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Good Water is Also Good for Appliances

Good water is good for your home and appliances, too. A 2009 study commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute found that adding a water softener helps water heaters and major appliances operate as efficiently as possible, while preventing clogs in showerheads, faucets, and drains. [Note: Ad or content links featured on this page are not necessarily affiliated with WQA and should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by WQA.]


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For example, researchers ran dishwashers and washing machines for 30 days and 240 wash cycles. They ran softened water through half of the units, while using a hard water source for the others. At the end of the month, the washers using softened water were nearly free of scale buildup, but the washers using hard water required scale removal to work well.


As for water heaters, the researchers found that when they used softened water, the units maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years. Running hard water through the units cut efficiency by up to 48 percent. Scale buildup shortened the lifespan of the heating elements inside electric water heaters, and some tankless water

heaters using hard water failed after just 1.6 years!


The researchers found that showerheads performed well on soft water, but those running with hard water lost 75 percent of their flow rate in less than 18 months. When running hard water through faucets, the strainers on the faucets clogged within 19 days.


Softened water can save you money by keeping appliances at top efficiency, and making them last longer. The amount of dish and laundry detergent you use can be cut in half, or even more, if you use softened water. You can also lower wash temperatures from hot to cold without a drop in performance, according to two other independent studies.


Studies conducted by independent test firm Scientific Services S/D, Inc., of New York, showed that using softened water can:

  • Reduce detergent use by 50 percent in washing machines and save energy by making it possible to wash in 60ºF cold water instead of 100ºF hot water, while achieving the same or even better stain removal along with whiter clothes.
  • Achieve the same cleaning results in dishwashers while using less than half the detergent.
Save appliances, save money, and save the planet, too. If you’re using less energy to heat (softened) water, you’re reducing your carbon footprint. And if you’re using less detergent, that means less is going down the drain, reducing harm to the environment.

Adapted from Water Treatment For Dummies. For a complimentary copy, visit,



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Good Water is Also Good for Appliances:  Created on October 20th, 2013.  Last Modified on May 5th, 2015


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About Water Quality Association (WQA)

Water Quality Association (WQA)

The Water Quality Association is a not-for-profit international trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Its membership consists of both manufacturers/suppliers and dealers/distributors of equipment and services. WQA is a resource and information source, a voice for the industry, an educator of professionals, a laboratory for product testing, a certifier of products, and a means for communicating with the public. WQA has more than 2,500 members.


The WQA was founded in 1974 and started offering certification of water treatment professionals in 1977. It sets standards of knowledge for water treatment businesses and equipment installers, and promotes ethical selling practices among those offering water quality solutions. Professionals earn a three-year certification by meeting strict criteria, passing an exam on water chemistry and treatment technologies, and abiding by a strong code of ethics and legal requirements.

To find WQA-Certified Professionals or WQA Certified Products,  visit the WQA website at Download WQA's Quick Guide to Water Filtration.



Information provided by The Healthy House Institute is designed to support, not to replace the relationship between patient/physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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