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Why Water Hardness Is Important To Know and Test At Home

One of the most important measures of water quality is hardness. Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, including calcium and magnesium.  While these minerals are not harmful to human health, they can cause a number of problems in the home. For instance, hard water can lead to mineral buildup in plumbing fixtures and appliances, which can reduce their efficiency and lifespan. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about how water hardness affects you, and how to test water hardness and how AquaOx can help you find ways to treat it with various water filtration systems.

What is Water Hardness? 

Water hardness is a measure of the dissolved minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, in water. Hard water isn’t necessarily a health hazard, but it can be a nuisance because it leaves deposits on plumbing fixtures and causes soap to lose its lathering ability.  The main problem with hard water is that it can cause a build-up of scale in your plumbing fixtures and appliances, which can reduce their efficiency and lifespan.

Water hardness varies from region to region. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled water hardness maps for the United States.  In general, water becomes harder as it moves from west to east and from north to south. This is because there are more dissolved minerals in the rocks and soils of these areas.  Water hardness is usually expressed in grains per gallon (gpg) or milligrams per liter (mg/L). Water with more than 10 gpg or 200 mg/L is considered hard.  

Types of Water Hardness 

 There are two types of water hardness: temporary hardness and permanent hardness.  Temporary hardness is caused by the presence of dissolved magnesium or calcium bicarbonate. When this water is heated, the bicarbonate turns into carbonate, and the water becomes harder. This type of hardness can be removed by boiling the water. 

Permanent hardness is caused by dissolved calcium or magnesium sulfate, chloride, or nitrate. This type of hardness cannot be removed by boiling the water.  The majority of water hardness is permanent hardness. In general, the harder the water, the more difficult it is to remove the dissolved minerals. 

How Does Water Hardness Affect You? 

If you have hard water, you’re probably familiar with some of the ways it can affect you. For instance, you may have noticed that your skin feels dry and irritated after showering, or that your hair looks dull and lifeless.  This is because soap doesn’t lather as well in hard water, and the minerals can actually strip away natural oils from your skin and hair. 

Hard water can also cause problems with your clothing. Colors may fade more quickly, and fabrics may feel rough and stiff. In extreme cases, hard water can damage washing machines and other appliances.

The most common effect of hard water is mineral buildup, or scale, on plumbing fixtures and appliances. Over time, this scale can build up and reduce the efficiency of these fixtures and appliances. In some cases, it can even cause them to fail completely. 

How To Test For Water Hardness 

The only way to know for sure if your water is hard is to have it tested by a qualified professional. However, there are some simple tests that you can do at home to get an idea of the hardness of your water.  One way to test for water hardness is to use a water test kit that contains test strips. These strips will change color to indicate the level of hardness in your water. 

Another way to test for water hardness is to use a soap bubble test. To do this test, you will need a clean glass, some liquid soap, and a source of hard water. Fill the glass with hard water and add a few drops of liquid soap. If the water is hard, the soap will not form bubbles. 

If you’re concerned about the hardness of your water, the best thing to do is to have it tested by a professional. This will give you the most accurate information about the level of hardness in your water and what, if anything, needs to be done to address it. 

How To Treat Hard Water 

There are a few different ways that you can treat hard water. The best way to treat hard water is to use a water softener.  A water softener is a device that removes the dissolved minerals from water, making it softer. It is installed into the plumbing of your home and can be used for both indoor and outdoor water sources. 

Another way to treat hard water is to use a reverse osmosis system. A reverse osmosis system is installed under your sink and uses a filter to remove the dissolved minerals from your water. This filtered water can then be used for drinking, cooking, and other household needs. 

If you don’t want to treat your hard water, there are some things that you can do to make it easier to live with. For instance, you can use soap that is designed for use with hard water. These soaps will lather better and won’t leave a film on your skin and hair. 

If you don’t want to use a water softener or reverse osmosis system, you can also contact your local water utility company. Living with hard water isn’t easy, but it is possible. They may be able to give you some tips on how to deal with hard water. 

A house water filtration system is a final option to remove hardness from water. This will take out the minerals that make water hard, making it much safer and healthier for your family to drink. 

How To Test Water Hardness To Make A Change For Your Home 

No matter what method you choose, dealing with hard water doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little bit of effort, you can find a way to make hard water  work for you and your family.  Test the hardness of your water today to see what, if anything, needs to be done to make it softer. Your family will thank you for it! This article was brought to you by AquaOx, your local experts in water treatment. Visit our website to learn more about water hardness and how to treat it with our filtration systems.


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