Have you heard the term hard water before and have no idea what it is? You perhaps thought that water is just a clear liquid. However, there’s more to water than that, and in fact, water contains naturally occurring minerals. The US Geological Survey maintains that hard water exists in many regions across the country. What is hard water and does it pose any potential problems? Let’s learn more about hard water in more detail.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water refers to water that has a high level of dissolved minerals, particularly, calcium and magnesium, but other metals could include aluminum, barium, iron, manganese, strontium, and zinc. According to the U.S Geological Survey, water with a hardness of zero to 60 milligrams per liter (mg/L) is calcium carbonate soft; 61 to 120 mg/L moderately hard; 121 to 180 mg/L hard; and above 180 mg/L very hard. Water hardness is more typical in groundwater and areas where limestone and gypsum exist.
Knowing if You Have Hard Water
How do you know if your water is hard? The simplest indicator of hard water is water that has a chalky or cloudy color. You may also notice tiny particles before water settles when you pour it into a container, or that your tap water tastes metallic because of the excessive level of minerals. The presence of white scale on your bathtub, sink, or shower helps tell if your water is hard. If you are unsure of what to look for, try an at-home hard water test kit.
Is Hard Water a Problem?
Hard water is not considered a danger for consumption, but it’s not desirable to have in the home. It has a certain negative impact that makes it a nuisance. The downside of hard water is evident in several ways:
Contributes to Dry Skin and Hair
Hard water can cause damaged hair, leading to breakage, thinning, dullness, dry scalp, and frizziness. A 2016 study revealed that hard water damages hair by causing a decrease in thickness and a ruffled look. There is also the potential for hard water to cause dry skin and research has indicated that it increases the risk of atopic dermatitis (AD), increasing transepidermal water loss, which leads to irritation.
If you are doing laundry with hard water, keep in mind that it could damage your clothing. Studies have indicated that clothing washed with hard water can lose its original color, shape, and even texture. Hard water could also coat the interior of your washing machine’s tub with deposits that could prevent the detergent from lathering sufficiently to clean your clothes properly. The result could be clothes that are soiled by mineral deposits stuck to them or soil that is partially removed, as well as gray-looking and dingy whites.
Plumbing and Heater Issues
Not only can the minerals in the hard water build up in your pipes, but they can leave them with limited usable space, cause clogging, and affect water pressure. Minerals can also accumulate in water heaters and this excess can cause them to work harder than normal, which can lead to an increase in energy bills.
Contact Elite Plumbing & Heating in Stoneham, MA
If you are experiencing hard water issues, let Elite Plumbing & Heating help you fix your hard water problem. We can help you find an effective solution and make your water good for your everyday purposes. You don’t have to be stuck with hard water if you have us on your side. Give us a call today at 781-438-2997 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.