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Difference Between Hard Water And Soft Water

Not all tap water is the same. Some water in your Austin home is considered hard while other water is deemed soft. In fact, there are five rating categories for water ranging from very hard to soft.

The water is rated by how many grains per gallon it contains. Soft water is not necessarily better for all situations nor is hard water. So what is the difference? Are there are any benefits to each type? Consider the following:

Hard VS. Soft Water

Hard Water

This water contains a high amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Rainwater does not have these minerals but takes them on as it filters through the ground.

The US Geological Survey states that 85 percent of the water in the US is considered hard. Benefits of hard water include:

  • Hard water contains minerals that are essential for health and tastes better than soft water. These factors make hard water better for drinking than soft water.
  • Hard water can help keep the metals used in swimming pools from deteriorating. It can also help to keep concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass from staining. The water used in swimming pools should also be harder as this keeps the chlorine effective.

The Drawbacks of Hard Water are:

  • It is not as effective for washing. The minerals it contains can react with detergents in ways that limit their Austin home’s ability to remove stains and soils. The result is that clothes are left looking dingy and dishes will have spots.
  • Not only does it reduce the effectiveness of soaps, but hard water can also cause film and soap scum to accumulate on surfaces in a bathtub or shower enclosure.
  • It can leave deposits on cookware after the water has evaporated during cooking.
  • It can cause scale to build upon the insides of pipes. Coffee makers and water heaters can also be affected by scaling. This scale does not conduct heat well and therefore causes water heaters to consume more energy.

Soft Water

This water is completely pure and has no minerals or other elements. Soft water can occur naturally or as the result of being treated with water softening devices that remove the minerals. The benefits of soft water are:

  • It can reduce the need for soaps and detergents since it lacks the minerals that inhibit them. It can cut back on their use by over 50 percent.
  • The soap lathers more easily with soft water and is, therefore, more effective for body washing.
  • It will leave no deposits on pots and pans after the water has evaporated.

Soft Water Drawbacks are:

  • It lacks essential minerals and has a salty taste that may make it unsuitable for drinking.
  • It can corrode the metal equipment used for swimming pools. It can also cause staining on concrete, vinyl, and fiberglass while also making chlorine less effective.

Knowing the differences between hard & soft water in your Austin, TX home is important. For more info, call S & D Plumbing today!

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