So what exactly is hard water? How can water be hard when it is a fluid? It seems like a strange concept but hard water is a real thing.
What is Hard Water?
No it is not ice – although this writer would admit that that would make a lot of sense. Rather, hard water is water which has a high mineral content. Depending on your location this mineral content can range from limestone to calcium or chalk to magnesium carbonates. And you thought you were drinking normal old H2O, just two hydrogens and an oxygen. Interestingly enough drinking hard water could actually have some benefits as it can add calcium and magnesium to your diet. Unfortunately hard water will have a rather negative effect on your bathroom and kitchen
Hard water can cause soap scum and white precipitate to build up on your faucets and plumbing fixtures. Hard water can also form deposits that over the course of time could cause clogs which will restrict the flow of water in your pipes. Additionally hard water can cause long term damage to boilers
Softening Hard Water
Despite the minor health benefits that may be associated with drinking hard water, most people are going to want to take steps to soften their water. This is usually accomplished through lime softening or ion-exchange resins. Lime softening simple involves adding lime to hard water which through a chemical process will soften your water. Lime softening does this be reducing the total dissolved solids (TDS) in your water. In ion-exchange sodium is added to water and it extracts the calcium and magnesium ions which are unwanted in hard water. Many home have a water softener, found sometimes in the garage or laundry room, just for this use.
Dealing with hard water is a standard practice of plumbing maintenance which can increase the durability of your plumbing system and help it stay in shape for years to come.