Differences Between Hard Water and Soft Water

Water is made up of chemicals and minerals whose concentration determines how soft or hard the fluid is. Most people have heard the terms "hard water" and "soft water," but not everyone knows the many fundamental differences between them.

The hardness or softness of your water will impact your bathing, cleaning, cooking and plumbing maintenance. You should know what type of water is in your pipes and understand the resulting advantages and disadvantages.

Hard Water

Water that contains a high measure of magnesium and calcium is considered hard water. Hard water can vary in hardness depending on the amount of dissolved substance within it.

Pros of Hard Water

Though hard water often gets a bad rep, it does have its benefits:

  • Helpful minerals: Hard water can help you get your daily dose of calcium and magnesium, which can aid in digestion, heart function and blood sugar regulation.
  • Enhanced taste: This kind of water is said to taste better than the soft water alternative.

Cons of Hard Water

Hard water may be tasty to drink, but it does present complications when it comes to plumbing maintenance. The cons include:

  • Scaling: Scaling is the rocky substance that forms when magnesium and calcium are exposed to oxygen or heat. It can coat surfaces like heaters, shower doors, faucets, pipes and dishware, ultimately causing damage.
  • Mineral stains: Like calcium spots, mineral stains often appear on clothing items when they come out of the wash. Hard water can also cause clothes to wear faster due to the harshness of its chemical makeup.
  • Low water pressure: Hard water can cause mineral deposits in your plumbing, narrowing the pipe diameter and reducing water flow.
  • Inadequate cleaning: Soap is much more difficult to rinse off the body with hard water. Hard water can react with soap to form a curd that adheres to the skin and hair, causing irritation.

Soft Water

Unlike hard water, soft water contains higher levels of sodium and lacks magnesium and calcium.

Pros of Soft Water

Soft water comes with many advantages, including:

  • More effective cleaning: Because soft water is free of calcium and magnesium, it rinses soap quickly and more effectively after creating a healthy lather.
  • No scaling, soap scum or mineral stains: This benefit means no spots on clothing, dishware or other appliances.
  • Healthy skin and hair: Soft water makes for healthier skin and hair because it combats the dryness and stickiness of cold temperatures and low humidity.
  • Good water pressure: Because the minerals in soft water do not create solid deposits, your pipes will stay clear.

Cons of Soft Water

The only known risk of consuming soft water is that its high sodium content can be bad for those with high blood pressure.

Water Softening

Water softening is the process of running hard water through resin and releasing different ions into the water to make it softer. If you choose to soften your water, you'll need to clean and maintain your equipment to prevent the formation of fungi and bacteria.

Schedule Plumbing Maintenance Services at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Oneida

Mr. Rooter Plumbing is your licensed plumbing maintenance service certified by Madison County. From leak detection to no-charge checkups and other plumbing projects, we can get the job done. Give us a call at 315-363-1565 or request your plumbing estimate, and we'll confirm your appointment time as soon as possible.