So don’t underestimate the value of soft water!
Many people underestimate the damage hard water can do to a commercial water heating system. City of Milwaukee water is considered only “moderately hard” by national standards; however, moderately hard is definitely not true soft water. And when we’re talking large commercial equipment use, we’re looking at major system problems. Because your commercial water heater is working constantly to provide your business with hot water at all times, it’s running through that hard water at a faster rate, causing damage to your equipment – and that means more money out of your pocket, both short- and long-term.
The bottom line: installing a water conditioning system to soften your water is of serious value to the life of your entire water system, including your commercial water heater, fixtures, piping, valves and more.
What is True Soft Water?
In short, soft water is water completely devoid of soluble minerals. In other words, soft water is ZERO grains hard.
City of Milwaukee water is 5 to 9 grains hard. In comparison, Brookfield city water is 23 to 34 grains hard, meaning Brookfield water is much harder than Milwaukee water, but neither water supply is at all soft.
To get real soft water, you need a water conditioning system, i.e. a water softener. In short, your water softener works by using charged resin beads to attract these minerals and pull them out of the water, making your water soft and generally safer for your water system.
Hard Water = Serious Damage To Your Water Equipment
When water is heated, that heat precipitates out the minerals in your water within your water heater’s tank. For example, let’s say you’re boiling water in a pot on the stove. If that water is hard, you’ll notice mineral accumulation on the bottom of the pot. The same goes for your water heater, but on a much larger scale.
Mineral Sludge Picture this: you’re running hard water through your commercial water heater on a regular basis. Like boiling water in a pot, those minerals are slowly (but surely) accumulating on the bottom of the tank. After awhile, we’re not just talking a few flecks of floating particles, you’re looking at an all out mineral sludge on the bottom of that tank, growing larger and larger by the day. So, that heat produced by the flame underneath the tank needs to work through all those layers of muck just to heat the water on top of it. This means your water heater is working overtime (using more gas) to heat up the tank. Not to mention, the more sludge in the tank, the less water it holds – resulting in a growing energy efficiency problem and more money-related headaches for you.
Popcorn, Anyone? Has your commercial water heater ever sounded like a popcorn machine? Well, that’s a symptom of mineral sludge! That sludge has little air pockets in it, like a honeycomb. This means the water that seeps into those little pockets on the bottom of your heater are heated so fast they actually flash boil, creating a loud POP every time a water pocket hits 212°F!
Money Down the Drain
That sludge-formed popcorn machine isn’t just bad for your water heater – it’s bad for your entire water system. The minerals that aren’t left on the tank bottom are free to roam around your water network, sticking to everything in sight: meaning all your valves, fixtures and pipes become clogged with mineral deposits.
So when we’re talking energy dollars, you’re losing money system-wide:
- More energy costs on a day-to-day basis.
- Quicker turnover rate for your water heater (frequent replacement due to damage).
- More costs associated with replacing other pipes and fixtures throughout your establishment.
- Hard water doesn’t lather as well as soft, so you’re looking at an increase in cleaning detergent costs for laundry facilities, dishwashers, showers and more.
So don’t underestimate the value of soft water! Soft water is going to save you money across the board and keep your equipment functioning at peak performance.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Aqua Mechanical.