What is hard water and how does it affect your home?

Published On: November 18, 20190 Comments on What is hard water and how does it affect your home?Tags: , , , Last Updated: February 12, 20245.2 min read

The word “hard water” is obviously not a new term to many as it is possible you’ve heard it once before. It is a kind of water that has high mineral content as a result of percolation via some deposition of compounds such as limestone or gypsum—which normally contain carbonates of calcium and magnesium, bicarbonates and sulfates.  Hard water has its advantages for the human body, but more importantly it has adverse effects on the plumbing system in your home. If it happens that your home water supply emanates from a well, then there’s a very strong possibility it is hard because it is natural for water from the ground to contain quite a number of minerals even though high level hardness is also deposited in water systems across the cities. According to the United States Geological Survey, about 85 percent homes in the US experience some level of hardness in the water they use. And with these statistics, it is more saddening that hard water is a menace to reckon with. Hence, in this article, we would be talking about the ways by which hard water affects your home and the probable way out.

What is hard water

Meanwhile, as it has earlier been stated that hard water is defined by the level of calcium and magnesium mineral that is dissolved in water; the water running in your home has a varying degree. In fact, the US Department of Interior and the Water Quality Association provides a guideline that water having less than 60mg/L of calcium carbonate is considered soft while ones with 62-120mg/L is “fairly hard”; 121-180mg/L is “hard” and those above 180mg/L is assumed to be “very hard”. Although, those figures might not really mean anything to you if you are not well-informed about how hard water affects you, but you shouldn’t get too worried. Listed below are the impacts of hard water on your home:

Mineral Deposits on Plumbing and inefficiency of Appliances

One of the many adverse effects that hard water can bring to your home is to make minerals get deposited in your plumbing system. You’ll see the buildup in your faucets and showerheads and possible leak in pipes. In fact, if care is not taken, you might end up seeing it on some of your appliances such as your coffee pot and dishwashers which might cause a reduction in their lifespan. The reason this needs to be prevented ab initio is not only due to its gruesome sight but also for the unpleasant taste it would bring to your water.

Stained Sinks and Bathtubs

Another negative effect of hard water on your home is that it has residue which would definitely stain your sinks and bathtubs. Also, glass showers usually look opaque and dirty as a result of stains emanating from hard water—all of which can be avoided if appropriate measures were taken.

Usual Plumbing Repairs

The buildup of minerals in pipes (especially steel pipes) makes them vulnerable to damage. The internal part of the pipes might corrode—which would have a negative impact on your water—and cause several other piping problems. All of these might lead to frequent plumbing repairs.

Increase in Water Bills

Bills payment is one of the arduous things to overcome. However hard it might seem, spending the money you earn on the right and appropriate course would give you peace of mind. As calcium and magnesium minerals get built-up in your pipes, it can only require that your plumbing system work twice the same rate at which they function ordinarily. This might contribute to the problems in your home as there might be leaks from pipes that have clogged up. Unluckily, these leaks could lead to loss of gallons of water as the year runs down which would automatically translate to an increase in water bills.

What is hard water - faucet

Fading of Clothes

To your surprise, hard water has a dastard effect on your clothes. This is because it gradually removes the color from your clothes and makes it fade over time. In fact, these clothes might even make you feel uncomfortable sometimes as your body gets itchy—no thanks to the mineral deposits in hard water.   

Cleaning Difficulties

Obviously, the hardness in water prevents soaps from forming a lather. To this effect, hard water requires more soap before you can get things cleaned up. Also, a layer of impurity is formed as residue as a result of hard water at the end of every cleaning process.

Reduced Water Heater Efficiency

According to a survey taken by a global science and technology research firm, Battelle Memorial Institute, the use of water heaters directly with hard water could rise to about 25 percent decrease in efficiency than treated waters. Sadly, such loss of energy could drastically increase your bill. Conclusively, due to the many usefulness of water in our everyday lives, the need to check its quality becomes imperative. So, if you seem to experience the troubles of hard water in your home, do not freak out. To test for water hardness, it is recommended that you either buy a water test kit online or you get it right from improvement store for a few bucks and use it to test your water all by yourself. Otherwise, you would need to summon a plumber to assist with this.

Stained sinks and bathtubs can be cleaned with rags soaked in white vinegar. Usually, water softeners are the most adoptable solution that can solve the hard water puzzle. By investing in a top-notch water softening system, your plumbing lines would be free from clogs because calcium and magnesium minerals would have already been removed from the water that is being supplied. However, if the level of hardness that is present in your water seems to appear extremely high far above the range that water softener could cover; you would then need to install a water filtration system. But you must always have it at the back of your mind that no matter how good hard water is its resultant effect on your home is far worse than immediate attention needs to be directed at it.

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