How To Tell a Home Has Hard Water
When discussing water softeners and hard water, it is best to make sure that everyone is on the same page with the terminology being used. Hard water, simply put, is water that is full of minerals, usually the primary ones being calcium and magnesium. None of this is harmful to ingest, and in fact, may even be a good supplement. Since this is the case, what would be the point of making the water “soft” (removing the minerals)?
While hard water is not physically harmful, it can cause major inconveniences and expensive damage to a home’s pipe network.
How Does Hard Water Look?
The first easily identifiable sign of hard water is the visible deposits that show up on bathroom and kitchen fixtures. A white powdery-looking substance collecting on a showerhead or a faucet aerator is most likely calcium and magnesium deposits from the evaporation of hard water. Just as sugar water that evaporates leaves sugar crystals behind, hard water will leave the minerals behind as it evaporates. This will eventually cause a blockage in the faucets that is difficult to clean.
Soap scum is another big indicator of hard water. Calcium binds to the soap people use to create the translucent white film generally referred to as soap scum. Because of the bond between the calcium and the soap particles, it becomes quite a chore to remove.
When glasses don’t look clean when removed from the dishwasher but have those translucent “water spots” on them, this is also a sign of hard water. While it is not harmful, it certainly appears unappetizing.
How Does Hard Water Feel?
- Skin: After swimming in a pool or even the ocean, a person’s skin can feel dry and itchy. This is what hard water does to the skin by leaving mineral residue.
- Rinse and Repeat: When someone is showering or bathing with hard water, it is more difficult to produce a lather and rinse the soap off due to the previously mentioned bonding with the calcium in the water.
- Clothing: It is not just hard to get soap and mineral deposits off the skin. It also applies to clothing. Clothes washed in hard water can become stiff and scratchy from the buildup of residue.
What Does Hard Water Do to Pipes?
While the previous issues are an inconvenience at worst, hard water can cause serious problems with the pipes in a home. This is where the expense and possible damage can happen, and below are a few examples.
- Clogged Pipes: Mineral deposits within pipes can lead to more frequent clogs that are increasingly difficult to remove.
- Pipe Weakening and Breakage: These heavy deposits can weigh down pipes and cause pipes to weaken and break. This can be expensive to repair or replace.
- Slow Flow: The buildup within the pipes will also inhibit water flow and create lower water pressure which will inhibit cleaning appliances and create a vicious cycle for increased mineral deposits.
About Guardian Plumbing and Drain
Call Guardian Plumbing and Drain for same-day plumbing service in the Cobourg, ON area. They work hard to reach a personalized solution for each customer, and financing options are available. Contact them to learn more about water softener installation today!