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Water conditioners are used to treat hard water, which is water that contains more minerals than soft water. These minerals can cause a build-up in plumbing systems, and lead to leaks and other costly damage. Water conditioners are also used to help soften water, as some people do not like the taste and feel of hard water. There are a number of different types of water conditioners available for consumers.
A magnetic water conditioner can be installed in to a plumbing system in order to prevent limescale from developing. Calcium ions are altered by the magnetic system. This type of water conditioner prepares water for drinking, and is inexpensive to purchase, run, and install. Installation is simple and usually does not require the help of contractor or plumber. Another advantage of the magnetic conditioner is that it helps keep calcium in water, which has health benefits.
The more typical water conditioner is available in the form of a tank that processes water, removing the minerals that cause hard water. These conditioners use sodium and potassium to condition the water. Sizes vary, with some conditioners being large enough to treat water for an entire home full of people. There are smaller conditioners available as well, which are useful when a consumer wants to focus on just one area, such as the kitchen for drinking water, or water for showering.
Some companies offer metered water softeners or conditioners. A metered water conditioner has an electronic memory system so that it only conditions water as needed. Some benefits of this type of system include a memory back-up should there be a power outage, which means the system does not have to be reset and conditioned water is readily available.
Digital water conditioners are becoming more popular and affordable. This type of water conditioner has the same functions as regular conditioners, only it uses better technology which can save a consumer time and money in the long run. Digital water conditioners use less potassium and salt, and require little maintenance.
A number of systems have add-ons, such as chlorine remover, and heavy metal filters. Something to look for when purchasing a system is a good warranty and a system that has some type of corrosion protection on it. Furthermore, it is important look in to the cost of replacement parts, service, and ongoing maintenance to decide whether the system is affordable for a particular situation and, that it will meet water needs over time.