As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water hard. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task, from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming. Hard water treated with an ion exchange water softener has sodium added and makes water soft.
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About Hard Water
Causes: Water that is considered hard means that through its process of traveling through the ground dissolves small parts of minerals. Calcium and magnesium are two of the chemicals that are dissolved to make water hard. The more calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water creates a harder water.
Health Concerns: Calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water are not a health concern to people. The concern with hard water is the buildup of minerals inside the pipes and plumbing fixtures. Hard water is what makes soaps and laundry detergent have a low performance.
Action Level: There should be action for any water levels over 3gpg. 10.5 gpg water is considered extremely hard and is when you may experience mineral build ups in your fixtures. Water is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. This universal solvent is considered a good solvent because of its ability to pick up impurities. Weak carbonic acids sometimes dissolve carbon dioxide in water creating an even superior solvent.
Hard Water Problems:
- Laundry – The reasons some clothes may seem rough and stiff could be through washing in hard water. The hard water mixes with the different solutions and creates an insoluble salt that decrease the clothes’ life by 40% from the damaged materials.
- Bathing - Soap and hard water leave a residue of soap on the skin because it cannot properly wash off the new material it has become with the reaction to hard water. The soap residue can irritate skin because of the skin’s acidic conditions.
- Dishwashers - The heat inside a dishwasher interacts with hard water at a rapid rate because the minerals are released faster. This leaves films on the utensils and spots on the dishes.
- Problems in Water Heating Systems and Pipes - Hard water being inefficient for use because of mineral build up can lead to water-using appliances to operate fully. The calcium, magnesium, and limescale deposits hinder the water to follow with ease through the pipes and can ultimately increase your energy bills.
- Limescale in Solar Heating Systems - Heated pools are a high risk for limestone buildup, making the system have a more than likely chance of breaking after a short amount of time.
- Hard Water Benefits - Calcium and magnesium are not harmful to the body and are a part of a person’s daily need for diets.