Hard Water Vs. Soft Water
Melbourne’s water is defined as being ‘soft’ but what does this actually mean and what does this mean for our appliances and plumbing?
It is useful for us to know the type of water that is being supplied to our homes because it can affect our plumbing, plumbing systems and appliances. If we know the type of water our homes are using we can make adjustments to ensure our house functions at its best.
The one chemical compound we are all familiar with is H2O; this means that water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one hydrogen atom. In this form, we are talking about 100% pure water. But water is rarely completely pure, it usually contains varying amounts of minerals and it is these varying amounts that create water that is either hard or soft.
Hard water contains high levels of these minerals. Hard water is filtered naturally through certain types of terrain that contain minerals, for example, limestone or chalk. As it filters through the ground it takes some of the minerals with it, resulting in a water that has a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium. Having hard water is somewhat of a hindrance, and we can think ourselves lucky that Melbourne is a soft water area. Hard water makes clothes and hair look dull, is hard to laver soaps and leaves a scum and film on our bath, sinks and toilets. On top of this, it also causes a build-up of scale in plumbing and appliances, reducing their life expectancy and also their proficiency resulting in more energy usage. Phew, thank you, Melbourne for being a soft water area!
So if the hard water contains a high concentration of minerals then, yes, you’ve guessed it, soft water contains a low concentration. These low levels are again due to the terrain. In soft water areas, the terrain either contains low levels of minerals or is impermeable. We therefore don’t have to worry as much about scale build up, and we can save money on soaps and detergents as they will lather up easily. However, soft water isn’t free of all issues, and even though we do have it easier than our hard water friends in other parts of the world, there is still an issue we need to be aware of.
Total Dissolved Salts
Total dissolved solids (TDS) is a numeric value that shows the amount of inorganic salts that are present in water. Hard water has a high TDS value due to its high mineral content. Soft water, on the other hand, has a low TDS value. Unfortunately for us, extremely high or low TDS values can cause corrosion and it is this corrosion that we need to watch out for in our homes.
The low TDS value of Melbourne’s soft water can cause corrosion of pipes, systems and our appliances. There is, however, a way of combating this, which comes in the form of an anode protection device. This device is fitted in your hot water tank and is able to combat the corrosion associated with low TDS values. There are devices specific to your TDS values in Melbourne and it is important to use the correct device. Contact your local plumber Melbourne for professional advice if you suspect corrosion or are thinking of replacing your hot water tank.
Knowing whether your water supply is hard and soft can be important for your home. If you suspect a build-up of scale and damage to your hot water system contact a local professional plumber Melbourne. The NLK Plumbing team in Melbourne are ready to complete a truly professional service for you. We specialise in the installation of all electric, solar and gas hot water systems. All our work is fully guaranteed and performed by licensed plumbers and gas fitters. If you need a hot water system installed, or you’re having trouble with your old one, call NLK Plumbing today. Our highly skilled team can advise you on the best solutions to all your hot water system needs.