Talking about hard or soft water seems bizarre because, after all, water is liquid — “hard” and “soft” as you usually use those terms wouldn’t seem to apply. But “hard” and “soft” also describe the amount of minerals in the water. Water that has minerals in it, like magnesium or calcium, is considered hard. The larger the amount of minerals, the harder the water is considered to be. If the amount of minerals is undetectable, then the water is soft. Soft water might contain some sodium, however. You can also treat water to make it soft.
Determining whether you have hard or soft water — short of getting the water professionally tested — isn’t an exact science, but you can get a pretty good idea of what you might have. Taste the water. If it tastes salty, that indicates it could be on the softer side. However, a salty taste can be a subjective matter — what one person considers salty, another might think is bland. So, a couple of other tests are in order.
Wash a few glasses and let them air dry. If they form those white streaks and spots, your water is likely on the hard side. Another test is to wash your hands with pure soap — not detergents, which are in a lot of body washes and liquid soaps, but pure bar soap. If you have a really hard time getting a good lather worked up, you’re dealing with hard water.
Plumbing companies normally recommend making the water softer overall because hard water can form build up in the pipes. Your pipes eventually clog, and the plumbing can deteriorate. If you’re interested in getting a softener installed in your home, contact us at (407) 275-0705. Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions has been helping people with home comfort issues since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock