Although hard water can have noticeable effects on people’s skin and hair, it’s not considered dangerous to use or drink. In fact, it can be beneficial to consume the minerals dissolved in hard water.
That said, hard water can damage your plumbing system over time as mineral and sediment deposits grow. If your home has hard water,
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains a high mineral content. This means that dissolved within the water are small particles of minerals that contain calcium and magnesium. Hard water typically occurs when groundwater is used as a source. This is because during its extraction, water travels through layers of rock and soil and picks up naturally occurring minerals along the way.
Hard water also isn’t always the same. While “soft water” may contain up to 60 mg/L of calcium carbonate, typical hard water can contain 121 to 180 mg/L. Very hard water might contain greater concentrations of minerals.
If you are not comfortable with your water’s hardness, a professional plumber can help you assess your water quality and apply solutions to remove minerals to reduce hardness.
How Does Hard Water Affect People?
Most homes in the U.S. have hard water, but it’s not considered to be a hazard to human health. That doesn’t mean that hard water doesn’t have any noticeable effects on people, though.
Hard water draws moisture out of skin and hair. This means that contact with hard water can lead to skin and hair feeling drier, which can cause a “stretching” sensation on skin. It can also feel like your hair and skin are still dirty, despite thoroughly bathing.
How Can I Tell If My Home Has Hard Water?
If you don’t notice the effects of hard water on your body, there might be other signs of its presence you may notice.
Hard water sediments can collect at faucet heads and near drains. If you notice a white, chalky buildup in these locations, it’s usually a sign of hard water. You may also notice faintly white streaks and spots on your dishes and glasses after running the dishwasher. These are also caused by hard water.
You may not directly see evidence of hard water, but you may be able to infer its presence if you’re experiencing low water pressure and slow drains.
Is Hard Water Bad for My Plumbing System?
Over time, yes. This is because the minerals dissolved in the water can collect and build up in your pipes and drains over time. When that happens, you can experience problems with water pressure and slow drainage.
Ultimately, hard water puts unnecessary strain on your home’s plumbing system that can eventually lead to leaks, pipe bursts, and broken appliances.
How Do I Get Rid of Hard Water?
You may not be able to “get rid” of hard water for good, but you can “soften” it. This means removing some of the minerals dissolved in hard water with a device called a water softener.
By using a water softener, you can reduce water hardness and extend the life of your plumbing system, fixtures, and appliances. It can also mean having a more pleasant experience when showering or washing your hands.
If you’re concerned about buildup that’s already occurred in your pipes, a professional plumber can apply any of a number of solutions to remove mineral buildups! We at Carter Quality Plumbing, LLC also offer a FREE water analysis you can use to determine the hardness of your water. It can also help you detect any other contaminants you need filtered out!
For more information or to get a professional plumber for help, contact Carter Quality Plumbing, LLC today to learn more!