Is Hard Water Bad?

Do you live in an area with hard water?  If so, you may wonder what that means for you and your family.  Often hard water is considered bad, but it is still perfectly safe.  According to Culligan, “Hard water results from high levels of calcium and magnesium in your water supply. It is the most common water problem in North America.”  Hard water is not dangerous to drink, but it does come with its own set of problems.

1.  Build Up-The excess of minerals in hard water can cause it leave behind lime-scale residue and buildup in your plumbing which can affect its performance.  This build-up can clog pipes or make them narrower.

“Lime-scale in a PVC pipe” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_softening

2. Not as Much Heat-The build-up of lime scale mentioned above can make it harder for heat to transfer into the water with your hot water heater.  This means that the hot water heater will have to expend more energy to heat your water.  Additionally, this build-up can form on the bottom of the water heater and cover the heating device which will also minimize the water heater’s effectiveness and might lead to costly repairs.

3.  Not So Clean-Hard Water will not work up a lather with soap the way soft water does due to those extra minerals.  This means that it does not clean as well.  You end up having to use more soap!

4.Spots, Spots, Spots-Hard water will leave spots on your glasses.

If you are noticing a yucky taste, or lots of build up in your pipes or bath tub, it is possible that you may have hard water.  For more information, check out these sites that I used:  “Water 101:  Questions and Answers about Water Treatment” (Detroit Water and Sewage Department), “Common Water Problems” (Culligan), “Chemistry of Hard and Soft Water” (About.com), Wikipedia:  Hard water, Wikipedia:  Water softening.

If you have any questions about residential plumbing services, please contact Flame!

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