hard or Soft Water? Try This Easy Test

How to tell if you have hard water

Soft water allows your appliances to operate efficiently, which helps them last longer. You can also use much less dish and laundry detergent if your home has softened water, and you won’t have scale buildup in your pipes and plumbing fixtures. Plus, your skin will be smoother and your hair will be more manageable.

Clearly, soft water is what you want – but does your home have it? Or do you need to install a softening system?

The best way to find out is to schedule a professional test. In the meantime, this easy experiment can give you a pretty good idea of whether you have hard or soft water.

How to Test for Soft Water

To test the softness of the water in your home, simply follow these steps:

  • Get a bar of Ivory Soap.
  • Plug a sink and start or fill the sink with water.
  • Hold the bar of soap in the steam of water so some of it can dissolve into the water.
  • Agitate the water vigorously for about five seconds.

If you see a good amount of suds at the top and crystal clear liquid underneath, congratulations – your home has soft water. If the bottle contains only a few bubbles, the opposite is probably true.

Can’t tell? Repeat the experiment using distilled. If you see more suds in this test, your home has hard water.

How Softening Systems Work

Fortunately, hard water can be softened – simply install a softening system, and hardness will no longer be a problem.

Softening systems use an ion exchange process to remove magnesium, calcium and other mineral contaminants. Softeners contain resin beads with ions that have an opposite charge to the ions in the minerals. As a result, the two sets of ions trade places, the contaminants stay behind and soft water flows from the system.

A high-quality softening system can last for decades, though it will need to be recharged periodically with fresh sodium or potassium.

Schedule a Free Professional Test

As we mentioned, professional testing is the best way to determine if you can benefit by installing a softening system. The experiment outlined above is informative, but it won’t tell you the hardness level of your water or whether any other issues are affecting your water quality.

For a free professional test, contact Kinetico. Our expert team can visit your Utah home and complete an assessment of your water quality. The results will show if you need a softening system and if you should consider other treatment devices, such as a reverse osmosis purification system or whole-house filtration system.

Kinetico, a Utah industry leader for over 30 years, offers high-quality softeners and treatment systems designed to last for decades – and our products are backed by a 10-year warranty. For more information, or to schedule a free professional soft water test, contact us today.

Why Choose a Kinetico Water Softener System?

Utah water softener systems

A water softener system eliminates issues with soap scum and lime scale, boosts the efficiency of your appliances and even keeps you from dealing with dingy clothing and dry skin.

But all softening systems are not created equal. If you live in Utah, choosing a Kinetico water softener is in your best interest. Here’s why Kinetico is the perfect solution for your hard water problems.

Non-Electric Systems

The water softener systems made by Kinetico do not use electricity. By choosing one of our softeners, you can save money on your monthly energy bills and have a reliable source of clean, soft water lasting a couple of decades– even during power outages.

Low-Salt Usage

Kinetico treatment systems use much less salt than other brands of softeners. In fact, our innovative, high-tech products require 50 to 80 percent less salt – and that translates to more savings and less hassle for you.

On-Demand Operation

With a Kinetico water softening system, you have water when you need it, without any waste. Unlike traditional treatment devices, our highly-efficient systems monitor your usage and operate only when necessary.

Twin-Tank Design

At the same time, Kinetico softeners have a unique twin-tank design to allow for an uninterrupted supply of water. So, even on days when you’re doing a lot of laundry or everyone is taking extra showers, running out of soft water will never be a concern.

Compact Size

The fact that our softening systems have a twin-tank design makes them sound large, but the opposite is actually true. Kinetico softeners are space-efficient and can be installed in areas where other models will not fit.

Dependable Products

Kinetico has been making water softening systems for several decades, and we engineer our products to provide 20 to 30 years of reliable service. Choose one of our softeners, and you can look forward to trouble-free operation and very little maintenance.

Comprehensive Warranty

When you buy a Kinetico water softener, you gain the best guarantee in the industry. Our products are backed by a 10-year warranty, so you can have the peace of mind in knowing your softener will work effectively for many years to come.

With all of these advantages, Kinetico water softener systems stand far above the competition. With Kinetico, you can count on the best products and an automatic supply of clean, soft water for your family.

An industry leader, Kinetico has been manufacturing high-quality, innovative treatment systems for nearly 50 years – and countless people in northern Utah enjoy better water quality with our softening systems. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and estimate for a Kinetico water softener system that meets your needs, contact us today.

How Much Does a Water Softener Cost?

Cost of water softeners in Utah

The cost to install a water softener varies widely, totaling anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

The lower-priced softeners might seem attractive at first glance, as everyone likes (and needs) to save money. However, going with the cheapest option is rarely the best way to provide your family with clean, soft water.

Then again, the most expensive softening system may not be what you need either. Depending upon the size of your household, the hardness of your water and the impurities it contains, a mid-priced model could serve you well for years or decades to come.

So, what’s the best way to select a water softener that provides a good, long-term value?

Factors that Affect Water Softener Costs

The wide range in pricing for softening systems is due to the differences in the products. Water softener costs are based upon:

  • System capacity – As a general rule, the more grains of total hardness a softener can remove, measured in grains per gallon, the higher the price of the system.
  • Component quality – Higher-quality parts and the latest technological advances create softening systems that are more reliable, which is reflected in the cost.
  • Operational design – On-demand functionality boosts efficiency, and two-tank models allow for uninterrupted water supply, both of which are features found in high-end softeners.
  • Water impurities – In some cases, filtration or treatment is a necessary step to softener installation in order to address contaminant concerns and provide clean, safe water for drinking and cooking.
  • Labor considerations – Professional installation comes with labor costs, and the charges are increased for removal of an old softening system and for projects that require plumbing modifications.

Comparing Prices for Water Softener Systems

On the lower end of the price scale are off-the-shelf softeners, which you can install yourself – if, that is, you have plumbing knowledge and are comfortable cutting and joining pipes. However, rock-bottom pricing typically means lower-quality components and a limited warranty.

High-end water softening systems can provide a better long-term value. Selecting the right softener to meet your household needs and installing it correctly is more difficult than you may think – and because of the importance of having clean, soft water, that isn’t a task you want to take lightly. Plus, if you don’t have training, knowledge and expertise in softener installation, you could face plumbing problems if you attempt the job yourself.

Choosing the Right Water Softener System

For long-term value – and for your peace of mind – consulting with a water treatment expert and opting for professional softener installation is in your best interest. And with Kinetico, you can count on getting a high-quality softening system that meets your needs.

Kinetico Utah, based in Draper and serving the greater Salt Lake City and northern Utah area, is a decades-long industry leader providing innovative, efficient and affordable water treatment solutions. For more information on our products, or to schedule a free consultation and estimate for water softener installation, contact us today.

Does Your Water Softener Need Repair?

Utah water softener repair

Water softener systems work magic at your home or business, especially with the challenges posed by northern Utah’s notoriously hard water.

When something goes wrong with a softening or filtration system, however, it can be difficult to determine what the problem is. In fact, you may not even know you have a problem until you begin to notice unpleasant changes in your water supply.

To determine whether you need water softener repair, consider these key factors.

The Age of Your Water Softening System

Some systems last longer than others and, inevitably, all systems will eventually wear out or break down. The challenge is knowing how long your particular system is designed to last. Traditional, single-tank systems typically last about 10 years or so.

Other systems, such as those installed by Kinetico, can easily last twice that long, thanks to its innovative design.

If you have a traditional system that is more than five years old, it’s probably wise to have it checked out by a water softener repair specialist.

The Way Your Water Softener Has Been Maintained

The type and frequency of maintenance your water softener requires is, again, dependent on the make and model of the system. Traditional systems require more frequent maintenance to remain reliable.

If you purchased a home that already had a system in place, it may be difficult to determine how well the softener was maintained by the previous owner. A repair expert can inspect and evaluate the system and make recommendations accordingly.

The Quality of Your Water

One of the biggest indicators of a problem is the sudden appearance of scale buildup as well as a less-than-clean feeling on your skin and hair after a shower. Your laundry may become dingy or your glassware may develop water spotting.

Sometimes these changes are gradual but, in the case of a major issue with your system, they can also develop more quickly.

The Opinion of a Water Softener Expert

The best way to determine whether your water softener needs maintenance or repair is to consult an expert.

At Kinetico, we design and install softeners and water filtration systems that are designed to require minimal maintenance or repair. Our systems are designed to have a long lifespan (20 years or more) and to produce an abundant flow of soft water.

Our systems have been carefully designed and engineered to stand the test of time with little time or effort on your part. Unlike traditional single-tank systems, our innovative design does not require electricity and you’ll never have to mess with settings or adjustments.

We serve customers throughout northern Utah, providing expert service and the best equipment in the industry. Contact us today to learn more, especially if you suspect your current water softener may need to be repaired or replaced.

Kinetico serves customers throughout northern Utah, including the Salt Lake City metro area, Provo, Bountiful and Ogden. We specialize in advanced water treatment options, including whole-home softening and filtration systems. Our innovative systems are long-lasting, highly effective and affordable. And, as they don’t use electricity, you never have to worry about having a bountiful supply of soft, healthy water.

Contact Kinetico today to schedule your personal consultation water testing. We look forward to helping you banish scale buildup forever at your Utah home or business.

How to Eliminate Scale Buildup on Showers, Faucets & Fixtures

How to prevent scale buildup from hard water

In Utah, hard water is to blame for the constant proliferation of scale buildup on your plumbing fixtures, faucets and in the shower.

As annoying as these problems are, imagine all the areas that you can’t see, like inside your water-using home appliances and plumbing fixtures.

Eliminating scale buildup takes a constant effort and a fair amount of elbow grease, unless you’re inclined to use potentially harsh chemicals. If you want to banish this problem forever – and relieve the pressure it puts on your water-using appliances and plumbing system – consider installing a whole-home water softener system.

What Is Scale Buildup?

The high mineral content of our northern Utah water causes a myriad of problems. When exposed to the surfactants in soaps and detergents, the minerals disengage from the water and form a substance that we know as scale (sometimes called limescale).

The effects of scale accumulation can be seen throughout your house in the form of tile discoloration, a white hazy appearance on shower glass and the telltale white grit that forms on metal plumbing fixtures. You also see its effects on clogged shower heads and rings in toilet bowls.

What you also may not see with your eyes are the effects that scale has on your skin, hair, laundry, dishes and anything else you try to clean.

How Can You Get Rid of Scale Buildup?

If you experience this phenomenon at your home, you already know the challenges of cleaning scale buildup.

Some natural cleaning experts recommend using a light acid, such as lemon juice or white vinegar, to tackle these stains. You can also use a cleaning product meant for dealing with calcium deposits, limescale and rust. However, these products – including the natural options – can cause skin irritation.
In some cases, you can scrub, wipe and clean for eternity and not make any progress. On shower glass, for example, limescale can actually cause microscopic etching in the glass surface. That damage is permanent, leaving a hazy, cloudy surface in its wake.

And, as tempted as you might be to try eradicating scale with an abrasive cleanser or cleaning pad, you’ll only damage the surface you’re working on, in most cases.

Preventing Scale Buildup Solves Your Challenges

The most effective, long-term solution to scale problems is prevention.

Water softener systems remove the calcium and magnesium from your water so you don’t get the buildup, dry skin and spotting throughout your home.

Kinetico serves customers throughout northern Utah, including the Salt Lake City metro area, Provo, Bountiful and Ogden. We specialize in advanced water treatment options, including whole-home softening and filtration systems. Our innovative systems are long-lasting, highly effective and affordable. And, as they don’t use electricity, you never have to worry about having a bountiful supply of soft, healthy water.

Contact Kinetico today to schedule your personal consultation water testing. We look forward to helping you banish scale buildup forever at your Utah home or business.

Do Water Filtration Systems Waste Water?

RO and whole-home water filtration systems

Water filtration systems and softeners are popular with Utah homeowners and businesses alike.

Unfortunately, many questions and myths surround these systems. If you try to find answers online, it’s easy to get even more confused, because it’s difficult to determine whether information is accurate or simply part of someone’s sales pitch.

For anyone who may be considering adding a filtration system at their home or business, one of the questions we receive is about the amount of water waste these systems potentially produce.

How Much Water Do RO Systems Waste?

Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems are the gold-standard for removing pretty much everything but water from your water – including pathogens, organic and inorganic elements, scale and even radioactive contaminants.

To accomplish this objective, RO systems use a complex process of transfer through semi-permeable membranes and special filters. The process does produce some waste but, in exchange for the exceptional results RO systems produce, its usually not enough to outweigh the benefits.

Some systems – such as the Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station – use innovative technology to minimize waste while still producing the best Utah drinking water available today.

How Much Water Do Whole-Home Filtration Systems Waste?

Whole-home filtration systems use a different process and different types of filters than RO systems use. And, while they don’t provide the ultra-filtered results that reverse osmosis does, they do an exceptional job at removing chlorine and other chemicals.

They also don’t waste water in most cases.

As you might imagine, you have dozens (maybe hundreds) of different filtration systems to choose from. Your results will depend on the type of filtration system you choose. The Kinetico Whole House Filtration system uses cutting-edge carbon filtration technology to remove smelly, bad-tasting and potentially harmful chemicals and also includes a water softener to remove the hard water minerals. And, as effective as the carbon filter is, it can last for up to ten years under normal use.

Choosing the Right Water Filtration System for You

The right answer for you might be a combination of solutions, depending on your goals and the specific issues you have at your location.

If your water quality is particularly poor – meaning it contains chlorine and other contaminants in addition to having a high mineral content – you may want to consider installing an RO system at your kitchen sink. This way, you will have exceptional quality water handy for drinking and cooking purposes. This is also ideal for giving your glassware a final rinse, to eliminate those annoying water spots.

Adding a whole-home filtration or soft water system will improve your water sufficiently to reduce wear and tear on plumbing fixtures, faucets and appliances. Your skin and hair will feel better, you’ll use less soap and shampoo, and your laundry will get cleaner than ever before.

And, by choosing this combination of filtration systems, you’ll minimize water waste and save money too.

Start by determining the specific issues present in your water. Kinetico offers water testing for homeowners and businesses throughout northern Utah. Based on the results, we can recommend the most efficient and water-wise options for your needs and your budget.

Contact us today to request an estimate for your Utah water filtration or softener system.

Electric vs. Non-Electric Soft Water Systems

Utah soft water systems

Soft water systems work to remove minerals – primarily magnesium and calcium – from water.

Soft water helps your laundry to be cleaner and brighter, your clothing and linens will last longer and you’ll use substantially less detergent, shampoo and soap. Your home appliances – including the dishwasher, washing machine, ice maker and water heater – will last longer and you’ll finally get to stop fighting the never-ending buildup of soap scum on sinks, tubs, showers, etc.

When it comes to choosing the right softener system for you it’s easy to become confused. Should you choose an electric or mechanical (non-electric) soft water system? Understanding the difference can help make your decision easier.

Water softeners remove the hard minerals from the water and replace them with a small amount of sodium. Every few days the water softener has to go through a process called regeneration to flush the minerals it’s removed down the drain and restore its ability to continue softening the water. In order to do this all water softeners have a control valve to determine the frequency of the regeneration cycle and to control the various steps it needs to go through to restore its ability to soften water.

Most water softeners uses a controller similar to a sprinkler timer box and valve system (electrical) where as others work more like the flow meter (mechanical or nonelectric).

What Is an Electric Soft Water System?

Electric water softeners are the most common type available and work well for many families. With an electrical system there is a microprocessor that controls the frequency of the regeneration of the water softener. When the water softener is installed in the home the technician will program some data in the control valve, such as the time of day, time of night the system will regenerate, number of people in the home and the hardness of the water. Based on this data, when the water softener estimates when you’ve used approximately 70% of the softening capacity of the water softener it will then regenerate at 2 am. There reason it regenerates in the middle of the night is if you were to use water during the regeneration cycle you’d be supplied hard water. The theory is that most people aren’t using a lot of water in the middle of the night so that’s the best time to do that.

Often, the moist conditions under which electric softeners operate can cause deterioration of electronic components. This may mean more frequent repairs and a shorter equipment lifespan.

Also, during periods of higher consumption, you will run out soft water because the system isn’t able to regenerate until 2am.

What Is a Non-Electric Soft Water System?

Typically called mechanical softeners, this design eliminates virtually all the pitfalls associated with electrically powered systems while providing the same or better results.

Mechanical systems don’t rely on a timer. Rather, these systems measure the volume of water you use. Non-electric softeners keep pace with your usage and demand without wasting water, power or salt.

With a mechanical softening system, you’ll never have to worry about programming or bypassing the equipment if you leave for vacation. These systems require very little maintenance, as compared to electric systems, and have a substantially longer life expectancy. They will also use a lot less salt and water in regeneration.

Choosing the Right Soft Water System for You

No single softener design is right for everyone but, as you can see, mechanical softener systems offer a variety of advantages at a highly affordable price point.

The first step to choosing the right softener or filtration system for you is to determine the exact nature of your water problems. And the best way to achieve that is to schedule a professional hard water analysis.

In northern Utah, including Provo, Salt Lake City, Ogden, Bountiful and the surrounding communities, Kinetico is the expert in water filtration and softening systems. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative, affordable non-electric soft water systems.