Well, it all depends on how much “hardness” was in the water to begin with. The softener “exchanges” about an equal amount of sodium for the initial hardness. The harder the water, the more sodium you'll have added to the final product. Another way to look at it is you take in the same amount of salt that is found in 1 slice of regular white bread.
How Hard Is My Water?
Water treatment systems work by using sodium ions to attract the hard minerals in the water, and then depositing them on the softener's resin. Essentially, the sodium ions and the mineral ions trade places, which is why the water coming from the water treatment systems contains a bit more sodium.
One of the main concerns is scaling in your pipes and fixtures. If water is heated, those dissolved minerals re-crystalized into what is known as scales. These scales get into all the appliances that run water, including your water heater, dishwasher and washing machine, and reduce their lifespan by depositing the scales throughout the works. Other concerns include soap scum in your shower. Soap combines with the hard water to form the scummy substance, and that gets laid down on your shower stall and even your skin. Even with a good rinse, some of the soap scum stays on your skin and in some cases can lead to skin irritations.
With hard water that has been softened with a water treatment system, you will use less detergent because the chemicals don’t have to work so hard to clean your clothes and dishes. Water treatment systems also reduce spotting on your glasses and dishes. Additionally, hard water increases scaling in faucets, bath fixtures and pipes.
Water naturally has minerals like magnesium, manganese, calcium and magnesium carbonate dissolved in it. When water has more than 3 grain per gallon of these minerals, it is considered hard. Your GE Pro – Elite water professional can test your water for hardness and other properties.