Water has various properties, one of which is hardness. This is the measure of water’s mineral content, which is usually comprised of magnesium and calcium.

Mainly, water is considered to be hard if it is difficult to wash in. It is not easy to create lather in this type of water. The higher the calcium and magnesium content in the water, the more difficult it is to generate suds. 

The ASABE and the WQA have established a system that classifies water hardness. According to the National Research Council, drinking hard water is not harmful in general, as it somewhat contributes to your total magnesium and calcium dietary needs.

However, it may cause skin irritation and a host of smaller nuisances.

If the water in your home is excessively hard, you can address the problem by installing a water softener in your plumbing system. However, you need to be careful when choosing which unit to install. A lot of water softeners get rid of magnesium and calcium by replacing them with salt. As a result, your salt intake may significantly increase, which may not be good for your health, especially if you have high blood pressure.

If your water softener uses salt in its ion exchange process, you could end up drinking 8–16 times more sodium in each glass of water compared to what you normally would.

Eliminating the minerals from the water will also affect the stability of the water, making it more corrosive. If you install a softening system where water enters your household, your plumbing system may suffer from corrosion.

Nevertheless, hard water can still be an annoying issue. When it evaporates, mineral deposits are left behind.

These deposits may manifest as white residues on glassware, dishes, sinks, and shower walls. They can also gather in dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines, and other household appliances that use water, causing extra wear and tear.

If the surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom are not cleaned regularly, the residue may become difficult to remove as detergent or soap will only mix with the minerals, forming a sticky soap film. Your appliances may also suffer from inefficient operation or shorter useful life if not cleaned regularly because of the mineral build-up.

A convenient and cheap way to clean mineral build-up is the use of distilled vinegar. Because a major part of hard water is made of calcium (highly reactive to acids), soaking small parts of appliances or wiping counters with a solution of water and vinegar will easily dissolve the mineral deposits.

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Disadvantages of Hard Water

Following is a short summary of the downsides of hard water:

Washing –

Clothes will look dull and grey after some time. Hard water minerals also pervade the cloth, resulting to an abrasive and rough feel.

Lather –

Hard water does not create lather.

Residue –

The residue results from the minerals left behind from the flow of water. It may also appear as dark or dullish brown stains that are often seen in sinks, toilets, and the enamel found around showerheads and showers. While these may not be health hazards, they give your home an unappealing, dingy look. In addition, the stains keep coming back even if you frequently apply cleaning solutions. This is because water flow will always leave behind some residue.

Dishwashers –

The water’s heat releases the minerals. This results in a filmy or spotty look when the minerals stick to glassware.

Home Heating –

While a lot of the negatives on this list involve an unappealing appearance, the limescale build-up in the boiler of your heating system is more than just visual. It can deteriorate the performance of the boiler, making your home heating less efficient, and increasing your power costs. The boiler will eventually require a replacement.

Plumbing –

Your pipes can also experience mineral build-ups, reducing the water flow. The pipes may also corrode, which may eventually lead to leaks and other damages that may require expensive repairs. Worse, pipes may burst.

If you have hard water concerns, contact Spartan Plumbing right away. Whether you need a water softening system installed or you have other plumbing issues, Spartan Plumbing can fix your plumbing problems fast.