Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hard and soft water

Most rural homes in Vermont have their own wells, and most well water is hard, and hard water is bad for your pipes and appliances, so many Vermont homes have water softeners. The downside of soft water is that it doesn't want to rinse off soap; you stand in the shower and rinse and rinse and there's still a filminess of soap left behind. When you stay at a hotel, the water there takes the soap right off and it feels so luxurious by comparison.

What I want to know is, how do hotel and city water systems do that, without having the same problems with appliances? Is their water too hard and they just live with it? Is ours too soft, and if so, can we adjust it to make it less soft but still not bad for our plumbing? Or is there something they can do with their larger economies of scale to make not-hard-nor-soft water that's the best of both worlds, that we can't do in a financially reasonable way?

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