Why Water Softeners Work Harder in Summer

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As the summer temperature rises, so does our reliance on water! It’s no surprise that daily water usage spikes during the warmer months—but did you know that it’s often as much as two or four times our regular amount?

According to the EPA, an average family can use 320 gallons of water per day, but that can go up to 1,000 gallons for summer days. While most is related to outdoor water, the signs of high water usage still make an impact on our water indoors. A lot of homeowners will start to see changes when summer heat sets in.

Summertime Water Usage

The first and most obvious sign of high water usage is the bill. You’ll understandably be paying more when your home goes through higher quantities. Lawn and landscape watering certainly add to the increase, but indoor activities can also play a part. Maybe your kids are home for the summer—their day-to-day water usage can really add up. More showers between summer sports practices, more toilet flushing, and more laundry will lead to more work for your water.

Even if you live in Carmel, Indiana (or some other area that claims to pre-soften their city water), your summer water might also be noticeably harder. Cities have to supply a lot more water to their residents in the busy months. It makes sense that they might need to bypass any softening methods at the treatment center in order to meet demands. The Carmel City Utilities manager explained this drawback a few years ago during an interview with the Current. In the article, Carmel water hardness was said to fall between 7 to 8 grains per gallon (gpg). Yet the Carmel Utilities webpage claims to soften water within 5gpg before distribution.

Water with a degree of hardness that’s around 3gpg is still slightly hard. Even if Carmel’s water gets to that “low” level of 5gpg, calling it soft water doesn’t quite add up.

To makes matters even more confusing, the 2015 Water Quality Results for Carmel show hardness measuring at 11gpg—with a dramatic low-high range of 5 to 32gpg. Without a home softener, your water hardness is probably a lot higher than you realized.

Hard Water Spikes

Wherever you may be, your water hardness is bound to fluctuate throughout the year. And whether your city tries to pre-soften its water or not, odds are, you’re likely dealing with hard tap water in the summer. That’s because the changing seasons and amount of rainfall we get can alter our groundwater and source water. The hard water minerals can become diluted as aquifers fill from heavy rain, so if there’s less rain in the summer, it makes sense that source water would be harder.

If our treatment plants are trying to clean harder water and our own usage is climbing, sooner or later, those hard water problems are going to catch up to us.

Dry hair, spotty dishes, and that calcium buildup around sinks and faucets are all signs that your tap water is taking a turn for the worst. A home water softener is the only way to ensure that your family has consistently soft water—even in the busy summer months.

For homes that already have a water softener, summer might also mean adding more salt. It’s a good idea to stock up on a few bags whenever you notice your indoor usage climbing. You’ll only be able to get consistently soft water if your unit is regularly stocked with salt—at least half-full or more. High efficiency softeners can make the salt last longer, so you might even be able to get away with just four or five 50-lb. bags for the whole year.

You don’t have to let hard water ruin your summer! If your water softener seems over-active, or you’re going through too much salt, contact your local water experts to figure out a solution. The right system can help you conserve water indoors and still have clean, soft water you want year-round.

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