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Appliance Longevity

Softened Water Means Longer Life for Your Appliances

A recent independent study has demonstrated what many experts already expected:  Water softeners can extend the life of your appliances.  That means saving you money and energy and keeping our landfills a little less full.

Softeners help preserve the efficiency of water heaters and major appliances, the report found.  The study was commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) in 2009 and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, a renowned independent testing and research facility dedicated to applied science and technology development.

Here are some key appliances that can have an increased life when run with softened water: 

Dish and Clothes Washers

Dishwashers and clothes washers were operated for 30 days and 240 full wash cycles on soft and hard water sources.  The washers using softened water were almost completely free of any scale build up.  As the report states, they appeared as if they could be cleaned to look like new with just a quick wipe down.  The appearance of the inside of washers using hard water, however, showed the need for deliming and cleaning due to the build up of scale and deposits.

Remember, with softened water, you can also use less detergent in your dishwasher and clothes washer and get better results.

Water Heaters With a Storage Tank

Water heaters that use gas storage tanks and were operated on softened water managed to maintain their original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime.  On the other hand, hard water can lead to as much as a 48% loss of efficiency in water heaters.  In electric heaters, the life of the heating element will be shortened due to scale build up, because of increased operating temperature of the heating element. 

Tank-Less Water Heaters

Indoor instantaneous gas water heaters (tank-less heaters) operated on softened water maintained the original factory efficiency rating over a 15-year lifetime.  On the other hand, tank-less water heaters operating on hard water failed after testing for the equivalent of 1.6 years.

To find out about water softening devices that will help save your appliances and other benefits, explore WQA certified products or find a local professional who will take you through the steps to treat your water.

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