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What’s the difference between hard and soft water?

Hard and Soft Water Explained

Heard the terms hard and soft water before? Homeowner’s have probably heard these terms once or twice and a few might even know what they mean. Hard and soft water have health and cost difference that affect you and your home. Don’t worry, both are safe for human consumption. However, there are noticeable differences that you might want to consider when it comes to the type of water you have in your home.

Straight to the point

Hard Water

Hard water contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals. This is because as water makes its way through the group and into the waterways, it picks up minerals. These minerals could be chalk, lime but mostly calcium and magnesium. Therefore, hard water contains a significant quantity of dissolved minerals.

Soft Water

Soft water is treated water in which the only ion is sodium. It contains few or no extra elements. The devices that remove hardness elements remove calcium and magnesium. Soft water also naturally occurs, such as, rainwater.

How to Tell the Difference

If you do some research, there will be a couple of big differences between hard and soft water that will continue to pop up. These big differences include: cleaning results, showering, cooking, energy consumption, and the long term effects of both hard and soft water.

Hard and Soft Water

Hard Water Vs Soft Water

Cleaning Results

With hard water you’ll notice that soap doesn’t lather up richly and it’s not as bubbly. Soap is effected by the reaction to the magnesium and calcium. This could cause you to be spending more in buying soap and laundry detergent then needs be with soft water.

As compared to soft water; clothes washed in hard water are duller, not as soft, and appear dingy. For the dishes, spots and residue make them appear not as clean due to the calcium and magnesium.

Soft water reduces the need for detergent by 50% or more. It doesn’t contain the minerals that interact with the cleaning products. Glasses will have a sparkle to them once you’re done cleaning them with soft water.

The Bathroom

Visually, hard water brings bathtubs with lots of film and soap scum. Shower curtains aren’t scum-free and the soap is less effective. The hard water creates scale and film buildup that requires an increase in how often you clean your bathroom. With that comes and increase use of chemicals to clean the shower and walls.

Not only do you have to clean more but your hair will appear duller and feel sticky as you use hard water. Soft water allows the soap to lather up easier. You’ll also see less soap scum. Bonus, your hair will look healthy.

Cooking and Health

The issue that some people have expressed is that the softened water is that minerals in your water give it a characteristic taste. People say they enjoy the natural mineral waters for their flavor and potential health benefits.

Hard water doesn’t negatively impact health and is in fact suggested for those with heart or circulatory problems or others with a low sodium diet. When hard water is softened, minerals are removed and sodium content is increased.  Drinking water contributes a small amount toward total calcium and magnesium human diet.

Still, both hard and soft water are usually considered safe. Neither hard nor soft water should have an opposing impact on health when they have gone through a treatment plant.

Too Much!

Hard and soft water are both beneficial in its own different ways. Too much hardness in the water causes scaling inside your pipes and water heaters. This scaling can restrict the flow of the plumbing through the pipes and is a poor conductor of heat. Eventually, you will run into clogs and plumbing problems from this build up.

Not enough hardness in the water occurs, it can deteriorate metal, contribute to staining of concrete, vinyl and fiberglass materials and reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

Finding the perfect balance of either your hard or soft water is important. The extremes of both sides cause plumbing problems. Either way, both hard and soft water are perfect for the individual once they make the choice of either or for their home.

The Decision

In the end, whether you want cleaning or the minerals, the decision is up to you, the homeowner. Learning about what goes into your home is very important for not only you but your home.

Express Plumbing Service is ready to help you with your plumbing needs and our experienced technicians can help you with the decision of either hard or soft water in your home. Express Plumbing Service is a Better Business Bureau +A rated company. Call (208) 941-8718 to get scheduled today or visit our site to get scheduled.


About the Author:

The team here at Express Plumbing Service, believes that it is important to keep our customers and viewers updated and informed on the plumbing industry. Whether it be how to maintain your septic system, to preventing major leaks, or on how to update your bathroom. We are hear to keep up on the latest and continue to build as a company!