Water is a vital resource that everyone needs for drinking, showering, bathing, and a host of other activities. Water can be classified into two categories: hard and soft. Many people don’t even realize that these categories exist, but it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of water since they both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Water in Its Original Form Many people simply think that water is nothing more than oxygen and hydrogen bonded together. Water that comes down from the sky as rain is in this purer form, and it travels to rivers, streams, the ground, and other areas. However, once water seeps into the ground, it changes. Specifically, it picks up several minerals. This is the reason for hard water. The difference between hard water and soft water is the amount of minerals it contains. To determine whether water is hard or soft, the amount of minerals it contains must be measured. The unit of measurement is grains per gallon. This is shortened to GPG. What is Hard Water? Hard water has a lot more minerals in it than soft water. Water that is mildly hard will have a GPG of at least one. Water that is very hard will have a GPG of around ten. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are found in hard water. Water that is harder will have higher concentrations of these minerals. Most homes have hard water, and it is better tasting than soft water. It’s also better to drink hard water because you will be giving your body important minerals to help you stay healthy. Hard water has a few disadvantages; it can cause lime scale to develop on faucets and in pipes. Lime scale is unsightly and can cause minor problems with the flow of water. There can be an advantage to limescale, though. Since it is an insoluble layer of film that develops on the inside of pipes, it can actually slightly extend the life of the pipes by protecting them from the flow of the water. Because hard water has a lot of minerals in it, it can leave mineral deposits on your hair, dishes and other items such as your plumbing fixtures. Small and major appliances that use water will not last long when they use hard water. Not many people realize that hard water can cause clothes to become dingy, and you don’t feel as clean when you bathe with hard water. Also, plumbing fixtures and natural stone counter tops can become permanently damaged by hard water. What is Soft Water? Soft water generally has a GPG that is less than one. Water is soft until it seeps into the ground and picks up minerals. Hard water can be converted into soft water a few different ways but the most common way water is softened is a process that involves sodium ions being added to the water. If you decide on a water softening system that involves sodium ions being added to the water there is a disadvantage of not having desirable drinking water. When water is softened by sodium ions, it becomes more salty, and this causes the water to taste rather bad. Furthermore, drinking this water can cause problems in people with health ailments such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or similar problems since the softened water contains a higher sodium content. If you have health ailments it is recommended you speak with your physician before installing a water softening system that processes water with sodium ions or potassium. Speak with an expert plumbing technician from ABC Plumbing and Rooter Co., Inc. for other water softening options that best suit your family’s needs.We guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the several, new, inexpensive options that are available for all households in need of soft water. Soft water and hard water have many differences, and each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.