Water Conditioning Basics:

Hard Water vs Soft Water

To put it simply, hard water is when there are unwanted trace minerals lingering in your water. This level is measured and used to determine your water hardness. Soft water contains little to none of those unwanted trace minerals.

95% of Americans have Hard Water

Scientifically, water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water. It is measured in grains per gallon, or gpg:

SOFT WATER – Less than 3 gpg

SLIGHTLY HARD WATER – 3 to 7.5 gpg


VERY HARD WATER – Over 14 gpg

What does that mean to you? Heat, soap and hard water do not play well together. You may notice that your skin feels slimy or not fully clean after bathing. Drinking glasses may appear cloudy. Scale builds up in plumbing, appliances, water heaters and fixtures. Cleaning becomes more difficult and laundry does not come out as clean.

Hard water diminishes showerhead flow rate by 75% in less than 18 months

Hard Water Facts

  • Tankless water heaters fail after less than two years on hard water. On soft water they maintained their original factory rating. Soft water also reduces tankless water heater operating costs by 34 percent.
  • Natural gas water heaters are up to 24% more cost-efficient on soft water
  • Electric water heaters can accumulate as much as 30 pounds of rock and sediment, shortening the life of the heating element.
  • Since hard water makes soap work harder, you can use 50 percent less soap and detergent with soft water.