Many people focus on water quality primarily when it’s water for drinking or cooking. Faucet-use water filters can be expensive to replace, so the average person makes sure it’s not filtering for simple tasks like washing their hands or scrubbing a plate clean. But what about all of that non-filtered water? What does it mean if your toilet is developing a ring where the water sits, or your faucet is starting to get mineral build-up faster than normal? These are some surefire signs that you could have hard water.
Hard water is the term for water that is high in mineral concentration. Ground water gets filtered through rocks over time. This filtering process mostly removes impurities, making it safe to drink. But water can filter through rocks heavy in calcium and magnesium. Hard water contains a high concentration of these carbonates. In Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as surrounding areas, the soil and bedrock makeup can be completely different for two neighboring houses. Because of this, you can never be sure if you’ll have hard water or not in these regions. But what does this mean for homeowners?
Common Questions About Hard Water Effects
What are some of the effects of hard water? Hard water can cause several problems at home. The high concentration of calcium and magnesium in hard water means it can leave traces of these elements on your water fixtures, in your pipes, and even on your body. These traces can add up over time. While it’s not likely that you’ll develop anything more than a small layer of mineral buildup at any one time, it’s a different story for everything else the hard water flows through in your home.
How does hard water affect the human body? Hard water has a relatively small impact on human health. Is it safe to drink hard water? Yes. Even though some sites claim that hard water is linked to serious illnesses, no government funded study shows hard water as a health threat. It may be slightly more uncomfortable to drink, given the amount of minerals in the water, but your body can digest magnesium and calcium. Does hard water affect skin? To an extent, yes. The mineral content of hard water can dry out your skin, and leave you feeling like there is residue left on your skin and hair. This discomfort is the primary cause for concern of hard water.
We can treat hard water and minimize the impact it has on your life. How can you tell if you have hard water? There are several ways to tell without an official test. If your toilet has a ring around the water line, or the toilet bowl has developed streaks over extended use, then it is possible that you have hard water. If you find crusty flakes on your faucets, drains, or fixtures, these are telltale signs of hard water. Your bathtub is a good source of information when checking for hard water. If there is a lot of soap-scum buildup on the tub itself, or on the shower curtain, you may have hard water. Dishes come out of the dishwasher a soapy film on them, or covered in soap spots. Hard water can cause clothes to come out of the washer and dryer feeling rougher than normal, no matter how much fabric softener you use. Hard water can cause minerals to build up in your pipes, and cause blockages or pipe ruptures.
The only guaranteed method is to test your water. There are some home tests you can conduct to determine if you have hard water or not. If you have trouble getting soap, shampoo, or body wash to create suds, then you may have hard water. To use this for testing purposes, try filling a small seal-able container with water and a few drops of dish soap. If the soap does not create suds, that’s a good indicator that you should have a professional come test your water. There are services that can test the mineral content of your water, and advise you how to proceed.
Hard Water is Unfit For
While hard water takes time to have a negative impact, it can present problems in the long run.
- Water Heaters: Mineral buildup, or scaling, forms on the interior of the water heater. This can cause problems that would require a Fort Worth, TX heating service to come and repair.
- Washing Clothes / Cleaning: Because hard water creates issues with soap properly creating suds, it is not as useful for cleaning. Washing machines will have problems fully cleaning clothes, and may leave a buildup that is not removed by the drying process.
- Skincare: Hard water leaves minerals on your skin and hair. This can leave you feeling like you’re covered in residue, and not actually clean. It will also dry out your skin and hair.
- Watering Plants: Excess minerals in the water can lead to lime scale buildup on a plants root structure, and block the plant from gathering certain elements necessary for life. This is only a problem in highly concentrated amounts.
How Do You Treat Hard Water at Home?
If you’re looking for solutions to your hard water problems, give us a call! Hard water can be softened by plenty of individual or overall methods. If you want to soften your drinking water, there are “ion exchange” water filters for faucets that balance out the mineral content of calcium and magnesium by adding potassium and sodium. There are also detergents and shampoos that can minimize the effects of hard water on clothing and hair, respectively. If you’re only worried about hard water stains and scaling, most can be treated with vinegar and time. These are individual fixes, but do not solve the overall hard water problem.
Just like there are professional services for well water treatment, there are professionals who can come to your home and install large water “softening” devices. These work in a similar fashion to the smaller, ion exchange water filters, but on a much larger scale. These total water filtration systems are a useful alternative for someone who wants an all-in-one fix for their hard water problem. If you’re in Aledo and Fort Worth, TX and think you have a hard water problem, call Elder's Pure Water at 817-901-7775 for a solution.