Have you been experiencing dryness, dandruff, and a general lack of life in your hair and skin? If so, you might be dealing with hard water. What even is hard water vs soft water for the matter? Hard water is water that contains high levels of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Meanwhile, soft water has been treated to remove excess minerals that can have a negative impact on your body and home.
For all your plumbing problems, Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here to solve them. Contact us to learn more about hard water vs soft water and how we can help preserve your system with repiping or water softener system installation. We provide expert services to Brevard Plumbing for over 33 years. Trust us with your plumbing system for repairs, installations, and any plumbing emergency. Call 321-676-0812, day or night, when a plumbing disaster strikes, and Certified Plumbing of Brevard will come to the rescue!
The Differences Between Soft and Hard Water
The terms “soft” and “hard” refer to the levels of mineral content in the water. Soft water is water that has a low mineral content, while hard water has a high mineral content. Soft water is defined as water that is low in mineral content, typically containing fewer than 60 milligrams of dissolved solids per liter. Hard water, on the other hand, is water that contains high levels of dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Soft water is often created by treating hard water with a water softener, which removes the excess minerals through a process called ion exchange. Hard water can cause issues such as buildup on plumbing fixtures and appliances, as well as issues with hair and skin.
Hard water is the most common type of water in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s desirable. If left untreated, hard water can cause mineral buildup in pipes, fixtures, and appliances, leading to reduced water flow and increased energy costs. Soft water, on the other hand, is typically gentler on pipes and appliances but may not taste as good as hard water. In addition, soft water can absorb the minerals in your metal piping, which leads to other issues.
Effects of Hard Water on Plumbing System
As your plumbing system is exposed to hard water, over time, it can negatively affect various components of your system. Minerals in hard water can build up resulting in limescale and clogs, reducing the flow of water through your pipes. Hard water deposits can cause corrosion of metallic pipes, leading to leaks and even burst pipes.
Effects of Soft Water on Plumbing System
Soft water is highly corrosive when in contact with metal. When water passes through pipes that are made of copper or brass, it leaches out the copper content, causing the pipes to corrode, degrade, and eventually leak. Soft water can also erode the pipes’ protective lining and cause them to burst. When you notice sudden, unexplainable leakages, it is highly likely that your plumbing system has suffered severe damage caused by soft water.
The Importance of Water Treatment
Regardless of whether you have hard or soft water flowing through your plumbing system, the best course of action is to treat your water to remove impurities that can cause damage to your pipes over time. Water softeners can be installed to replace hard minerals like calcium and magnesium with sodium ions, while reverse osmosis systems can remove all impurities entirely from your water, leaving you with soft, clean water that will not damage your plumbing system.
Signs to Determine Your Type of Water
1. Soap Doesn’t Lather Well
The primary sign of hard water is the inability of soaps, dishwashing detergents, and shampoos to lather properly. Hard water contains high levels of minerals that react negatively with soap and create a scum residue. This scum residue makes it difficult for soap to lather properly and can lead to a buildup of soap curd on your skin and shower doors.
2. Dry Skin and Hair
Hard water can lead to dry skin and hair due to the soap curd that accumulates on your skin and hair during showers. It can also cause dandruff, hair loss, and scalp irritation. Hard water can also lead to dry, itchy skin, eczema flare-ups, and acne breakouts. This is because the minerals in hard water can clog pores and strip away natural oils from the skin. Over time, these issues can become more severe if left unaddressed. Soft water, on the other hand, allows soap to lather better, which helps to remove dirt and oils from your skin more effectively, keeping your skin and hair hydrated.
3. Stains on Clothing and Dishes
Hard water can cause stains on your clothing and dishes due to the mineral buildup that occurs during the washing process. The iron in hard water can cause rust stains on clothing, while the calcium and magnesium can leave a white film on dishes and make them look dull.
4. Reduced Water Pressure
Minerals in hard water can accumulate in your pipes and reduce water pressure over time. If you notice a reduction in water pressure, it’s essential to check whether your water is hard or soft.
5. White Residue on Fixtures
If you observe a white crusty buildup on your faucets, showerheads, and other metal fixtures in your home or business, you likely have hard water. The minerals in hard water create a white residue that can be difficult to remove and often requires a special cleaning solution.
Testing Water Type
If you suspect that you have hard water, you can test it using a home water testing kit or by contacting your local water department. These tests will measure the levels of minerals and other contaminants in your water and give you a better idea of whether your water is hard or soft. You can also check your water bills to see if you have a high water usage rate, which can be an indicator of hard water.
Keep in mind that Florida is known to have hard to very hard water. You can always ask your plumber if you are unsure. Certified Plumbing of Brevard knows how to maintain the health of your plumbing system. If the hardness of your water is wreaking havoc on your system or skin, we can provide solutions.
Understanding Water Test Results
If you’re not sure whether your water is hard or soft, it’s important to conduct a water test. You can purchase a water test kit online or at your local hardware store. Once you receive your results, you’ll see a measurement in parts per million (ppm) of minerals in your water. If your results show less than 60 ppm, your water is considered soft. If your results show more than 180 ppm, your water is considered hard.
Treating Hard vs Soft Water
While there are plenty of options for treating your hard or soft water, it ultimately comes down to choosing the right option for your home or business. Consider factors such as budget, water usage, and the types of minerals present in your water to make an informed decision. It’s also important to remember that different treatment options may work better for different situations.
One common treatment method is to install a water softener, which uses an ion exchange process to remove minerals from the water. A water softener will treat the water in your home or business, removing excess minerals to create soft water.
Water softeners can be expensive, but they can also save you money in the long run by reducing energy costs and prolonging the life of your appliances.
If installing a water softener is currently not plausible, here are some easier fixes for your hair, skin, and plumbing system:
- Clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoo can remove mineral buildup from your hair.
- Gentle, soap-free cleanser your skin and use moisturizer to prevent dryness.
- Certified Plumbing of Brevard can maintain plumbing health. We can help with repiping or restoring any of your plumbing system to ensure free-flowing and healthy plumbing pipes.
It’s important to conduct regular maintenance on your system to ensure it’s working properly. If you do install a water softener, be sure to replace filters regularly.
For everything else, Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here. It’s essential to maintain your plumbing system regularly, whether your water is soft or hard. If any issues arise, we are available 24/7 to remedy any plumbing disaster. Regular maintenance can help to ensure emergencies won’t happen.
Contact Certified Plumbing of Brevard
At Certified Plumbing of Brevard, we’ve got you covered. Within the hard water vs soft water debate, is one really better than the other? As both do effect your plumbing system. For ultimate plumbing maintenance, Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here to help maintain your plumbing no matter what side you’re on: hard water vs soft water.
With over 33 years of experience, Certified Pluming of Brevard’s licensed and insured plumbers offer 24/7 availability. Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner, or renter, we’re committed to providing you with top-notch solutions. Keep your plumbing system running smoothly with Certified Plumbing of Brevard. Call us at 321-676-0812 or request a quote so we can restore your plumbing system!