Know that there are two kinds of water and these are the hard and soft water, of which the first one mainly contains calcium, magnesium, some bicarbonates and sulfates while the second is the kind with none or little minerals such as mentioned in the first. The transformation of hard water to soft water would require a reduction of its minerals by letting it undergo a process with the aid of a water softener.
By testing your present water supply, you will know the level of its hardness and thus can determine if its needs softening. Note that having hard water will make your washed clothes appear harsh, while washing your clothes with soft water will lead to a softer and cleaner clothes, longer life of your appliance, and you will consume less of your shampoos and other household cleaning detergents.
It is advisable to see first which water softener will fit your household needs, and you can do this by checking your daily household needs and compare it to the output of the equipment you want to check out. You will have to determine if you want an equipment that is fully manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic, where the difference lie in opening and closing the valves yourself for manual equipment and where the machine will initiate itself in its recharging cycle for the fully automatic. Thus, where the water is salt-based, a fully automatic equipment will be set manually by the operator of its timer and then add the salt, and the machine will function by itself.
It is also recommended that you review if pretreatment of the water is necessary in order to eliminate the iron and manganese, review the full installation cost, review your needs against the features of the manufacturer, and that the equipment is rated by a reputable institution. You have to consider too where you will position your water softener, how often you change the salts, and what is its maintenance routine.
Know that you will be involved in the operation and maintenance of your water softener equipment. And so even if your water softener system is fully automatic, you will still be involved in the restocking of the salt supply for the brine solution. Another need that you have to do is to clean the brine tank periodically, for the cleanliness of the tank will depend on how much quantity of salt you put in and how pure the salt was.
Since there are many brands sold in the market today, it is important that you make some research through online for example, and read reviews of the different kinds, its ratings, prices and how easy it is to install.