Hard Water vs. Soft Water: What’s the Difference?

You might have heard the terms “soft water” or “hard water” before, but do you know what the difference between them is? From their respective health benefits to their uses, it’s good to know what qualities give them their distinction and what variation you have at different places throughout your home or business.

Similarities and Differences

All of the water that runs through the plumbing in your home or business contains minerals. However, the amount of certain minerals in the water is what determines its hardness. At the start of water’s journey to your plumbing, rain from the sky is naturally soft, containing higher levels of sodium. As it travels through the city’s underground plumbing system to your home or office, it picks up various minerals from the pipes, mainly calcium and magnesium. The higher concentration of those minerals makes the water “hard”.
Both hard and soft water come with their own set of benefits. Drinking hard water can contribute to your daily intake of magnesium and calcium and is typically preferred to drink because of its taste compared to the saltier soft water. Soft water, on the other hand, is normally preferred for cleaning because it effectively reduces the potential for mineral stains or soap scum. This makes soft water more efficient, saving you money on your monthly water bills.
While there are no serious health problems that can come from hard water, using it regularly in the shower can change the pH balance of your skin and hair, contributing to dryness and increasing the potential for bacteria and infections to get on them. This is why many homes and businesses use a water softener.

Water Softeners

Water softeners work to remove the calcium and magnesium from hard water and replace them with sodium. These systems must be cleaned and maintained regularly to avoid bacteria buildup that can lead to bigger problems if left untreated. The team at Viking Plumbing is specially trained in water softeners, and we offer water softener installation and repair services.

How Can You Tell Which is Which?

If you’re just looking at your water, you probably won’t be able to tell whether it’s hard or soft. However, there are a few telltale signs to distinguish what kind of water you have in your home or office:

Hard Water

  • Mineral stains on clothes
  • Spots on dishes and glassware
  • Lower water pressure due to mineral buildup in pipes

Soft Water

  • Subtle salty taste
  • No mineral stains or spots on clothes and dishes
  • Higher water pressure

Questions? Call Viking Plumbing!

If you have any questions or concerns about the type of water in your home, it’s best to talk to a professional! The team at Viking Plumbing is well-trained and well-equipped to handle any problem you may be experiencing with your water or general plumbing. We would be happy to help you, so give us a call today!