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Hard Water vs. Soft Water: What You Need to Know

You may have heard the terms “hard water” and “soft water,” but may be unsure about what they mean. Hater refers to water that contains a measurable amount of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Soft water refers to treated water that contains one ion: sodium.

The Water Quality Association of the United States has established standards for whether water should be considered hard or soft based on the amount of mineral hardness in a gallon of water.

Here is a table showing the different grades of water based on mineral grains per gallon, or gpg:

  • Soft Water: Less than one gpg
  • Slightly Hard Water: 1-3.5 gpg
  • Moderately Hard Water: 3.5-7 gpg
  • Very Hard Water: 7-10 gpg
  • Extremely Hard Water: 10+ gpg

Differences Between Hard and Soft Water

Hard water has essential minerals, so it can provide health benefits and it’s normally more flavorful than soft water. As water is softened, essential minerals are removed from the liquid, making it more salty than hard water.

While taste and mineral composition are useful ways to distinguish hard and soft water, the major difference between the two water types is most obvious when water is used to do chores. Hard water is often responsible for the film and soap scum in your bathtub and the spots and residue you may see on your dishes and cookware. Hard water can cause a build up of scale in your appliances as well, which can prevent them from operating efficiently and cause your energy bill to go up.

With soft water, your dishware will be spot- and residue-free, and you won’t have to deal with unsightly scum in your bathing areas. Soap lathers better when used with soft water, so you won’t have to use as much product to maintain the cleanliness of your home. Soft water doesn’t have the minerals that are present in hard water, so scale is less likely to build up in your appliances, which can extend their working lives and keep your power bill low.

If you’re curious about your water or you have plumbing concerns, contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Syracuse to have one of our licensed plumbers perform a Plumbing Check Up on all of the plumbing at your home or business at no charge to you. There’s no reason for you to wonder about the condition of your water or plumbing when we’re here to provide lasting solutions to all of your plumbing problems.

Give us a call or use our website to schedule your complimentary Plumbing Check Up today.

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