Why is Your Water So Hard? Your Guide to Hard Water Solutions
Originally posted on https://www.beehiveplumbing.com/why-is-your-water-so-hard-your-guide-to-hard-water-solutions/
Did you know that over 80% of homes across the United States have hard water?
Have you noticed a buildup of scum on your bathroom tiles? Are your dishes not coming out clean?
Is your clothing dull and scratchy? Is your skin dry and itchy? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might have a hard water problem.
But don’t fear – hard water solutions exist. Even if you live in a place like Utah, which is known for its hard water, you don’t have to live with it.
Keep reading to learn more about hard water and your solutions for getting to the root of the issue.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water occurs as a result of a buildup of compounds like calcium, magnesium, and a variety of other metals, in the water.
The term hardness came from the difficulty with which it is to wash anything when the water is hard.
Hard water minerals prevent soap from lathering. Hard water causes the development of an insoluble curdy precipitate in the water. If your water is hard, you may have noticed a buildup of hardness scale in your cooking pans.
Dissolved magnesium and calcium salts are responsible for most of the scaling that occurs in pipes and water heaters. These elements cause many issues when it comes to all sorts of washing, from dishes to bathing to laundry.
Hardness is measured in grains per gallon (ppm).
Any water that has less than 1 grain per gallon is considered soft. Here is the breakdown for other hardness measurements:
- Slightly hard (1 to 3.5)
- Moderately hard (3.5 to 7)
- Hard (7 to 10.5)
- Very hard (greater than 10.5)
Salt Lake City’s water hardness is at about 13 grains per gallon.
What Are the Signs Your Water May Be Hard?
It’s common to feel frustrated by hard water long before you realize or begin to wonder if it’s hard.
However, once you suspect it, it’s not difficult to read the signs of hard water.
If your laundry is stiff and dingy no matter how you wash it, it’s a telltale sign that your water is hard, especially if you’ve been using extra soap and fabric softeners in your attempt to get your clothes clean and soft.
If you notice mineral deposits on your glassware and dishes, or if you find that your dishes never seem clean when they come out of the dishwasher, your water is probably hard.
When you have to put in extra work to remove that soap curd from your bathtub and shower, it can be frustrating, especially when you can’t seem to get it clean. These mineral deposits are a direct indication of hard water.
Scale buildup can not only happen on your pots and pans but your pipes as well. If it builds up enough on your pipes and appliances, it can result in higher energy costs.
Scale buildup on your sinks, faucets, tubs, and other appliances is another telltale sign that your water is too hard.
Get Your Water Tested
It’s no secret that the water in Utah is particularly hard. It has much higher levels of calcium carbonate than other states, which results in harder water.
When hard water affects your plumbing, it can reduce water flow, clog your pipes, and damage your fixtures over time.
In the Salt Lake City area, the water hardness is at about 13 grains per gallon, which is considered to be very hard.
How to get rid of it depends on where your supply is. The best way to assess the issue and determine what treatment methods you should use is to first get all your water tested by professionals.
From there, you’ll decide what treatment method is best for your water.
What Treatment Methods Are There?
There are many treatment options when it comes to softening your hard water.
There are inline devices that may be installed into your pipes. They come in different lengths to coincide with your pipework, and they don’t need an electric power supply.
With electrolytic conditioning, your whole house will be protected against limescale, and your water will be safe to drink.
Chemical water softeners are another option. There are dosing systems and packaged softeners.
Some only work for laundry and aren’t safe for drinking. Others won’t remove any hard minerals, but they’ll prevent those minerals from sticking to your pipes and appliances.
There are also water filters that work to soften your water. Caron resin filters, water distillers, and reverse osmosis units all fall under this category.
Which method you choose depends on your home, what you’re willing to spend, and the hardness of your water, and how it’s affecting your home. When you hire a professional to test and assess your home, you’ll come up with a game plan together to soften your water.
What Are the Benefits of Soft Water?
There are numerous benefits to having soft water. It improves the quality of your drinking water for people and animals.
Soft water provides health benefits for your skin and hair while showering, and it also treats your clothing better in the wash.
If you treat your water to make it softer, it’ll protect your appliances, including your refrigerator, dishwasher, and pipes. Soft water flows better through pipes which leads to lower water bills and fewer maintenance requirements.
Hard Water Solutions Don’t Have to Break the Bank
Living with hard water is, well, hard. It can leave your clothes feeling stiff and dingy and your dishes dirty. It allows for the buildup of scum on your tiles and scaling on your faucets and pipes.
It can cost you money, damage your pipes and plumbing, and make cleaning and bathing uncomfortable. The sooner you address the issue, the more money you’ll save in the long run.
Luckily, there are a number of hard water solutions. But the first step is getting your water tested, and your plumbing checked.
Give us a call so that you can be one step closer to enjoying soft water.
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