If you have moved to a new place and notice that there is something off about your water, then it could be hard water. There are a few different signs of hard water, and this includes white water spots on dishes and a chalky buildup on your shower walls or on faucets. Also, you may notice that your skin and hair feel drier or that you feel like you can’t remove all the soap off your skin when you are showering.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water with higher mineral content. The minerals that are most commonly found in hard water are magnesium and calcium. Hard water is usually sourced in areas where there are chalk and limestone deposits.
Is Hard Water Safe?
One of the main concerns you might have when you discover that you have hard water is if it is safe for your family. Hard water is not a health hazard and when you drink hard water the body can absorb the magnesium and calcium, which can be a good thing. Some people can taste the difference in hard water, and some people even get sore throats from drinking water with higher mineral content. While water hardness is usually caused by magnesium and calcium, it can also be caused by other metals, including iron, zinc, aluminum, manganese, and barium. Some studies show that drinking water with other minerals can have some health effects, but there isn’t any concrete reason to be concerned about any health effects related to hard water.
What Should You Do about Hard Water?
Some people don’t mind having hard water in their homes, while others don’t want to deal with it. There are some pros and cons to having hard water. The calcium in the hard water can be good for teeth and bones, and some people actually prefer the taste of it. If you have old lead or copper pipes, the limestone buildup is actually beneficial because it can coat the pipes and prevent poisonous salts from dissolving into your water supply. Even though there are some advantages, there are more cons to having hard water, which is why many people choose to do something about it. Hard water can leave mineral residue on the faucets and it reacts with soap, which causes soap scum to build up quickly. In order to get your clothes and dishes clean, you need more detergent and soap. Even when clean, clothes washed in hard water can still look dingy, which can shorten their lifespan, and dishes end up with hard water spots. Many times people feel like they aren’t clean after showering in hard water, because it can leave a soapy film on the skin. It can also cause skin irritation for some people.
If you want to remove your hard water, then the best way to do so is by having a whole house water softener installed in the home. This will ensure that all the water you use in the home will be soft. There are a few different systems you can use. Some require salt and some don’t, and there are advantages and disadvantages of each type of system for your home. If you are renting or are unable to install a whole house water softener, there are a few options for getting rid of hard water. You can use a mounted faucet water filter in the kitchen, which will allow you to filter your water for cooking and drinking. There are also water pitcher filters that can be used for drinking water. There are showerheads that also have filters for hard water, so you aren’t left with the soapy feeling on your skin and can protect your hair from the water’s effects. There is also liquid or powder you can add to your washing machine to lessen the effects of hard water on your laundry and clothes. While these solutions aren’t as easy as installing a whole house softener system and you won’t get as many benefits, they can still be effective.
Water softeners can save you money because you will use less soap while cleaning, laundering, and bathing. You will decrease the build up in your appliance and plumbing systems, thus making them last longer and increasing their efficiency. You may also experiences lower energy consumption and costs by improving the water flow in your plumbing and reducing the scale buildup that can occur in water heaters. Softer water makes household maintenance and cleaning easier and more effective.
How Do You Know if You Have Hard Water?
You won’t likely know about the hard water until you move into a new place. However, if you are thinking about moving to a new area in the USA, then the U.S. Geological Survey has a map to show you where hard water can be found in the country so you can avoid it.