Hard and Soft Water: The Differences, Advantages, and Disadvantages
If you’ve ever smiled and nodded in complete confusion when someone mentions their new soft water system or complains about their water being too hard, you’re not alone. It’s common to hear stories about people moving to a new city and noticing a difference in the water texture, but they can’t put their finger on what the difference is.
The short answer is: Hard water has a higher mineral and chemical content than soft water.
Although the difference between hard and soft water seems simple, the hardness of your water can make a noticeable impact on your daily activities like showering and dishwashing.
If you’re interested in softening the water your city supplies to your home, Call Central Plumbing Co. in Baton Rouge to install a house-wide soft water system and answer any questions you may have.
Hard and Soft Water: Explained
Rainwater naturally lacks minerals and chemicals, but as it travels through the waterways and into your home’s pipes, it picks up calcium, chalk, magnesium, and other minerals. The more minerals and chemicals water has, the harder it is considered. Putting water through extra filtration systems that purify the water can make it softer.
Hard and Soft Water: The Advantages
It’s possible that hard water may be the healthier option when it comes to drinking your home’s tap water. Our bodies need minerals to thrive. Because of the magnesium and calcium present in hard water, drinking it can help you intake the recommended amounts of these minerals.
Soft water contains little to no minerals and chemicals, which means it’s gentle on your body and the surfaces around your home. The lack of minerals means that you won’t have to worry about chalky buildup around your faucets and fixtures or inside your pipes.
Soft water also increases the effectiveness of soap because it’s void of chemicals that react with most soaps. This means that you’ll get a better lather when you’re washing laundry or taking a bath.
Lastly, soft water is optimal for cleaning because there aren’t any minerals or chemicals present to cause soap scum, spots, and streaks on surfaces it touches. This difference between hard and soft water can save you money on your water bill when you don’t have to take longer showers or run the dishwasher twice to make sure everything is clean.
Hard and Soft Water: The Disadvantages
Hard water comes with its set of issues, which is why many homeowners install systems that soften their water. Hard water causes mineral buildup on surfaces the water touches like pipes, chrome, and glass. If you’ve ever seen buildup around your sink faucets, you’re looking at the effects of hard water. If minerals continue to build up in your pipes over time, you may feel a decrease in water pressure.
When soap reacts with calcium in hard water, a film appears on surfaces the solution touches. This means that anywhere you combine tap water and soap (bathtubs, sinks, and dishwashers), soap scum will be present. That’s why people often complain about their skin and hair feeling dirty when they shower with hard water – they’re noticing soap scum.
If you’ve ever pulled your dishes out of the dishwasher only to find streaks and spots, you can thank hard water for that too.
Soft water tends to have higher sodium content than hard water, which means that it’s slightly less healthy to drink than hard water. People with high blood pressure are advised against softening their drinking water at home.
If you’re interested in softening your water, consider buying a whole-house water-softening system. These work by filtering your home’s water through a tank filled with beads that attract the minerals and chemicals out of hard water. These beads don’t need to be replaced, but the level of maintenance you can expect will vary depending on the system you purchase.
Call Central Plumbing Co. for Hard and Soft Water Solutions
At Central Plumbing Co. in Baton Rouge, our team of plumbers is ready to install a water-softening system in your home. With over 45 years of experience, we’ve helped families all over Louisiana transition from hard water to soft water. If you have questions about hard and soft water or need a soft water system installed or repaired, call Central Plumbing Co. at 225-925-8552.