Will A Water Softener Cause Your Blood Pressure To Go Up?

One of the best treatments for hard water is to install a water softener. However, many people have a variety of misconceptions about water softeners, one of which is that using the machine can lead to excess amounts of salt to be dumped into your water supply, leading to associated health issues. Like most myths, this misconception contains a mixture of truth and fiction. Here's some clarity on this issue.

All Sodium is Not the Same

Part of the reason people are confused about how water softeners work is because these appliances do, in fact, use sodium to help remove the minerals contaminating the water supply. The most common minerals found in hard water is calcium and magnesium. The water softener removes these minerals through a method called ion exchange, where calcium and magnesium ions are traded for sodium ones.

People see the word sodium and immediately associate it with table salt. However, that's not the sodium used in water softeners. Table salt is made from sodium chloride, while the salt used in water softeners is called sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as baking soda).

Sodium bicarbonate generally does not have a negative impact on health. In fact, it is commonly used as an antacid to calm heartburn and indigestion. Unless you are particularly sensitive to sodium, consuming it won't cause your blood pressure to rise. According to one study, consumption of sodium bicarbonate may even help reduce blood pressure by a few points.

The Sodium Added to Water is Minimal

Another reason you shouldn't be concerned about the sodium used in water softeners is that you're unlikely to consume enough to be harmful. An 8-ounce glass of very hard water that's run through a water softener will contain about 20 to 40 mgs of sodium. If you drink 8 cups per day, the maximum amount of sodium you would consume would be 320 mgs. In comparison, one McDonald's hamburger contains 590 mgs of sodium. And again, the sodium used in the water softening process is not the same as what's used to flavor food.

If you're concerned about the salt content of the water coming from your water softener, you can always use a water filter to eliminate most of it. The benefits of using a water softener vastly outweigh the drawbacks, so it's a good idea to explore options for handling concerns you may have about installing this type of appliance.

For more information about this issue or to have your other questions about water softeners answered, contact a company that specializes in selling water treatment systems. To learn more, contact a company like Water Tec.