You may not give much thought from day to day about the water that flows through your home’s plumbing. However, consider that water quality impacts the function of kitchen and bathroom faucets, your water heater, clothes washing machine, dishwasher, pipes, and more. With that in mind, the quality and types of water—hard and soft—flowing into your home may just deserve a few minutes of your time. Read on to learn the differences between hard and soft water and which type of water you would like flowing into your Twin Cities Metro area home.

Understanding Water Hardness

When you take the glasses out of your dishwasher or dish rack, are there unsightly spots on them? Those spots are a sign that you have hard water. As stated in the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, water hardness is determined by the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium found in the water.

Simply put, hard water is water that has high mineral content. As water flows down into the ground and percolates through deposits of limestone, gypsum, and/or chalk, it soaks up minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates. The higher the mineral content of water, the harder the water is. Ground water in the Twin Cities Metro area is considered to be very hard.

Negative Impacts and Signs of Hard Water

Over time, hard water flowing through your home’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances has negative implications. As a result, minerals in hard water accumulate in pipes, which can cause corrosion and clogging. What’s more, mineral deposits inside your home’s water heater make it more expensive to heat water and can damage water heater parts. Lastly, hard water can cause wear and tear for your dishwasher, washing machine, coffee maker, fixtures, and more. The following are some signs that the water in your home may be too hard:

  • A crusty, mineral buildup around showerheads and faucets
  • Clothing is stiff after washing
  • Dry, irritated skin after bathing (without using moisturizers, for example)
  • “Soap scum” buildup around showerheads, in showers and tubs, in sinks, and in a coffee maker
  • You notice an earthy or sulfur smell when water is running

How Water Softeners Work and Benefits

So, if hard water is water with a high mineral content, then you know that soft water is water with low mineral content. How do you best achieve hard water to soft water in the Twin Cities Metro area hard-water region? Call a professional plumber to install a whole-home water softener system in your home. It’s that simple!

A water softener treats hard water and softens it through an ionization process. Calcium and magnesium (the two primary causes of hard water) are positively charged molecules. Inside a water softener system there is a filter that contains negatively charged resin beads. As hard water passes through the filter, the negatively charged calcium and magnesium molecules are attracted to and attach to the negatively charged resin beads.

Simple as that, installing a water softener to your home’s plumbing softens the water before the water enters your home’s primary pipes, water heater, appliances, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Just think, with a water softener, your appliances can last longer, your plumbing will stay in better shape, and you may just have less skin irritation and dryness!

If you would like a whole-home water softener system installed in your Twin Cities Metro area home, call the pros at MN Plumbing and Home Services at (952) 469-8341 or use our online contact form!