There is such a thing as hard water and soft water? Yes! Though many of us can only think of water as being wet, the truth is a characteristic exists that defines water as soft or hard. Hard water is water that contains more dissolved minerals than soft water, usually calcium and magnesium to be more precise. Soft water is, as stated, hard water stripped of those dissolved minerals. Want to determine the water in your home is soft or hard? Many home centers and hardware stores offer DIY testing kits, or if you are in a municipal water system, you can contact the local water department to find out the hardness of your water. If you have hard water in your home and want to change it to soft, a water softener would be the most helpful tool.
Hard Water Troubles
The reason many people may want to shift their water into a ‘soft’ state would be due to the problems hard water can cause. Hard water troubles may include:
- Staining on sinks, toilets, bathtubs. This is caused by dissolved minerals and metals.
- Scale buildup on showerheads, appliances like tea kettles or coffee pots, pots, glassware, etc. Scale (also known as limescale) is a hard and chalky substance made up of calcium and magnesium bicarbonate.
- Dry skin and hair occur because the extra minerals floating around in your water actually settle on your skin when showering. Soap that doesn’t dissolve well in hard water can’t remove these minerals, so there is a residue left on the skin which makes it irritable and rough.
- Faded clothing because hard water makes soap and laundry detergents less effective, leaving residue on linens and other clothing that can fade or gray clothing’s appearance and leave it rough and scratchy.
- High water bills can show up to your door due to pipes having to work harder to let water flow through.
- Plumbing is in constant need of repair which is especially true if you have steel pipes, as they are easily damaged by limescale buildup. Limescale buildup around the valves of your washing machine and dishwasher can greatly reduce your appliances’ lifespans.
How to Read Results of a Water Test
If you want to have your water go through a test but are unsure of how to read the results, here’s a simple breakdown. Water is classified according to the milligrams per liter (mg/L) of dissolved calcium carbonate: 0 to 60 mg/L is classified as soft to slightly hard; 61 to 120 mg/L is pretty hard; 121 to 180 mg/L is hard; more than 180 mg/L means you have very hard water on your hands.
A water softener is a filtration system that will strip hard water of unnecessary minerals and leave it soft for better usage in your household. If you want to learn more about water quality and water softeners, turn to an expert plumber. Looking for a plumber in Ontario? Call The Original Plumbing Company today!