How Soft Water and Hard Water Behave Differently

Hard & Soft Water

Some people think that all water is the same regardless of where it comes from. The truth is that water quality varies widely throughout the country. Some water may be deemed ‘hard’ or ‘soft,’ and that can have a significant impact on your daily life. Read on and discover the difference between hard and soft water.

Hard vs. Soft Water

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of water in the United States is “hard,” meaning it contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium because it comes in contact with rock and soil. Soft water, on the other hand, contains relatively few elements, and in some cases none at all. Soft water can occur naturally or be produced with treatment devices that reduce elements of water hardness.

Bathing

Certain minerals in hard water make soap and other cleaning products less effective, hampering their ability to properly lather. Hard water also creates soap and buildup in the showers, requiring more intense cleaning effort and increased use of chemicals to clean the bath.  Soap lathers easily when you have soft water, meaning you can use less (and save money on personal hygiene products), plus you won’t have to spend all your free time scrubbing hard water stains from your bath fixtures.

Cleaning

Similar to your bath soap, minerals in hard water interact with detergents that you use to clean your home and your laundry. This impacts its ability to clean dirt and stains, and requires that you use more detergent to clean your clothing. With no minerals to interact with your detergents, soft water can decrease the need for detergent by up to 50 percent.

Energy Usage

Gas water heaters using only hard water will consume more energy than those that use soft water, lowering the system’s energy efficiency and increasing water heating costs. In addition hard water residue can build up in a water heater over time and lead to deterioration sooner than if you had soft water. Soft water cuts overall energy cost and helps preserve the life of your home appliances.

Pipes and Stains

Hard water can cause buildup in pipes and the heater, which impedes water flow and can eventually block the pipes entirely, leading to potential flooding and/or expensive pipe replacements. It can also cause your small appliances around the house to deteriorate faster, such as your dishwasher and washing machine. In the long run it will cost you a lot more to pay to replace these things more often than if you paid for water softening technology.

A water softener removes the calcium and magnesium from the water and will protect your appliances, reduce cleaning time, and will help skin and hair to be softer and less dry.  A Kinetico water softener also uses no electricity, uses 70% less salt and will provide a couple of decades or reliable, trouble free service.

The Numbers on The Limit of Drinking Water

Water Filtration

The amount of water on planet Earth is literally the greatest concentration of H2O in the known solar system. Nevertheless, from the hundreds of millions of gallons of water out there, how much can humans really use?

A Lot of Unusable Water

First, it’s important to look at the exact of amount of water on Earth; geologists estimate the volume to be around 344 million cubic miles. Still, we can automatically eliminate 96 percent of that water (321 million cubic miles) because it’s saline water from the ocean, and another 5.8 million cubic miles are frozen in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves around 1.72 percent of water, or around 5.7 cubic miles of fresh water in groundwater, lakes, rivers, and other sources.

Much of Our Water is Already in Use

The Earth’s water volume isn’t locked in its liquid form though, as a significant portion of those remaining cubic miles are atmospheric moisture. This helps regulate global temperatures and seasonal changes, but can’t really be used for human consumption. Anyone keeping track should also deduct 3,400 cubic miles from the remaining supply, as these are already in use; locked within every living thing on the planet (biological water).

Most drinking water is inaccessible without heavy industrial drilling, as a significant portion of the water is in the ground beneath our feet. In fact, the total amount of readily available drinking water is around four percent of the world’s total supply of potentially drinkable water.

Looking at the raw number doesn’t raise much alarm; it’s still a significant volume that has been a critical part of human subsistence for millions of years. However, humans have to share that number with around six and a half million other land species of both plants and animals.

Drinking water is a finite resource that won’t last forever, and making sure that everyone has a clean supply of it should be a top priority for everyone. To make sure you are always drinking the cleanest possible water, check out our line of water filtration systems. Contact us directly for more information regarding our services in providing a supply of clean drinking water for your family.

How Bad is Hard Water for Your Laundry?

laundry

Many people know about the benefits that soft water has on your hair and skin, along with preventing scale buildup around the shower, sinks, and tubs in your bathroom. But there is one other advantage you get by filtering your home’s water supply: better laundry.

You might be surprised, but hard water does have a noticeable effect on how your clothes come out after washing, causing clothes to fade and wear out faster than soft water. Here are some of the things you might notice if you have hard water:

  1. Visible marks – Many people notice obvious signs of hard water contamination on laundry. Graying or yellowing is quite common, making clothing look much more worn out than it actually is. You might also find faint white or gray streaks all over the fabric.
  2. Uncomfortable texture – Hard water tends to make fabric feel much stiffer and harsher than normal, making the wearer uncomfortable. On top of that, you might notice an irritating smell coming from it, even right out of the wash.
  3. Higher detergent use – Normal detergents don’t do well in hard water, and you end up having to use a frustratingly large amount just to get the job done. This is not just costly, it is also bad for the environment, as it leads to higher water pollution.

Thankfully, solving the issue is fairly easy. You can try switching to a hard water detergent, but this can be expensive over the long term, and doesn’t help with non-laundry applications of your water. Instead, the best option would be to install a whole home water filter to provide your household with pure soft water any time you need it, whether for drinking, bathing, or washing clothes.

Ready to make the switch to soft water in your home for softer skin, cleaner clothing, and less time scrubbing those hard water stains? Kinetico Utah is always ready to help. Get in touch with us today, and we will be more than happy to answer any question about our products.

Kinetico’s Hard Water Vs. Soft Water Science Project Idea

Kinetico Utah - Soft Water Science Project Idea Utah

Have you ever wondered about the science behind a water softener? At Kinetico of Utah we are education advocates and love to have fun while learning! Here is a great way for you and your family to get an inside peek at some of the science behind soft water. The first thing that you will need to have is our Kinetico Utah Water Softener Words and Definitions list.

Water Softener Words and Definitions List

Soft water – water that is free from hard minerals like magnesium and calcium.

Hard water – water that contains magnesium, calcium.

Calcium – a silver-white metal found in limestone and chalk.

Epsom salt – a type of Magnesium.

Ion Exchange-the process of reciprocal transfer of ions between a solution and a resin.

Magnesium– a light silver-white metal used in lightweight alloys, flares, and fireworks.

Salt – a crytalline compound called sodium chloride. An element that gives liveliness and is also a preservative.

Soap – a substance usually made by treating a fat with alkali, as sodium or potassium hydroxide.

Distilled water – water from which impurities have been removed such as; dissolved salts and colloidal particles; chemically pure water.

Now that you have read and understand each of the above water softener words we will get started! We are going to start with an easy science project that we found on scifun.org that you can do at home with your family. Get ready to experience some of the science behind Hard water vs. Soft Water.

You will need:

Distilled water  (2 cups)

Epsom salts (1 Tsp)

2-liter plastic soda pop containers, with screw caps. (2 containers)

Liquid dish soap (do not use soap intended for dishwashers) (several drops)

Instructions:

1. Empty and clean the 2-liter plastic containers (on 1 bottle use a sharpie and write Hard and on the other container mark it Soft)

2. Pour (1 cup) of distilled water into each of the empty soda-pop containers.

3. Add (1 teaspoon) of Epsom salts only to the bottle marked Hard.

4.   Swirl the bottle until the Epsom salts dissolve.

5.   Add several drops of liquid dish soap to both bottles.

6.   Seal the bottles with their caps.

7.   Shake both bottles.

After following the instructions you will see two different results!

The bottle marked Hard represents hard water. In this experiment, you created hard water by adding a small amount of Epsom salt to distilled water. Hard water is found in your home before it is treated with a water softening system. Calcium and magnesium in water interfere with the cleaning action of soap and detergent by creating a barrier (soap scum). If you have hard water in your home you will use about 50-80% more soaps and detergents to get things clean! Hard water has a hard time creating bubbles, and that means your laundry doesn’t get as clean and you will be taking more expensive bubble baths!

Look at the container marked Soft. This bottle represents Soft water and will have more bubbles! Soft water does not contain hard minerals, allowing the water to work with the soap which increases the cleaning capacity of detergents and creates more bubbles! Home water softening systems help protect plumbing and appliances by decreasing the buildup of lime scale deposits. Laundry cleaned with soft water is softer and cleaner. Bubble baths get bigger and better. A Kinetico Quality Home Water Softener saves you more time and money, time and money that you can spend on the people you love most!

Thank you for your participation! If you enjoyed this post please like us on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!

The first thing that you will need to have is our Kinetico Utah Water Softener Words and Definitions list.

Water Softener Words and Definitions List

Soft water – water that is free from hard minerals like magnesium and calcium.

Hard water – water that contains magnesium, calcium.

Calcium – a silver-white metal found in limestone and chalk.

Epsom salt – a type of Magnesium.

Ion Exchange-the process of reciprocal transfer of ions between a solution and a resin.

Magnesium– a light silver-white metal used in lightweight alloys, flares, and fireworks.

Salt – a crytalline compound called sodium chloride. An element that gives liveliness and is also a preservative.

Soap – a substance usually made by treating a fat with alkali, as sodium or potassium hydroxide.

Distilled water – water from which impurities have been removed such as; dissolved salts and colloidal particles; chemically pure water.

Now that you have read and understand each of the above water softener words we will get started! We are going to start with an easy science project that we found on scifun.org that you can do at home with your family. Get ready to experience some of the science behind Hard water vs. Soft Water.

You will need:

Distilled water  (2 cups)

Epsom salts (1 Tsp)

2-liter plastic soda pop containers, with screw caps. (2 containers)

Liquid dish soap (do not use soap intended for dishwashers) (several drops)

Instructions:

1. Empty and clean the 2-liter plastic containers (on 1 bottle use a sharpie and write Hard and on the other container mark it Soft)

2. Pour (1 cup) of distilled water into each of the empty soda-pop containers.

3. Add (1 teaspoon) of Epsom salts only to the bottle marked Hard.

4.   Swirl the bottle until the Epsom salts dissolve.

5.   Add several drops of liquid dish soap to both bottles.

6.   Seal the bottles with their caps.

7.   Shake both bottles.

After following the instructions you will see two different results!

The bottle marked Hard represents hard water. In this experiment, you created hard water by adding a small amount of Epsom salt to distilled water. Hard water is found in your home before it is treated with a water softening system. Calcium and magnesium in water interfere with the cleaning action of soap and detergent by creating a barrier (soap scum). If you have hard water in your home you will use about 50-80% more soaps and detergents to get things clean! Hard water has a hard time creating bubbles, and that means your laundry doesn’t get as clean and you will be taking more expensive bubble baths!

Look at the container marked Soft. This bottle represents Soft water and will have more bubbles! Soft water does not contain hard minerals, allowing the water to work with the soap which increases the cleaning capacity of detergents and creates more bubbles! Home water softening systems help protect plumbing and appliances by decreasing the buildup of lime scale deposits. Laundry cleaned with soft water is softer and cleaner. Bubble baths get bigger and better. A Kinetico Quality Home Water Softener saves you more time and money, time and money that you can spend on the people you love most!

Thank you for your participation! If you enjoyed this post please like us on our Kinectico Utah Facebook page and follow Kinetico Utah on Twitter!

Benefits of the Reverse Osmosis Drinking or Home Filtrations Water System

Kinetico Utah - Water Filtration Systems Utah - Reverse Osmosis Water systems Utah

Did you know that according to the EPA there are over 80 contaminants that could potentially be in your drinking water? Do you really know what is in your tap water?

According to the Mayo Clinic an average healthy adult should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day which equals about 1.9 liters of water. Depending on the circumstance your body may require more water than another person due to things like activity, illness or environment. Our bodies must stay hydrated in order to stay in good working condition.

It is easy to see that clean water is vital to our state of health and wellness. In order to stay healthy and happy we must consume water that is free of harmful contaminants. We use water not only to hydrate ourselves, but the people we love.

Some of the contaminants that may end up in our drinking water can be hazardous to our health. Some of the contaminants you should be concerned about are:

Tetrachloroethylene is a contaminant that researchers at Boston University Medical Center have found to cause higher rates of stillbirth and placenta abruption in women. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people who have been drinking water containing high levels of tetrachloroethylene for many years could have problems with their liver and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Arsenic is a very toxic heavy metal classified by the International Academy for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Category I carcinogen, which means it is definitely a cancer causing agent. This is another contaminant that might end up in your drinking glass.

Fluoride is a very toxic substance that has been banned in several countries! There are some U.S. cities that have even banned the use of fluoride.

Chlorine is a chemical added to water to kill some bacteria but once it enters the human body it actually triggers the production of free radicals and causes cell damage.

The simple fact is that we can’t take the quality of our drinking water for granted anymore. Private well water can be affected by a number of factors and even municipally treated water that meets all of the federal guidelines has been found to contain bacteria, viruses and protozoa, some which may end up in your drinking water!

A Kinetico Reverse Osmosis K5 Drinking System offers clean, clear and worry-free drinking water and is certified to remove more contaminants than any other Reverse Osmosis drinking system.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration is a process where water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that filters inorganic contaminants like metals and nitrates. It is customizable to your home’s specific filtration needs. If your needs change over time the Kinetico K5 Reverse Osmosis System is also expandable. Only the Kinetico Reverse Osmosis K5 Drinking System gives you this level of protection: three fixed filters- a PreFilter, Reverse Osmosis Filter and PostFilter- and then you also have 2 FlexFilters that allow for complete system customization for tackling your waters specific filtration needs.

Stay on track for a healthy and happy future protecting yourself and your family. Contact one of our water professionals today for a free water test at Kinetico Utah. Local callers: 801-576-8600 or call us toll-free at 1-800-969-4420.

Utah’s Whole House Water Filtration Checklist

simplify

Congratulations on choosing to buy a Kinetico home water filtration system for your home! Purchasing a home filtration system is one of the best choices you make when it comes to taking care of your family and home. You and your loved ones deserve to have safe and clean water without having to invest in products that require you to continually invest more money or more of your precious time, time that you can’t get back.

Below is a simple checklist along with related links to help you understand the undisputed value of a Kinetico Quality Water Filtration System.

  • Warranty –Kinetico is known to have the best warranty in the industry. Don’t let anyone fool you. Make sure you understand that a lifetime warranty doesn’t mean “your lifetime”. If you sell your home and the Kinetico Home Water Filtration System is kept at the original installation sight, it will still be under warranty. If you move and want to take your home filtration system with you, you will still be covered under warranty. Learn more at about the water filtration warranty.
  • Water Test –We take a water sample to determine the best sized water filtration system for your home.  Click here for more information about a free water test.
  • Non-electric– Kinetico is a Non-electric patented home water filtration system that uses natural engineering without taking a toll on the environment. Learn more about the benefits of home filtration today.
  • Dual Tanks– The Kinetico Dual tank water filtration system allows an uninterrupted supply of soft water enabling consistent regeneration of soft water protecting the water filtration system, requiring less salt and the reason why a Kinetico Home Filtration System lasts much longer than any other system on the market!
  • Customization– We offer several different water filtration systems to address a variety of water problems. Some of the less desirable contaminants include: Chlorine, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Hydrogen Sulfide (rotten egg smell) Learn more about a variety of water problems and contaminants here.
  • Certifications– A Kinetico Home Filtration System is certified through the Water Quality Association and also by NSF International. Learn more about the NSF mark and Kinetico certifications.

How a Kinetico Water Softener Can Help With Eczema

hand

Do you or someone you know have eczema? Eczema is a medical condition also known as atopic dermatitis. Eczema causes healthy skin to become inflamed or irritated, in addition it is usually characterized by sore, itchy and burning skin. According to the National Eczema Association 30 million Americans, both adults and children are afflicted by this chronic skin disease.

Healthy skin appears smooth, soft, and supple but some visible symptoms of skin afflicted by eczema may be a rash, raised, scaled skin, or the skin may ooze or weep. Eczema can appear on the face, wrists, hands, back of the knees and even the feet.

The cause of eczema is unknown but we do know that many people choose to use a water softener to help alleviate some of the painful symptoms and improve the ability of the skin to naturally heal itself.

The science of soft water allows the soap to clean the skin efficiently and effectively. Hard water has calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium love to bind to the ingredients in our soaps. This can create residue. If you have hard water then you probably have had problems with water spots on your dishes.

Water softeners are engineered to remove the hard calcium from the water, therefore, removing the mineral that allows the soap to stick to your skin. When the calcium is removed the water is considered soft. With a water softener you will also use at least 50-80% less cleaning products. For someone who has eczema, less cleaning products can mean less discomfort and a reduction of painful flare ups. With eczema and water softeners, less is more; less flare ups, less cleaning products lead to more enjoyment in life!

If you have eczema, damaged or dry skin, read more about how Kinetico’s efforts to help in the fight against eczema.

 

How Much Salt is Added to Soft Water

man drinking water

One of the most common questions about water softeners is how much salt or sodium is added to my water. Generally it’s much less than people think. There is a very simple formula to calculate how much salt it added to the water.

Grains of hardness (gpg) x 1.89 = mg added to an 8oz glass of water. If your water is 15 grains hard you would have about 28 milligrams (mg) of added sodium in the water.

Grains per gallon (gpg) is the measurement used to calculate hardness and the scale goes as follows:

Less than 1 Grain Soft
1.0 to 3.5 Moderately Hard
3.5 to 7.0 Hard
7.0 to 10.5 Extremely Hard

If your water is 15 grains hard then you would have about 28 milligrams (mg) of added sodium in the water.

Even for people who are on a low sodium diet this amount of salt shouldn’t be a problem. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and table salt. If you compare the amount of sodium already contained in foods we think of as having low amounts of salt the amount added by a water softener is very low. As an example, an 8oz glass of milk will contain 125mg of sodium and a slice of white bread will have about 120 mg.

To find out how hard your water is contact a water softening company and they can test it for you, or contact you local city water department and they can tell you the number of grains per gallon of hardness you have in your water.

For those who don’t want to drink soft water there are a couple of solutions. The first is to install a water purifier that will remove the sodium. Reverse osmosis is the most effective method. Another option is to bypass the drinking water in the kitchen so it remains hard water.

Soft water is simply water that is free of calcium and magnesium. A water softener works by removing the hard minerals and replaces them with sodium through a process known as ion exchange.

 

Hard Water is

scrubbing shower

Hard water is water that contains calcium and magnesium. As water comes in contact with the earth’s surface minerals dissolve into it which then cause dry itchy skin, white or cream colored crusty build up on faucets, fixtures and glass shower doors. Hard water also collects inside appliances which reduces their effectiveness and life span.

The measurement for rating water hardness is a scale called grains per gallon (gpg). According to the Water Quality Association (WQA) water hardness is rated as follows.

Less than 1 Grain is Soft

1-3.5 Grains is Moderately Hard

7-10.5 is Very Hard

10.5 and Higher is Extremely Hard

A water softener removes the hard minerals from the water and therefore eliminates the problems associated with hard water.

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Soft Water is

baby with soapy hair

Soft water is the term used for water that is free of calcium and magnesium. The benefits of soft water include softer skin and hair, less spotting on bathroom and kitchen fixtures Soft water will protect appliances from scale build up that will reduce effectiveness and shorten their life.
Water is softened by a water softener, which removes the hard minerals and replaces them with sodium therefore providing the benefits listed above.

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