Water softening is the removal of calcium, magnesium, and certain other metal cations in hard water. … Soft water also extends the lifetime of plumbing by reducing or eliminating scale build-up in pipes and fittings. Water softening is usually achieved using lime softening or ion-exchange resins. (source: wikipedia)
If you’ve experienced dry skin or hair, stiff towels, spots on shower doors and dishes, or soap scum residue in tubs, these are all symptoms of hard water. Chances are, you’ve probably spent a fair amount of money on additional health/beauty products, laundry and cleaning products to combat the symptoms of hard water, but the problems go much deeper than the surface. Hard water leaves deposits in your plumbing fixtures, which greatly affects their efficiency and also shortens their lifespan, costing you even more money over the long run.