What Exactly Is Hard Water
What is hard water and how does someone test for it? What are the main problems with it and how can it be fixed? These are a few common questions people often have about water that is hard, and the answers will be discussed in detail below.
What Is Hard Water
Hard water is water that contains natural minerals in extremely high amounts. These minerals include magnesium and calcium, as well as different types of trace metals. For example, if someone's drinking water supply contains too much calcium and trace metals, then the water is probably hard.
There's a number of ways water can become hard, with the main one being that rain absorbs into the surface and then flows back into aquifers. After it does that, minerals can be absorbed. In turn, soft water turns into hard water.
Bear in mind that hard water doesn't cause serious problems for people's health. Although, it does pose other types of problems. This will be discussed a bit later one.
How To Test For It
The good news is people can test their water. Doing so will allow people to know what level of hardness their water is at. In turn, they'll be able to decide whether or not to use a product to soften it.
With that said, the way to test water is to use a home-test, which can measure the amount of calcium and magnesium in the supply. Generally speaking, if a person's water has 181mg or more (calcium carbonate) per liter of water, then the water is very hard. Between 121 and 180mg means the water is hard.
Fixing The Issue
The best way to fix the issue is to use a water softener. There are other kinds of water conditioning products out there, but softeners are the best. There are many types of softeners out there, with some being designed to use on one area of where water comes out, such as the shower or a faucet. Then there are whole-house softeners, which means the entire water supply will be affected, and in turn all of the water will become softer.
Don't choose just any old water softener. People should install one that is reputable, durable and will last a longtime to come. The bottom mine is the best softener will result in the highest quality of water.
The Problems With Hard Water
The main problem with hard water is limescale buildup. Hard water can lead to the buildup of limescale and in turn a whole host of issues can be caused. In turn, the limescale can lead to costly damage to the plumbing system and appliances, which means spending a lot of money on replacing them or making repairs on the system. However, it is important to note that drinking hard water is thought to be safe, so people shouldn't be too concerned if their health is at risk due to drinking the water.
Asides from the above, the other issues related to hard water and limescale buildup are as followed:
The Visible Effects
Limescale can buildup on kettles, and lathering up with soap or shampoo might not be that easy to do. Not only that, but limescale can end up being visible on taps and shower-heads. If using a shower screen, then that might end up becoming cloudy in appearance.
Furthermore, the toilet can accumulate limescale. This can be difficult to remove, and it might be better to just buy a new toilet due to the difficulties associated with limescale buildup on toilets. Besides that, a person might find themselves using much more laundry detergent than they normally use.
Limescale can cause issues with the skin. For example, some people develop eczema or their eczema becomes irritated. Their skin may become dull, and so does their hair. If a person is experiencing skin and hair issues such as these, then there's a good chance their water is hard.
There are many unseen effects of hard water, with one being that limescale can accumulate in appliances. This can make appliances work harder than necessary, as well as not being as efficient as they once were. In turn, their lifespan can be shorten, which means having to spend money on replacing them.
Limescale can even collect in a boiler's heat exchanger. If this happens, then heating a home up and heating water up takes longer to do. Not only that, but the boiler's lifespan will be reduced. If a boiler ends up breaking down, then it can easily cost a lot of money to fix it or to replace it.
A lot of people don't realize this, but their energy bills can skyrocket as a result of hard water and limescale buildup. This is because the heating system will work a lot harder than it should be working. When this happens, it means using more energy.
Another major issue that takes awhile for people to notice is that heating and water pipes can be affected. This leads to water flow becoming weaker, and so does the water pressure. This can make tasks such as doing dishes and showering much more of a hassle.
Immersion heaters can even be affected by hard water. Replacing or repairing a heating immersion can be difficult and very expensive. The last thing anyone want to do is find themselves in a position where they have to replace their immersion heater. It's best to try to soften the water as soon as possible.
There are many other unseen effects of hard water.
The above are only a few, as well as a handful of examples of the seen effects. This is why it's a good idea to soften hard water.
Testing for hard water is something that should be done every so often. Water that is hard can pose a number of issues, therefore it's best to take care of the problem as soon as you find out about it. Remember, using a water softener is without a doubt the easiest and best way to correct the problem.