You may have heard the term “hard water” before, but what is it exactly? Hard water is water that contains higher levels of minerals, in most cases calcium and magnesium. While this might not seem like a big deal, hard water can actually cause a lot of problems.
In this blog post, we will explore what hard water is and why it’s bad for you. We will also touch on some of the ways you can combat hard water in your own home.
From using filtered pitchers to installing whole-house systems, there are plenty of ways to make hard water work for you instead of against you.
What is Hard Water?
When it comes to your home’s water, the terms “hard water” and “soft water” refer to the number of minerals – primarily calcium and magnesium – that are dissolved in the water. Hard water is simply water with high mineral content, while soft water has low mineral content.
Water is considered "hard" if its mineral content exceeds 60 milligrams per litre.
The hardness of water in each Australian city can vary depending on the specific location and source of the water supply. As a general guide, Sydney’s water is considered soft with a water quality of around 50mg/L. In Hobart, mineral content is a bit above 10 mg/L. Yet in Adelaide and Brisbane, things are very different. Mineral content often reaches 100 mg/L and more. On the state level, South and Western Australia have the hardest water, while Tasmania and Victoria have the softest water.
So this sounds pretty much common and benign, right? Well, there are some problems with hard water which are worth being aware of.
What are the Problems with Hard Water?
So what does hard water do? Well, for starters, it can cause your plumbing to become clogged over time as the minerals build up on the inside of your pipes.
Additionally, hard water can make it difficult for soaps and detergents to lather properly, which means you may not be getting your clothes or dishes as clean as you could be if you had soft water. Finally, hard water can leave behind unsightly mineral deposits on fixtures like sinks and tubs.
There are several problems that can be caused by hard water. These include:
- Metallic taste: This signifies the presence of metals in your water and it suggests that your pipes may be corroded due to hard water exposure.
- Spots on dishes are often the result of calcium carbonate deposits. These are usually found on glasses and silverware coming out of the dishwasher.
- Clogged pipes: Over time, hard water can build up in your pipes, causing them to become clogged. This can lead to decreased water pressure and even burst pipes.
- Corroded pipes: Hard water makes your pipes more likely to corrode.
- Mineral stains: These can happen to clothes when you wash them. They certainly don't help the lifespan of clothes and are a result of hard water.
- Low water pressure: clogged pipes cause reduced water flow.
- Dry skin and hair: Hard water can strip the natural oils from your skin and hair, leaving them feeling dry and irritated.
- There's that sticky feeling after washing your hands. Did you know this is caused when soap reacts with calcium to form soap scum? It makes it harder to wash your hands.
As you can see, there's a range of problems which can result from hard water. There are no serious health concerns for consuming hard water but you simply cannot enjoy the water with a metallic or chlorine taste and your appliances don’t enjoy it either.
Are there any effective solutions for hard water or do you need to simply settle for poor water quality? Glad you asked.
How Do You Deal with Hard Water?
There are a few different effective and cheap ways to deal with hard water problems:
- Remove soap scum with a help of hard water cleaning aid.
- Use washing soda for your laundry.
- Use magnetic water conditioners to soften your water.
- Remove scale with white vinegar.
These are cheap and effective methods to reduce the effect of hard water, but in our experience the best method is to fix the root cause of the problem, and soften the water by removing excess calcium and magnesium.
If you want to enjoy fresh-tasting water and save your pipes from further damage, a water softener is a perfect solution.
Here at Aquastream we can find just the right product based on your location, your needs and your budget. We offer both residential and commercial systems!
Uniflow Commercial Water Softeners reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium in water supplies. Utilising the ion-exchange principle, the elements are replaced by sodium ions, eliminating hardness from the water and preventing scale build-up. This is essential for food service and healthcare applications, where equipment protection is a top priority.
Get a Water Softener from Aquastream
When it comes to hard water, the best way to combat its negative effects is to install a water softener. Aquastream offers a wide range of water softeners which can remove impurities and make your life easier without hard water. Not only will this improve the quality of your water, but it will also extend the life of your appliances and plumbing fixtures.
How Can I Tell if I Have Hard Water?
If you suspect you have hard water, short of conducting a water test, there’s a few signs you can look out for. Pay attention to the water pressure in your home. Is your water tasting weird or metallic? What about mineral deposits on your clothes? These are symptoms of hard water. You can know for sure you are dealing with hard water if you test your water.
Why Is It Called Hard Water?
Hard water is simply water with a high mineral content. Hard water doesn't feel hard to the touch-instead, it gets its name because of the minerals within the water molecules.