Hard water can be identified by the calcium deposits found in it. This will not only cause you to have a few plumbing issues in the future, it will also affect your quality of life and the condition of your home appliances.
What Is Hard Water?
According to the U.S Geological Survey, hard water is one that contains high levels of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron. Solid deposits of these minerals can form when hard water is heated.
What Is Soft Water?
According to professional plumbers in Denver, this is water that doesn’t contain any dissolved minerals. Soft water is better for cleaning as it doesn’t leave soap scum or stains. It is also safe for the skin because it doesn’t strip natural oils.
Signs of Hard Water
Below are the signs that your home has hard water.
1. Reduced Water Pressure
A buildup of calcium in the pipes could lead to low water pressure.This will eventually cause your pipes to shrink in diameter, which can lead to weaker water flow.
2. Mineral Stains
Hard water is likely to cause damage to clothing. Newly-washed clothes can manifest this in the form of stains.
This type of water will leave spots on your glasses and plates. These are usually the remains of calcium carbonate.
Soap reacts to calcium in the water, resulting in a film on your skin. Meanwhile, to remove soap scum from your hands, you will have to use more water.
Dangers of Hard Water
Hard water can damage your pipes, faucets, and even your home appliances. It can also have adverse effects on your skin and overall health. Specifically, using hard water can result in the following:
1. Blocked Pipes
Hard water can lead to clogged pipes. Low water pressure may seem like an initial problem, but it can quickly lead to more serious plumbing issues such as sewage backups or flooding.
2. Rust Stains
If you see a rust-colored ring around your toilet, the material has likely reacted with iron in the water. Rust stains are one of the hazards associated with hard water.
3. Dull Hair
Hard water causes dryness and can even lead to a loss of your hair’s natural shine.
4. Appliance Deterioration
Scale buildup in the water makes several home appliances, particularly refrigerators and washing machines, vulnerable to breakdown. Their efficiency, performance, longevity, and life span can all be affected by the sediments that can accumulate in various appliance parts.
5. Poor Water Taste
The taste of water can be affected by the presence or absence of dissolved minerals. If your water has a metallic flavor, it could mean that it has too much iron. On the other hand, if it smells like rotten eggs, it could indicate the presence of algae, or there is sediment buildup.
6. Dirty Clothing
Clothes will not be able to absorb soap suds effectively when hard water is used for washing. This will make washing clothes difficult as your clothes will remain dirty even after they dry. Frequent washing can only make them dingy.
7. Health Risks
There are no adverse health effects from drinking hard water, but studies show the possible consequences of continued consumption. According to the World Health Organization, people who drink hard water are likely to experience metabolic alkalosis and renal insufficiency. Additionally, high levels of magnesium and sulfate can cause laxative effects.
How to Reduce the Risks of Using Hard Water
The harmful effects of using hard water can be significantly reduced if you consider the following:
1. Daily Cleaning
Clean your plumbing fixtures, especially the toilet, after each use to avoid sediment buildup. This should be done from one to two minutes using an all-purpose cleaner.
2. Seal Surfaces
Water stain removal products can be effective at getting rid of stains that have been left behind by hard water.These can be included in your home cleaning routine as they can seal your home to prevent future staining.
3. Install a Water Softener
A home water softener can remove dissolved minerals from your water. This can also prolong the life of your linens and clothes.
4. Brush the Toilet
Stain-causing minerals can also damage your toilet. Use your favorite toilet cleaner and a toothbrush to remove the minerals clinging to the surface.
While hard water is not fatal, it can lead to a few inconveniences affecting your health and your home. These can include dull hair, dry skin, and dirty clothing with stains that seem irremovable even after frequent washing. Home appliances, particularly those that rely on water, can also malfunction when hard water is used.
If you’re concerned about the effects of hard water, there are several things you can do. However, the best one is installing a water softener in your home. This can effectively change your hard water and allow you to fully enjoy the benefits of using safe and potable water.