If you consider hard water to be an issue in your home, then you may have fallen victim to some hard water myths. Here are five common myths.
MYTH #1: Hard water clogs pipes
FACT: Calcium and magnesium do not build up and clog copper pipes
Between the mid-1940s and the late 1970s, most homes were built using steel (galvanized) pipes. Minerals, such as calcium and magnesium will stick to steel pipes. New and re-piped homes built after 1975 have pipes made of copper.
MYTH #2: Minerals in water are contaminants
Fact: Hardness minerals are not contaminants; minerals are nutrients
Scientific findings supported by research at the World Health Organization (www.WHO.int) have shown that drinking water rich with essential minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium, protects good health and leads to lower instances of heart disease and stroke.
MYTH #3: Water softeners filter water
FACT: Water softeners don’t filter water, they only exchange sodium for minerals
In other words, water softeners convert dirty, chlorinated tap water into dirty, chlorinated, salty water. A reverse-osmosis system is still needed to remove salt, sediment and chlorine to produce a palatable water for drinking and cooking. Even then, you can only enjoy drinking water at the kitchen tap. Dirty, chlorinated, salty water still runs throughout the rest of the home.
MYTH #4: Hard water is harsh, fades clothes and dries skin and hair
FACT: Hard water does not fade colors or dry skin and hair
Chlorine in tap water is damaging, but water softeners do not remove chlorine or chlorine disinfection byproducts.
MYTH #5: Water softeners are safe for the environment
FACT: Water softeners cause considerable damage to the environment
According to Ann Heil, a Supervising Engineer of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, automatic water softeners waste water and put a salty brine into the waste stream. High salts in the waste stream can harm aquatic life and can damage crops irrigated with downstream waters. There are many simple solutions you can take to fix any mineral spotting - and none of them require a water softener. A teaspoon of Sour Salt will handle mineral residue in the dishwasher. Rain-X or furniture wax will minimize water spots on shower doors. Finally, a water softener alternative that retains healthy minerals will work great for bathing, cooking, cleaning and drinking.
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