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Hard water may be one of the most common plumbing problems across the country. An incredible 85 percent of the United States has hard water, so there’s a strong likelihood that you live in a state with hard water problems.

It’s important to recognize the signs of hard water and what hard water solutions are available. 

What Is Hard Water?

Despite its name, hard water is neither “hard” nor ice. Hard water is water with high mineral content. In contrast, “soft” water has low concentrations of minerals. Hard water treatment is common in areas of sediment with high mineral deposits since water becomes hard when it seeps through deposits of limestone, chalk, or gypsum, picking up calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates. 

When hard water evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposits, also known as hard water stains. 

Is Hard Water Bad For You?

Hard water has been found to have no ill effects on the human body and actually can be quite good for you. Hard water can be a dietary supplement for calcium, magnesium, and other necessary minerals. There has been some evidence that hard water can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, but there has not been enough substantial research to correlate the two.

While hard water is not a problem for the human body, the same cannot be said for plumbing and household appliances.

What Are The Effects Of Hard Water?

Hard water can have devastating effects on plumbing and drainage systems. Due to its mineral deposits, hard water leaves a white residue on anything it comes into contact with, such as dishes, sinks, and glassware. 

When soap mixes with the calcium deposits left behind, it can produce soap scum. When this accumulates, especially in your shower and sink, it can be difficult and time-consuming to remove. 

These mineral deposits can wreak havoc on plumbing. Deposits can build up inside your pipes and constrict the flow of water. Shower heads can become blocked as well from the mineral buildup. 

Additionally, hard water can have expensive consequences. Besides scale buildup, hard water can put stress on plumbing systems and contribute to rusting and limited effectiveness of cleaning agents. The dishwasher and water heater may operate less efficiently due to the mineral buildup. Appliances may use more energy, costing more money in the long run.

Hard water can cause a washing machine to wear out 30% faster, according to the American Water Works Association.

Hard Water Treatment

To test for hard water, you can use a hard water test kit. If it comes back positive, there are two hard water solutions to reduce the mineral amount in your water: chemical and mechanical. 

Chemical hard water solutions do not remove the issue, but instead hide some of the effects of hard water, such as soap scum. This is only a temporary solution since these cleaners do not remove the root cause. 

Mechanical hard water solutions achieve a more desirable and longer-lasting effect. Water softeners can be added to your plumbing system. This adds sodium ions to the water, which displaces the minerals in hard water. When implementing an ion exchange water softener for hard water treatment, a water filter is advised since the sodium ions can make your water taste salty. If you struggle with health issues, such as edema and high blood pressure, you should highly consider installing a water filter since excess sodium can contribute to these problems. 

Boasting some of the most highly skilled plumbers in Sacramento, Express Sewer and Drain can serve all of your plumbing needs. Whether you’re looking to install a water softener, a water filter, or both, we can provide the answer for your hard water solutions. Contact us now to set up an appointment or learn more about our services.

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Topics: Home Plumbing Tips, Plumbing Pipes, water pressure