Although all tap water may look clear in appearance, it often is categorized into two different types: hard or soft. Depending on its source, water has different quantities of minerals. For instance, if water is acquired from ground water, the liquid will have a high mineral content rating. The amount of minerals in the water has varying effects on the human body and plumbing systems.
The easiest way to identify whether or not water is hard or soft is to look at suds formation, when the water is mixed with soap. If there is a small amount of lather, the water is hard. Another method is to examine plumbing infrastructure for mineral build up. The harder the water, the more calcium and magnesium deposits you are likely to find. Hardness is measured by the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium that is suspended in the water.
Hard water does not have adverse effects on human health, aside from making hair harder to wash, but it does have the capacity to cause a great deal of damage to water based appliances and plumbing. Hard water leaves deposits, known as scale, on most materials that it comes into contact with. Over time, scale builds up and can clog, crack, or even burst a pipeline, and significantly reduce the durability and longevity of an appliance. In NYC, the water is predominantly soft, whereas upstate, it is much harder. Emergency plumbers in NYC don’t have too many issues with hard water build up, but it still is a problem that they are able to resolve.
Hard and Soft water are both extremely safe to drink, but some people have preferences over which tastes better. Some claim that hard water has a bitter taste; while others promote the notion that soft water tastes purer. Some studies have shown that the minerals in hard water actually have medicinal benefits towards some aliments.
The most noticeable human problem with hard water is that is makes hair much more difficult to wash. Due to the mineral content, hard water can dry out hair and skin and cause perms and dyes to fade at a much more rapid rate. Conversely, soft water can leave hair with less volume and more oil.
If you are experiencing issues with hard or soft water, contact an emergency plumber in NYC to help alleviate any issues or problems. Letting hard water go untreated can lead to expensive plumbing problems.