Why Should I Add a Softener to the Tankless Water Heater in My Dixon Home?

why should i add a water softener to your tankless hot water heaterDixon’s last Food Truck Mania of the season is coming up at the end of September, just one more sign that it’s nearly the end of summer. Soon, cooler weather will set in, and our water heaters will be working overtime, using up to 18% of the energy in our homes. The first energy bill of the fall season usually highlights just how much we rely on our water heaters for daily comforts, like a hot shower on a cold morning—and often means my clients start thinking about water heater maintenance, or even replacement.

If you’re in the market for a new heater, traditional tank water heaters are still widely used, but tankless ones are gaining popularity for their energy efficiency and long lifespans—two benefits that get even better when you also install a water softener system. And, since Dixon is known for its hard water, my recommendation for including a water softener to your tankless heater will have an impact throughout your home, from your laundry room to your water cup.

The Individual Benefits of Tankless Heaters and Water Softeners

Tankless heaters have one big advantage over traditional ones—they provide hot water on demand instead of using a storage tank that can only hold a limited amount of water at once. This also makes them more energy-efficient because they only use the energy needed to heat enough water for immediate use. And, the lack of sitting water in a tank prevents some of the buildup of mineral deposits that I see in traditional heaters with tanks.

Water softener systems are usually installed in standard water heaters to stop the buildup of mineral deposits, especially magnesium and calcium. They work by swapping magnesium and calcium ions for sodium ones. This process of swapping minerals involves polystyrene beads, which carry a negative charge and attract the positively-charged magnesium and calcium ions. Sodium ions, also positively-charged, then move into the water and take the place of the magnesium and calcium, leaving your water clear of harmful minerals.

Why a Water Softener Is Still Necessary for a Tankless Water Heater

So, if tankless water heaters don’t have a tank of water, why would they need a water softener system? Because there is still water flow through the heater, meaning there will still be some mineral buildup, especially in areas like Dixon that struggle with hard water.

The 2013 Water Quality Report shows that Dixon has a hard water level of 250 ppm (anything above 150 ppm is considered “hard”). Some of the issues homeowners with hard water will deal with are:

  • Yellowed clothing
  • Skin infections
  • Bad-tasting water
  • Clogged pipes
  • Higher utility bills
  • Film and scale buildup on bathroom fixtures

Bacteria that grows from the mineral deposits in your water heater can also cause damage to it—and to your pipes. So, pairing a water softener system with a tankless water heater is the best way to prevent mineral buildup, and its host of problems for homeowners.

The Long-Term Benefits of Bundling

When you bundle together a tankless water heater and a water softener system, you will see some immediate benefits in your home, like easier-to-clean bathroom fixtures and better tasting water. But you’ll also be getting two long-term advantages:

  • Extend the Life of Your Water Heater: Mineral buildup in a water heater can cause clogs and overheating, which creates excessive wear on your water heater. A water softener can prevent any clogs caused by minerals, and prevent those same minerals from blocking and coating heating elements, extending the life of your water heater.
  • Save Energy and Money: When mineral deposits clog up a drain, water can’t move through the piping, and the water heater has to work harder to push it through. This means it’s using more energy than necessary to do its job. Overworking the heating element will also cause a heater to use excessive energy—and this all adds up to high energy bills. Water softeners keep tankless water heaters operating efficiently by helping to maintain the health of pipes and heating elements, and making sure they stay clear of deposits.

Here in Dixon, it’s hard to ignore our hard water problem. If you invest in a more energy-efficient water heater, like a tankless one, you should also consider protecting that investment from unnecessary wear and tear by including a water softener system that can break down the damaging heavy minerals in our water. And, while it’s true that tankless water heaters are more expensive than traditional ones with tanks, the advantages, both immediate and long-term, can definitely outweigh the cost when paired with a water softener that prolongs its life while providing you and your family cleaner, healthier water in your home. 

Wondering if a tankless heater and water softener system bundle is the right fit for your home? Get in touch with the professionals at Bell Brothers today for trusted advice—and warrantied installation.