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What is Hard Water?
Hardness can cause a variety of aesthetic challenges for homeowners. Hard water creates a mineral buildup on water-using appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, and laundry machines. This mineral scale decreases efficiency and causes premature ware on the appliances. In addition, because hard water contains contaminants that interfere with cleaning, homeowners find themselves using more soap and products to clean. To avoid these problems, homeowners often invest in a water softening unit to remove the hardness from the water.
Hard water: how “hard” is hard?
|Hardness Magnitude||Grains Per Gallon (GPG)|
|Soft Water||0.0 – 1.0 gpg|
|Moderately Hard Water||1.0 – 3.5 gpg|
|Hard Water||3.5 – 7.0 gpg|
|Very Hard Water||7.0 – 10.5 gpg|
|Extremely Hard Water||> 10.5 gpg|
Often people say, “I’ve heard of places that are 30 grains hard, or even 60 grains hard. This scale cannot possibly be all encompassing!” The United States has some areas that exceed 100 gpg in hardness, but this scale is based on appliance tolerance to hard water. Take your dishwasher for example: The softer the water, the longer it will last. Under moderately hard water, your dishwasher will last several years–even though it’s not entirely soft water. On the other hand, if you’re on extremely hard water, your dishwasher may only last a few years before hard water completely incapacitates the appliance. Certainly the dishwasher will run on 50 gpg hardness, but its lifespan will be dramatically shortened.
Why do I feel ‘slick’ or ‘slimy’ in the shower with soft water?
Is soft water safe to drink? What is the sodium content in soft water?
How much soap should I use with soft water?
Does soft water cure dry skin?
I’m moving, can I take my water softener with me?
Do I have to use salt in my water softener?
How much salt is used in each regeneration cycle?
How hard is the water in my area?
Can I water my plants with soft water?
We recommend leaving your outside hose bibbs tapped to the hard water line as watering your garden with soft water is both wasteful and more difficult for plant survival. On the other hand, other applications such as car washing persuade some consumers to turn one hose bibb soft and leave the other hard.
Can I use copper tubing for my RO?
Pure or purified water is very aggressive in that it is able to quickly absorb particles from its surroundings. If reverse osmosis water was allowed to contact metal tubing (like copper) it would slowly pull parts of the copper into the water creating a water leak in the pipe. Plastic tubing is used for reverse osmosis systems to prevent this from occurring, because the purified water is not able to breakdown the plastic.