Water is water, isn’t it? Water itself is good but when someone says you have hard water, you may be left scratching your head trying to figure out what that means. When there is an abundance of minerals, deposits can form. Unfortunately, this can damage the pipes and become costly over time. So, what’s the difference between hard and soft water?
Water is considered hard water when is contains a considerable amount of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. If your water is hard, you may notice the following tell-tale signs:
- Spots on dishes and glassware
- Soap scum in the bathtub
- Lime buildup on shower heads
There are a variety of ways to test water hardness that range from purchasing an at-home test kit to hiring a plumbing specialist. You can DIY it and perform a water test with only an empty bottle, dish soap and tap water.
Since hard water can cause a myriad of problems including:
- Stained sinks and tubs
- Damage to water-utilizing appliances
- Clogged pipes
Eventually, you may need to replace your pipes or appliances due to the ongoing damage effects of hard water.
In contrast, soft water has little to no trace of mineral deposits. Soft water occurs naturally or is the result of water treatments. Soft water allows soap and detergents to work more effectively, but is not always the best choice for drinking. Water softened by treatment usually tastes salty due to the dissolution of sodium during the treatment process.
Disadvantages of Hard Water
Since the high levels of minerals in hard water cause white scale buildup, it leaves deposits on almost every surface it touches. These contaminants can cause your laundry to feel scratchy. Hard water can also dry out your skin and cause your hair to lose its luster.
In addition, hard water may also cause other cleaning products to lose their effectiveness, leaving a filmy residue behind.
Hard water can also cause mineral buildup in your appliances, such as a water heater. And when this occurs, it may cause your water heater to lose efficiency. What does this mean for you? Higher energy bills and a shorter life span of your water heater, as well as any other appliances that use water.
What do Water Softeners do?
Most water softening treatments replace the magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions. If you’re water is considerably hard, you may want to consider water softening treatments. They come in a variety of models; some that fit specifically over the faucet to whole-house softeners.
If you suspect that your home has hard water, enlist the help of your local Bloomington Indiana Roto Rooter plumber. We can assess the mineral levels in your water and discuss which treatment options are best. Call to schedule an appointment today.