What Exactly Is Hard Water?

We’ve talked a lot-and you probably have heard a lot-about hard water and the benefits of soft water in your home, but what exactly is hard water? You know that hard water refers to the minerals in unfiltered water, but what are those minerals and what exactly do those do?

Hard Water Explained

Water is a great solvent and picks up impurities very easily. Pure water is often called the universal solvent. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. The two most common minerals dissolved in water that are considered to make it “hard” are calcium and magnesium. The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases.

Detecting Hard Water

It is easy to detect hard water because it interferes with almost every cleaning task both household and hygiene related. Hard water affects laundering and dish-washing as well as bathing. It causes stiff clothes, dull hair, and reduced performance in appliances.

If you are on a municipal water system, the water supplier can tell you the hardness level of the water they deliver. If you receive your water from a private supplier, you can have the water tested for hardness. Most water testing laboratories charge for a hardness test. Similarly, most companies that sell water treatment equipment and services will perform water hardness tests for a fee.

Water hardness is measured using a pH scale which measures the hydrogen-ion concentration in the liquid. Water with a low pH is more acidic while water with a higher pH is harder or more alkaline, meaning it is able to neutralize acids.

Benefits of Hard Water

It is actually thought that hard drinking water may provide some health benefits. Those who do not get enough minerals in their regular diets can receive the extra calcium and magnesium in their tap water. For those who do get the required minerals through their meals, this is not necessary. Other minerals and substances found in hard water can actually be detrimental to health.

Problems with Hard Water

The major problem with hard water is its affect in industrial settings. Just like in the home where hard water can build up in tubes, valves, and pipes, in appliances, the minerals can cause costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment that handles water.

In the end, for the average person the major ailment of hard water is its effect on household cleaning and chores. Since the calcium and magnesium in hard water build upon each other and deposit themselves in pipes and on the body, it can make appliances and washing less effective. Not only this, but it can cause appliances to break down much more quickly than they should.

So to save money and improve the performance of your household appliances, think about installing a water softening system in your own home. For more questions about what a water softening system can do for you or to get a quote, contact a representative at Clear Water San Marcos today.