What is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water
The term “hard water” usually refers to the dissolved mineral content in water which typically includes calcium, magnesium and manganese. Hard water can also be caused by a variety of other metals. Hard water is a common problem that affects many households and business contributing to increased cost and added wear and tear on appliances and plumbing fixtures.
Water with high levels of dissolved mineral content can lead to the following plumbing related issues:
– Soap scum in sinks and bathtubs
– Hard to remove bathtub rings
– Discoloration of dishes or shower doors
– Reduced cleaning abilities of soaps and detergents
– Dingy clothes with soapy residues that require extra rinsing
– Clogged pipes and plumbing fixtures from buildup of minerals
– Increased water heating costs from buildup of minerals, and reduced efficiency of water heaters
– Possible skin infections from bacteria.
Water and Health
Water and health are linked. Hard water can be a hazard to human health. If you have hard water you should consider having it treated by a professional plumber or a qualified water treatment provider.
Some signs of that should alert you to to the possibility of having hard water are: bad tasting water, odor from tap water, and water that does not later well with soap. There are many commercial ways of treating hard water including water filters, water softeners, electromagnetic water conditioners and reverse osmosis.
General guidelines for classification of soft waters are less than 60 milligrams per liter as calcium carbonate. Soft water is low in ions of calcium and magnesium.
Benefits of soft water include lower energy bills, and prolonging the life of washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters. The amount of dish and laundry detergent you use can be cut by half, or even more, if you use softened water.
There is no “one size fits all” solution to hard water problems.
The best solution may involve a combined approach at the faucet level or building level. It is important to find the right people or products to help you with your water quality issues.