Q&A with GE Pro Elite Team: Hard Water vs. Soft Water

GE Pro EliteYou may have heard that reducing the hardness of your home’s water can improve its quality, says the GE Pro Elite Team, but did you know water softeners can also help save energy? Today we are joined by the GE Pro Elite Team to learn about the effects hard water can have on your home.

Q: Thank you, GE Pro Elite team, for joining us today.

GE Pro Elite Team: Thanks for having us.

Q: Hard water… What is it?

GE Pro Elite Team: Hard water is any water that has an elevated level of hard minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium.

Q: How does a water softener get rid of these minerals?

GE Pro Elite Team: A water softener takes these minerals out of the water and replace them with sodium or potassium ions, providing cleaner water for use throughout the home.

Q: In addition to cleaner water, what other advantages of soft water are there?

GE Pro Elite Team: Soft water is virtually a spot free system that doesn’t leave spots on glass, silverware and dishes. Soaps and shampoos lather better. Clothes tend to last longer due to hard minerals not getting trapped in them. You’ll also save money on detergent and soap.

Q: How does soft water reduce detergent cost?

GE Pro Elite Team: Water Quality Association (WQA) did a study on softened water which revealed there is a significant reduction in detergent dose and temperature when you reduce the hardness. In fact, the study also found detergent usage can be reduced by 50% for laundry and up to 75% for dishwashers across any brand that’s on the market right now. With soft water you can bring your temperature from hot down to cold and still get clean clothes.

Q: So I can use less energy…?

GE Pro Elite Team: Exactly. The same study also found the energy consumption is about 30% higher on a hard water supply than it is with soft water.

Q: That’s a large deduction which not only saves money but also helps the environment…

GE Pro Elite Team: Absolutely. Soft water has many benefits.

Q: What does hard water do to my appliances?

GE Pro Elite Team: Hard water clogs pipes and reduces flow rates. As a result, appliances and fixtures don’t last as long. Especially in water heaters, hard water mineral buildup reduces the efficiency and life of the water heater.

Q: Why are water heaters the most at risk for damage?

GE Pro Elite Team: Hot water heaters use more water than any other appliance in the average home. A hot water heater may suffer irreparable damages from hard water, including scale buildup and decreased efficiency.

Q: How can I know if I have hard water?

GE Pro Elite Team: That’s a great question. Any municipal supplier of water will be able to give you a copy of your water test to let you know what’s in the water.

Q: How much water in the United States is considered hard?

GE Pro Elite Team:  About 80 percent of the water in the United States is considered hard.

Q: Is hard water a health risk?

GE Pro Elite Team: While hard water is not a health risk, it’s a nuisance because of the build up on fixtures and the lack of soap lather.

Q: This was very informative, GE Pro Elite Team. Thank you.

GE Pro Elite Team: You’re welcome. The GE Pro Elite Team is always happy to help.