What is hard water?
Depending on its mineral content, you may have hard water. Water that contains more than one grain of calcium and magnesium per gallon is hard.
An average household of 4, with water hardness of 7 grains per gallon, would have the equivalent of 146 lbs. of rock in their water supply in a given year.
As rainwater moves through soil and rock, it absorbs hard water minerals –like calcium, magnesium and iron. Eventually, this water flows into the water supply of homes, clogging pipes, leaving rust stains on fixtures and potentially damaging appliances.
Hard Water Problems
Water hardness is determined by the amount of hard water minerals in the water. Hard water reduces the ability of soaps to suds and clean, leaving a dingy gray residue on clothes, and spots on dishes, etc. While not considered a health hazard, hard water can contribute to many problems in your home.
- Hard water is more abrasive than soft water. The tiny mineral particles combine with soap or detergents to pound away at clothing fibers and fragile glassware. This means glasses can become etched and the life of clothing can be reduced.
- Reduced water heating efficiency increases water heating costs.
- Soaps don’t work as well so you need to use more.
- Skin and hair are affected by hard water. More shampoo and soap is needed, and hard water doesn’t rinse as well as soft water, meaning soap residue remains, leaving skin dry and itchy and hair less shiny.
- Hard water is tough on plumbing. It can cause buildup in water heaters and pipes, limiting the water flow, reducing its life and increasing operating costs and maintenance. Calcium buildup in appliances that use water reduces appliance performance and life.
These problems will vary based on how hard your water is as well as how much water is used in your home. If you are experiencing these hard water problems, check out why a water softener may help.
What Hard Water Means
|Hardness Rating||Key Symptoms|
|0 to 3.5 GPG Hardness||Soft Water. No treatment recommended. Pure soap effective in cleaning up.|
|3.5 to 7 GPG Hardness||Moderately Hard Water. Detergents not completely effective in cleaning.|
|7 to 10.5 GPG Hardness||Hard Water. Detergent not completely effective in cleaning. Some scaling will occur in pipes and appliances.|
|10.5+ GPG Hardness||Very Hard Water. Detergents not effective in cleaning. Dishwasher impossible to use without producing film on dishes. Scaling in pipes and appliances.|
Do you have hard water?
Over 85% of American Households have hard water. Different parts of the country are more susceptible to hard water. As a result water hardness varies greatly across the country, and can even vary with in the same community.
Due to the nature of the water bed sub-soil structure, water hardness may vary within a general area.