Hard Water vs. Soft Water: Know The Facts

Hard water and soft water differ in a number of ways, and not just in their composition. Hard water is defined as water that contains minerals. Soft water, on the other hand, is devoid of any other components apart from its molecules. The common minerals that are dissolved/ found in hard water are magnesium and calcium. The hardness of water is defined by the minerals dissolved in it, as well as the quantities/ forms of the minerals in that water. Hard water can be softened by removing the minerals through boiling, using calcium hydroxide or using ion-exchange resins.



Hard Vs Soft Water on Plumbing

Water is delivered to homes and other premises via pipes. Plumbing is made of metallic hard water problemsmaterials or plastic. Soft water has no effect on plastic or metallic plumbing. Hard water, on the other hand, can corrode some metallic pipes, faucets and other plumbing. Apart from corroding the plumbing, when the calcium and magnesium minerals in the water react with the plumbing metal, hard water can leave deposits of calcium and magnesium (called scales) on the inner surfaces of the pipes. This deposit (scales) not only narrows plumbing/ water passage, therefore affecting water flow, but also reduces the heat conductivity of boilers and furnaces.

Effect of Hard Vs Soft Water on Human Health

Water consumption is essential for good human health. Soft water has no adverse effects on human health. The presence of magnesium and calcium in hard water, in reasonable quantities, is beneficial to human health as the body requires these minerals for various functions.

Cleaning with Hard Vs Soft Water

When it comes to cleaning, using detergents and soaps, soft water is preferable to hard water. Soft water has no components that interact with soap or detergents and it, thereby, lathers easily, and the detergents/ soaps bind with dirt, removing dirt effectively. Hard water, on the other hand, has minerals that react with detergents and soaps to form a film (scum) that prevents lathering/ suds formation. Additionally, the formed scum prevents the detergents/ soap from binding with the dirt on fabrics, thereby reducing effective dirt removal.


The difference between hard water and soft water is that hard water contains dissolved minerals, but soft water does not. Hard and soft water are both beneficial to human health. However, hard water affects plumbing in that it (hard water) has minerals that can clog and or corrode the pipes. Cleaning tasks can be a bit difficult with hard water as the minerals react with detergents and soaps, preventing detergent/ soap binding with dirt.

Are you experiencing the effects of hard water and need an expert plumber who understands what is required to install and maintain a water softening system? Robinson Plumbing has experienced and skilled plumbers that can assist you with all of your plumbing needs including the installation and maintenance of a water softening system.