We experience water from many various sources and with very diverse characteristics when we move from one region to another in our RVs. Some of the water comes from a municipal water supply, while others originate from private wells or shared wells in the region.
Water at RV parks and campsites may also be collected rainwater or filtered water pumped from a lake, stream, or other body of water. We have no actual control over the quality of the water we let into our RVs, which might have long-term repercussions.
What is Hard Water?
Certain minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese, dissolve and enter the water supply as positively charged molecules, resulting in hard water. These minerals may accumulate in our pipes, sinks, worktops, showers, toilets, and even on our skin.
The mineral-laced water goes through our RV’s washer, dishwater, coffee pot, hot water heater, and toilets, creating harmful deposits that may reduce equipment lifespans, damage pipes, leave deposits on our skin, and dull hair shine.
Hard water is graded on a scale of one to ten. The harder it is, the more metal molecules there are in the water. If soap scum builds up rapidly in your sink or shower, or if you’re always cleaning up water spots, you definitely have a hard water problem. It may be difficult to get shampoo to lather if the water is really hard, and it may dry up your skin or leave a scaly residue in your hair.
Because we have no control over the quality of the water we bring into our RVs, it makes logical to install the right filtering systems to improve the quality of our water.
Don’t be misled. Municipal water facilities do not generally soften water. The minerals are not considered a health hazard so municipalities are not required to remove the metallic content and may only filter out harmful particulates.
Types of RV Water Softener
There are a variety of RV water softeners that may be placed in your vehicle. To oversimplify the process, the most popular water softening devices employ negatively charged, weakly charged salt crystals. In a media through which your water supply runs, the negative charge attracts and traps positively charged metallic particles.
The water softening system goes through a regeneration phase where the impurities are removed and the filter device is cleansed and recharged after it has captured as many positively charged particles as it can retain. When there is no demand on the system, the regeneration process takes place at night.
The real process is a more complex chemical exchange at the molecular level, but the basic principle behind all water softening devices is to remove the metallic molecules and soften the water. Aside from salt water softening systems, there are also electrical, magnetic, and chelation water softening systems.
Unlike salt-based water softening systems, which simply require the replacement of consumable crystals, the entire process takes place inside a cartridge that may soften up to 10,000 gallons of water before it has to be changed.
Why is an RV Water Softener Important?
The best RV water softeners cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Some require more complicated installation and periodic consumable refill, but when you consider the harm hard water may cause to some of your RV’s systems and appliances, it’s a little price to pay to keep everything running smoothly.
The cost of removing and repairing broken pipes or a toilet with a low water input might be rather high. Consider how inconvenient it would be if your hot water heater or washer failed in the middle of a long journey.
Water filter and water softener systems are not interchangeable. Bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and other waterborne particles that are captured by a carbon filter are removed by water filters. Although one of the models mentioned below performs both, water filtration and water softening are not the same thing.
Portable water softeners are essential for RVs since they assist to avoid rust, soap scum, water spots, and dry skin. A water filter is a plus since it eliminates sulfides and other particles that give water an unpleasant taste or odor. Filters, on the other hand, are only good for little amounts of water and do not dissolve minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. A water softener will prevent stains and clogs in an RV’s pipes and appliances, resulting in fewer maintenance and repair in the long term. Soft water helps you save money by preserving the value of your RV. Furthermore, without soft water, you would be deprived the benefits of soft water for consumption, such as the reduction of toxic minerals that create poor tastes and smells.