This is Why Your Business Needs a Commercial Water Softener

Living in an area that has hard water is not that easy to avoid given that 85% of the United States has it. This means that most of the US commercial kitchens are bound to face different issues related to using hard water, such as the presence of limescale.

Limescale can affect the performance and efficiency of your appliances and can cause various costs that can hurt your business. This is particularly prevalent with high-pressure systems and appliances that use heating elements or heat exchangers to heat or cool water, such as ice makers, water boilers, kettles, etc.

Commercial dishwashers and glasswashers are just some of the appliances particularly affected by limescale, as they use hot water, high pressure and they heavily rely on balanced usage of chemicals.

If you already have limescale buildup inside your appliances, you will have no choice but to delime (learn more about descaling a commercial dishwasher here).

However, acids found in the descaling agents can erode the appliances over time, so getting rid of hard water altogether should be your prime concern. The prevention of limescale buildup relies heavily on the technologies of water softening and introduction of water softener systems.

Important to note is that all commercial establishments can benefit from the water softening systems, including restaurants, bars, hospitals, laundries, nursing homes, hotels and motels, since water softeners will preserve machine longevity, ensure consistent wash results and lower operation costs.

10 Amazing Benefits of Using a Commercial Water Softener

The difference between hard and soft water is in the presence of hardness minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron. Hard water has high mineral content, while the soft water doesn’t contain any.

Since it is free from these minerals that form scale buildup under heat and pressure, soft water will protect your equipment, pipes and fixtures. Namely, it will help your business save time and money by eliminating all unnecessary, premature equipment repairs and replacements, and by helping you substantially reduce your water, energy and detergent bills.

Also, it will help you accomplish superior cleaning results 100% of the time which will boost your business reputation, so investing in a good quality commercial water softener should be on top of your list.

To help you fully understand the importance of having a commercial water softener, we summed up Top 10 benefits of using a water softener system for your business below.

#1 Reduced Water Hardness

Hard water contains high amounts of mineral ions, especially metals calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+). These minerals react with heat, metal plumbing and chemical agents, such as detergents, causing a serious reduction of appliance and detergent cleaning effectiveness and/or failure.

The water softening system alters the molecular structure of the calcium and magnesium, transforming hard water into soft. This reduces the water hardness problem by about 40%.

#2 Energy Saving

When there’s scale buildup, the water heater needs to heat the scale first before it can heat the water. The water heater must work much harder and longer to provide necessary water temperature which will result in higher electrical bills. Also, you won’t need to heat the water to as high temperatures to remove stains or effectively clean the dishware.

Since water softener will remove scale, it will save up to 25% on appliance energy consumption.

#3 Water Saving

Hard water can cause damage to plumbing and water heaters, so higher water bills can be a result of a leak. Also, hard water produces scale buildup in the pipes, so the amount of water that can flow through them is reduced.

Water softeners lower the water consumption, because since there’s no limescale, the pipes won’t need to work harder to let flow through, but the water will easily move through pipes, allowing your plumbing system to function properly. Also, the valves will close completely, so there won’t be any leaking.

#4 Detergent Saving

Hard water reduces cleaning efficiency of any kind of soap or detergent. It diminishes soap’s ability to lather, which results in excessive soap or detergent usage to increase lathering. More soap is used to mop up calcium ions, so water softener will solve this issue by removing scale and its ions.

You’ll need up to 50% less soap for the same cleaning effort, so soft water is more effective than doubling the dosage of detergent.

#5 Lower Maintenance & Repair Costs

Hard water is often destructive when in contact with pipes, as it causes compromising limescale buildup and can cause corrosion. A leak in plumbing is probably the most severe and expensive problem.

Hard water also causes scale buildup inside machine parts and around water heaters, which will eventually result in leaking and failure.

Soft water doesn’t clog pipes and nozzles, damage valves and pump and impair machine efficiency. This means that the maintenance costs will be lowered, and frequent repairs and repair costs will be avoided.

10 Amazing Benefits of Using a Commercial Water Softener - Infographic

#6 Improved Efficiency

Soft water doesn’t produce limescale buildup in your pipes and on appliances’ heating elements, so their performance and efficiency will be at optimum level. Also, since soft water doesn’t affect detergent performance, the cleaning results will also be at a high level.

#7 Longer Lifespan

By reducing limescale you’ll protect your plumbing system, fixtures and appliances from unnecessary wear and damage. Less damage means longer lifespan of plumbing and equipment, and longer lifespan means no premature replacements.

#8 Cleaner Wash

Detergents and soaps can’t dissolve in hard water that easily, so they might react and form a precipitate called “scum”. Also, limescale can cause nasty white spots, while other ions, such as iron, can cause red or black spottings on the washware.

When done in softened water, warewashing provides much superior results – up to 12 times more effective soil removal, up to 6 times more effective spotting and 2 times more effective film reduction. Air drying also becomes more effective, so the water stains would also be reduced.

#9 Less Aggressive Cleaners

To provide satisfactory cleaning results a much aggressive detergents must be used to work with very hard water. With soft water no aggressive cleaners are needed to combat hard water stains.

#10 No Glassware Damage

Not only does hard water cause stains on your glassware, but it can damage them and make them more prone to breaking easily. Soft water won’t cause lime cloudiness and glass corrosion.

How Does a Water Softener Work

Commercial water softeners typically use ion exchange resins that are usually made into beads. These are packed into cylinders, called ion exchange columns, which are then built into appliances such as dishwashers or directly connected into water systems to continuously soften the water.

At the end of the ion exchange process, the calcium ions of hard water get swapped by the sodium ions (Na+) that were attached to resin beads (some resins use hydrogen ions), which will cause the hard water to become soft. Here’s how it happens in more detail:

After the hard water enters the column, its calcium and magnesium ions get attached to the beads. The sodium ions that were in the resin enter the water, so the water that comes out of the column no longer contains magnesium or calcium ions, but the newly collected sodium ions.

Naturally, the resin beads will eventually become saturated with magnesium and calcium ions, so they will need to be regenerated. This is accomplished by adding sodium chloride so that the sodium ions can once again get attached in the resin instead of the calcium and magnesium ions.

Salt water softeners are one of the two types of traditional water softeners. The other type are salt-free softeners. They use a special media to transform calcium and magnesium ions to some other form, for example, “nano” calcium. Since this system doesn’t physically remove ions, but transforms them to prevent scale buildup, its correct name would be Anti-scale water conditioner, rather than softener.

Types of Water Softeners & Sizing

The most typically used water softeners in commercial kitchens are manual, automatic and integral water softeners.

  • Manual Water Softeners – The manual water softener is connected to the water supply and equipment by two hoses and a tap, and it requires regular regeneration with salt. The regeneration frequency depends on the usage – for light usage regeneration once a month will be sufficient, and for heavier usage twice a month or more. The purpose of regeneration is to refresh the resin and to remove harmful buildups inside the unit. The manual water softeners are cheaper initially, but might be more expensive in the long run due to the costs of regeneration;
  • Automatic Water Softeners – These appliances don’t require manual regeneration, because they have automatic regeneration system. The system will perform multiple regenerations automatically as long as the salt is present in the system and they are connected to the power. They are typically refreshed with salty water once a year but can be more often depending on the usage. Automatic water softener units are more expensive than manual units, but they are more affordable in the long run and they lower the risk of providing improper maintenance;
  • Integral Water Softeners – These water softeners use the same technology as manual water softeners, except that they are installed inside the machines. They don’t affect the size of the machine, so more and more manufacturers (especially of commercial dishwashers) choose to integrate the water softener in the machine.

As for the size of the water softener, choosing the right one for your business is crucial for maintaining continuous flow of soft water in your establishment. The wrong size of the unit can lead to inefficiency, frequent serving and will end up costing you a lot of money and resources in the long run.

There are a few key factors to consider when choosing, such as the flow rate (or the speed of water throughout the facility during peak times), water hardness, total daily softening requirement (or GPD, measured in grains per day), and volume (or the amount of water per day at peak times).

The total GPD is calculated by multiplying the flow rate and water hardness, which will allow you to determine the size of the water softener based on the system’s grain capacity. However, this simple equation is only an estimation, so the best would be to consult a water softener expert when sizing your commercial water softener.

Chem Mark, Inc. – Water Softener Service

Chem Mark, Inc. is your respectable and trusted Water Softener System company in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego that has been helping local businesses achieve impeccable standards of cleanliness for more than 50 years. We’ll help you with everything from installing commercial water softeners and water filters to helping your business improve overall water quality!

We understand the level of threat hard water represents to your business and the dangers of your water system failing. We also understand the need for fixing it as quickly as possible, so our technicians will be there to provide timely support and repair all year round and regular scheduled maintenance to keep your appliances in tip-top condition.

So, why lease a water softener, you ask? Well, not only does Chem Mark, Inc. lease various water softener systems at affordable rates, but they are installed and maintained for FREE under the lease contract. This means that all repairs, service and parts are included in the price which will make your life a whole lot easier!

You’ll get a cost-effective and efficient way to remove negative effect or problems caused by hard water without the need to worry about equipment’s condition or operation.

We do both single and double tank systems, Cold and Hot water filtration, small and large systems, so just let us know what you need, because we do it all and we got completely you covered!

Chem Mark, Inc. Water Softening & Filtration:

  • We Rent/Lease water softeners for as little as one year
  • Lease includes 13 service calls to the account each year
  • All repair, service and parts are included in the lease price
  • We service & repair commercial customer owned water softener systems
  • We provide salt delivery
  • We sell and install units

So, what’s the difference between Chem Mark, Inc. and other water softener companies? Well, besides being a water softener company, Chem Mark, Inc. is a total in-house operation providing everything from renting or leasing and installation of commercial dishwashers, chemical proportioners, latest digital electronic laundry chemical injectors, maintenance and emergency support.

Whether you need a commercial water softener, looking at renting a commercial dishwasher or you just want to explore various options for your business, give us a call at (714)-784-5522 or contact us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know!