The softness or hardness of water has a direct effect on health, home appliances, and energy consumption. We call it hardness or softness of water but it depends and runs along chemistry of water with slight modification of chemical makeup.
Paying little attention to differentiate between hard and soft water can help you to amend its taste, health effects, and energy efficiency.
To give an explanation for the distinction between hard and soft water, firstly we have to explain what is soft water.
Soft water is water that is unspoiled or unmarked by chemical compounds when it strikes the ground, and travels through various routes on ground, it picks up various compounds, minerals, salts, and is converted into hard water.
Soft water has salted, alkaline taste and may cause heart and circulatory problems.
Hard water is grasping various chemical compounds and minerals giving chemical constituents in water. People most of the time prefer it over soft water because of its taste and consider it healthier to drink as compared with soft water.
Hardness of water is normally measured in grains/gallon.
|Category||Grains / Gallon|
|Soft Water||Less than 1|
|Slightly Hard||1 - 3.5|
|Moderately Hard||3.5 - 7.5|
|Hard||7.5 - 10.5|
|Very Hard||10.5 and above|
Interestingly where you live and how it is measured either it is soft or hard water depends on variable factors. In the US, soft water is in your house if calcium carbonate content is less than 60mg/L.
Most states of the US have hard water and they need to treat it for various household and industrial applications.
How soft and hard water affects energy consumption?
Hard water has to work hard with more energy consumption to accomplish the same job as compared to soft water. Minerals deposits in the water heater, it needs more energy to heat up the water for a daily charge. The same thing occurs in washing machines and dishwashers as minerals accumulate in water pipelines and motors have to work hard, consuming more energy for normal water flow.
Soft or Hard water? Which water is better to drink
The National Institute of Health has found positive health benefits as compared to soft water in drinking water. Appropriate balance of calcium, magnesium can have a positive effect on health.
It has better taste as well.
The World health organization reported that soft water can have a negative effect on the human body. Demineralized soft water lacks vital minerals and increases sodium consumption.
Testing softness or hardness of water
The hardness of water can be tested by numerous ways including;
i.Water hardness test kits
There are a number of affordable testing kits that are commercially available for various substances. Simply dip the strip in water and instant color change gives the result which can be compared with the results provided on the label.
If the glass comes out from dishwasher covered with a cloudy film, or troubling of rinsing off the soap, dry skin you may have been using hard water.
iii. Soap test
Filling half glass of water adding soap and shaking it while covering the top. If water is hard it will be changed in cloudy form. If water is soft it will be clear bottom with bubbles on top of the surface of the water.