Water Hardness by the Numbers


Having running water is a necessity, and many people are concerned about the hardness of that water. Hard water can require more detergent in the laundry machine as well as more soap in the dishwasher. It can also cause expensive breakdowns of equipment when the buildup of minerals becomes too great.

Sometimes you can identify hard water just by the smell or taste. It tends to be metallic smelling and tastes unnatural because it is filled with minerals like calcium and magnesium.

The actual measure of the dissolved amounts of calcium and magnesium can tell you how hard your water is. Here are the ways to identify water hardness by the numbers.

  • Water with less than 1.0 grains per gallon or less than 17.1 milligrams per liter would be considered soft.
  • Slightly hard water would fall into the category of 1.0 – 3.5 grains per gallon or 17.1 – 60 milligrams per liter.
  • Moderately hard water would have a measure of 3.5 – 7.0 grains per gallon or 60 – 120 milligrams per liter.
  • Water with 7.0 – 10.5 grains per gallon or 120 – 180 milligrams per liter would be considered hard.
  • Water with over 10.5 grains per gallon or over 180 milligrams per liter would be considered very hard.
    • Milligrams per liter (mg/L) is also known as parts per million (ppm).

Texas has some of the hardest water in the country with over 1,000 parts per million. It is important to know what kind of water you have, in case it causes harmful effects in your household. You can purchase an at-home, accurate and relatively inexpensive kit to test your water’s hardness.

Soft water contains very little minerals, if any. For a free water test and to learn more about water softeners, contact Kinetico San Antonio today.

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