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Talula
April 18th, 2010, 05:46 AM
Hi,

At my mom's in NH, we get blue stains in the sink & tub after maybe a week with no cleaning. At my apartment in PA, I get orange stains where one of my faucets leaks. Both come off with a good cleaning. Are these both signs of hard water? Does "soft" water leave no sink stains? I've read a lot of stuff here, and people bring up hard & soft water all the time but I've never seen anyone ask this question, so I guess it's common knowledge to most?

Thanks much!:)

Purdy Bear
April 18th, 2010, 07:17 AM
You can usually tell by the kettle, has it a lot of furring, then its hard water. You get a lot of white crusty stuff in kettles, washing machines on the edges of tapes etc.

I think you can do a PH test, like you do with fishtanks or ponds, but not sure about that.

Narya
April 18th, 2010, 07:21 AM
I am by no means an expert, but to see if the house I live in at the time has soft or hard water I just compare it to my mother's (and my grandma's, in extreme cases) house, that undoubtly have hard water (and kill my hair everytime I shower there).

What I look for is residue, not stains (but that's because I'm used to think hardness = calcium): if the taps have a white residue, hard water. If when I shower I don't dry the taps and when they dry there are white spots where the drops were, hard water (and the same when washing spoons: let a bit of water on one, let it dry, and see what happens).

About the orange stains it may be because of rusted pipes. The only time I had something similar happening (the water at first came orange tinted, but after a few seconds ran clear, and there were orange spots left) it was because of that. I don't know for sure if it qualifies as hard water, but I'm quite sure it's not specially good for hair.

Anyway, as I've said, no expert here, but I hope I've been of some help!

chopandchange
April 18th, 2010, 09:15 AM
I live in the UK, and I used this website here (http://www.espares.co.uk/hardorsoftwater.aspx) to find out if my water was hard or soft. I just typed in my postcode, and it told me I had very hard water.

I'm sure if you do a google search, you would be able to find a site like this for the US.

Edit: did some googling, and here is a map of the US (http://www.bizlux.com/) showing water hardness by area.

Here (http://www.goodwaterco.com/watereducation/hardWaterMap.htm) is a bigger version of it.

Purdy Bear
April 18th, 2010, 09:20 AM
I live in the UK, and I used this website here (http://www.espares.co.uk/hardorsoftwater.aspx) to find out if my water was hard or soft. I just typed in my postcode, and it told me I had very hard water.

I'm sure if you do a google search, you would be able to find a site like this for the US.

Edit: here is a map of the US (http://www.bizlux.com/) showing water hardness by area.

Here (http://www.goodwaterco.com/watereducation/hardWaterMap.htm) is a bigger version of it.



Just tried that and Im in a Very Hard water area!!!!

chopandchange
April 18th, 2010, 09:22 AM
Just tried that and Im in a Very Hard water area!!!!

Hmmm yes. London. That's not a surprise!

I am in the South East. Hard water here as well.

Carolyn
April 18th, 2010, 09:29 AM
The orange usually means rust in the water.

Tutti_Frutti
April 18th, 2010, 09:30 AM
I searched on the internet and here we have soft water :)

*Aoife*
April 18th, 2010, 09:33 AM
Do you need to use a descaler in your kettle/shower/dishwasher? I think thats what it is called. We have hard water and if we go a month without soaking the shower head it won't work properly.

moominhapa
April 18th, 2010, 09:43 AM
I think I actually read somewhere that orange or pink stains are from a kind of harmless bacteria. But it could be rust too.

FrannyG
April 18th, 2010, 10:14 AM
When I was growing up, we had a soft water filter in the family home. We never had orange stains. Also, we needed to use less shampoo to make a lather and less than the recommended amount of laundry detergent to get a good suds going.

I have hard water where I live now, and I do get orange stains in the toilet and tub, if I don't clean them for a few days. Also, the laundry soap doesn't suds up as it did when I had soft water.

Those are all good signs of whether you have hard water or not.

Maybe you could research your city or town on Google.

chopandchange
April 18th, 2010, 10:22 AM
I have very hard water, and never get any of those stains people are reporting. Where are these stains supposed to appear? Around the plughole? On the sides of the bath or sink?

Maybe it's because I keep those areas clean, so I don't notice. :confused:

Arriens
April 18th, 2010, 01:11 PM
Our/my watercompany actually increases the hardness from 3.8 to 5.6 german degree before distributing it. :o



[Edit]
Below 5.6 degrees, water start to dissolve the metal plumbing too fast ;)

walterSCAN
April 18th, 2010, 08:18 PM
Around here we get the orange stains because the water has a really high iron content-- it's not pipe rust, it's in the ground water. Some counties also have a lot of sulfur in the water... very stinky! We also get a lot of calcium deposits.

In Indiana, anyway, unless you have a water softener you have hard water. The only difference without a softener is the degree of hardness.

BelleBot
April 18th, 2010, 08:26 PM
I live in the UK, and I used this website here (http://www.espares.co.uk/hardorsoftwater.aspx) to find out if my water was hard or soft. I just typed in my postcode, and it told me I had very hard water.


Just did this for where I live and it says I'm in a hard water area, which is strange, as we have relatively soft water. Odd.

Cirafly24
April 18th, 2010, 09:09 PM
I have hard water here in WI...and when they built my apartment building, they had the bright idea to make the sink and bathtub puke green. Aside from being hideous, the color makes the white residue from the hard water so much more noticeable. I have to clean my sink and tub every single day if I want to keep it looking presentable. Mostly I've just given up lol. I also waste a lot of soap and shampoo because it takes more to work up a lather. I'm sure it isn't doing anything good for my hair.

My fiance has a water softener at his house, but it makes it TOO soft. The water almost feels slimy, and it feels like you can't get the soap off you. When I lived in NY, I had never even heard of hard/soft water. Water was just water, it didn't leave residue or feel slimy or anything. I guess it was perfect.

*sigh* the good ol' days :b

kevala
April 19th, 2010, 12:07 AM
My water doesn't seem soft or hard. It was interesting to see the map, though (the map suggests it's slightly soft)!

I, too, think that soft water is just as much of a pain as hard water...my grandmother's soft water system gives the water that 'slimy' feel, and soap seems to take forever to rinse off at her house!

ReluctantlyCurl
April 19th, 2010, 09:34 PM
I live in the Cincinnati area; it has very hard water.

I remember being told that, at least people who grow up in a hard water area, think they are clean when they feel a lot of friction when they rub their skin, like when you are washing away soap in the shower. But this is not the feeling of "clean", per se; you are feeling the residue of the water, that is what causes that feeling.

Thus, it feels slimy when you are used to hard water, but suddenly wash in soft or non-hard water.