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Is Water Softening A Scam?

The Real Truth About Hard Water

Many water softening sales people sell you based on fear. They want you to believe that over time, a home without proper water conditioning will have restrictive buildup in the pipes that will lead to eventual failure. They want you to believe this because it's easy to sell someone who's afraid. See the calcified pipe below? That is what they want you to believe is happening in your pipes if you  don't have a water softener installed. We're about to bust that myth with hard evidence.

What they want you to believe.

What they want you to believe.

What is hard water? What is soft water? And why the heck does it matter?

These are the most common questions homeowners ask themselves when the topic of water softening gets brought up, and you’d think the answers would be simple enough to find, but they’re not.

Advertisers will tell you one thing about hard water. Plumbers will tell you another. And your neighbor will disagree with them both.

Plenty of misconceptions about hard water have developed, making the truth difficult to come by.

Here are a few common misconceptions of hard water you don’t have to be fooled by anymore.

Hard Water Clogs Pipes

This is the one advertisers really stress. They claim that the minerals in your water like calcium and magnesium can build up over time and clog your pipes. Without softening your water, you’re damaging your entire piping system.

This just isn’t true . . . at least not anymore. Between the 1940s and 1970s most homes used steel (galvanized) pipes. Minerals can stick to steel pipes, causing blockage.

If your home was built after 1975, or if your home has been re-piped, you’re good to go. The copper pipes used today don’t accumulate minerals like steel pipes.

Just the other day, we removed a 40-year-old copper pipe to fix a pinhole leak and found the line completely free of corrosion.

This 40 year old pipe was removed from a home with a slab leak. The home had no water softening system. Compared to a brand new pipe, you can't see much of a difference.

This 40 year old pipe was removed from a home with a slab leak. The home had no water softening system. Compared to a brand new pipe, you can't see much of a difference.

Minerals Are Contaminants

Many homeowners are being tricked into thinking that the minerals in water are endangering the health of their families.

In reality, minerals aren’t contaminants at all. They’re nutrients. They’re natural, and they’re okay to consume.

Sometimes we forget there was life before in-home water purifiers that get rid of all these minerals. Anyone who has ever drank from a well can back me up in saying how much better it tastes than the even purest tap water—minerals and all.

A study by the World Health Organization shows that consuming hard water nutrients like calcium and magnesium can be good for your health.

Water Softener Filters Water

Similar to the last point, water softeners don’t filter your water.

Dirty, chlorinated tap water goes into your water softener, and it comes out as dirty, chlorinated, salty water. It may taste a little better to you, but it’s still dirty, and there still needs to be a filtration process to make the water safe.

Don’t be convinced that your water softener is a multi-use piece of equipment. It removes the magnesium and calcium ions. That’s it.

High quality water filters are still to thank for removing those nasty chemicals and contaminants in your drinking water.

Hard Water Ruins Clothing

When you wash your clothing, calcium and mineral deposits do stay in the fabric and may cause them to wear a little faster, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Hard water is not the only culprit. You’ve got an entire team working against your to fade your clothing.

Chlorine does plenty of damage too, and as we just discussed, water softeners don’t filter chlorine. They don’t filter dirt either, which can also get trapped in the fabric.

Combating these issues can be as easy as choosing detergent-based products for your laundry rather than soap-based products. Detergent-based products work much better in hard water.

If you’re still worried, you can also add water softener to your laundry to get rid of those minerals. Just remember that the minerals aren’t the only problem.

Final Thoughts

Be careful when researching information on water softening and always consider the source. Plenty of businesses have agendas and will twist facts to make you believe that their products are more necessary than they really are.

Knowing the truth about hard water can help you sift through all the misconceptions and make sound decisions about softening your water.

What other misconceptions have you heard about hard water?

Share them with us in the comments!