Hard water is simply water with traces of minerals, the most common of which is calcium and magnesium. Hard water isn’t a health risk, but it can be problematic for water fixtures and daily household activities. What causes hard water, and how do you address it in your water supply?
How Hard Water Is Formed
When water is combined with carbon dioxide, a weak carbonic acid is produced. This acid makes water an even better solvent. And, as water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves some minerals and retains them.
The Problem With Hard Water
Hard water can be a nuisance. It’s the main culprit behind soap scum on shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks, faucets and other fixtures. (When soap comes into contact with hard water, it leaves behind a sticky soap curd.) Clothes that were washed using hard water might look dingy and feel scratchy. (Part of the reason why laundered clothes might look dingy is that hard water reduces the effectiveness of detergent). And, in some cases, the minerals present in hard water could accumulate in pipes, clogging your home’s plumbing.
How to Tell if Your Water Supply Has Hard Water
Aside from keeping an eye out from the aforementioned warning signs, you can ask the municipal supplier about the hardness of the water supplied to your home. For those using a private water supply, you can have your water tested. Here’s a tip: companies that offer water treatment equipment like a water purifier and softener also provide water testing services.
How to Remove Hard Water From Your Supply
One option would be to install a water softener in your plumbing system to continuously remove calcium and magnesium. Water softeners remove traces of minerals through the ion exchange process.
Keep in mind that you need to take into account the hardness of your water supply when choosing a water softener, which is why it’s best to consult a water equipment provider before making a decision.
Need to have your water tested?
RainSoft of NE Iowa offers professional plumbing services as well as a wide range of quality water treatment equipment. To get a quote or schedule a free water test, call us at (319) 233-2038, or fill out this form.