Hard Water, Soft Water, but not a drop to drink

Some days just don’t turn out like you plan.

When you live in the country, and you have your own well, you may need a water softener to make your water usable. Hard water contains dissolved calcium, magnesium and in many cases, iron. In my neck of the woods without a water softener,  water is orange, smells like sulfur, and you can use half a bottle of shampoo and still not get enough suds!  Dishes come out of the dishwasher or sink with spots, sinks and bathtubs turn orange, towels are not soft and fluffy, and you may spend a small fortune on “The Works”  which is a product I use to get rid of the orangey iron stains.   Years ago, when we remodeled our bathroom I threatened to buy all orange fixtures to make it easier to clean, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of an orange bathroom.

For the past two weeks, we have noticed our  water getting even harder than normal.  One of our guys worked on our old water softener a few times, hoping it would help.  But nothing seemed to improve.  We finally decided to replace it.   When I looked up the records we had purchased that last one in 1998, so it was time for a new one.   The life of a water softener is usually 10-12 years.   The hot water heater is affected as well.  Hard water is hard on everything and there is buildup in the water heater which needs to be cleaned occasionally  on a regular basis.  Unfortunately no one here remembers to do that kind of task so we have had several hot water heaters in the past 40 years.  Its hard on the washing machine and hard on the dishwasher as well.  It’s hard on the toilets and sinks and showers and tubs. My old dishwasher had turned orange inside, despite the fact that we tried to keep the water “soft”.

Today, the new water softener was installed, which meant I did without water for most of the day.  Which means my plans for the day changed drastically.   No laundry, no cleaning; not that it was such a bad thing.  But now the water is back and I am excited to take a shower tonight and maybe actually do something with my hair!

photo credit: Inspectapedia.com

photo credit: Inspectapedia.com


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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14 Responses to Hard Water, Soft Water, but not a drop to drink

  1. granny1947 says:

    I wish we had a well. We are going to be seriously smelly in a couple of months.


  2. Such memories I have of visiting an elderly aunt who had hard water. That sulfur smell has stuck with me all these years later. I have had two homes in 40 plus years with wells but we are are lucky here in the Pacific Northwest that our water is not “Too” hard. We still had mineral built up over time, but we could work up a lather of suds.

    Great post Ruth. Made a good read. ~


  3. I swear to you that this is true – I asked my 17-year old daughter to go to the store because we were having some issues with our water – she asked why and I said because we needed harder water to drink.

    She brought home ice. Swear on a stack of wing nuts.


  4. LB says:

    Military brat that I was, I never lived anywhere with well water. However, as an adult, I did for one year … no orange! I always drank the water. Do you?


  5. Maxi says:

    How well I remember those days. Still, have well water for the sprinkler system.
    blessings ~ maxi


  6. Mustang.Koji says:

    I like orange! Lol

    That’s incredible… Water that makes it tough to wash! I won’t ever complain about the hard water spots on my shower door again.


  7. The joys of well water.. Our water is treated with a softener and a chlorinator for the sulphur. I never had a problem with orange stains though – must be different mineral content.

    We used to fill a cistern with rain wter for use during dry summer months. We couldn’t drink it, but it was so soft it made your hair feel great. I miss the old cistern.


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