Have you heard the terms "hard water" and "soft water" but aren't quite sure what they mean, which is safest for you to drink, or which you need to have flowing out of your faucets? Let's explore the differences and the potential problems and solutions associated with each of them.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that has higher-than-normal mineral content — usually a mixture of varying levels of calcium and magnesium. Hard water isn't necessarily unsafe to drink, in fact, it may even have moderate health benefits for those who are calcium or magnesium deficient!
So what's so bad about hard water? Well, in your home, hard water:
- Creates calcium and limescale stains on your faucets and shower heads (pictured above)
- Makes most dish soap less effective, leading to residue on perfectly clean dishes that just came out of the dishwasher
- Negates the effects of most laundry detergent leaving clumped up ‘oil spots’ on clean clothes even before they make it into the dryer
- Can even leave your hair looking dull or even unwashed
What is Soft Water?
Soft water, the other hand, contains low concentrations of ions such as calcium and magnesium. Soft water can occur naturally where water gathers near calcium poor rocks, or it can be deliberately softened by implementing lime softeners or ion-exchange resins. Both naturally occurring soft water and manually softened water are safe for consumption.
Neither soft water or softened water will have the adverse of effects of hard water. This means you'll get the spotless dishes, shiny hair, and clean clothes you've been striving for all along and you won't have to worry about any potential buildup in your water heater. Installing a water softener is worth the investment, and will pay for itself over time as you no longer need to wash things multiple times to get them clean or keep buying pricey water softening chemicals.
Do you identify with the hard water woes we described above? Contact Ken's Plumbing today! We have water softeners on hand to plumb into your home’s water supply, which help remove those minerals from your water using ion exchange. You can give us a call at (864) 242-5511 or contact us online to ask any lingering questions, or you can click on the banner below to schedule service!
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