25th May 2013
You may have heard the terms "hard water" and "soft water" before, but do you know exactly what they mean? If you don't, you're not alone; many homeowners don't fully understand the terminology.
Hard water is a term used to describe water that has high levels of minerals present like calcium and magnesium. Water's hardness is measured on the amounts of these minerals present in a sample. Typically, when calcium and magnesium are at levels of 100 to 120 parts per million or more, the water is considered hard and can lead to problems.
Soft water has lower levels of trace minerals than hard water. Some homes naturally have soft water due to their water sources and the local geology. If your home does not have soft water, you can purchase a device called a water softener that will remove the calcium and magnesium from your hard water.
Here are signs that you might need a water softener:
1. Your dishes do not come clean in the dishwasher. If you're frequently noticing spots on your glassware and silverware, hard water may be to blame. To rule out other possibilities, be sure to use only the recommended amount of dishwasher detergent and utilize a sheeting agent to improve rinsing. Also, do not overfill your dishwasher. Should spot problems linger, a water softener could likely help you get cleaner dishes.
2. You need more than a coin-sized amount of shampoo. Hard water often affects the lathering of soaps, including shampoo. If you find that you need to use more than the size of a coin to get your hair completely clean no matter what brand you use, a water softener may be right for you.
3. You go through laundry soap quickly. When you purchase laundry detergent, the bottle or box typically tells you through how many loads the soap will last. If it requires more detergent for you to get your clothes clean requiring you to purchase laundry soap more frequently, hard water may be to blame.
It's important to keep in mind that hard water is not a health hazard; however, some people find that softened water is more pleasant to drink. Water softeners are rather inexpensive and are readily available, including from plumbing companies like Sydney Emergency Plumbing.
Installers can typically perform a test to determine whether or not you have hard water. If you choose us to assist you, we will even conduct a complete plumbing inspection to rule out any other causes for your problems.
Do you use a water softener already? Tell us why you had it installed and what you like about it in our "Comments" section.