What Is Hard Water & Is It Dangerous?

What Is Hard Water & Is It Dangerous?

When it comes to tap water, everyone has their occasional suspicions that something might be off. Maybe it tastes somewhat metallic or appears to leave some scale buildup behind. In any case, there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about the quality of your home’s water. One likely culprit you often hear about is hard water. But, what is hard water? How do you know you have it? And, how do you get rid of it? To answer these questions, our water treatment team has put together a handy guide to identifying and remediating hard water at home.

To find out for sure whether you have hard water at home, schedule a water quality test with a reputable water treatment company like North Florida Water Systems Inc. In Florida, we recommend doing a water quality test at least once a year, especially if you own a well water system.

Water Hardness Varies Per Household

Hard water means water with high concentrations of minerals, most commonly calcium and magnesium. An estimated 85 percent of American households use hard water as their primary source — yikes! Even within the same neighborhood, water hardness can vary drastically, due to environmental factors and type of water system.

The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) deem water with less than 60 mg/L of calcium carbonate as soft, 61-120 mg/L as moderately hard, 121-180 mg/L as hard, and above 180 mg/L is deemed very hard. These numbers may not mean much to the average homeowner, as testing water hardness can be difficult without the right tools and expertise. But, not to worry. North Florida Water Systems Inc specializes in water treatment systems and testing. Contact us today to start enjoying cleaner water!

Common Problems Caused By Hard Water

While drinking hard water is generally considered safe, there are still some valid reasons why you may want to invest in a water softener system. Reasons to avoid using hard water include:

Bad For Your Hair & Skin

Given its higher mineral levels, hard water can cause mild to serious problems with your hair and skin. If you’ve ever noticed a thin residue film or scale buildup on your hair and skin while bathing or showering, it could be the leftover minerals in the water. These minerals can prevent soaps and detergent from lathering, dry up your skin and hair, and make you feel less clean. The result could be scalp irritation, dandruff, irritated skin, and itchiness.

Bad For Your Pipes

Mineral buildup can also affect your plumbing. Hard water can cause limescale buildup in pipes, which could result in clogs, seized valves, and plugged showerheads and aerators. Given enough time, these clogs could also reduce water pressure, which could compromise your entire plumbing system. The best way to prevent this is to install a whole-house water treatment system, in particular, a water softener system to reduce the mineral levels in your home’s water.

Bad For Your Clothes & Appliances

Similarly, hard water can wreak havoc on your clothes over time. Washing clothes with hard water can cause the clothing fabric to break down more quickly. Water appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher, can also be affected by hard water, as these often use similar piping systems to your plumbing. Any mineral buildup left unclean could also result in rust or buildup, especially near your sink faucets, showerhead, and any other water fixture.

How Do I Get Rid Of Hard Water?

Contact a water treatment company to help you choose and install the best water softener system for your particular needs. Our water treatment experts have experience installing, repairing, and maintaining water treatment systems of all makes and models, including water softeners for both residential and commercial properties. Not sure whether your property is affected by hard water? Not a problem. Contact us today to schedule a water quality test!