What is Hard Water?
Simply put, the term hard water means water contains a high concentration of dissolved calcium and/or dissolved magnesium. These ions can come out of solution for many reasons and when they do, problems can occur.
For a limited time the Morton Salt Company will provide you with a free hardness test strip so you can test the hardness of your water right in the comfort of your own home.
It’s Dissolved… So What Harm Can It Cause?
That which can go into solution (aka: dissolve) can also come out of solution. This means that uder the correct condition, such as when hard water gets boiled in water heaters, tea kettles and so forth it can can cause “scale” to form on surfaces it touches. In other words, the calcium and magnesium come out of solution (aka: precipitate) and stick to things immediately around them.
While the scale, or mineral build-up typically does not pose a health risk, it can cause serious financial problems since too much scale can creat clogs in pipes and it does not conduct heat very well. This means water heaters, heat radiators and all passageways carrying hard water for too long a time may need to get replaced prematurely.
A second problem caused by hard water deals with the way it interacts with soap molecules. The calcium and magnesium ions ‘bond’ with the soap molecules and form a sticky scum which does not lather up as one would expect when adding some form of soap or detergent to water. Fewer bubbles means using more soap and more water to get the same degree of cleaning accomplished.
Hard Water Sounds Bad… How Do I Get Rid of It?
If after having your water tested by a certified water professional your ONLY concers involve hard water, you may want condiser installing a water softening system.
If, on the other hand, your water troubles include other matters besides dissolved calcium and dissolved magnesium, you may want to consider installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system which involves a pre-filter to remove larger particles and post-filter which makes use of an activated carbon bed.