Do you have hard water? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the United States Geological Survey, hard water is present in 85% of American homes. But what is hard water, and why is it a problem? In this blog post, we will discuss the causes and effects of hard water, as well as how to fix it. So if you’ve been having problems with your water quality, keep reading!
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is simply water that contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals are harmless to human health, but they can cause a variety of problems around the home. For example, hard water can make it difficult to get your dishes clean, because the minerals will prevent soap from sudsing up properly. Hard water can also lead to build-up in your plumbing fixtures, which can reduce water flow and lead to clogs. In addition, hard water makes it more difficult for laundry detergent to work effectively, which means your clothes may not come out as clean as you’d like them to be.
Signs You Have Hard Water
Scale build-up on your faucets, shower head, and other fixtures
If you’ve noticed a white, chalky substance on your plumbing fixtures, this is probably due to hard water. Over time, the minerals in hard water will build up on surfaces like faucets and shower heads, causing them to become less effective and possibly even clogged.
White film or spots on dishes, glasses, and silverware
Hard water can also cause a white film or spots to build up on your dishes, glasses, and silverware. This is because the minerals in hard water prevent soap from sudsing up properly, which means that it doesn’t rinse away as easily.
Dry, itchy skin
Hard water can cause your skin to feel dry and itchy, because it strips away the natural oils that keep your skin hydrated. In addition, hard water can make it difficult for soap and shampoo to work effectively, leaving your hair feeling greasy or oily.
Soap scum in the shower and bathtub
If you’ve noticed soap scum around your shower and bathtub, this is probably due to hard water. Soap scum is caused by the minerals in hard water, which prevent soap from sudsing up properly.
A decrease in water pressure
Hard water can cause a decrease in water pressure, because the minerals will build up in your plumbing fixtures and reduce water flow.
One of the most common hard water problems is calcium carbonate scale. This scale can reduce the life of equipment, raise the costs of heating the water, lower the efficiency of electric water heaters, and even clog pipes. In addition, this type of scale can be difficult to remove once it’s built up.
Magnesium Oxide Scale
Another type of hard water problem is magnesium oxide scale. This type of scale is caused by high levels of magnesium in the water, and like calcium carbonate, it can also build up on surfaces like faucets, shower heads, and plumbing fixtures. Magnesium oxide scale is harder than calcium carbonate scale, and it can be very difficult to remove once it’s built up.
Does Hard Water Affect My Drinking Water?
The minerals in hard water are completely harmless to human health, and they will not affect your drinking water. However, as we mentioned earlier, hard water can cause a white film or spots to build up on your dishes, glasses, and silverware which causes an unsightly appearance.
How Do I Fix Hard Water?
There are a few different ways that you can fix hard water. The first option is to install a water softener. A water softener is a device that removes minerals from your water, making it softer and easier to use. Another option is to install a reverse osmosis system. A reverse osmosis system filters your water, removing impurities and making it safer to drink.
Water Hardness: How to Test for Hard Water
Despite some of the signs we mentioned earlier, hard water can be difficult to spot in some cases. The best way to know for sure if you have hard water is to have your water supply tested by a professional. Once you know the level of hardness in your water, you can decide on the best way to fix it.
Bodenheimer Plumbing Services
At Bodenheimer Plumbing Services, we have a variety of hard water solutions to fit your needs. We offer water softeners, reverse osmosis systems, and whole-house filtration systems. We also offer testing services to determine the hardness of your water. Contact us today to learn more about our hard water solutions!