How To Handle Hard Water

Posted on: 25 August 2015

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At some point, you might have heard about something called hard water. However, you might not be sure what it exactly is or what it means for you. To help you out, here is an overview of what hard water is and how it can be treated:   

So what is hard water?

When water has exceptionally high mineral content, it becomes known as hard water. The difference between hard and soft water (water that is much lower in minerals) isn't exactly rigid. Instead, there are several ranges of measurements that can be used to separate different categories of water. 

  • < 60 PPM - If there are fewer than sixty parts mineral per million parts of the solution, then the water is considered soft. 
  • 60-120 PPM - In this range, water is neither clearly soft nor hard. It does have some attributes of hard water, but they are not quite as apparent.
  • 120+ PPM - After this threshold, water is definitively hard.

What causes hard water?

As water runs over dirt and other substances, it picks up a significant amount of minerals. The longer the distance that water runs, the more minerals are picked up. Even if the distance isn't very far, water can become hard very quickly if it flows over the mineral-rich earth.

This means that some cities and residences will have harder water than other regions, simply by virtue of their location. If you live in a relatively arid region, then you might import most of your water (as is the case in California). This water will likely be much harder than average.

Why is hard water bad?

There are two primary reasons that you don't want hard water in your home.

First of all, hard water will make it a lot harder to use soap in your home. Specifically, the minerals in hard water interfere with soap's ability to clean. If you try to clean dishes, wash your hands, or shower with hard water, then a viscous scum may form. It'll take a lot longer to perform any sort of cleaning if you have hard water.

Secondly, hard water can cause serious problems for plumbing and various appliances, such as coffee makers and tea kettles. When hard water is heated, it leaves behind a mineral precipitate known as scale. Scale can create clogs in pipes and greatly hinders heating properties.

Does it have any benefits?

Hard water does have some health benefits since it contains minerals that are important for human consumption. However, it is important to take such things in moderation. Too many minerals can be just as dangerous as a lack of mineral intake. For further assistance, contact a local water softener company, such as Albert Soft Water.