So you may be asking yourself what is soft and hard water, and how does this effect me and my dishwasher? Well, hard water is rich is minerals, primarily two minerals,
1. Calcium Ca2+
2. Magnesium Mg2+
To a lesser extent some hard water locations may have a small to medium amount of Aluminium, Iron and Manganese.
Now, these minerals have their advantages for practices such as brewing beer. But, when it comes to the internal parts of a dishwasher they prove problematic. The minerals attach themselves to heating elements within the dishwasher, which is known as scaling or limescale. Over time this will negatively effect the performance of a dishwasher and may destroy some elements.
Most dishwashers have a solution to this problem. They have a salt dispenser, which adds a small amount of salt to the water, which in turn helps to soften the water and lowers the risk of scaling.
A survery of England and Wales has concluded that the majority of England is a hard water location. Wales on the other hand is mostly a soft to medium location. There are some exceptions in England, such as the North West and North East and Cornwall, which is soft to medium. But, virtually the whole of the Midlands and South of England is hard water.