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The hard facts about soft water

Updated: May 23, 2023

What actually is soft water?

"Soft water" is a term used to describe water with low concentrations of calcium and

magnesium ions. "Hard water" is just the opposite––water containing relatively higher levels of calcium and magnesium ions. While soft water can occur naturally, as is the case for those of us who live around the Great Lakes, most Americans live in areas with naturally hard water. In fact, nearly 85% of Americans do––and they all face the ongoing challenge of managing the havoc that hard water can wreak throughout your home.

If you have have soft water in your home, then you most likely rely on some type of water softener. The "softening" process, otherwise known as ion exchange, strips out the naturally occurring calcium and magnesium minerals from your water and replaces them with sodium ions. The end result? Officially "softened" water flowing through your pipes.

So, which is better: hard water or soft water?

Short answer, neither. In fact, each may have its own set of benefits––some of which are simply a matter of personal preference. But, a big reason so many people look to treat hard water in their home is to prevent the very real damage done by limescale, the white and green stuff you see form on your faucets and shower heads. That same stuff accumulates inside pipes, water heater and really anywhere your plumbing touches.

Limescale reduces the efficiency of your appliances and accelerates the deterioration of all your entire plumbing system; pipes, fixtures and all.

If you're wanting to address the issue of hard water and scale, you don't actually need to convert your water from hard to soft.

But! You just said!?

We know. Bear with us.

At the very minimum, those calcium and magnesium ions that form hard water need to be stopped from sticking to your pipes. Right? We all can agree on that. So, how can this be achieved if you're not removing those minerals through the softening process? By keeping them in suspension.

Flow-tech home chart

That is precisely what Flow-Tech Home does. The tens of thousands of homeowners who have embraced Flow-Tech Home over traditional water softeners experience the same reassurance and benefits that water softeners provide, but without the salt and without any ongoing maintenance or costs.

What about that slick & slimy feeling?

If you have a water softener, you're probably more than familiar with that slick or slimy feeling you get when you are in the shower or wash your hands with soap.

There are two contributing reasons for the slick and slimy feeling of soft water:

Girl holding bubble in hand

1. Soap lathers up easier with soft water, so you may simply be using more soap than you need, thus requiring more water and more effort to rinse it off.

2. The sodium (and/or potassium) in softened water doesn’t stick very well to soap. In fact, the soap would rather stick to you than to softened water. So once again, it takes more water and more effort to rinse away the soap.

Learn more

To learn more about water treatment options for your home we encourage you to reach out to a fully licensed and full service plumber in your area. Flow-Tech Home has partnered with a number of plumbers in your area who can help you find the best water treatment solution for your home. Click here to see a map of our partners and find an unbiased expert near you.

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