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Understanding Hard Water

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Many homes have hard water and many homeowners are unaware of the effects. Hard water is very common in Dallas-Fort Worth, and indeed through out Texas and much of the United States. It can be found in up to 85 percent of homes. The meaning of hard water for a particular home is subject to a great deal of variation. Hard water is simply a mixture of minerals dissolved in your water that exceeds a specific level.

Hard water can be a problem depending on who is using it. Hard water can collect on any hard surface and cause deposits on fixtures, cooking tools, countertops sinks and showers. People’s willingness to deal with hard water depends on their budget, tolerance for hard-water accumulations and general cleaning habits. This guide will help homeowners understand what to expect from hard water and provide tips for managing it if necessary.

What is Hard Water?  

Certain minerals are present in all water types. Water systems are not 100 percent pure. Any substance that can float in water is capable of being carried by the current. This includes both beneficial and harmful chemicals. Hard water means that there are a lot of minerals. This is most commonly when water from natural sources passes through mineral deposits like limestone or chalk.

This process results in a high level of calcium and iron. These minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. They can cause problems in homes if they are in large quantities. Soft water, on the other hand, does not have high levels of these minerals. This could be due to local water resources or as part a water softening system.

 Sources of Minerals   

It’s easy to see how water could carry all sorts of particles, both healthy and potentially dangerous. On a fair day, people might think about swimming in a nearby reservoir. The water is clear and calm in the morning. The sediment is at the bottom. The water might become cloudy later in the day, or after a storm.

Although this is a simplified example, it shows how water can easily pick up and transport sediment. This could include:

  • Calcium

  • Magnesium

  • Iron

  • Lead

  • Aluminum

  • Chromium

  • Copper

Water’s natural movement ends when it reaches man-made transport means, which can add chemicals. Minerals stick to plumbing just as much as they move. The water can pick up contaminants and minerals as it flows through pipes. Copper and lead can be leached into water if the plumbing is corroded. High levels of toxic substances like lead will be tested by municipal water treatment plants. If homeowners don’t take immediate action to inspect their property, it may be harder to find toxic components that have built up. Experts generally don’t consider hard water harmful but homeowners should know what is in their local water supply.

 Hard Water and Utility Bills 

While this may seem small, homeowners should think about the appliances that boil water to make steam. The system can become less efficient if there is an accumulation of bicarbonates within the boiler’s pipes and tanks. Not only can this cause your appliance to use more electricity or natural gas, it can cause the system’s overheating and even an explosion.

While you may have an electricity choice when you select the rate and plan for your utilities, you are generally stuck with your water supply, be it a private well, or service from the city.  Using a water softening appliance is really your best solution.

 Water Softeners 

People can soften their water in a variety of ways. Most people will have a water-softening system attached to their private water supply. Some Loudoun County houses might draw hard water from a well. Therefore, some homes may already have them. This type of system can cost homeowners anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, they should feel confident that they will benefit. This is a personal decision and you need to weigh the potential benefits against any possible risks for vulnerable populations.

Water softening works in the same way as binding minerals to other elements. A reservoir of resin beads, salts or salts is used to draw calcium and magnesium. The system releases potassium and sodium into the water in exchange for minerals that can make it hard. They are more likely not to accumulate and drain away. The resin beads must be replaced periodically by homeowners to ensure that the system continues to function as it was intended.