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Question DetailsAsked on 12/14/2013


Does soft water degrade a water heater faster? Will I need a replacement sooner?

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2 Answers


Soft water refers to a reduction in the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. All of your fixtures and water appliances should function better and last longer with out the wear and tear that mineral deposits cause. However, if your water heater is old has heavy deposits in it, the reduction of those deposits could expose a leak that is currently blocked by the deposits. There are some very rare instances where the water becomes aggressive (corrosive) due to excessive softening. The condition of your water can be tested both are and post softened by the company installing your unit or by an independent water test.

You should expect longer service life with fewer to no mineral deposits on everything that uses or is touched by soft water.

Answered 6 years ago by Cline1


As cline1 said, soft water makes for longer life of all metal parts in your plumbing system, not to mention longer clothing life, less graying of clothing, less detergent and soap use, less grundge in sinks and tubs and showers, cleaner dishes, better floor cleaning, etc.

It would not be worth testing your water softness before and after if the plumber does not carry a handy test kit because they cost about $25-50 - can do a number of tests (typically 20-50) with one kit, but since you only want 1 or 2 tests, not much help there.

I would not worry about softer water affecting your water heater or boiler (if you have one) - those deposits are pretty much there to stay, and nothing short of acid or extremely aggressive (corrosive) water will eat them away - soft water will just greatly slow further accumulation, and of course significantly increase the life of your next water heater when this one finally gives out.

If your water heater or pipes are extremely corroded from sulfides or iron bacteria and have a heavy buildup in them, it is theoretically possible that incipient leaks now blocked by buildup would open up, but if they are that corroded it was just a matter of months or a very few years before they leaked and needed replacing anyway, and except for galvanized steel/iron pipes, that level of corrosion is pretty rare except on really bad well water or pipes pushing 100 or more years old.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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