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What’s the Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water?

We hear the terms hard water and soft water all the time. But what do we really mean by that? Water is water in your Arlington home, right?
Yes and no. Chemically speaking, water molecules are made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom. If water is 100% pure, then it is just water. Most water is not 100% pure. It typically contains varying amounts of other stuff, usually in very small quantities.

Arlington, VA Water Softener ServicesSpecific Levels of Hard Water

Hard water refers to water containing higher than normal levels of certain minerals, mostly various forms of calcium and magnesium.
Hard water is typically ground water that passed through certain kinds of terrain that is high in these minerals, such as limestone or chalk.
As it passes through these types of rock layers, it leaches dissolves part of the rock, leaching out the minerals. Calcite, gypsum, and dolomite are common sources of excess the excess minerals found in hard water.

Mineral Build-Up in Your Pipes

These minerals can build up on your Arlington home’s water pipes and other infrastructure that comes into regular contact with the hard water. The build up can interfere damage the system, leading to the need for expensive repairs.
This is especially problematic in certain industrial settings. Industries that are significantly impacted typically monitor their water and take measures to ensure this isn’t an issue, using chemical water softeners or water softening equipment to address the issue.

Residential Hard Water

In residential use, hard water can have modest health benefits for some people. However, it can also cause health problems. Hard water can be particularly hard on your complexion and hair.
For example, it is associated with eczema in children. Thus, showering or bathing in hard water can take their toll on your appearance over time. Some people with serious health problems install reverse osmosis systems, in part to soften their domestic water and in part to remove other contaminants and even germs.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that lacks these minerals. Some water is naturally soft, having never been exposed to the minerals that create hard water. This is typically true of rain water. When it is not naturally soft, water softeners or reverse osmosis can be used to create soft water from hard water.
Depending upon the chemical form of the minerals, distillation can also be used to make soft water. Calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate cannot simply be boiled out, but other chemical forms can be boiled out of the water.

Knowing the differences between hard & soft water in your Arlington, VA home is important. For more info, call The Plumbing Dr. at (703) 525-9280 today!