We have two types of water, the hard water which contains mainly calcium and magnesium, some bicarbonates and sulfates, and the soft water which has little or none of the mentioned mineral contents. For us to transform hard water into soft water, we let it undergo a system with the use of water softener where there is a reduction of the minerals of the hard water thereby making it into soft water.
It is assumed that if you want your water to become soft, that you have tested first for the hardness of your present water supply. When using soft water, you will use less household cleaning detergents and shampoos for example, and you will notice that your clothes are softer and cleaner, and your appliance will have longer life, compared to the use of hard water which you can feel harshness of your clothing, and the opposite regarding detergents and appliance useful life because of the mineral contents.
It is important to know which water softener is better fit to your household needs, and to do this, compare the output of the equipment you are reviewing to that of the daily needs in your household. You then have to make a choice if you want an equipment that is manually operated, semi-automatic, or fully automatic, where in manual, you will do the opening and closing of the valves yourself while in automatic, the machine will conduct its own initiation to recharge the cycle. Therefore, if a fully automatic equipment, all you have to do is set the timer and add the salt, considering that the water softener is salt-based.
Other considerations of your water softener would be to check first if the water would need pretreatment in order to remove the iron and manganese, and make a review as to the cost of the installation, the features of the manufacturer against your needs, and if the equipment has been rated by reliable group. You have to consider too where you will position your water softener, how often you change the salts, and what is its maintenance routine.
Be aware that in the operation and maintenance of your water softener equipment, you will have to be involved with it. 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. Note that there is also a need to clean the brine tank on a periodic basis, and note that the frequency of your cleaning the tank will depend on the amount of salt you put in and how pure it is.
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.