Whether you know it or not, your home likely has either hard or soft water flowing through the pipes. The difference lies in the number of minerals that are in the water, and how treated the water has been. There are differences between the two water types that can affect things like cleaning, and how products like shampoo or conditioner react with your hair. It can also affect your plumbing system, so it’s important to know the difference between the two.

Hard Water

Hard water is defined by the mineral content in the water. When rain falls, the water is naturally soft. As the water is absorbed by the ground and moves into large waterways, however, minerals are absorbed into the water. Hard water contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and in some cases chalk or lime.

Hard water is generally preferred as drinking water for the health benefits of the minerals. However, it can make household chores difficult because it can be very harsh on appliances and pipes. When hard water is used with appliances it can take more energy to run, and there is an increased risk of clogging or damaging of the appliance because of possible scaling and mineral build-up. It can also cause scaling and build up within your home’s plumbing system, requiring costly pipe repair.

Soft Water

While hard water is full of minerals, soft water is treated and only contains sodium ion. This gives water a salty taste, and it is generally not preferred as drinking water and in some cases can be unsafe to drink.

Without the minerals causing build up, soft water makes cleaning easier and doesn’t risk damage to your house drain pipes or appliances. When washing things, homes with soft water can use less detergent on things like dishes and clothes.

Installing a Water Softener

Unfortunately, there is no way to choose which type of water is delivered to your home. Whether you have hard or soft water flowing into your pipes is dependent on the municipality you live in and the water source your city draws from.

However, many homeowners who have problems with hard water choose to install a water softener. Water softeners remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from the water, extending the life of your pipes and appliances.

Does your home need a Water Softener?

Water softener installation should be done by a licensed plumbing professional. Call Wellbrook Plumbing, a trusted Niagara plumbing company, to install a water softener in your home.