A widely spread misconception regarding the alleged corrosive nature of soft drinking water got thrashed in 1997 by a report co-authored by the WQA (Water Quality Association) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)… but the widely spread misconception continues to spread.

HM Digital pH Meter
HM Digital pH Meter

Many times in nature soft water will occur in water that has become acidic for other reasons and for the longest time people blamed the water’s lack of dissolved minerals when they really should have looked much more closely at the water’s obvious acidity problem.

As a general rule, acidic water behaves in a corrosive manner regardless of its dissolved minerals content (hardness). Therefore, when trying to solve corrosion problems in drinking water situations, please stop blaming softened water! 🙂

Got a problem with corrosion in your pipes? Test the acidity of your water with pH test strips or a pH meter because most of the time you will find that your water’s low pH is to blame.

Fairytale: All soft water is salty and corrosive?

We heard another interesting story involving a misinformed plumber telling his unsuspecting, naive customers that soft water is inherently salty and therefore corrosive.

pH & Alkalinity Test Strips
pH & Alkalinity Test Strips

First of all, soft water exiting a water softener should not have become salty unless the salt already existed in the source water or the water softener’s backwash cycle has started to malfunction. Testing your water before it enters the water softener with a device like the HM Digital COM-100 TDS & EC Meter will tell you if your source water contains salt.

Secondly, as we stated earlier, naturally occurring soft water tends to show up in water that has become acidic for reasons other than its soft or hard character. Testing the acidity of your source water with easy, inexpensive pH test strips or a more precise device like the waterproof PH-200 Water Testing Meter will tell you if your source water has too low (or high) of a pH and may need correction.

Note to swimming pool owners…

The rules regarding water hardness and drinking water do not apply to the water in your backyard oasis. The unique chemistry of pool water typically requires that the water contain a lot more hardness, usually in the form of dissolved calcium, to remain in balance.

Interested in learning more about pool water testing? Take a look at the articles posted in our pool water archives.