If you’re like many homeowners in Chicago, you probably haven’t spent much time thinking about the type of water that pours from the faucets and fixtures in your home. Did you know there are two types of water—hard and soft? In this article, we’ll examine the differences between hard and soft water to determine which type is best for you and your home’s plumbing.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has not gone through any type of chemical processing. It is the most natural type of water and is filtered through the ground by stones and mineral deposits. Over the years, these deposits can accumulate and clog or corrode pipes—and cause a variety of additional plumbing issues. When hard water deposits buildup in boilers and hot water heaters, these appliances become less effective and more expensive to use.

Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize the negative effects of hard water until a major issue occurs. A few signs to look for include:

  • A mineral-like, crusty buildup around your faucets or showerhead
  • Soap scum buildup in your sinks or shower surround
  • Stiff clothing or fabrics breaking down after laundering
  • Dry or irritated skin and dull hair following a shower
  • A strong earthy or sulfur smell

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is simply hard water that has been processed by ionization to remove the mineral deposits. By treating hard water, you can prevent the buildup of mineral deposits in your pipes and fixtures. A water softener is a great way to treat hard water in order to prevent damage to your plumbing and make it easier to keep your home clean.

When you have a water softener professionally installed by experienced Chicago plumbers, you’ll receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Cost-savings from having clear pipes
  • Longer-lasting appliances
  • A cleaner home without soap scum or crusty buildups
  • Savings on cleaning supplies
  • Healthier skin and hair

If you still have questions about the difference between hard and soft water, the professionals at John Baethke & Son Plumbing are here to help. We’ve been assisting homeowners and businesses with plumbing issues in the Chicago area since 1993—and we’ve completed more than 250,000 jobs across the city. In addition to extensive industry expertise, we are committed to providing a premier customer experience at an affordable price.

Call the experts at John Baethke & Son Plumbing today to learn more about BBB-accredited plumbing company, or fill out our simple online form now to schedule an on-site appointment.