What is Hard Water?
While all water coming out of the faucet usually appears clear and clean, you’ve probably heard people talk about how “hard” or “soft” it is without necessarily knowing what they mean or what the ramifications of hard water can be.
How hard water is can be determined by the number of minerals and chemicals contained within it, invisible to the naked eye. Soft water has a low mineral and chemical concentration, while hard water has high levels of calcium, magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates. These minerals typically build up in the water from contact with deposits of limestone, chalk, or gypsum.
How can I tell if my water is hard?
Since you likely won’t be able to tell from looking at your running water whether or not it is hard, there are a few signs to watch for which include:
- Mineral Stains – When your clothes come out of the washer, are they still discolored? Perhaps they are wearing out faster despite fewer washings?
- Discoloration and Spots – Deposits of calcium on your dishes when you remove them from the dishwasher can be a sign of hard water.
- Decreasing Water Pressure – Mineral deposits build up inside the pipes, shrinking the circumference of them and delivering less water to your faucet in your home.
- Film on your Hands – After you wash your hands, do you still feel a film upon them? This is caused by the soap reacting with the calcium in the water and forming soap scum causing you to have to rinse your hands longer to remove the layer.
- Strange Taste or Smell – Some people report a metallic taste, or perhaps one of dirt along with a smell of rotten eggs.
Hard Water vs Soft Water
Since hard water is a heavy concentration of chemicals and minerals, obviously, soft water is the opposite. If you have soft water you will enjoy:
- No mineral stains or build up on your clothes after washing. Your clothes also won’t wear out as fast in the wash.
- Dishes come out of the dishwasher without calcium spotting and water stains won’t build up in your sinks and toilets.
- Your home will enjoy healthy water pressure.
- No more soap scum on your hand when washing them or doing housework.
- In some cases, there may be a slight taste of sodium in your drinking water, but no more smells of rotting eggs or taste of dirt.
Install a Water Filter
While there are no medical risks associated with hard water, it can and likely will do damage to your pipes and machines. Hard water causes a buildup of minerals within pipes causing them to clog and become blocked more frequently, which means more calls to the plumber, and your appliances will wear down faster running on hard water. Not to mention all the stain removal you’ll have to do to keep your kitchen and bathroom looking bright.
If you suspect the water running into your house is hard and it is making your life miserable, call us today and install a water filter to remove those unwanted minerals at the source and save yourself the headache of wasting all that water washing your hands twice to get rid of the soap scum with water that smells like rotten eggs.