When the talk shifts to soft and hard water, some homeowners have a hard time discerning which one they have and why it matters. Each type has its own benefits and downsides and choosing the better option boils down to preferences and your current situation. For instance, hard water contains minerals beneficial to health, while soft water is more suitable for cleaning. Here’s a closer look at the two.
Why Are Soft and Hard Water Different?
Hardness is a characteristic of water that defines the number of minerals it contains. Between soft and hard water, the latter has more dissolved minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium. These are picked up when water flows over limestone and other rocks through a waterway.
Water that contains more than 60 milligrams of minerals per liter is classified as hard and is deemed soft if the content is lower. To know whether hard water is coming out of your fixtures, look out for signs such as scale buildup on fixtures and appliances, spots or film residue on washed dishes and clothes, and dry, irritated skin and dull hair.
Why It Matters What You Choose
Hard water reacts differently to cleaning products because of the dissolved minerals. Calcium binds with the soap molecules to form a thin film called ‘soap scum,’ which makes it challenging to get everything cleaned in one go. You’ll need more soap or detergent to work up a lather and more water to remove the slick, sticky feeling.
Moreover, heating hard water results in the formation of calcium deposits. When these accumulate over time, they reduce the efficiency and shorten the life span of your pipes, fixtures, and appliances. The above issues won’t happen if you use soft water.
How a Water Softener Works
When softening hard water, the process entails removing the majority of its mineral content through ion exchange. The positively charged calcium and magnesium ions are swapped with sodium and potassium, thanks to the resin beads in the tank. The softener has to be recharged by having brine water wash over the beads to replenish the sodium ions.
Soft and hard water have their respective merits and drawbacks; if you want to reduce the hardness of your supply, consider installing a water softener from Butler Water Systems in Fairfield, OH. Since 1973, they have provided top-notch water purification systems throughout the greater Cincinnati area. Learn about water filter systems online or call (513) 867-5700 for a free water analysis.