One of the most common questions that we hear about water softeners is whether we should drink the water. It’s a great question and one of the first things that I wanted to know when we started. A water softeners purpose is to remove the hardness minerals from water. Hardness minerals cause:
  • Bathtub ring and film on shower tiles
  • Excess soap usage in bathing, laundry, dishes
  • Laundry to wear out faster
  • Scaling in your water appliances, reducing life
  • And a lot of other problems that we have covered in an earlier post  
But really, if you think about it – this is really the “Working” water in your home. A Water Softener is designed to improve the working water in you home.  So now I better get to the question.  The way that a water softener works is called “ion exchange” but really that just means that it trades the hardness minerals for the sodium in your water. The amount of sodium that a water softener will add to your water depends on the hardness, but normally here it works out to about 80 milligrams of sodium in a liter of water. A single slice of bread is 125 – 150 milligrams.  So really, if you are not on a sodium restricted diet, the answer is normally yes. Here’s some information from the Mayo Clinic.  What can you do if you have a water softener and don’t want to drink the water?
  1. If the plumbing lines are accessible, you can bypass a tap for your drinking water
  2. You can use potassium chloride to recharge your water softener. A couple of brands are Nature’s Own or Softtouch. This product is about 5 times the price of salt, but then you will be getting potassium instead of sodium.
  3. You can drink bottled water.
  4. Many people are deciding that they want better drinking water. Reverse osmosis systems can provide the best drinking water and remove the sodium.