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What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

We trust our local municipalities to protect the quality of the water we drink and use in our homes every day. But, if you’ve lived in more than one town, or even visited someone a few miles outside of the city limits, then you already know that the quality of water can be quite different.

Depending on where you are, the water coming out of the faucet can be hard or soft. Contrary to what many people think, most of the water supply in the United States is hard. This means that you’re very likely to encounter hard water at some point in your life if you haven’t already. So, let’s take a minute to talk about the differences between hard and soft water.

Hard Water

The terms hard and soft are used to describe the differences in mineral content that water contains. Most of thewater in our homes is sourced from groundwater. When rain falls from the sky it’s naturally “soft”, meaning it hasn’t picked up many minerals along the way. Once the rain hits the ground, it seeps through and is naturally purified as it passes through rocks and minerals. As this happens, the water also soaks up many of the minerals. For water to be considered hard, it must have a mineral concentration of at least 1 GPG, or grain per gallon.

The minerals found in hard water are mostly calcium and magnesium, and come with their own set of pros and cons.

Some people think that the mineral content of hard water makes it taste better and is a good dietary boost. The problem is that hard water leaves behind a mineral residue in the form of lime or scale. This can eventually build up and corrode pipes, affecting everything that depends on them, including water heaters, boilers, and washing machines.

Hard water also leaves visible evidence of mineral residue, which you’ve probably noticed if you’ve ever attempted to maintain the pristine appearance of a hard water shower or even dealt with the buildup of minerals on glassware.

Hard water can also dry out your skin and hair and deteriorate fabric more quickly in the wash.

Soft Water

Soft water, on the other hand, is water that’s had most of the minerals filtered or removed. Some people who are accustomed to hard water say it doesn’t taste as good, but that’s about the only downside of soft water.

Soft water is gentler on pipes and all of your appliances, big and small, using water because it doesn’t leave behind a residue. It’s also better for your skin, and everything it touches.

Plus, a common concern is safety. Soft water has gone through an additional filtration and purifying process to remove minerals, but also other contaminants, that might otherwise be left in your water.

The Solution

Soft water offers a variety of benefits for you and your home. Even a light mineral content can cause expensive damage over the years. A water softener system is a solution to protecting the quality of the water you use every day. Contact Johnson Water Conditioning Company for information about water softener systems in the Naperville area. We’re here to help provide safer, cleaner water for your home.

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