Q:

What are some tips for reducing calcium levels in well water?

A:

Quick Answer

Reduce the calcium levels in well water by installing a water softener. Other options include reverse osmosis, distillation and filtration, although those are more expensive. Adding borax or washing soda to the laundry helps detergents do a better job in hard water without installing additional devices in the home.

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Full Answer

Water with dissolved calcium and magnesium is hard water. Hard water does a poor job in the laundry and causes the build-up of scale in the plumbing, which reduces the interior pipe size and can stop the water flow completely over time. A water softener is the least expensive method of reducing the calcium levels in hard water, but it replaces those ions with sodium. Patients on a sodium restricted diet, due to heart problems or hypertension, should consider the effects of adding sodium to their drinking water supply before adding a water softener.

Filtering hard water improves the flavor and protects machinery such as ice makers. Filtering is impractical for the whole home. Distillation require boiling the water and collecting the condensate. The process takes a lot of energy, so it is not a practical solution.

As of 2015, water softeners cost from $400 to $2,700, and installation costs between $100 and $600. The system requires the occasional addition of salt to keep it operating correctly.

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